Day one of the North Americans turned into a lay day as light snow fell straight down most of day.
A few bored sailors, braved the light air and snow up to the stiffeners, to try and build deep wet snow light air sailing skills. Not that you’d ever willingly want to deploy such skills, but it was something to do.
We found a nice breeze, well out on the lake, where the shore line receded to a dull grey line.
Close reaching and deep reaching worked fine, but anything too close up or down put on the brakes.
More than a few sailors chose to pack up and head for home, seeing no joy in the forecast.
Indeed, the snow is still coming down tonight. The stronger winds tomorrow and even bigger on Friday will stress the boats to the limit in the heavy snow.
But as one happy sailor said today, we would normally never sail in this junk so it’s fun to at least have the opportunity to try.
With the sun setting on the DN Worlds, folks are getting ready for the festivities tonight.
Young Milo Fleming, 5777, is turning in an exceptional performance. Final standings will be at the same link from the previous post.
All three fleets got one race in before the wind died in the afternoon. It was touch and go all day in sticky snow and bonded drifts. Looking for clear lanes of ice, watching the telltales and constant sheet work made for hard work.
Nearly the entire gold fleet ghosted across the line together, some running, some walking, and a few managing to get the breeze and sail through. Most notably was Mr. T, smoking the pedestrians to rocket into a fourth place finish. The crowd went wild.
We have some down time before the North Americans start tomorrow. Nothing like a nice chair after a hard day at the tiller.
Day two at the DN Worlds was a huge step up from the day before. The wind came up, the snow stayed soft and the rough ice under kept you at the edge on the fast runs down wind.
The race committee hit their stride, cranking out back to back races in all three fleets all day long.
Team New England is posting a fine showing. Check here for the latest provisional results.
Lake Kegonsa , near Madison Wisconsin, is a favorite of ice fishermen. A few set themselves up right in the course and seemed very happy to have a front row seat for the action. Their little camps were a feature on the course to consider, and actually were helpful in providing reference points as the sun went lower and finding the top mark became hard. The course is over a mile top to bottom, so it wasn’t a matter of just going to the corners. There was a lot of action in the middle of the course with upwind boats moving over to greet the downwind boats.
We all come for the racing, of course, but the people you meet and the places you see are just as special. As Pat Heppart put it: this is the one time of the year when you see all your best friends in one place.
And not only that, it’s the time to form new connections with people from all over the world as well as those from near home.
The first morning of racing in the Fiftieth anniversary of the DN World Championships dawned grey and white. An inch of dry snow dusted the fleet of over a hundred boats.
The wind forecast of light air all day did not inspire much hope in in the skipper’s hearts.
But this is ice boating where hope springs eternal. The fleet dusted off the boats and after a one hour delay a small breeze filled in, just enough to move through the snow and at times enough for a little hike.
The Bronze qualifying race was held, then a Silver fleet race followed by a Gold Fleet race. A second Silver was started after chasing the shifting breeze with the starting line, but the race was black flagged anyway.
It is still unclear why that race was stopped but the race committee is doing a stellar job under very challenging conditions.
Big winds for tomorrow. Rough ice, sticky snow, strong winds? What could possibly go wrong?
Skrivet på min iphone
Day by day we are slowly reeling in the 2023 season. A few days ago it was a limited plate of perfect ice with winds 2-3mph. Today it was miles of ice with winds 20-30. There were just enough holes to mandate sit-up sailing. The water was wrinkled with waves, so easy to see. After scouting an exit from Goulds Landing and marking a hole we found the ice behind Dollar Island to be nearly trouble free all the way down through the marshes to the extreme south end. Some of the nicest ice was down there, the 3” left from the erosion of the 4”. This really is one of our most interesting and beautiful lakes.
Good day for storm sails. Milo had left his home, so Dave graciously offer him his, and he set the big sail. Well, as no good deed goes unpunished, Dave promptly lost control and spun out right next to, and into, the wet stuff.
No harm done to man or boat, but a good lesson in coming equipped for the day. Know the forecast, know your gear, and if sailing a DN when there are hazards present, sail sitting up. Some might say that sailing near any open water is a bad idea. Fair enough, but that would easily cut our sailing days in half. And this season, where finding sailable ice is more challenging than ever, that’s just not an option. Remember Tunk? When the entire middle of the lake was open and we could sail right around the perimeter? Great fun.
Thanks, as always, to Bob Lombardo for scouting and giving us the heads up.