It’s that time of year again so start dragging your old gear from storage and get ready to bring it to the annual Swap meet. Your old gear will be new and fast for someone else. Once again its time to get together with our winter friends. Friends that share the passion of sailing fast, sailing fast on ice.
Don’t miss out. Bring a friend or two or three. Bring someone new, drag out an old ice boater. Come one come all…
When: Saturday October 28th – 9:00 am to 3:00 pm or so
Where: Knights of Columbus Hall 17 Willow St, Westborough, MA 01581
See you there,
NEIYA Vice Commodore
As I prepare for the upcoming season and words flowed onto the screen I knew that I had said it all before, so here it is, below. Some recycled content from a few years ago. We are in need of someone to help out with the Website as well collect and report ice conditions. The web is easy and requires no hardcore tech. I will guide.
A Look Forward
With shorter days and cooler nights, we are all thinking about ice boating and the miles of black ice we hope to find this winter. Just as there are a few months till we sail again, a number of things MUST happen and individual efforts MUST take place before groups of pilots can safely congregate and sail.
Most of you know what occurs prior to setting up your boat in the pits and pushing off toward a nice plate.
Someone watches as the lakeside trees shed their leaves.
All manner of boat building advice and help is freely given.
Boats and equipment are bought, sold, traded and loaned by fellow sailors prior to first ice.
Runners are sharpened individually and en mass by skilled sanding volunteers.
Someone watches as fog and mists wafted over the body of water in the early morning hours.
Eyes are on the lake while morning frosts creep toward the water from the shore.
People gaze upon the first mirror black ice to skim out from shore.
Occasionally taking the long way to work or home to check on ice conditions.
One or more people poke at the new ice with a stick even though they know it is not ready.
Swinging blunt instruments upon the ice, a wise man from Rockport swears by the blunt end of an axe, and drills test holes.
Talk to ice fisherman who are generally happy to break their solitude for a conversation about fish and ice.
Scout off shore with skates, or sailing carefully stopping periodically to check grade and thickness.
People report back whether, positive or negative results. Insufficient ice or unsafe conditions change. A body of water’s history plays an important role for future safe sailing.
Who where those someones? Who were those eyes? Who spent countless hours helping to others get ready to sail? Who communicated observations so that others would benefit?
The answer is simple. Heed the call. Members of the NEIYA. Please remember this when asked to contribute time, knowledge and skills toward club activities. Ice forms all by itself but it’s a team effort to bring a group of people the ice.
Ready to help out? We are in need of someone to manage the collection and distribution of ice conditions for both Rec and Racers. Also looking for someone to manage our website. Fear not, you do not have to be tech savy, only an interest in the Web and a desire to learn. Contact me or any of the other officers
As we come into season, let’s all sail fast, sail safe and think ice,
NEIYA, Vice Commodore
P.S. Our annual meeting, swap and lunch are ON for Saturday October 28th Westborough, MA Knights of Columbus Hall. More on that shortly.
Sad time in the world of hard water, soft water, and all around. Meade Gougeon passed away recently at the age of 78.
What he crammed into those years staggers the imagination- Off the top of my head I can say he was a DN World and NA champ, built and sailed a multitude of softwater craft that included cats, tris, proas, motorboats, keelboats and God knows what else. A 40 foot trimaran called ADRENALIN which had pivoting amas comes to mind.
In addition to being a major player in the DN world he also sailed the Everglades Challenge several times, a crazy event in the southern boondocks of Florida. Not for the faint of heart!
And he helped bring epoxy to the masses. Let’s not forget that.
His exploits and adventures are well documented elsewhere but I’d like to share my own story about the man.
When I first started sailing DNs twenty years ago I was in awe of the way he and his brother Jan (Hard to talk about one without mentioning the other) got around the course- two decades later I still can’t get over it! I remember thinking “Who is this guy with the skinny legs and the red helmet and how the hell does he do it??”
I got to chat with him a bit a various regattas and he always made time to answer my many questions- Which as a budding DN-er I appreciated very much!
That was cool but a few years ago Meade and a friend of his were travelling the east coast promoting the new G-Flex epoxy they’d developed. They were hitting all the wooden boat shops along the east coast, doing demos and doling out samples. His friend had a vision disorder and dealt with it by video taping the whole trip and watching it later on a special viewer that put the images right onto his retinas or some such thing.
I bumped into this pair purely by chance on the dock at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI one afternoon. They were checking out the legendary DORADE, the Olin Stephens design that is winning races to this very day. I was captain of DORADE’s less pretty cousin, a boat called SONNY that was across the dock.
The owner had called and asked me to round up a few people to go for a little afternoon sail. I’d found one or two people to go along and wanted at least one more but had resigned myself to sailing short-handed. Walking down the dock to the boat I saw a familiar figure…. Tall, slim dude…. Skinny legs…. Tan cap with a short brim? Had to be Meade!! Sure enough it was him, and sure enough when I introduced myself he didn’t really react until I said my sail number was DN 5224. At that he lit up! DN-ers are great that way. We shot the breeze for a few minutes and I convinced him and his buddy to come along for a quick sail.
His friend had his big video camera going the whole time and Meade tended the mainsheet perfectly without even thinking about it. All the while chatting away with the owner of the boat (a trustee and board member of the Yacht Restoration School) about the virtues and values of teaching and preserving the woodworking skills and classic boats the school focuses on. Traditional plank-and-frame stuff.
It was one of the most pleasant afternoons of sailing you could ask for, and I was thrilled to be on a boat with a legend like Meade. But the story doesn’t end there-
A few weeks later his friend with the video camera sent me a DVD of their trip, a well put-together travelogue (complete with bluegrass music and his own narration) that started in Michigan and followed them to Maine and down the coast to Newport and beyond. I was excited to see what the Newport segment had in store and it began with Meade eating ice cream across the street from the Restoration School. So far so good, harmless enough. Then across the street they went to look at the derelict boats awaiting restoration by the students at the school.
Next thing you see on the screen is Meade inside one of the boats, ripping rotting timbers off with his bare hands, and literally yelling about how these boats didn’t last long, required too many rebuilds, too much time, too much effort…. He was really on a tear! He sounded like a preacher thumping the Bible in front of the flock, punctuating every sentence by ripping off another hunk of rotten timber and throwing it in the bilge. I remember the last sentence of his tirade was “…and to glorify this method of construction IS WRONG!!!!” It was amazing!
And to think that thirty minutes after this was filmed he was out having a blast on the old plank and frame boat I was running and having a great time, chatting away with all on board. When I saw the video all I could think was that it was a good thing he got all that out of his system before he met one of the main guys that ran the place!
The lessons I took away from that were:
1- Know your audience. He sure did.
2- Don’t skip a chance to go sailing!
3- Know your history and how things were done before you came along.
4- Don’t stop looking forward!
And he always did look forward, always thinking of the next cool boat or the next neat modification or the next crazy event.
That said, my folks bumped into Meade at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Micheal’s, MD. Checking out all the old boats, taking in the history and no doubt pondering some better ways to make the things…. Somehow my father recognized him and started talking boats and DNs. Of course Meade lit up when he mentioned DNs! My dad was thrilled to meet him and still loves to brag about meeting a big player like Meade.
I’ve met a lot of fantastic characters through sailing and the the DN gang is another breed altogether- but getting to know Meade and Jan has been one of the greatest parts of my whole hard-water career. I always admired the way they sailed but more importantly how they were always friendly and made time to answer every question a wide-eyed rookie like me could pester them with. I’ve tried to do the same over the years and I thank Meade and Jan both for setting a great example!
Fair winds and perfect ice, Meade. Know that I am far from the only person you’ve made a mark on.
DN US 5224
Hey Folks- Meade Gougeon is fighting a major battle these days- prognosis isn’t great but he sounds like he is facing it all with his chin up and a great attitude. And rightly so, his life has been incredible.
Ron Sherry sends this update:
“Meade Gougeon is about to sail his longest race, where he will join his brother and other great friends in paradise on miles and miles of black ice. Unfortunately melanoma has returned to Meade’s body with a vengeance. Time is short and Meade would like to give everyone the opportunity to send him a note. Meade knows exactly what is going on and is very happy with the life he has led and all the friends he has made. However, the oxygen he is on makes it hard for him to talk, so he would appreciate an E-mail or letter with good wishes and stories of all the good times we have had together.”
He would love to hear from all of his friends in the hard-water world, so send him an email at email@example.com
Send your wishes and wish him luck. Hang in there Meade!
James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840
401 258 6230
Interesting post from Bill Bucholz- “The CIBC has been invited to display at the Maine Boats and Harbors Show in Rockland this weekend. Anyone interested in helping to man the booth and set up a few iceboats, please call me 207-975-6980.”
Give him a shout or at least go check it out!
A graduation celebration only an ice boating family and fellow iceboaters will understand. Congratulations to Hunter Rainis on his graduation.
Pictured are Hank Kasier and his nephew Hunter Rainis and his younger brother Henry. Recent graduate Hunter was super surprised and pumped when Hank presented him with the Iceboat.
Bowing to his mother’s wishes to be clean shaven, Hunter attempted to make things right with a touch up from his newly sharpened blades.
Hank’s family joined in the celebration and presentation of the DN! Sweat rewards for all his hard work. Also pictured are Hank parents, sisters, their husbands, nieces and nephews.
Hunter has sailed with Hank on the Ice at Mecox and Swann Lake and also sailed in school at Monmouth University. All are enjoying the beach for the moment and hoping for a cold winter with smooth ice to sail on.
We look forward to seeing Hank and everyone else on the ice in an optimistic four months.
From Long Island NY