Author Archive

Ice in Maine – Sabattus Pond

Thanks to the Maine crew…this news just in for Sabattus Pond, Maine

We got on the plate at Martins Point launch where the ice is still tight to the ramp, but slightly submerged and covered with a puddle. Trailers can get down to the left of that puddle. A stream lead is off to the right, looking out, extending quite far. Be aware. We plan to show up around 9am and begin to mark hazzards. The sailing should be great.

The plate looks great. There is a thin film of water skimmed with ice. You’ll probably bump over our footprints tomorrow. It is four inches everywhere; very little variation. Ice is hard and will give us a 7ish surface. There is one open crack crossing the lake, and we found two drainholes that could eat a runner, but just barely. There might be others.

We checked the north end from Nason’s Beach, below, and found pretty much the same conditions. There was a flock of birds on the ice off in the distance. We don’t know if they had an open hole to hang out in or were just standing on the ice waiting for a cast off fish from the fishermen.

Most of Damariscotta is open again, except Muscongus Bay. It’s hanging in there with 3". Could recover by the end of the week if it get as cold as predicted, especially as the wind forecast is minimal. Wind could become the issue mid-week just as we get some good ice. Good news coming in from Squam and Wentworth as well. Stand by for updates from there.


New England Ice Report – not great, but promising for next week.

Hi Everyone,

Our scouts continue to search for sailable ice in the New England region. Thank you, scouts.

Jay Whitehair’s report for Wentworth/Sunapee/Winni: "Although I am no weather guy, I just looked at the weather and the temps up here look like they may have a Zamboni potential. On Saturday it seems the temps here will be warmish and Uber windy so who knows what is in store. Looking tonight at the week, after the warmish rolls through the temps are dropping up here and will be steady low. I’m hoping to discover more ice up here for next week. The precipitation looks low but god only knows. I’ll keep looking for bigger ice. If Sunapee and Winni get Zambonied and then a cold sets in we could have big ice soon.

Bill Bucholz: "I’m keeping an eye on Sabbattus. Sunday looks good if there’s not too much damage from rain Saturday. Hoping for some rubber boots on the ice Sat. afternoon to see how it looks, and then I’ll post yay or nay. Monday looks good as well. If we like it Sun. then maybe sailing/scratch racing/small regatta for Monday." Check the Chicawaukie website for direct updates. (If you are not a member of their club, please support their efforts by joining. The members scout a lot of far away places for all of us to enjoy.)

John Stanton: "From the home front in CT we are getting encouraging news about Bantam. Seems like things are progressing but need more time."

If I hear anything else, I will let you know ASAP especially since Monday is a holiday and many of you may have off.

Think Ice,

Karen Binder
DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary


New IMPORTANT Information on Lake Monomonac, NH – LAUNCH INFO and Wentworth

Hi,

I just spoke to Kit again. The launch area provides a smaller plate to sail on. The bigger plate that he sailed today is closer to his home and he can accommodate car top vehicles only. No trailers.

He is happy to assist those that want to unload at his house. He can accomodate up to 12 vehicles and will ask his neighbors for additional permission.

His address is:
Kit Tucker
11 Beauvais Point Lane
Rindge, NH

WENTWORTH Reports are coming from Dave Fortier and posted on Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club website for Wentworth. Randy Rice also reported Lake Wentworth has 4" of ice and he wing sailed today. Again, please check the CIBC website

Thanks, Karen


ICE – LAKE MONOMONAC – NH – Great news!

Hi,

Thanks to NEIYA member Kit Tucker there is sailable ice this weekend. Lake Monomonac, NH has been scouted and sailed. The lake is about 600 acres (slightly bigger than Quabog). It straddles the state of Massachusetts and RI.

The black ice is covered with a 1/2" dusting of snow. Today’s drill holes indicate 4". I spoke to him at noon today. There is one pressure ridge and Kit will be there tomorrow to point it out and any other hazards. Remember, NO ice is Safe and needs to be checked daily as conditions may change. Do not sail alone.

Covid-19

While we are all anxious to get out and sail, especially as our season begins, While Covid-19 is still amongst us, we MUST all practice Enhanced Personal Responsibility. Basically, take the personal responsibility that we iceboaters already practice and turn it up a few notches.

Before you go:

  • Be aware of and adhere to all local, state, or federal regulations.
  • If you have any symptoms get tested and be negative before you go. If in doubt, stay at home!.
  • Practice Social Distancing – Easy gauge, the length of a DN plank is eight(8) feet.
  • Keep congregating and socializing in the pits and parking areas to a minimum.
  • Wear your mask or face covering while setting up, transporting gear to and from your car or trailer, and while setting up.
  • The NEIYA will NOT be holding any official after ice activities so plan accordingly.
  • Let’s all be safe and keep the safety of others in mind in everything we do.

The launch area is located at:

Lake Monomonac Boat Ramp

Position: 42°42.87’N 72°00.91’W
Boat Launch:
The state line Marina on Route 202 has the only access available at this time. It’s across from the fireworks factory. Pay $15.00 at the North of the Border Food Mart to used the paved boat ramp and parking for all types of boats. (NOT SURE IF THIS IS ONLY SUMMER RULE-KB)
Nearest Launch Address:
1207 US-202, Rindge, NH 03461​​​


Ice Report – Nothing

Hi Folks,

The hunt was on for ice over the last two days. Bill B reported Maine is snowed out. Bob reported Quabog now has open water. Another scout reported Sunapee and Wentworth both have open water. Squam Lake is being looked at. If we hear anything positive we will report ASAP.

Thanks,
Karen
DN5630
NEIYA Secretary


Ice Reports – Scouts are watching NH, Maine, and Massachusetts

Hi,

We have scouts in NH, Maine, and Massachusetts looking for sailable ice. Temperatures later this week are looking good. Snow is falling in Maine right now, but Bill will get a report on Plymouth Pond ASAP.

Hopefully, we can have some cruising and scratch racing somewhere this weekend.

I will send updates tomorrow and/or Thursday. Fingers crossed!

Karen Binder
DN 5630


Mascoma Lake, NH – Looks Great! But turn computer 90 degrees to really see

Sorry folks. I can’t figure out how to rotate this lovely image Jay Whitehair sent of Mascoma Lake, NH

From Jay: I just checked the ice on Mascoma and found 4+Inches starting from the public access and going straight out to the middle of the lake. I also went quite a ways towards the dam it it was the same. I will likely set up my ice boat tomorrow and sail the broad area of the lake and run racing marks. We skated and walked all over late this afternoon with no cracking due to our body weight. The night will likely bring another 3/8” which is great.

No bob houses or snowmobiles. The lake is in top form. Grade 8.5/10.

Adventure awaits those willing to make it happen.

Ice boaters: Lake Mascoma is in Enfield NH. Public access point is at the end of the big bridge which crosses the middle of the lake. Can’t miss it. Great parking. Did I say no bob houses?

Check the forecast. It might be a bit warm tomorrow (Thursday), but looks like the best day to sail.

Karen Binder
NEIYA Secretary


Where Oh Where Did My Apparent Wind Go?

Hi everyone,

I am grateful that T and I both are able to find out about a regatta in Michigan late Thursday and be in a van driving west by 9:00 am Friday. Keep in mind this is just two weeks after we drove 24 hours to Minnesota for a practice weekend. Yes, maybe a bit crazy. But, with no ice in the New England forecast we blazed out on the long road.

Saturday had great ice, but light wind. The race committee got off three races for the gold fleet and two for the silver fleet. My sprint training totally made a difference with quickness off the line and gaining speed once in my boat. I surprised myself with being at the top mark in the top five in the gold fleet each race. Chirs Berger made me laugh when he said, "I swear your name when I keep seeing your boat…By the way that’s a compliment." Unfortunately, the wind would die and each race was red-flagged. But, I sailed really well upwind and downwind.

Sunday=Different conditions=Different story.

Overnight it snowed about an inch. I never raced on a full plate of snow. I thought nothing of it given the ice was still in good shape. Before the race I practiced with a 100 degree T runner on starboard and my 95 insert on port. I could hear the snow just hitting the top of T’s runner body so changed it out before the first race. Jeff Kent and T both say listen to your runners. It’s good advice.

The wind was about 8 mph when we started and built steadily through the day with steady 12 and maybe puffs to 15-16 mph. It was also shifty. The race committee did a great job with getting 7 races completed for each fleet. Kudos to the team.

During Sunday’s first race I saw three black watery looking circles each about 12" across and fairly close to the windwark mark. I was not sure if they were open or not, but everyone was avoiding the area. Those I asked after the first race were not sure if they were open either. That unsettled me a bit because the day prior we were told repeatedly to avoid going too far to the left because the ice was only 2" thick. I never knew quite where that line was between safe ice and not safe ice so I avoided that side as much as I could. All that probably planted a bad seed in my head that took me out of the mental game a bit.

After two races I was doing okay upwind but my tacks were super. For the next race I tried out my plates. Shorter runner length in snow means less for the runner to turn through during tacks. Well, they are also a sharp 90 degrees. My tacks were a bit faster, but maybe the ice was a little too soft for that really sharp edge. Downwind remained a disaster. I have never been awesome downwind, but I have never been that bad or slow since two years ago when I got lapped in my very first regatta. Back to my 95s.

As the wind was building and puffs hitting, my mast was not bending. I felt out of control upwind. T suggested adjusting the headstay. Next race I was more control, but I was getting more nervous about the holes and I still did not a lot of mast bend. So next race T suggested loosening the shrouds so the mast would bend more when I sheeted in. That actually worked much better and I was at least with the fleet at the mark and rounding with six other boats at the same moment. Then, I got bumped by another boat. That freaked me out.

I tried my best to remain calm, but that didn’t help the brain. So, I was even slower downwind. I parked my boat and took a really long walk after that race.

Now, the last race of the day. I gave it my best, but my brain was toast. I stopped after the first lap. I can’t remember quitting any race of any kind in my entire life. But, I said to myself, "Karen, your head is not in it – STOP."

Is that wisdom gained after so many disasters on the ice? Maybe. Too high expectations? Confidence shot? Definitely!

On the ride back to Rhode Island, T coached me on apparent wind and snow’s drag on speed. Snow makes makes downwind sailing 85 times harder. Any loss of speed shifts your apparent wind aft. Downwind sailing is the hardest point of DN sailing. You have to focus entirely on the flow of your leeward telltales at all times. Snow just amplifies loss of speed because it acts as a brake on the runners. It takes much longer to gain speed back and speed moves the apparent wind moves forward. Sounds simple in theory. Ease the sheet slightly and head up. I probably eased too much. Nothing would happen so then I’d ease more…etc.

In closing, there were three women sailing in this regatta. Rhea Nichols just took up the sport of soft water sailing four years ago and now she is out competing with ice boating. I have seen her progress since last year and I am really proud of her. Julie Richards is wicked fast and has been sailing for years. She is very petite, but handles big wind really well. I asked Julie after the regatta if any other women race DNs in the United States. She could not think of any…. It’s not an easy sport or a sport for the timid. That’s for sure.

I will just have to keep at it.

Karen Binder
DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary.


Where Guam and Ice Collide

T built a homemade sled for us to use. Converted Dining Room turned DN Sail Loft

Hi everyone,

November was spent getting sails and runners ready and staying consistent with the sprint training. Given Covid restrictions throughout the summer and early fall T and I were pretty consistent working out three days a week. I wrote our 40-yard dash times down each week and in two months some progress was made with slicing off a bit of time. In early November we saw a young woman sprinting at the high school track. She was literally the fastest person I’d ever see run in real life. Her form was perfect, her legs were moving like pistons, and she blew us both away. It was beautiful to watch someone with that much speed.

T and I joked that maybe she’d take us on as students. I was definitely intrigued with the idea so T urged me to talk to her. He said, "Come on. Go talk to her. Ask her. I’ll be your wingman." I finally worked up the nerve to approach her. I said awkwardly and lamely, "Hi, um, you are really fast." She politely said, "Thanks." I then said, "Did you run for your college? She said, "Yes, I ran for the Naval Academy." I then said, "Well, T and I are really old and we are really trying to get better at sprinting."

We told her about ice boating and even broke out the infamous Matt Struble you tube video to show her why we need to learn sprinting technique. She told us she was from Guam and had never heard of ice boating. We have since learned in Guam the average temperature rarely dips below 65F so that makes perfect sense. We then showed her a few of our sprints. She politely said our form was okay. I then said, "Well not sure if you are interested, but if you are at all willing to give us some coaching we will pay you for your time and we’d take it very seriously." I gave her my cell phone and said to please call if she was interested.

Three weeks went by and I didn’t hear from her. What’s the term nowadays…ghosting? I was all bummed out. I’d been ghosted.

Then, having given up hope I got a text from Regine. She said she’d been away, but would enjoy working with us. I was thrilled. We met at the track and got to work last Tuesday night.

At some point in our first session we were talking about Usain Bolt. She described him as a sprinting phenomenon. She pulled out her phone. It was a picture of her standing with Hussien Bolt. I said, "Wow, where was that?" She said Rio de Janeirio. I said, Wait, was that taken at the Olympics? She said, "Yes, he was so nice. Look how tiny I am next to him." I then said, "Wait…you were at Olympics running?" She said, "Yes, I ran for Quam."

Holy smokes. We are being trained by a real OLYMPIC ATHLETE!

We have had three sessions. Already T has shaved over a full second off his sprint time and I have whittled off .40 seconds. Neither sounds like a lot, but with sprinting over a short distance winning is determined by thousandths of a second. It’s huge progress and totally attributable to our Olympic trainer, Regine. We are doing drills I’d never seen or heard of and learning the body positions for starting, powering up, and going full speed.

Sprinting, like most things in life, is a matter of technique, repetition, and a commitment of time. The bad news is Regine is being reassigned for her Naval service in another week so we may just have one or two sessions left. I will keep you posted!

Karen Binder
DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary


Covid Crazy Preseason Training

Hi,

It’s been a few weeks since I committed to get to the track a few times a week for some preseason fitness training. My first session was trying to stay ahead of a guy that sailed around the world twenty years ago and won his class in what is now called the Vendee Globe Race. It was shameless of me to try and beat a guy that didn’t even know I was racing him. Call it Crazy Covid Times…I don’t know.

Since that first night, I have changed my focus to sprinting instead of distance running for two reasons. One, I truly hate running long distances. Two, I am convinced ice boating success relies on a good start. Last year, I focused on the initial push off the line, making sure my equipment was tuned to me, and the transition into the boat. After my 100 practice starts over 4 weekends, my race results improved dramatically.

But, there are always ways to get better at stuff. Since I started ice boating, I have heard about Matt Struble’s amazing starts. Based on a You Tube video of his start at the 2016 DN North Americans, I get it. The man CRUSHES the start. I was told he was a pole vault jumper back in his early days. Clearly, part of his success is linked to explosive running speed off the line. Look it up.

I have since learned sprinting has its own unique components and the 40 yard dash is a good length to practice. I am sure many of you know it’s the distance scouts use to evaluate speed and acceleration for the NFL draft. The average football player can do a 40 yard dash in 4.48 seconds. The record is 4.22 seconds. For the average human, breaking under 5 seconds is practically impossible. Covid Curiosity struck…thinking about football I remembered Tom Brady being pretty slow out of the pocket and his running game left something to be desired…Yes, I know TB 12 is G.O.A.T, but how many of you knew his 40 yard dash time is 5.28 seconds?

So, now I am really curious about Matt Struble’s 40 yard dash time. Maybe he reads NEIYA updates…Maybe someone reading knows him and can ask him for me…I want some kind of a benchmark to shoot for…maybe others will join me in this Covid Craziness Preseason Training, get to the track, and we can all get better at our speed off the line.

Last week, my time was 6.17 seconds. Tonight, the picture below shows my time. Granted, both times it’s been me pushing the button when I start and stop but I REALLY think my workouts are working. So, now instead of worrying about Around the World Guy, I will focus on getting as fast as Tom Brady or I will learn Matt Struble’s 40 yard dash time…(I already I said I am going a little crazy from COVID life.)

Stay well everyone,

Karen Binder
DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary


Around the Track, Not Around the World

Getting back to fitness requires motivation and sometimes that’s hard to find, but the other night I found some. I prefer going to the track because it’s the easiest way for me to set measurable goals. Lately, I am walking a lot longer before I pick up the pace to a slow run. I know I need to run. I just don’t like to run. The other night it was running night. At the track I saw an acquaintance that competed and won the 1999 Around Alone solo race for his class. Our respective sons wrestled together in high school and I will admit to being fairly awe struck around the guy. He sailed around the world – alone. That’s huge.

He was walking too and we said hello, but we kept to our own fitness thing. After walking two laps, I started to jog and passed him. Then after a bit I started to hear some steps and breathing behind me. Around the world guy had started running too. I really wanted to stop and likely would have, but I decided that the guy that won the around the world race was not going to be beat me on the track. After another two laps, I noticed he’d departed.

Yes, it was a small cheap victory and he didn’t even know I was racing him! What can I say? I needed motivation. Later that evening, T and I watched some ice boating starts of those fast Europeans. Those folks run REALLY FAR before they slide into their boats. That will keep me motivated for a while…

Stay safe everyone!

Karen Binder
DN 5630


The List! It’s starting….

It’s official. The DN season has begun with the making of the "work list." My boat is in great shape, but there a pit and slush runners to make, a new step to accommodate my height so I can get a better push when I sheet in, some sails to purchase and numbers to buy, a little bag for my stands to fit into and attach to my runner box, drilling a bigger hole for my halyard lobster clasps to slide in and out of, and maybe if time a new plank. Of course, several of these projects will rely on the kindness and skills of others…

I am excited to start on DN projects given almost every soft water regatta this summer has been cancelled. COVID-19 restrictions made me realize how lucky I was last winter to travel to so many places to sail. MONTANA!

It’s also time to start Project Karen which will include a running and sprint regimen, some weights, and more yoga.

Oh yeah…I am going into this season BIG TIME!

Karen Binder – DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary


Sail-able ice on Great Pond in Maine

This is just in from Bill B. in Maine. One of his scouts reported in and this is the summary "Great Pond looking good. Better surface than Pushaw last weekend. He is calling it a six. Four inches of ice over an inch of slush over still more ice. Overall thickness unknown. No pressures ridges observed through binoculars from shore. Launch is tight. We will sail it tomorrow."

I asked about any pictures and none were taken.

Great Pond is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States.

I know the forecast tonight is for very cold temps and the same for tomorrow night too. Wind looks good for both days.

Check Chickawaukie website for additional updates. https://iceboat.me/

Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends
The race was postponed because of wind: too much of a good thing. Four Whizz with DN storm sails managed to keep boat and body in one piece enough to get a couple of test laps, reset the marks that were blown down and find a quiet lunch lee.
iceboat.me

Cheers to Canada & to Frosty (David Frost DN5358)!!!

Karen Binder & David Frost at 2020 Canadian Nationals

Hi Everyone,

Last weekend’s 2020 Canadian Nationals had great sailors, great wind, and great ice for mid- March. The weekend also provided me with a lot of opportunity to reflect on how far I have come in a year’s time. Some of my posts have mentioned my hiccups last year. In my first ever regatta, I was lapped in several races and I got pulled around by my plank after a bad start. On a practice day in VT I flew out of my boat at the leeward mark and during another day of scratch racing in MA I was in a significant collision which resulted in my hull being shattered and painful whiplash and headaches for weeks.

Last year’s 2019 Canadian Nationals was about eight weeks after my collision. Those weeks were spent recuperating and working with T to get a new boat ready. When they called everyone to the line that morning I was overwhelmed with nervousness and I quickly decided I was going to sit out and watch the first race. I soon saw how on bigger ice with a big course the fleet spreads so by the second race I felt safe enough to join in for the rest of the regatta, but I finished in 21st place. Not great. But I had gotten back on the proverbial horse and that felt good.

I guess one would say I don’t give up easily on things and I am pretty sure my competitive nature started in third grade. My teacher held a "multiplication bee" for our classroom. It was single elimination and it came down to me and this very cute boy with brown curly hair and blue eyes. His name was Andrew Keegan. I’d liked him since Kindergarten. I literally asked myself, "Hmm, I like Andrew. Should I let him win?" Something took over and I won the multiplication bee on 12X9 and went home with a real Silver Dollar as my prize.

So, last winter during a very nice dinner in Augusta, Maine during the Easterns T, "Frosty"/David Frost, his lovely daughter, Audrey, and I were talking. I’d never met Frosty before. I asked the usual questions…where do you live?…what kind of work do you do?…when did you start ice boating?

We were all having a great time. THEN DAVID SAID IT…."It takes TEN years to get good at this sport."

I let Frosty’s statement sink in. It was my first regatta and I was clearly awful. Later that night I asked T in a shaky voice, "Is it really going to take me ten years?" I am positive he said something encouraging and supportive, but honestly I can’t remember it. I just kept hearing "Ten Years… Ten Years… Ten Years." I was 49 years old. At this point, who has ten years to get good at anything?

So, I came to a decision. It was not going to take me ten years. At the start of this season I used Frosty’s comments as a source of inspiration and motivation.

Last weekend, at the 2020 Canadian Nationals, in two different races I was third going into the windward mark. In one race I was rounding right behind Ron Sherry and T. Sure, I totally BLEW IT downwind, but I was behind Ron and T going around the first windward mark rounding in a race! And, then in another race Ron was behind me at the first windward mark rounding. He said at dinner, "Karen, I saw you up there at the windward mark with us. Griffin and I passed you to windward and leeward just as we were rounding, but you were THERE."

I gulped. That was a huge compliment in my book.

I have shared my progress and challenges this season as a way for me to process this difficult sport. I am still struggling downwind and at the leeward mark roundings, but with more practice I know those things will get better. I am breaking this sport into chunks and working on certain elements at a time. It seems to help.

When the final results were posted, I chuckled a bit and found it ironically funny that I tied with "Frosty" David Frost for 11th place at the 2020 Canadian Nationals. The guy that said the magic words that motivated me all season. He got me in the end, but well done, David!

Frosty, Eben, Me, and T (congrats on the win T!))

As we were saying our goodbyes on Sunday in the parking lot, I did mentioned to Frosty that his new nickname from me might be "Decade Dave." We laughed. I have sincerely appreciated his support, his good nature, and his encouragement this entire season. Thanks Dave!

Maybe one more weekend of ice ahead..Bill B has scouts looking at Moosehead Lake in Maine and South Twin in Millimocket. His words…"We’re on it like hawks."

Cheers again to Canada and to Frosty!

Karen Binder
DN 5630


Dama – that was good!

Hi Friends,

Seventeen racers from New England, New Jersey, and Canada decided to take on the Doc Fellows challenge at Damariscotta. The ice was hard and we had wind. T set the course early and racing started on time. Nice job T, Chad, and Oliver with all the committee stuff.

All season I have raced with my ABS sail no matter the wind or ice conditions. For several years racing my laser, I just used the full sail. I am small for a laser, but I dealt. When I finally cracked open the wallet and decided to buy a radial rig, I found myself constantly agonizing over sail choice if the wind prediction was 12+. On the course and depending on a race outcome, I’d say "Ugh, did I make the right choice? Should I go back in and switch out?" It was not necessarily great for me having two sails.

And, frankly, there is enough to be confused about ice boating that I didn’t want to muddy my brain with more decisions this season, but on Saturday T suggested I try his old FO sail. He said the fuller shaped sail would help move the boat through rough patches and lighter wind. I said what I usually say when advice comes from the top, "Okay, sounds good. Thanks!"

I was pleased to find the FO sail a little easier to trim given in its fuller shape. In the first race, I was just getting used to the new shape and finished in 8th. Not terrible, but I just felt I could do a bit better. The shape and tell tales in an FO sail seemed to fly a bit more similar to a laser sail given its fuller shape especially downwind. As the day progressed, I was really fast off the line with building speed and I was consistently surprised that I was rounding the first mark right with the top guys and holding my own downwind. When you are anywhere close to a mark with Chad, Oliver, Jeff K, or T – it’s a GOOD day. The most surprising thing is that I was close to them A LOT at the top mark (even in front of some of them at times) and I stayed with them at the bottom mark and then back up at the windward mark. And so on…

The breeze was very shifty. We had to re-position the marks and starting line mid-morning. In one race I did what almost felt like an auto-tack close to the windward mark, but the shifts were effecting everyone. Seven races allowed for one throw out. Phew.

Here are the scores below…I am not sure if it was the sail choice, luck, or maybe I am actually getting the hang of this sport but DAMN – I ROCKED! Is it lame to self congratulate? Probably. But the difference between last year’s crazy season with lots of "incidents" and this season is dramatic. Honestly, I am feeling in the ZONE a lot!

We scratch raced on Sunday on rougher ice and in huge wind. Jack from New Jersey (he knows wind from being a fighter jet and glider pilot-that’s cool!!) said some gusts were 25 mph. I felt so good after Saturday and with a hoped for regatta next weekend (stay tuned), I didn’t want to break me or my boat. I held the flag for several races and everyone was FLYING around the windward mark. The mast bend was incredible.

By lunch time most headed back to get home, but Robin, Nick, Peter and Colin were game for more racing. Canadians, clearly LOVE heavy air. They all gave T good consistent pressure and Peter took the last scratch race off T. Nicely done, Peter!

By this time several boats were straining under loads and a few sailors found cracks on planks and hulls. It was decided to call it a day and get boats home to be fixed before next weekend…Stay tuned. We are hearing good things from Canada and Lake Champlain…

(Here are the results…If you did race committee one or two times your average cumulative score was put in for those races. Then, there was one throw out. If anyone sees an error, let me know. )

Think Spring Ice,

Karen Binder DN 5630

DOC FELLOW REGATTA – LEAP DAY – February 29, 2020 – Damariscotta, Maine

17 Registered Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Total Score With 1 Drop Place
4487 Chad Atkins 1 RC-2 2 1 2 5 2 15 10 1
5457 Colin Duncan DNS-19 DNS-19 DNF-18 14 6 14 11 108 82 13
5629 Robin Lagraviere 4 2 7 8 9 DNF-18 3 51 33 5
5608 Nick Marboux 5 3 9 7 4 9 7 44 35 6
5573 Neil Fowler 11 11 11 11 5 2 6 57 46 8
5540 Rick Bishop 15 5 10 10 8 10 DNS-19 77 58 10
Wicked Michael Young 13 DNS-19 DNS-19 DNS-19 DNS-19 DNS-19 DNS-19
4775 Eben Whitcomb DNS-19 13 8 12 14 8 5 79 60 11
5469 Oliver Moore 2 1 RC=3 2 3 3 4 18 14 3
2766 Peter Van Rossem 12 8 DNF-18 3 7 6 1 55 37 7
4596 Chris Mayer 14 9 DNF-18 13 11 13 9 87 69 13
5193 Eric Anderson 3 7 4 DNF-18 Race Race Race
3535 Jeff Kent 7 10 3 6 DNS-19 DNS-19 DNS-19 83 64 12
5521 Fred Steinbaum 10 DNF-18 DNF-18 15 15 15 15 106 88
5478 Jack Goritski 6 DNF-18 6 9 10 12 10 71 53 9
3947 Jay Whitehair 9 12 12 4 13 7 8 65 52 8
5630 Karen Binder 8 4 5 5 12 4 RC-6 44 32 4
5224 James "T" Thieler RC-2 6 1 RC-2 1 1 DNF-18 31 13 2

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


President’s Day Cup – A First!

Hi Everyone,

Quaboag Pond sure does surprise us with ice sometimes…it hit 70 in Antarctica this week, no ice in almost all of Europe, flooding wet ice in Sweden, and nothing to the North of us.

And it was VERY good ice. I loved Bob’s statement, "When it’s the only ice, it’s a 10!" I also really appreciated Bob reporting on the ice Friday and re-confirming Saturday that conditions were good. We had ICE. We had wind!

Since T our race chair is still across the pond, I volunteered to run a regatta. Since both very experienced and brand new racers had a great time on Lake Winnepesaukee a few weeks ago, I wanted to keep the momentum and interest going. There was some back and forth on what to call this regatta and, ultimately, I said, "We will call it the President’s Day Regatta." Done.

We are challenged by Quaboag given it’s not the biggest pond out there, but I asked Eben to set the windmark and was glad when the wind shifted slightly to the right so we could get a bit longer course by moving the leeward mark a bit to the left… A smaller course made for more tacking, but that’s good practice too.

Running my first ice boating regatta for NEIYA, let’s say I got to feel…well…..very Presidential. The skipper meeting started on time, 11 skippers signed up to race, I announced racing would start at 10:30 am, and the flag dropped at 10:29.

My boat is out of commission and so are my ribs (long story), so I really enjoyed observing the racers’ style and techniques. Jeff Kent got faster and faster with each race stretching out his lead every leg and in every race. Three races, three bullets. He makes it look so easy!

Most of the tangling was between Bill (who sticks his leg out at the leeward mark rounding!?), Eben (who does the same!?), Matt Knowles (you should have stayed cause the wind came back), and Rick Bishop who much prefers bigger breeze. Scott Valentine was duking it out with returning racer Jack Ericcson…and a big sorry to Randy Rice who could not find the pond so he missed the first three races. Based on his other scores he would have been tops on the leader board…Lastly, congratulations to Ed Demerest in "Splinter DN/1914"…It’s an older boat and Ed is really getting good with his starts and seems to really enjoy this new thing called racing. Maybe he will find something at the next swap meet…

Jeff had his drone up for the 4th race and hopefully he will share some video of the racing…

We completed 7 races including a 45 minute break for lunch. I am not a tyrant…

Here are the scores.. And T is coming back tomorrow so I will graciously hand back the reigns of power. To all, thank you for letting me feel presidential yesterday.

Think more ice,

Karen Binder DN 5630

President’s Cup
Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Total Score With 1 Drop Place
3535 Jeff Kent 1 1 1 DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 51 39 8
1914 Ed Demerest 8 10 10 DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11) 72 61 11
5606 Matt Knowles 3 2 3 3 DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 42 35 7
3314 Bill Bucholz 2 5 6 1 3 1 1 19 13 1
3869 Jack Ericson 6 7 9 6 4 4 5 41 32 5
3947 Scott Valentine 5 8 7 2 6 5 4 37 29 4
4316 Randall Rice DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 4 2 3 2 47 35 6
4775 Eben Whitcomb 4 4 4 7 1 2 3 25 18 2
5023 John Stanton 7 9 8 DNF (11) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 71 59 10
5540 Rick Bishop DNS (12) 3 2 5 5 6 6 33 21 3
5573 Neal Fowler DNS (12) 6 5 8 7 7 7 52 40 9
??? Spencer DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11)

Bob S. stated that the cruisers would all be mindful of the racing and that was really really appreciated. Thank you!


Bummer…no doc fellows tomorrow

Bill B investigated the ice and found styrofoam which is not good for sailing/racing. He said maybe after some rain on Monday conditions will improve.

I am really grateful to those doing ice checks this season. Thank you for time you spend traveling, etc.

Think better ice,

Karen DN 5630

Sent from my iPad


New England Champs – The scores! & This Weekend

Hi everyone,

It was very fun last weekend and I am so glad we were able to get in a regatta with so many boats on the line. I did my best to interpret the score sheets I was handed…if a mistake please let me know and I will do my best to review/correct. My email is karenbinder@hotmail.com

RE: This Weekend – Snow did hit north of us and Bill B said he will check how the ice fared. Sunday will be the day if anything this weekend. Ill send an update when I know more!


Doc Fellows this weekend – if ice holds up!

Hi Sailors,

Our NEIYA race chairman, T, landed in Germany and is heading to Sweden for the DN Gold Cup within the next day or two. But, that does not mean we in New England can’t race and have a fun regatta. Maybe our friends from Canada will come down, too! The "Baby Rule" will still be in effect.

Unfortunately, the only ice is in NH and Maine at this time. Thanks to John Stanton for mapping it out above. So, I hope all will be okay to hold to Doc Fellows Regatta somewhere north of Massachusetts. I am very sure the regattas namesake Don "Doc" Fellow would approve. That said, get ready to saddle up. Some of our Winni regulars are on Sunapee today and another group is sailing Newfound Lake, which had some very promising reports. Could this be the third week for NH sailing, maybe? Maine is also up there and Sebago was sailed yesterday.

So pencil this weekend in and I will report back Friday when we know more about the ice…

Thanks,

Karen Binder
DN 5630


New England DN Champs – Way more thrilling than the superbowl…it’s true.

Hi…

More than 30 sailors arrived on Saturday with great anticipation given the great condition of the ice at Lake Winnipesaukee, but no sailing happened…Was the weekend going to be a repeat of windless Montana? Trust me, those of that did that road trip really hoped not.

We rigged and waited and waited…By 3:30 it was clear no racing was going to happen. Fortunately for all of us, John Eastman realized we’d all have an appetite to fill and he kindly found a place for us (about 35 people!) to gather and enjoy a nice dinner together. He even made sure the manager called in extra staff because well you know how sailors can be…John, thank you so much!

Sunday morning the breeze was up and T, Chris Miller, and Jacek Marzenski from Montreal went out early to set the course and the starting line BEFORE the skippers meeting at 9:30. Nicely done!

The scratch sheet had 22 racers signed up and in the pit one could see almost the complete history and evolution of the DN class on display with an early wooden mast model dating from 1964, Ed Demerest’s DN 1914 a $150 barn treasure, and several fully tricked out DNs with the most modern of materials that truly blaze across the ice at speeds of up to 50-60 mph. And even one with the funniest tiller any of us have seen…

Perfect wind, practically perfect ice and T, the race chairman, called for the racing to start at 10:30. When we picked out numbers from the bag T announced that during the previous night’s dinner a request was made by senior statesman for the DN class, Andre Baby, to consider having two starts…One for those over 70 and/or those with any artificial limb/artificial component and another start for everyone else.

There were some questions when this was announced…Do pacemakers count? What about Stents? In the end, an agreement was reached and the “Baby Rule” instituted. T went out with the flag and we lined up. Two arms were raised. When the first arm dropped, those that qualified for the “Baby Rule” started. When the 2nd hand dropped everyone else started.

The course was large…at least 7/10 of a mile possibly longer. That was very nice because everyone spread out and with experienced racers and some novices it made it safe and fun for everyone. Jeff Kent shared with me last year that large courses are much safer than small courses and its really true when you see it in action.

The battle for the lead began early with New England’s own Oliver Moore out on the course after a few years being away and a relatively new DN sailor Canadian Robin Lagraviere jockeying between the 1st and 2nd position throughout the day. Would the trophy stay in New England or leave us like the super bowl Vince Lombardi trophy?

The breeze was about 8-10 mph all day and the racing was fast with short breaks between. T was assisted in the scoring by a new guy to the DN scene "Mike" and Dave Fortier. In quick mark/course re-setting Eric Anderson jumped into help out. Thanks guys!

Also different in this regatta T, the race chair, had us just pick out of the bag new starting numbers for every race. This made it fun for those not accustomed to racing to start in "favored" position many times and it made those that were finishing in the top 5 often having to start as far down as the 20th position. That’s a good mental and sailing skill challenge to work through the fleet when you start in one of the less favored starting positions.

We got in 5 races by 12:30! The race chair quickly became known as Tyrant T, but in his benevolence, he gave us about 30 minutes to break for lunch. After lunch, and a course adjustment, racing began again.

The breeze picked up a bit more and some newer to racing headed in. The rest of us enjoyed two more great races. That means we did 7 races and I realized and remarked "We did more racing today than we did in Montana!"

Everyone headed back to the launch area and T tabulated the results…

And all of New England can now relax because the trophy stays in New England! Oliver Moore won the day with 9 points. (7 races/1 throw out). As an aside, did you know Oliver Moore co- owns Moore Brothers, a custom composite company and DN mast maker? Did you know 7 out of the 11 top finishers at the North Americans used Moore/Jeff Kent DN masts?

2nd place and big congratulations goes to Robin Lagraviere from Montreal who placed 2nd with 11 points. He is fast, talented, and will do lots of great things in the DN fleet.

3rd place goes to another Canadian sailor Jacek Marzenski DN 5247 sailing a brand new boat. He finished with 20 points. His new boat is the coolest shade of blue I have seen on the ice.

4th place goes to Canadian Andre’ Baby with 24 points…(who shared at Saturday’s dinner that he is releasing his 3rd book very soon!)

5th place goes to Long Island’s Chris Miller with 30 points (Chris taught me a good lesson on Sunday. I will share that in another post and the title is going to be “don’t take your foot off the gas”).

6th place goes to New Hampshire’s Jay Whitehair (in addition to DN sailing he is an avid hang-glider too!)

7th place and beyond – I have to finish cross referencing some score sheets and re-tabulate. So, I will post ASAP.

VINTAGE AWARD – Goes to Dan Neri sailing DN 2172 built in 1964.

Great and very fun day of racing…hopefully we will do more this season! So nice that Robin, Andre’ and his wife Louise, and Jacek came down from Montreal/Quebec to race with us. Thank you!

In closing, T headed out to Europe today to race in the DN Gold Cup. At least five other Americans from the mid-west are heading across the pond later this week.

Think More Ice,

Karen Binder, DN 5630, NEIYA Secretary


North Americans – Day 1 – Wrap Up

Hey everybody,

I am sure everyone has seen the sail wave results, but here is the Rest of the Story…(Say it like Paul Harvey)

I am tired, so I am just going to write this in list style.

  1. We got to the reservoir. It was snowing and breezy and the drifts were still out there and only getting more hidden by the new snow fall.
  2. Yesterday, Joerg Boehn who had flown in from Germany that same day to some midwestern airport and then rented a car to drive to this place then decided to rent a small plane from the local airport and do recon mission to find better ice on the reservoir. He found a clean plate about 8 miles from the launch site.
  3. At this morning’s skippers meeting the race committee announced it was debating whether to have us all either sail or be towed to the area Joerg had found. They had sent another group out to check the Joerg ice and we had to wait to get a better real time report.
  4. The group came back from the ice investigation and the committee decided to instead stay put and try and get some races in closer to the launch location.
  5. The committee set the course and many of us did our best to sail it. I personally dove through a very deep drift at the windward mark. Others found drifts and some large puddles.
  6. The good new is the snow stopped, but then it started to sleet a bit which made the drifts super wet, heavy, and cement like.
  7. Then the Montana blue sky starting taking over and the clouds were dissipating.
  8. The lovely blue sky also stopped the wind from blowing.
  9. We waited a long time for the breeze to fill.
  10. The breeze eventually filled in very nicely about an hour and half later, but about a mile away from where we were and after a 90 degree wind shift. So, we all relocated.
  11. At last the race committee, who worked incredibly hard all day to pull of races despite very shift conditions, called up the silver fleet.

Okay, the next list is going to be about me. Sorry, but I only have that perspective.

  1. There were 36 racers on the line. I got assigned the #7 position on the line.
  2. The night before there was a panel discussion with ten of the best sailors at the regatta. One question posed to the group was on starting and T said, "I learned that you don’t get in your boat until the guy to leeward gets in."
  3. I was at the line and feeling very ready for the flag drop.
  4. The flag dropped and I pushed and sprinted with all I had and didn’t get in until the guy to leeward got in.
  5. I built speed really well, two blocked it, and just sailed fast.
  6. I ducked one boat that tacked early and I decided to go right for the layline.
  7. I tacked over and followed Ron Sherry’s advice from the night before to use my leeward knee to help push the boom over.
  8. I was approaching the windward mark and I realized no one was close to me.
  9. I rounded the windward mark IN FIRST PLACE in my first DN North American Race!
  10. My speed was good around the windward mark, but then I choked and gybed in a snow drift and I lost tremendous speed. A guy from Kingston passed me and by the time I was at the leeward mark I was in second place. I did a conservative leeward mark rounding and then just focused on keeping my boat fast.
  11. At the finish I was not sure where I placed, but T said I should head to the pits for measurements.
  12. I didn’t really understand why.
  13. Then one of the measurer’s looked at me and told me I had finished in 2nd Place!
  14. 2nd place! I could not believe it.
  15. Uh Oh..
  16. The problem with 2nd place is that means you get moved up to the GOLD FLEET for the rest of the regatta.
  17. Again due to shifting conditions, the race committee has to adjust the course and the starting line.
  18. The called for the Gold Fleet to line up and I had to race again. I got a good start, but the guy to windward of me and leeward of me just got up to speed faster and I got caught in dirty air.
  19. I was happy to keep my boat flat and just maintain control honestly. With the wind building, my plate runners were making noise and sliding a bit. I think I finished in 33 place.
  20. The race committee called another gold fleet race. I switched my runners and I had a good start, but these folks in gold fleet are just wicked fast. I think I got 32 place.
  21. Then the race committee called another gold fleet race because three races makes a regatta and if conditions deteriorate the regatta will be in the books.
  22. I, unfortunately, was putting on my mitten when I saw everyone around me running. Oops. I didn’t look up and I didn’t hear the flag was up. Lesson learned.
  23. I did get up to speed and I did end up beating a boat or two despite a really bad start.
  24. Congratulations to Chad and T who are leading the regatta. Eric and Eben also felt pleased with their races.
  25. I honestly had the best day of sailing in my life. I have never gone so fast while feeling in relative control. And, I also know my time in the boat and my 100 practice starts played a big role in my first race of the day.

Over and out,

Karen Binder, DN 5630.


Big Sky, But No Breeze

KB et al:Fort Peck Reservoir, MontanaI think this is near an Indian Reservation.
Just last week it was 40 below in Calgary, Alberta.
Hope warmer now where you are…and that
you get smooth ice and some wind.
LG

I hope you are warmer in Montana.

On Jan 21, 2020, at 1:24 PM, Karen Binder <karenbinder> wrote:

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Dear Friends,

Writing from the shore of Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana. Apparently, there is more shoreline here than the California coastline and I’d have to believe real estate prices are lower. Racing is to begin tomorrow, but we are all a bit concerned about forecast and ice conditions. While the picture makes the ice look nice and smooth, yesterday’s practice session found lots of Styrofoam like snow drifts no matter how far we sailed out.

The best ice was actually closer to shore right where the little ice huts are located. I stayed out kinda late yesterday and used the huts as my windward mark. The occupants inside didn’t come outside to complain that I was bothering the fish, but I do wonder if fish mind the sounds of rumbling ice boaters above.

We are all hoping the warmer temperatures today will melt off the snow. The challenge today is no wind. Our boats are already rigged and we are all just waiting.

Competitors have come from as far as Halifax, Martha’s Vineyard, and North Carolina. The challenge of getting to this remote location has everyone in good spirits. The landscape is stunningly barren and beautiful.

But, the bottom line is that we all really want to sail and get racing!

Think Ice,

Karen Binder DN 5630


Big Sky, But No Breeze

Dear Friends,

Writing from the shore of Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana. Apparently, there is more shoreline here than the California coastline and I’d have to believe real estate prices are lower. Racing is to begin tomorrow, but we are all a bit concerned about forecast and ice conditions. While the picture makes the ice look nice and smooth, yesterday’s practice session found lots of Styrofoam like snow drifts no matter how far we sailed out.

The best ice was actually closer to shore right where the little ice huts are located. I stayed out kinda late yesterday and used the huts as my windward mark. The occupants inside didn’t come outside to complain that I was bothering the fish, but I do wonder if fish mind the sounds of rumbling ice boaters above.

We are all hoping the warmer temperatures today will melt off the snow. The challenge today is no wind. Our boats are already rigged and we are all just waiting.

Competitors have come from as far as Halifax, Martha’s Vineyard, and North Carolina. The challenge of getting to this remote location has everyone in good spirits. The landscape is stunningly barren and beautiful.

But, the bottom line is that we all really want to sail and get racing!

Think Ice,

Karen Binder DN 5630