Oh Canada! Sunshine, Smiles…Then Slush

Hi Everybody,

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

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