2020 DN North American Champs
The DN North Americans are in the books! As always, it was an adventure but this one was out there; literally.
The big weather was difficult- finding a lake was nearly impossible but Tim Ogrinc scouted his home lake of Fort Peck, Montana in some bitterly cold temps, sent a good report to regatta chairman Dan Hearn, and the show was on!
It was a long trip for a lot of people but well worth it- the scenery out there is extraordinary and the sailing was good too-
Day one saw good breeze and soft ice with patches of snow. Resisting the urge to sheet in too hard and point too high upwind paid dividends and using 95 or 100 degree runners and a full sail seemed to work for the top sailors. Aggressively steering around the snow patches and working the mainsheet in the puffs was essential. It made for exciting sailing and a great workout!
At the end of the day in Gold Fleet Chad Atkins was in the lead with T Thieler in second and Ron Sherry in third. Only the Gold Qualifier race was run on day one for the Silver fleet so there was everything to play for on the next race day…
Warren Nethercoate of Halifax NS won the Gold qualifier with RI rookie Karen Binder hot on his heels in second. Well done!
Two days of no wind tested the fleet’s patience and nerves and finally the breeze filled in on Saturday. Cold temps had solidified the snow drifts and made for wild, rodeo style sailing! It was fast, furious and down to the wire…. Avoiding the big bumps and rough ice was key, almost as important as staying in the boat and keeping the boat in one piece! Thieler took the first race, Ron Sherry took the second and the committee wisely called racing off as the wind was building to unsafe speeds-
The math was tough (for iceboaters anyway) as the scores were close but when the tabulation was done for the Gold Fleet it was Atkins in 3rd w 11 points, Sherry in 2nd with 10, and Thieler hanging on by the skin of his teeth to take 1st with 9.
In Gold the Eastern Region put in a good showing ith four sailors in the top ten- Thieler in 1st, Atkins in 3rd, Eric Anderson in 9th and Peter Van Rossem in 10th. Well done!
In the silver fleet Bill Bucholz was top easterner in 5th, Mike Webber was next eastern sailor in 7th, Charlie Blair made a great return to the hard water world with a 10th, and Colin Duncan in 11th. Well done gang!
Thanks as always to the RC, the scorers, all the support personnel, and the competitors for making the trip!
As I said, it was memorable for all the right reasons. (I’ve already forgotten about the rain squall that turned the launch area into a mud pit just in time for the load-out). Great scenery, great racing, great group!
Look here for Day One and Two drone footage- you’ll be glad you did!