Time for Land Yachhting

The morning after the Moosehead Weekend I turned on the radio in the shop hoping to get some work done with sore muscles and a head not yet back to reality. It seems incredible, but can you believe that a lady was singing opera? Her weight was unclear, but the message couldn’t have been more clear: we’re DONE.

So this web site has now officially been hijacked by land sailors. There will be a reminder about the CIBC Spring Meeting on May 2 as we get closer, but for now we’re thinking asphalt. We hope you are, too! Send in you registration and book a room!

https://youtu.be/kmK3-jRWNV0 a video from last time.


Thursday, May 13- Sunday May 16 at Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine.

Loring AFB is a closed base with two 2mi long runways that are 300’ wide with many taxi ways between the runways as well as several outpost taxi areas that are sailable, including a large pad area suitable for large fleet starts. It is likely the best asphalt land sailing location on the East Coast of the US. Our leasing of the facility for the weekend includes usage of a large hangar that we can store all the boats in with our masts and sails up! There are also restrooms nearby in a separate building.

Free sailing, tuning and touring Thursday, racing Fri-Sat-Sun. Combination of short courses and the 7 mile full base long course. Starts to be dail-up or standing depending on wind. Bring a stop watch. Racing shall be governed by the NIA iceboat racing rules, as well as some that are specific to the BloKarts, below:

ibra_rules_edition_7_final- 2019.pdf

Two classes: Blokart one design and Unlimited. Awards presented for first three places in both classes. Depending on number of boats, classes will be run separately or together. Any other classes that appear with at least three yachts will be eligible to compete as a one design in that class. Lockly Skimmers. for example.


Bunker Inn, on the base, $50.oo/ night land sailor special. Breakfasts included with regatta registration. THE BUNKER INN – Loring Industrieswww.loringind.com › thebunkerinn

Caribou Inn. 25 minutes from the base, a bit pricier but has a restaurant and bar.Greenhouse Restaurant – Caribou Inn & Convention Centerwww.caribouinn.com › greenhouse-restaurant

Registration: $40.oo
With the Bunker Breakfast (three mornings) $60.oo

Hopefully most of us will have been vaccinated by this time. If you came and are not, please be prepared to abide by those Covid protocols with which we are all now so familiar.

Please share this announcement around, and hope to see you at Loring!

Send in your registration the old fashioned way:

Bill Buchholz
31 Gosses Hill Rd.
Camden, ME 04843

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Moosehead Video

Next time you are hemming and hawing about whether the long drive will really be worth it, pop this little gem into the player. The answer will be obvious!

Moosehead Lake Ice Sailing Aerials – YouTube

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One More from Moosehead

Thanks to Jonne Trees for this wonderful shot. Best viewd on the big screen!

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Moosehead DONE

There’s this thing with iceboaters called hope. Without it we’d be nothing. Towards the end of every season as southern lakes give way to crocuses, the word is: “there is always Moosehead”. We watch the web cams and forecasts daily; check with the spies when it looks close. This past weekend was some of the best sailing we’ve had all season: big ice, big winds, awesome scenery. The only thing missing was more iceboaters. It’s ok to be sunbathing in early April and still be thinking ice, really. Where were they all?
Friday was windy, overcast and continuous flurries. The kind of snow that looks like it will stop at any moment, but it just kept on and on but oddly with no accumulation. We scouted the extent of the plate, finding open water to the north, south and east. That still left a two by five mile plate, a tiny fraction of the lake, but big enough for big fun.

More aggressive scouting on Saturday discovered sailable crossings to the extreme north end, and then down south past Kineo as well. Above, Dave could have sailed to the horizon. The great North Carry remained inaccessible but just sailing along staring at its horizon, below, was mesmerizing.

Karen, T and Jeff Kent showed up and set marks. While the DN’s refined their technique the cruisers would drop in on the course between long legs up and down the lake. We did one start together, three DN and a pair of Whizz. Interesting results.

Jeff just missed this photo: he’d gone back to get his 360 gopro. Incredible footage coming soon to an iceboat web site near you!

As the wind built the Whizz reduced sail to DN rigs and the whole fleet tore it up until dark. The ice stayed hard, the wind stayed strong, the sun stayed bright and warm: perfect spring sailing. The only softening was in the parking lot.

Sunday was a strange day. The wind was blowing in Greenville, at the south end of the lake, but there wasn’t much at the north end. Returning to the theme of hope, we pushed out searching for puffs. There was a small drift from the east that tempted us further and further from home. You know how it is: you work hard to build apparent wind and try to stay wound up knowing the you won’t make it through a gybe or a tack so on and on you go. We made it down to the south end of Kineo and got the cover shot:

We made our way back as cat boats do, slowly, slowly. The lake seemed really big all of a sudden. After what can best be described as a relaxing sail back the the north end we were amply rewarded for our efforts by a massive wall of wind that came up out of nowhere from the NW. One could imagine this great wind gathering steam in Labrador and building all the way to Maine. And it just kept getting better. Fast laps around the course and blast reaches when all the upwing-downwind stuff got old. Not much comes close to sailing a mile a minute side by side with a buddy whose judgement you trust.

So that’s it. Ice out at this final bastion of iceboater’s hope is right around the corner. The plate is down to a foot think. Locals say two weeks at most. Bring on the Fat Lady and let her rip. Don’t hold back my dear; we have no where else to go.

Except the Spring Meeting at Camp Kieve Sunday May 2. Meeting at 11:00, followed by the pot luck that can’t be beat.

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Moosehead Lake

Every year about this time Moosehead Lake begins to exert a magnetic pull on the iceboater expeditionist. The snow has gone, scads of thickness remain. The game becomes balancing cold with wind. There are few things as tense as driving to Moosehead at the crack of a spring dawn watching the car thermometer hovering at 31 degrees. We’ve been skunked there a number of times. The most memorable is when a big group showed up only to find slush. Denis had come down from Canada just to be social, knowing that his lake was in pretty good shape. So on his suggestion we all took off for the border, a caravan of perhaps ten iceboat trailers. Denis wound up driving five hours to get to his home ice. We sailed Lac St. Francois for three days.

Now we have this situation where the forecast for the next three days looks pretty good, although there might be some snow tonight. We won’t know for sure until dawn. But the five guys below had no idea when they lit out for the lake on April 17, 2017 what they’d find. They appear to be pretty happy.

Lodging open at The Birches and Kelly’s Landing. Bring your own food if you’re staying at The Birches. Launch will be at The Birches.

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