The unofficial hard-water season kick-off >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Nice article about the GWC and a great photo of Colin Duncan duking it out with Rhea Nichols! Click and enjoy-

Western Challenge Wrap Up by a Newbie

Sunday’s breeze was as predicted – light! The first race for the gold fleet was for 10:00 am. It was blowing maybe 5-6 and by the last race of the silver fleet it died to about 3-4. But, the good news was we had bright sun light and that made the 5 F temperature not feel too extreme. The brighter day also made for better visibility which certainly made me feel A LOT safer on the course.

With the lighter breeze, sun light, and a good safe day of racing behind me with an additional few hours of practice in my new boat after Saturday’s racing I felt ready to push myself a bit. Based on the result of the previous day’s last race, I was assigned to start on left side of the course in #18 position. When I lined up, I really scratched the ice with my spikes to make sure I had good traction for my push. When the flag dropped, I pushed off and sprinted very hard and kept sprinting until I couldn’t anymore and then slid into my boat gently (as I have been told to do). There was a good enough breeze that I could power up fairly quickly and I got my boom locked down into my shoulder. I learned the day before I really had not been pulling my main sheet into the proverbial “two block position” which I have been told is the speed nirvana point. So, I pulled and pulled until I saw the little gold marker coloration.

Many boats tacked under me over to port, but I wanted to go almost to the lay line. When I tacked over I could see just a few starboard boats coming towards the mark. I picked my spot and tacked over. From there, I stayed high around the windward mark to maintain speed as I have been encouraged to do and I easily gained ground and passed many of the boats to leeward of me. I had a good downwind leg and in that race I finished 6th in the first race of the day. I was really excited.

The 2nd race I was on the left side again and after sprinting got into a rough patch of ice with no speed. It was like the brake was on. I still ended up finishing that race in 8th place.

For the 3rd race, I really gave my start all I could give because the committee announced it was the last race of the regatta. When I slipped into the boat I really focused on building speed because the wind was very very light. I was PATIENT and I built speed. Again, most people below me tacked behind me. I kept going almost to the lay line as I was going fast and in clean air, but not too close to the lay line because I knew when I tacked over to the starboard lay line I would need speed going into and around the mark….T told me “speed begets speed” so tacking too close to the windward mark is a bad idea. I had good speed and stayed high around the mark. Some boats gybed quickly, but I did not. That has never worked well for me. So, I stayed high passed several other boats, went to the lay line and then gybed. As I approached the leeward mark all these people in the pit were raising their arms and cheering. After my rounding I was looking up the course and no other boats were there. I had rounded the leeward mark in first place. Amazing! And then I did the proverbial “Binder Choke”

My second windward leg was not good. I was low and slow and overshot the layline by a quarter mile. When I finally got to mark I’d let at least 8 boats round in front of me. I had little speed around the windward mark. The wind was really dying. I decided to gybe since I saw Bill B. do it. I caught some wind, but we were all pretty slow. Some were getting out and pushing. I decided to push too. I did that twice and by the time I got to the leeward mark I did have speed. My 3rd windward and leeward legs were better. When I approached the finish line, I figured I was maybe top ten. I was bummed, but okay with it. Then, a very nice woman named Maureen (who sails and races a Nite) approached me and said “great job!” and I said “thanks.” She then said “You got 3rd!” My silly enthusiasm got the best of me and I jumped up and down and screamed. Then, I gave her a big hug and told her she made my weekend.

When the final results were posted Bill, T, and I were already in the van driving home. I learned I’d moved from 16th place on Saturday to 11th place by the end of the regatta out of 27 boats. Last year and exactly the same weekend during the New England Challenge held in Maine, I was lapped during two different races and I did the “superman”at a start (where you lose your footing and fall on your plank, hold onto it for dear life, and get dragged around for a while). So, progress has been made.

My biggest take away from the weekend is that just like soft water one design racing, a good start makes your race so much easier. I will be continuing to work on that as the weeks progress. In college, I read Sailing Smart by Buddy Melges and I remember he recommended doing doing 100 tacks and 100 gybes in a practice session. For me, I want to practice 100 starts ASAP.

Congratulations to T and Bill for finishing in 2nd place in their respective divisions. I also want to thank T, Jeff Kent, Steve Madden, and Steve Duhamel for all their help, encouragement, and my DN equipment upgrades over the last year! I am very grateful.


Karen Binder
DN 5630
Secretary NEIYA

2019 Western Challenge Results – DN North America

The Great Western Challenge lived up to the hype- it was a challenge, it was western, and it was GREAT. NEIYA represented well with a dozen sailors competing.

One notable result was (he’s gonna kill me for saying it) budding DN racer Bill Bucholz taking second on the silver fleet after Chris Gordon, the man from Nantucket, dominated day one. Warren Nethercoate from Halifax took third, Gordon ended up eighth, and semi-rookie Karen Binder took 11th. Kudos to her for leading a lap in one race and finishing in third- well done!

In Gold T Thieler came out on the wrong side of a tiebreaker and took second to Ron Sherry. Pete Van Rossem put in a good series to be next New Englander in seventh place.

No matter which fleet you were in or where you finished the racing was awesome. Saturday saw big breeze and fast, close sailing. Sunday was lighter, more cerebral and a whole other ball game. Great to sail in a variety of conditions. Congrats to all who made the trip!

Stay tuned for weekend regatta and sailing announcements- There may be events to be had….

Great Western Challenge results here:

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840

401 258 6230

In the Hunt @ the Western Challenge

Western Challenge Puckaway

In the hunt. Photo borrowed from Puckaway Ice Sailing Squadron group on facebook. Return the favor and like them @

Saturday morning brought a total of 56 sailors to the shore of Lake Puckaway with grade 7 ice. As predicted the breeze was a steady 10-12 with puffs to 15. Two fleets were raced with T, Chad, Jeff and Greg in the gold fleet and Chris, Bill, and me in silver.

The first race was called for 11 am and each fleet did a total of five races for the day. I can’t find the days results online to confirm, but T and Chad had great days with T getting two firsts and finishing the day in first place with a one point lead over Ron Sherry. Chad had a very good day ending in 7th place Jeff raced two or three races and was top ten in those races. Greg was just back to racing after two years and some knee issues and also ripped it up.

In the silver fleet, the breeze was on for Chris Gordon to crush with five bullets…Way to go Chris! And Bill, who we are all hoping switches from the skeeter fleet to the DN fleet on a more regular basis, gave Chris a good run for his money and was right on his tail, finished the day in 2nd place.

Way to go NEIYA!

For me, as a new racer with several hiccups last year, I was extremely nervous before the first race. I call it vomit nervous. But I got on the line, pushed and did my best to get a feel of my new boat and move my head around a lot to watch other boats. My goal for the day was to be very aware of others at all times, stay in my boat, keep my mast up, not do what’s a called a superman at the start, and be conservative around mark roundings. That’s especially hard for someone who has been a pretty aggressive laser sailor and have found mark roundings a great place to make gains.

My best race of the day was a 9th out of 25 boats. That race was about getting a great start the left going to the lay line and finding a good-sized hole to tack over when all the other boats were coming to the mark on starboard. After that race, some rig adjustments were made to adjust for heavier breeze and I just had a bit more trouble getting up to speed. By the end of the day, I landed in 16th in my division out of 25 boats. Respectful for my first big regatta.

After racing, T And I stayed out for about two more hours with me just doing lap after lap after lap. It was the absolute best to sail the course without the distraction of other boats because you can go all out and really dig into the speed. I am quite sure I went faster than I have ever been in my boat as I was going around the windward mark a few times. I’m hooked!

Today lighter winds are predicted…wish us all luck!

Karen Binder
DN 5630

NEIYA @ The Great Western Challenge


The drive out to the midwest was relatively easy with only a mild snow squall in Pennsylvania but no traffic or accidents to hold us up. T, Bill and I got out of Newport

by 10 am and by midday on Wednesday we learned the regatta was moving from Minnesota to Princeton, Wisconsin on Lake Puckaway. That reduced the drive time considerably. We arrived by about 4 am, slept for a bit, and headed to the lake later in the morning. There were already a few guys from Canada, Chris Berger from Chicago, and a couple from Wisconsin setting up and sailing with a stiff breeze. It was the first sailing of the season for most…

The New England Ice Yacht Association is well represented with ..Bill Bucholz from Maine, Chad Atkins, Chris Gordon from Nantucket, Jeff Kent, T, Greg Cornelius, and me.

The wind was blowing between 6-8 maybe puffs to 10 by the time I got out. The ice was relatively smooth but a big hole was found by one of the Canadians (one of his runners actually went into the hole) and quickly marked. A course was not set up so folks were just practicing and coming back to the pit to adjust setting etc.

Friday was to be the the first day of racing but no wind predicted and the forecast was spot on. Many other sailors arrived including Ron Sherry, John Dennis, and several brand new to the sport sailors even one guy from Georgia.

And today. T is sitting in first with a one point lead over Ron Sherry. Chad is seventh. In the silver fleet Chris Gordon is first and Bill Buchholz is second. New England is looking good!

From the shores of Puckway,


NEIYA News from European Championship Lake Balaton, Hungary

Hey Folks!   Day one complete at DN European Champs.   Challenging conditions (puffy breeze and soft ice) put a premium on keeping your head out of the boat and avoiding the calm spots.

My apologies for not including photos but my phone went for a swim…

The Poles have top three spots with with a few others scattered in.  Yours truly just a point out of top ten right now but workin’ on it….  Honorary New Englander Chris Berger in 29th and Whitcomb sitting in 33rd in silver. Full results on DN Europe website.

A couple Videos added by the editor and borrowed from the IDNIYRA website. Thanks Deb!



Hope all well back home!   Stay tuned….     T


NA Champs Registration OPEN!

Interested in doing the North American DN Champs? Registration is now open- sign up on line, nothing to it-

Normally this is a three-fleet regatta, so whatever your skill level or tech-level of your boat sign up and come join the fun! There is a fleet for you- Attending an event like this is a great way to check out the scene, meet some people, scope out and/or get cool gear, learn a ton, and check out the accents that the folks west of here have….

Info and registration here:

Think ICE!!

James “T” Thieler

2014 Don “Doc” Fellows Regatta is Completed!

The NEIYA Don “Doc” Fellows was run Saturday 3/8/14 on Sebago Lake (big bay), N. Sebago Maine on a big patch of good ice.  Patience was the rule of the day and a gigantic high over the lake ruled the wind.  The race was to be called off at 3:30 if the wind had not arrived.  Well, the wind Gods must have be listening.

Just before the abandonment call, the wind rolled in.  It did not slowly build as usual but came in at 12 to 15 mph, almost instantly!

We were off to the races to quickly set the marks and line.  Four races were completed before darkness set in.  One throw out was allowed with the completion of the 4th.

Eric Anderson ruled the day with 4 bullets.  Nicely done Eric!  On his heels was the tough competitor Greg Cornelius with a solid second place sporting some of his light air gear and still managed to hang in there.  Dave Fortier nailed third place and was super fast catching the fleet.  It was fun to watch the two Canadians Warren Nethercote (4th) and Peter Van Rossem (5th) duke it out with Warren just edging out Peter.  Thanks for going the distance.  Jack Erikson (6th) hung tough and consistent and was quoted ” I had a blast”.  Doug Raymond (7th) struggled a bit, but likely due to lack of racing ice time.  We look forward to seeing Doug rekindle that competitive spirit.  We were honored to have two NEIYA officers, Secretary John Stanton (8th) and Treasurer Bob Haag (9th) participate and gave it their all.  Unfortunately, Bob broke his tiller early on but he was later overheard saying ” All I wanted was to kick John’s butt”.  Must be some officer thing! Just kidding guys!

See you at the New England Champs.

Steve Madden

P.S.  Don “Doc” Fellows regatta history including a list of past winners and recaps.  We are a little short on some of the history so please let me know if you can help filling in some early info.

2014 Eastern DN Championship Results are in…

DN racers returned to the Plattsburgh, NY area to sail on Lake Champlain for the second time in two weeks.  The Eastern regionals where sailed over two days, Saturday February 1st and finished up on Sunday.

Brief summary and results below.  Regatta particulars and details to follow.

Saturday brought  light winds very fluky hard ice and some scattered drifts.
Sunday 8-14 knots hard ice in the am with some slush and some bumps and cracks
it softened as the day went on.  Good mast bent and wound up sailing!

T sailed masterfully in a all wind ranges and conditions and dominated the regatta.   Congratulations to James “T” Thieler as this years Eastern Region Champion.  More details to come.

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary

Big Day….

Miracles do happen- And the weatherman ain’t always right!

Yesterday was supposed to be light and fickle but at about 1030 the breeze shifted south and increased…. And increased some more…. And then increased a little more just for kicks.

Full-on, heads-up sailing was the order if the day- Four races sailed, each one in a bit more breeze, hoar frost blowing around, fast and furious all day-

We had all the stuff that keeps us coming back- Insanely high speeds, neck and neck duels, bear-always at the top mark that squeeze the breath out of you, and our fascination with seeing expensive carbon and glass rigs being bent into pretzels never ceases. I went around one top mark just behind Oliver and Eric as a big gust hit and I HAVE NEVER SEEN RIGS BEND THAT FAR- Words fail me, I’m amazed that they didn’t pop- What a visual… Wow.

Anyway Oliver Moore is top New Englander at the moment in 6th, Chad Atkins a point or two behind in 7th (he was 2nd in first race- Not bad dude!). and yours truly back in 10th after a tough day- bad runner choice in first race and a few mast inversions in the big breeze cost me dearly…. Lessons learned!!!

Vice Commodore Dave Buckley made the trek to his first big event and is sitting in about 7th in the Silver Fleet- Go Dave!

Ron Sherry is doing well for a rookie and leading the Gold Fleet with a string of bullets and a 7th place finish due to an out-of-boat-experience at the bottom mark. Glad to say he is bruised but ok- Jokes aside Ron is no rookie and it shows-

Will see what today brings- Guaranteed to be interesting!

Stay tuned….

James “T” Thieler12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840

401 258 6230

2014 IDNIYRA Eastern’s are ON for this weekend Jordan Bay Raymond ME

2014 Eastern Region DN Championship
Dates: January 11 – 12, 2014
Jordan Bay, Lake Sebago, Raymond, ME
Launching from Raymond Boat Access, Route US 302, Raymond, Maine
Skipper’s meeting 10am in the pits

1.   Rules: All races will be governed by the Racing Rules of the NIA (National Iceboat Authority) and the  the By-Laws of the IDNIYRA.

2.    Eligibility: Open to All DN class yachts meeting the requirements of the Official Specifications and whose skippers are in good standing with the IDNIYRA are eligible. Proof of personal liability insurance will be needed at the time of registration.

3.   Site Information and Postings:
A.   Eastern Region, United States
B.   Site Information will be posted on the NEIYA Hotline: 508-377-6100 ext 8
C.   When determined, Site Information will be posted on the IDNIYRA bulletin board, the NEIYA website and    the Iceboating Yahoo Group.

4.   Races:
A.   Seven race regatta format. Three race minimum will constitute a regatta.
B.   First race scheduled for 11:00am Saturday, January 11.

5.   Registration is 10:00am on the ice in the Pits.

6.   Sailing instructions will be posted at the launch site. Final sailing instructions will be delivered at skippers meeting before first race.

7.   Trophies – this regatta has great historic trophies. I am seeking the location of all these trophies and information on the early years of this regatta. Please contact me at ebenw3@comcast net.

Eben Whitcomb
Eastern Region Commodore

IDNIYRA Easthern Region DN Championship Notice of Race

IDNIYRA Notice of Race

2014 Eastern Region DN Championship

Dates: January 11 – 12

1. Rules:
All races will be governed by the Racing Rules of the NIA (National Iceboat Authority) and the the By-Laws of the IDNIYRA.

2. Eligibility:
Open to All DN class yachts meeting the requirements of the Official Specifications and whose skippers are in good standing with the IDNIYRA are eligible. Proof of personal liability insurance will be needed at the time of registration.

3. Site Information and Postings:
A. Eastern Region, United States
B. Site Information will be posted on the NEIYA Hotline: 508-377-6100 ext. 8
C. When determined, Site Information will be posted on the IDNIYRA bulletin board, the NEIYA website and the Iceboating Yahoo Group.

4. Races:
A. Seven race regatta format. Three race minimum will constitute a regatta.
B. First race scheduled for 11:00am Saturday, January 11.

5. Registration is 10:00am on the ice in the Pits.

6. Sailing instructions will be posted at the launch site. Final sailing instructions will be delivered at skippers meeting before first race.

7. Trophies – this regatta has great historic trophies. I am seeking the location of all these trophies and information on the early years of this regatta. Please contact me at ebenw3@comcast net.

Eben Whitcomb
Eastern Region Commodore

DN North Americans Coming Up….

While we wait, watch, wonder when we will (Do I get points for alliteration here or what?) get some local sailing in I thought I’d give everyone something else to ponder….

The 60th Annual DN North American Champs are right around the corner!  January 14th – 25th, 2014

If you own or have access to a DN sign up, load up and come sail the regatta! No matter what your skill level you will have a great time, meet some cool people and learn a lot- Gold, silver and usually bronze fleets are run, great sailing and big adventure guaranteed- Come and be a part of the 60th Anniversary of this event!!

Details here:

And regatta swag is available (whether you are entered or not- just have it shipped straight to your house) for pre-order, a very cool idea- Shirts, jackets, hats etc available here:

Think Ice!!

The Western Challenge…

Looks like the regatta season has begun!

The Western Challenge Regatta is an informal DN gathering that has been going on for ten years or so- traditionally held the first weekend in December on the best ice in Minnesota… Yes, Minnesota. It’s a big state a little to the west of here.

The lure of early ice is hard to ignore and for years some of us have talked about going but balked at the last minute. A few years back I gave it a shot and drove solo from Indiana to Battle Lake, MN only to run a stop sign and total my trusty Chevy Astro about two miles from the lake. So close and yet….

This year would be different- Eben Whitcomb and I swore up and down that this would be the year and didn’t let each other forget it. Soon Chad Atkins and Oliver Moore succumbed to the pressure and signed on and Bob Crinion from Nova Scotia (It’s a big province a little to the east of here) decided he couldn’t miss it either. Now THAT is commitment!

And so it was that we all met up in Newport RI and loaded up and hit the proud highway last week. Two cars, two trailers, and of course no clear destination. We had faith that the powers-that-be out there would find a site…. In spite of dire forecasts for snow and debilitating cold. We stopped in Toledo to try to convince Kent Baker to drag himself and the rest of the Toledo hardcore gang out but they elected to stay put and sail on closer ice in Houghton Lake. I would be remiss if I did not point out here that he and they missed all the fun. Your transgression has been noted, Mr. Baker…. We’re not mad, just disappointed.

A few hours later we were in Lacrosse, MN, ready to sail the next day on a Lake that I think was called Onalaska Lake. A wide spot on the mighty Mississippi. This water is destined to be muddy and warm and carved up by barges and paddlewheelers as it makes it’s way to the Big Easy and beyond into the bayou and Gulf of Mexico but for now it was crystallized into a sheet of smooth black ice that made the drive worth it.

Our trek may have been long but there was one sailor from Siberia, a few from Montana, and at least one Cloggie, a Swede, an ex-pat Pole, and a few of Bob’s countrymen from Canuckistan who traveled quite a distance to get there!

Friday dawned COLD and with enough breeze to bend masts and shake the dust off the boats and brains. Scratch racing was fun- lots of two-lappers knocked off and some good lessons learned. Saturday conditions were pretty light for the morning but when the breeze kicked in later in the day we got two races off- yours truly was tied for the lead at the end of the day with a 3-2 but I have to point out that the second place was freaking distant…. Our own Chad Atkins had his new CSI 4.1 mast dialed in well enough to win that one by almost an entire leg. Not bad but sadly we don’t award bonus points for distance…

On Sunday we had snow and light wind- always hate to see ice that nice get covered but so it goes… Your author had to eat a 13th or something but Chad and Oliver sailed well as did Eben and Bob- All in all Team NEIYA put on a good show and for once no one needed to be bailed out, dry-ed out, or dragged out. That said Bob may have been a bit traumatized by some of Chad and Oliver’s rhetoric but they have free health care up there, he’ll be OK I think. On the other hand he did bolt out of Newport pretty quickly when we got back….

Great to see all the gang from the middle and western parts of the country and rip up the lake for a few days- awesome way to start the season! PUT THIS ONE ON YOUR LIST FOR NEXT YEAR!! A long ride but well worth it…. As usual. Gold and Silver fleets, good racing for all skill levels, great sailing with fun people.

Many thanks as always to the people who made it happen- Wish I knew who the hell they all were! Names like Dennis, McDonough, Jankowski, Whitehorse, Bloom, and several others come to mind- Big apologies if I missed you-

Stay tuned for the next big one and be sure to have a look at for results, reports, and pics!

Think Ice!

James “T” Thieler DN US 5224
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

West ward ho.

Thursday morning saw us breaking our fast with IDNIYRA vice commodore Kent Baker in Toledo over grits. After extracting ourselves from the bass pro shop outdoor world we continued west to our current location south of Chicago.

The regatta information is on:

Stay posted.

Oliver Moore
USA 5469

Pictures courtesy of Kent Baker and shamelessly pinched from Facebook (JJS)

Road trips season has begun

A group of NEIYA DN boaters are headed west with a token Canadian. The great western challenge has been tentatively called on for this weekend on lake Onalaska in La Crosse, WI.

Giddy up. Reports will follow. Hopefully of sailing.

Oliver Moore
USA 5469

DN New England Champs DONE!

Those that survived the Damariscotta bumps on Saturday or just didn’t know any better showed up for the New England Champs on Sunday.The same bumpy ice coupled with much more breeze saw conditions that were right on the edge of safety and sanity- As the breeze built some gear failed, some gear was on the way, and some sailors (your author included- my head and heart just weren’t in it that day) decided to err on the side of caution and sat out.

The remaining sailors (who were either more brave or more dumb than the rest of us- “There is such a fine line between stupid and clever” Nigel Tufnel once noted…) proceeded with care and were able to complete three races with no mishaps and the regatta is in the books!

Thanks as always to everyone who made it happen and to Oliver’s brother’s girlfriend for keeping score.

Revised Official Results

James “T” Thieler

NA Report #2

No sailing today, way too windy- Will try again tomorrow.In the meantime, enjoy the photo of John Harper napping before (actually, at) the banquet last night and Oliver Moore sleeping it off in the van this morning. I don’t think he appreciated being photographed….

Also have a look at this local news story about the regatta- note Chad Atkins in the photo behind the talking heads-


Stay tuned!

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840


NA Report #1

OK, Worlds are in the books- Now to the NA’s….

This regatta may be another challenge as we snow blowing sideways right now, the ice we sailed yesterday is very rutted from yesterday, more wind and FRIGID temps in forecast for next 2 days….. This hobby of ours can be a challenge BUT when it’s good it’s amazing!

Scouting parties are out right now looking for sailable ice but I have a feeling we are going to have a lay day. I’m sure a lot of us could use one!

Stay tuned…


Now today was a big day!Five races completed (plus one a few days ago) to get a 6 race Gold Cup in the books- wind was 10-15, ice was wet and semi-slushy. Drifts were worth steering around and keeping the windward runner light and/or just off the ice was critical.

In other words, it was powered-up, very physical sailing! Lots of sheeting in and out, moving back and forth in the boat, and aggressive steering around the drifts made for some huffing and puffing and rubbery arms and legs at the end of the day. Lots of tacking and gybing on the shifts as well- it was exhausting, see the photo John Harper napping in the restaurant before he even started drinkin;…

Harper Napping

Harper Napping

In the Silver Fleet Eben Whitcomb sailed well to take 12th place while Jeff Kent dusted off his DN and got back in the saddle for a few races….

In the Gold Fleet semi-rookie Oliver Moore finished 27th, Eric Anderson was just behind in 30th, Chad Atkins had a good final race to finish in 12th, and your author had a great sailing day to end up in 5th overall. My nerves, body and mind are shot but I am psyched! I’ve been saying for years that if I ever cracked the top ten at the Words I’d sell all my gear and move to Florida. Guess I ain’t the promise keeping type because the regatta has been done for 5 hrs and I still own the boat.

We are hoping to get the North Americans in (or at least started) tomorrow before the weather gets even more bizarre. Stay tuned!!!!

Think Ice! MR T

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840



Good evening, sports fans-

Nothing much to report; fog and no breeze meant no races today. Plenty of socializing and boat recon on the ice though, always good to catch up with the DN gang from the far-flung parts of the DN universe….

Hope for more breeze tomorrow; we will need it to get moving in the crusty snow that is now on the ice-

Big dinner at a restaurant down the street, should be a good time-

Stay tuned, more news coming as we make it!

Think Ice, MR T

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840



Greetings Sports Fans-We packed a lot into a few hours today- up early stoning
the runners du jour, breakfast from Burger King across the street,
down to the launch site, rig up, opening ceremony and flag raising, Silver Qualifier
race (top 12 boats qualified up into the Gold fleet) was held and resulted in
2 fender-benders, then Gold race #1. All in 8-12 kts breeze on fast ice.

But that ain’t the whole story. As predicted, the dreaded wintry mix reared
it’s ugly head. Rain, snow, freezing rain, sleet, we saw it all…. Soaked clothes,
cockpits full of icy water, and worst of all ice on goggles and sail windows.
A scary situation…. Now it’s pea-soup fog outside. Of course us New Englanders
are used to this kind of thing!

So visibility was a big issue- There were a few near misses in the Gold race-
I know I eased the sheet to peek under the boom several times to check for traffic.
Safety first. I rounded the top mark on the third lap about 25 feet to windward
because all I could see through the window was an orange-ish mass and I didn’t
want to peg it! Stayed a little high and hot to clear any port-tackers still
coming upwind and managed to find the marks without getting in trouble.

Racing at speed almost by the Braille System wasn’t the safest option so the
committee wisely sent us home. By then it was snowing hard and we were going
to be lucky to find the launch area…. Boats COVERED in ice at this point (see
photos). Pretty interesting day, that’s for sure!

De-rigged quickly and hoofed it back to the hotel- looks like a laundry-bomb
went off here- clothes and drying everywhere- Oliver has his boat on the floor
drying out as well. If we get our damage deposit back it’ll be a miracle.

Here is a clip Jim McDonough made of some of the players in this drama- it
was filmed yesterday while the sun was out…
Locals are at 1:20 T, 1:30 Chad, 2:59 Eben, 3:29 Oliver


Official results Day 1  Results and other information available on the IDNIYRA site

Meanwhile across The Pond solo sailor Francois Gabart finished the Vendee Globe
race (solo non-stop around the world in 60 foot monohulls) in 78 days, 2 hrs
and 15 minutes. Not bad!

Stay tuned, Lord only knows what tomorrow will bring and even He ain’t sure….

Think Ice!

James “T” DN US 5224
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840


Good day of practice yesterday here in Lake City- Many boats, nationalities and accents to be seen and heard on the ice….

The New England contingient seemed to do OK in the informal scratch races which went on all day in 10-15kts breeze and black ice with snow drifts here and there. They aren’t too deep but sticky enough to warrent some aggressive steering to avoid them. Makes it interesting!

Registration complete last night, apparently there were some festivities aftward but your author missed them as he was napping in an easy chair while watching The Weather Channel. Christ, and I’m only 44!

Racing starts today in the face of a cruddy forecast- 7-10 kts breeze, and snow/sleet/rain on the way. Yes, the dreaded “wintry mix”….

Stay tuned folks! Team RI is out the door!

Think Ice!

James “T” Thieler DN US 5224
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840



Greetings from the great state of Minnesota!

Regatta site selection was not an easy one – snow, warm weather, approaching bitter cold weather, open water, snowed out ice, politics….. Finally Lake Pepin MN was chosen and Chad and I hit the road. And…. here we are after an uneventful if somewhat long drive out from RI. Glad I have an entertaining co-pilot- The trick is to piss him off and give him a large coffee- he’ll drive like a madman all night long!

Lake City, MN is interesting. The sign at the town border proudly proclaims that water-skiing was invented here- hard to imagine when you only see the place in the dead of winter and the lake is frozen solid. But the restaurants and pubs all have water skis on the walls as decor and lots of photos of skiers making pyramids and such…. Makes you think you’re in Florida….

The lake itself is a wide spot in the Mississippi River. Yes, the Mississippi River. Still navigable all the way up here- Channel markers all in place, frozen in for the winter- red, right, return! Interesting to think that the frozen plate we are standing on will melt, head south, flood the midwest, continue to the Big Easy, be part of the party there, flow out through the Delta, make a home for the gators and snapping turtles and catfish, make it’s way to the Gulf and heat up and either start a hurricane or flow around the Keys and become part of the Gulf Stream…. Whoa…..

Stretched out yesterday and of course turned the condo (VERY nice place) into a workshop. We have a boat set up in the kitchen and one set up in the dining room. Perfect level, hard floor for aligning runners. Nice and warm so shim tape will stick and fingers don’t freeze! THIS is living….Have to see if my living room will work for this when I get home- somehow I doubt it.

Registration today, will go out and practice later. Plenty of people rolling in, I think we have 8 countries represented. From New England we have myself, Chad Atkins, Oliver Moore is flying in (currently stuck in DC- always something with that kid….), Eben Whitcomb, Eric Anderson, Jeff Kent and honorary New Englander Bernd Zeiger.

That is all to report for now- will update when we have some news!

Think Ice!

MR T DN US 5224