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OK Gang, it’s on….
The Doc Fellows Regatta is ON for Saturday, maybe another regatta (Maine States?) Sunday. Sounds like Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson, ME is in decent shape.
Wind forecast is good for Saturday and a little more promising for Sunday. The ice looks decent, reports from the site give it a 6.5 out of ten. Not exactly miles of perfect black ice but let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good!
Temps will be in low 30’s during the day, with clouds on Saturday we should be able to sail pretty well. Sunday will bring sun so slush runners might be handy- Will be interesting to see what we can get away with!
Launch will be out of
Damariscotta Lake Farm
15 Bunker Hill Rd, Jefferson, ME 04348
Take Lake Farm Circle down to the beach to rig and launch, DO NOT drive on the grass! The folks at The Farm have been very iceboater-friendly and we don’t want to do anything to sour that relationship.
We can’t stay at The Farm but lodging available at the Senator Inn And Spa in Augusta about 30 minutes from the launch. Web site is here: https://www.senatorinn.com
Skippers Meeting Saturday AM at launch, 9:30 AM
First Race at 10:30 AM
Be sure to have your insurance with you!!! NO EXCEPTIONS
Regular iceboating rules apply- familiarize yourselves with them at
NOTE- some iceboating Right Of Way rules differ from soft-water rules so read them closely-
IF three of any class show up and want to race they will get a start and races of their own- all welcome!
In the DN Class a Vintage / Classic trophy will be awarded to the boat and skipper that has a certain combo of age / wear and tear / battle scars / character / and results!
We are looking for volunteers to run and score races- earn some karma and volunteer!
If not no big deal, we can use the Maine system (Regatta Chair runs first race, from there on whoever wins a race gets to run and score the next one. Average points awarded for the races missed. I think. Will figure it out when the smart people get there)
Feel free to contact me with any questions or to let me know what I’ve forgotten- email@example.com
Stay tuned to NEIYA site for details and updates!
Think ICE and LINE ‘EM UP!!
Hey Gang- Check out this well written (if slightly depressing) article in Atlas Obscura….
Optimism reigns in our little world- It may be on the warm side here in RI but just a few miles to the north the forecast is for some very cold nights, could have things ready to go by the weekend, especially the latter part…
Could be Winni…. Could be Dammy…. Some lake just over the border….
IF we find sailable ice we are hoping to have a regatta (Doc Fellows? Easterns? Canadian Champs?) so stay tuned to this site for details and updates. And if you have ice for the love of God let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think ICE! T
IDNIYRA Secretary Deb Whitehorse is still in Europe, now reporting on the folks who are sailing the boats that started it all-
Click the link and get an idea of how this all started, how it looked, and the people who are keeping the tradition going. Think ICE!
How long until we can send some NE kids to one of these things?
IDNIYRA Secretary Deb Whitehorse stayed in Sweden to cover the European Junior champs (rough duty but someone has to do it…)
She sends these reports and photos- both very worth a look!
My boat and ribs are fixed from my little mishap on Lake Winnepeasauke…Late Saturday afternoon T and I were at Quaboag and heard there was ice to the north so we headed to Canada…Gorden from the Kingston Yacht Club found Consecon Lake in a little town called "Carrying Place" about an hour and half north of Kingston. When we arrived the ice was hard and fast with a wind of about 12 to start. Several folks from Kingston Yacht Club arrived including John Curtis and Peter van Rossom and Colin Duncan (he had just landed at 6 am that morning from a tropical paradise vacation in Cuba). Several others made a longer trek from Montreal to get in another day of sailing. Andre, Robyn, Jacek, and Nick.
We rigged and all of us were excited to scratch race. T suggested we do one lap races so that folks could make rig adjustments and see how those worked out. We all started on either port or starboard rather than split the fleet in half so we could all gauge our speed off the line as an entire group. Up at Lake Winnepeasauke the other week I didn’t feel like my mast was bending enough and I didn’t feel my runners were right based on the fast ice. Out at the North Americans, Chris Berger said if you want more mast mend one should raise the halyard. So, I did that and BOOM. My mast performed much better and in the bigger breeze I felt like my runners and boat hunkered down on the ice better. I am pleased to say I was really fast and at the top mark with all the guys. I finished in third in most of the races and I even won a race and took one off the current North American champ DN 5224.
The temperatures started to rise and the sun felt great, but the ice was getting very slushy. Once the wind died, if you lost speed you were done. I changed to a pair of slush runners. It was my first time using them. Although I lowered my halyard so the boat and runners would not compress down into the slush, I just could not maintain great speed. In my last race, I had to get out of boat and push a lot so my ribs started hurting. I knew to call it a day.
It was a super day of racing with our Canadian friends and there was lots of sharing information, boat swapping for races, and tips provided. But, the biggest take a way from the day and the weekend was the genuine interest by so many in sharing this sport with others and getting more people into ice boating…. On Saturday, T brought his older DN to Quaboag and my good friend, Marc, got to sail it all day. Marc is hooked and wants one. On Sunday, a guy that has a home on Lake Consecon and is a very competitive soft water sailor (he is bringing his boat and team to Newport this summer to compete in the J80 worlds) took out T’s old DN and yelled "Yahoo!" when he took off in the ice boat at a good pace and has already emailed T about getting a boat. Nick from Montreal shared his story of letting Robyn use his boat two years ago and Robyn immediately bought a boat and just finished 2nd at the New England Champs. Peter shared the story of how the Kingston Yacht Club started as an ice boating club decades ago, but no one had been ice boating for years. He and a friend bought an old DN and started to invite others to take 30 minutes turns on it. Then he bought another DN for $400 and more people came out to take turns. Ten years later, the club has 30 ice boaters and lots of boats.
And the same happened with me…over the years T would send an invite to go ice boating on his old DN. Two years ago, I took out his old DN on Wattupa Pond and look at me now. I am ridiculously into it, I think about how to get faster daily, and I travel everywhere for the chance to go ice boating. I hope we can all continue to share the sport and let others try it out. Keep sending invites out and if you have old boats bring them to the ice…
In the meantime, we are hopeful that conditions will allow for sailing in Maine this weekend. More soon.
Think Maine Ice,
Karen DN 5630
Want to see what it’s like to travel from Montana to Sweden via Germany and back again?
Sean Heavey is a professional photographer, videographer, and artist who ran into the iceboat crowd when we invaded his town of Glascow, Montana for the 2020 DN NA champs. He did an amazing job out there (he is the real deal, not like the rest of us wanna-be photographers snapping away with our smartphones) and decided to follow it up by coming along with the group headed to Europe for the World Champs.
The result is an extraordinary account / travelogue of what a DN trip to Europe is like for a bunch of scruffy Americans- It also shows what an amazing two weeks you’ll have if you get kidnapped by Jorg Bohn and his unbelievably hospitable group of friends in northern Germany. Once you are in the care of Jorg, Ulrika, Torsten, Daggie, Stefan, Beatu, and the rest of the gang the fun doesn’t stop. We cannot thank all of them enough! Great food, great restaurants, great drinks, great scenery, great coffee, great stories, vans, ferries, possibly small planes, and even the occasional mishap. But hey, who said that “comedy is tragedy over time?” Mark Twain maybe? All good for a laugh a few hours or days later.
Oh yeah, there is a big regatta in there somewhere. Sean has photos of that too!
One of the great (do I need a thesaurus or what?) things about iceboating is all the characters you get to know- Sean is certainly one of them- Many thanks to him for pitching in with all the travel chores and being just as entertaining as the grizzled veterans in the group!
So with all that said check out Sean’s work here. Jorg is always reminding me to round up more Americans and bring them over for the Gold Cup and other regattas over there- Take a look at the photos here and give it some thought…. You won’t regret it!
Get a cup of coffee, a comfortable seat, a big screen, and enjoy the photos-