Too many to count

It feels like too many sailing days to count, but it’s really about the boats. People kept showing up all day, and by early afternoon sails could be seen from top to bottom.
The racers set up the marks again to continue training for the worlds, later this month. We scouted the remaining hazzards south of the pressure ridge and put a cone at the western most hole. Leave it to starboard heading north. A small fleet did cat and mouse figure eights around the Twin Islands as the wind began to build into the mid teens.

After a restful line up we drag raced flat out for the final two miles to the top of the lake where we found a nice lee on the funky dock of swamp squatter’s camp. Back at the pits we met Michael Young from Mt.Desert and his son. They’ve built a narrow Gambit with tandem seating, much more aerodynamic than the standard model:

We know that aerodynamics are everything in iceboat design and building. Michael made some very nice inserts from solid aluminum with stainless blades.

Pushaw will be open for business tomorrow as usual. There’s a couple of more days before this comes to a messy meteorological end. Then we’re back into the other great iceboating activity: scouting ice and watching the weather!

Posted in 2014 Season

No Pix, So Here’s a Video from Sweden

Posted in 2014 Season

Missing Pix from Lombardo

Posted in 2014 Season

Pushaw 12/31

Another epic day in paradise. The DN fleet completed the 2014 New Englands with hours to spare, while a dozen or so touring boats took long trips up and down the lake. We’re beginning to poke in to remote coves and explore the west side of the islands. The ice around the Twin Islands is tight, with an excellent puff blowing right down the straights. There is still a big open hole just south of the Twins, about a third of the way to the pressure ridge. And this lake just keeps on giving: one of the guys had a pair of extra track cars rattle off the boom somewhere between the bottom and the top of the nine mile, five thousand acre lake. Three boats headed back to find them, and with the help of the skaters (one of whom had nearly tripped over it earlier) they found them at opposite ends of the lake.

THis photo of the pits doesn’t do justice to the teeming masses of great boats and people who came sailing today. More boats will be showing up tomorrow, and the pit area seems able to accommodate cars and trailers easily. Sunshine, days in the twenties, nights in the teens, and wind all the way to Sunday. So when someone wishes you Happy New Year tonight, you’ll know that the start of this year could hardly be happier.

Thanks to Bob Lombardo for the photo.

Posted in 2014 Season | 1 Comment

News From Lake Champlain

Andre Baby has been busy scouting:

Hi All,

Bob Dill and I scouted Mississquoi bay off Venise en Québec today. Snow Ice is 6 to 8 inches thick, we didn’t see any hazards and drain holes have healed . Access from the beach was easy. The surface varies from smooth to pockmarked, 8 to 6 so I’d say overall it’s a seven. Course could be a mile +. Bob took many pics, which I will forward later. I would have sailed it today, but Bob didn’t have his boat.
Bob agreed the venue is fantastic.
I’m looking for sailors to join me tomorrow, then Friday and Saturday.

Anyone interested?


André Baby

514 426 4066

Posted in 2014 Season

Ice Up-Date

When you think of the number TEN, does Bo Derek still come to mind? Slowly slinking about in your cerebral canyons? It certainly makes sense, but for the four of us who sailed Pushaw today, the number TEN will forever be associated with this plate on this day. The best way to describe it is to imagine the sensation of freely jumping off a cliff and the silent rush of air and acceleration. That’s what peeling off was like today. Up and down the nine mile length of the lake. The wind was brisk, and had a nice angle for beating up into the north end. There is one active and one latent pressure ridge about a third and two-thirds of the way up. We established a windward mark at a buoy and as soon as one of us rounded it we all went deep, back south. One of the top five sails ever.

But, there are still two open holes in the vicinity of Denis and Wolfie’s demise the other day. Other small holes have all healed with 2″ of hard ice. Cold temps tonight will lock them in further. If the big holes skim over they will be impossible to see. There is a line of three orange cones to the east (on your right) as you leave the pits. There are at least three big holes behind them. The other two are about halfway across the lake adjacent to Lakeview Landing.

The NEIYA will be running the New England DN Champs tomorrow. Anyone with a DN is welcome to race. The course is on a well scouted plate with no hazzards found.
More boats will be showing up New Years Day, and there’s nothing threatening in the forecast until Sunday, with good winds throughout the week. If you don’t come get a piece of this before then, well, you might as well just move to Florida.

Aside from that, I’m speechless. Cooked by the sun, burnt by the wind, then, every time I sail I’ll remember this TEN.

Posted in 2014 Season | 1 Comment


Contrary to Jory’s observation, the southern plate IS NOT safe. Wolfie’s crack is now larger. Access to the north end is tricky. But we will be having a look at it and welcome the company of all. Here’s Bob’s report from today:

Spent 5hrs out there today. The ice is so nice I cannot describe it. Most of it has gone down to clear and maybe 4-5″ thick. Hazards? Yes. The big crack east of the landing is bigger and will not likely freeze overnight because of wind. A few big holes in the south end that we saw and Denis’ holes are quite big and noticeable along with a few other holes in that same pressure ridge. Up north there is incredible big ice with a few hazards. One being a pressure ridge off a point just beyond Twin Islands and just north of that a few sneaky holes. If you get up in the north end [I hope you do] its pretty much big smooth clear ice until you get near the inlet which is wide open into the lake about 100yards. We think you can get around Denis’ crash site by going way east of it or even west shore where we were. We did not go along the east shore much because of the wind. We did skate down the middle most of the way from the top and saw only a few hazards.

Zambonied, but thickness unknown. Thanks to Bob Lombardo for the photos and report.

These holes might heal by Wednesday in the predicted cold, but tomorrow will just be skimmed. If the plate itself is in good shape then it will be capable of supporting a regatta regardless of the holes. They are outside a potential course area and can be well marked.

We will post a report early tomorrow so the New England guys (and the Nova Scotians) can make plans.

Posted in 2014 Season | 2 Comments