Canada Postponed….

This in from Kingston/Montreal…

Hello All,

Bad news. Upon sailing at Hay Bay, Peter went thru the ice on a snow patch. Looking at the photo he sent, there are other snow patches. Since we cannot know if this an isolated incident or there are other weak spots,

WE ARE HEREBY POSTPONING the regatta to a later date .

Any sailing there is very risky until more is known on the situation in general.

Please advise your respective groups.



CANADA UPDATE: Hold your horses….

Mother Nature being cruel again- some hazards have been found at the lake and the ice may not be Regatta-worthy after all. Dang.

Final decision coming within an hour. Scouts are still out looking.

Hope for the best….

Racing In Canada Update

The latest from the gang up in Kingston:

Good Afternoon All,

Peter van Rossem just called me after inspecting the ice this morning at Hay Bay.

The report is positive. The Kingston gang will definitely sail there this weekend.

The issue is whether or not it is a regatta as we are very short notice on getting volunteers. Montreal had them lined up but none can come to Napanee for the weekend.

Here is the Plan:

We are putting out this call for volunteers. Maybe you are a racer and can bring a friend. Maybe you are just someone whop follows this page and wants to see a regatta in action.

We need you to help find 3 volunteers to do the scoring and starting

Starting = raising the start flag and dropping it

Scoring = writting down sail numbers on a clip board as they pass the leeward mark and at the finish line (same location but we keep track of rounding position for each leg)

The racers will be called upon to help set marks and move teh starting line if required.

If we can find 3 volunteers by 2 pm we will call on the Canadian Championships if not it will be King of the Universe.

Ice Report:

Peter reported a minimum of 8 inches of black ice. The surface is level but not entirely smooth. Meaning that in the areas where there is texture to the ice there are depressions. He indicated thgat they are quite close together so that a 36” runner would touch in 7-10 places. He did not sail he ice so he is not certain how much rattling this will cause but rated teh ice as being from a 6- 8. If the surface texture leads to a lot of vibration a 6 and if the runners provide a smooth ride and 8.

Please let us know if you want to volunteer or can bring a volunteer.

Launch site is the boat ramp at Cuthill Lane south of Napanee. Please do not park on the ramp. Google Maps


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Hey Folks-

Looks like we are going to give it a shot this weekend- Hay Bay near Kingston Ontario has been checked and cleared. Not perfect ice but certainly regatta-worthy!

IF we can get a few volunteers to keep score and drop flags we can call it the Canadian Champs; if not it will just be a great weekend of big-time scratch racing.

So if you know someone who would be ready willing and able to get dragged over the border and onto the ice for the weekend throw them in the car and let me know so I can tell the powers that be up there….

Stay tuned for details- all I have for now is the launch is at Hay Bay at the end of Cuthill Road (I think).

Think Ice- Load ’em up! T

Ice Thoughts For the Week

Following up on Jay’s important words of caution, Take Heed! The above images were generated via AI using htps:// part of the ChatGPT website. I requested art for lake ice with a danger thin ice sign in watercolor. It did pretty well at borrowing elements from previous works created by humans. While the images are so-called AI-generated, the DANGERS are VERY REAL.

I wish I had great news to share but again the message is to wait and see. As we are all aware it has been a little warm lately even up north. This includes Champlain and Winnipausakee, Squam, etc. any other place you might have thought to look this time of year. In general, people are seeing ice coverage but it has not been cold enough to harden and thicken. Don’t be fooled, these surfaces are not stable and require some colder weather before being further assessed. Possibilities may abound when the cold returns.

We have two positive notes. Bill and the folks in Maine are hopeful and will share what they find before the weekend on The other, as previously posted by T, some racing in the Montreal Canada area. Unfortunately, they are waiting to confirm the impact of the snow moving through the entire region. As always and be on the ready when the call comes.

We will have our regular call tonight at 6:30 pm. Not much ice so discussion topics are open. Be sure to call on time as we will get right into it. The line will remain open while there are things to discuss.

Think Ice


P.S. Bring your thoughts forward tonight.

***Hazardous Ice Warning***


As much as we all want to be taking advantage of spring sailing conditions, please be advised that this years weather patterns have produced some of the most unpredictable and inconsistent ice coverings most of us have seen in decades. This warning is based on numerous reported accidents throughout New England, most notably, on lake Champlain alone three fishermen died in the past week. A few points worth considering in these accidents: each of the victims was a frequent visitor to their area and likely assumed they knew the conditions due to their history and time on that ice surface. At least one of the victims died of hypothermia while dressed in a dry suit after being immersed in the ice water for a significant time – he was not able to extricate himself from the cold water and get back onto the ice surface. One of the victims passed away due to exposure yet was wearing a personal floatation device.

As a career fire rescue technician who specializes in ice rescue and SCUBA recovery of victims who have fallen through the ice here are a few thoughts that I feel we all should consider: Ice boating is particularly hazardous if you find yourself having *sailed* onto thin ice. The geometry of our runner base spreads our weight loading to a very low lb/sq foot ratio. In other words; by the time your boat drops into the lake you may likely be a great distance from an ice surface that can support your loaded body weight without your wide boat base. This will result in you having to break the ice surface back to a point where you can self extricate. This type of swimming is not only exhausting but very limited in time due to the cold water wreaking havoc on your body’s ability to maintain itself (whether or not your are in a dry suit).

All of us should ask ourselves “would I be able to self extricate if I fall through the ice?”. The time to sort this out is NOT while alone in ice water. If you carry a heavy body frame or are not a skilled swimmer, if you have not practiced pulling yourself along a surface with ice claws in full gear (or better yet in warm water onto a dock or surface similar to an ice edge) then the answer is likely; “no… I don’t have those skills yet”.

***Although wearing a dry suit is a great level of protection against hypothermia, it is not enough to keep you alive for a long duration.
***Ice claws are essential in many situations such as smooth wet ice but knowing how to use them *with an efficient swim kick* is key. Often, you will not be able to simply pull yourself up and onto a safe surface. Practice in warm water! Expect to need assistance from others.
***Life jackets are great but offer no thermal protection. Expect only a few minutes in ice water of ability to help yourself and a mere ten minutes of consciousness. Otherwise they keep you afloat for an unconscious rescue/recovery. The ideal life jacket for ice use is otter smooth on the front and will not hang up on jagged ice chunks as you pull yourself up and out.
***Never sail alone! Keep your buddies in sight and in mind.
***Have a throw rope and long rope available. An ice screw in your emergency kit can help pull a heavy person out. Set the screw in the ice and run the long rope through it – aids in preventing back slip of the victim.
***Call 911 immediately if anybody is in the water and unable to quickly extricate. Any prolonged exposure victims should be handled very gently (for cardiac reasons) and transported to the emergency department for evaluation. It is likely they will say they are fine…. until they are not.
***Only check conditions with others who have proper equipment. Sail in areas that are demonstrated as safe.

***Have fun and sail safe!

Jay Whitehair
NEIYA Vice Commodore

Racing This Weekend

Hey Folks-

Good chance of racing this weekend just north of the border-

The Montreal crowd is optimistic about racing out of Beaconsfield, Montreal, Quebec. The ice on Lac St Louis is looking good and hopefully will stay in shape for the weekend.

This isn’t written in stone yet but stay tuned to this site and the IDNIYRA website and forum for updates-

Tune everything up, dig the passport out, make sure there is no contraband in the vehicle and be ready!

Think Ice, eh?

Maine Comes Through

Hey Folks-

The Maine-iacs have done it! They squeezed in a regatta; informal, spur of the moment, and I think on a weekday. Something to be said for that!

Good time had by all it seems- Newcomers Roseberry and Chamberland nearly tied for top spot and no doubt this tussle will speed them up even more. They are certainly putting in the time and effort-

Paul was able to lend total newcomer (and I mean TOTAL; he had literally zero time in an iceboat) Tristan Lewis his extra boat and it paid off- Tristan made it around the course every race and was even able to take a 3 and a 4. He was even able to take one off Paul in the fourth race. No good deed goes unpunished, eh Paul?

Hope Tristan will keep at it- He must have some aptitude! And the fact that Paul was good enough to hand over a whole boat is a feel-good story that warms even my ice-cold little heart….

Well done to all! Click here for the whole story;
Linc Davis Cup | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

Linc Davis Cup | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

Sacandaga Comes Through

Unfortunately, the timing and conditions did not allow us to hold the NEIYA Vintage Returns event this weekend. With all our planing fresh in minds Jay Whitehair and I could not pass up the opportunity to see what the Hudson River and NJ guys brought to Sacandaga.

Conditions on Sacandaga were the best that any of us could find and we were lucky to be on the ice at all. The rest of the NEIYA gang found sailable conditions on Damariscotta in Maine.

There was a great collection of stern steerers, and plenty of front steering craft all out to play. Spirits were high and the hospitality and shared interest in iceboats ruled the day.

Don’t put your boats away just yet we are monitoring several locations for next week and hope to get in our Vintage event plus a bit of racing. Remember racing is not just for DNs and the iceboat rivalry between NJ and the Hudson is over a century old.

Think Ice,


Dammy Feb 11

Several boats sailed Damariscotta today, the north end was decent. Snow ice, some cracks and barely-healed thin spots were enough to either keep you on your toes or play it safe and call it a day….

A few boats will be back tomorrow and of breeze cooperates maybe some cruising and scratch racing-

Stay tuned- Things could be looking good for next week; we are getting optimistic reports from Kingston and the Central region. NY state may be back in action as well

Keep da faith! T

Sacandaga Redux

Sacandaga Lake Launch at Lanzis Restaurant Mayfield, NY

While we postponed our Vintage Returns The guys from NJ and the Hudson set up and going to give it a go in the morning.

Come on up to sail. Come to watch. Come to talk about iceboating. See you there.

Think Ice


Bad News

Folks, I just can’t bring myself to call a real regatta on for any of the lakes we checked in NY. Quite a bit of water and slush, a bit worrisome for a fragile little DN.

Good news is there will be scratch racing on Damariscotta Lake in Maine. Take a look at the CIBC site for details.

And don’t give up hope!

Think Ice….

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