About fifteen boats showed up today for the Doc Fellows Regatta, the first official NEIYA regatta in two years. We had three teens offering hope for the future of the sport. The plate on Damariscotta lake could safely be a grade 8.75, and with the light winds it didn’t take much to get going. Jeff Kent showed us what was possible again and again. We had three black flag races and one completed two lapper, so the regatta will not enter the books this time.
Nonetheless, there were smiles and joy all around, some skippers getting out for the first time this season. The best racing was at the end of the day, as the sun was going down and the wind coming up. Five boats who were reluctant to go back to the pits, luxuriating in the ice, blue sky and good company, began to run laps around two buoys. Round and round they went, hiking, masts bent, pushing hard, all that pent up competitive aggression hidden behind pleasantries all day coming out.
Thanks so much to Camp Wavus for sharing their access with us. This is the best plate on the lake and launching from Wavus was our only option and was excellent. They also host our web cam, showing the view to the northeast across the north broads.
Forecast shows snow changing to rain and then more ice. Take a day to sharpen runners, fix stuff and be ready for the next round. Winnie shows great promise. And lastly, great thanks to all the skippers who showed up, many from far away, in spite of the questionable forecast. It’s that kind of dedication that keeps the sport alive.
For our out of state guests, The Damariscota lake Farm Inn is now open. No restaurant, but check here for accommodations: tracey
That’s tracey “at” damariscottalakefarm.com. The are also on Facebook.
Tomorrow, Sunday, the NEIYA is putting on the Doc Fellows for DN’s on Damariscotta Lake. Launch at Camp Wavus, Rt 213. Drive all the way in, keeping right, and park in front of the lodge. Ice plate will be on your right. It’s that huge expanse of black. Carry down the DN. Time for first start hasn’t been announced, but be there and be ready. The wind might fill in.
After such a magnificent day of sailing, a sunset is in order. Whats the saying? Pink ice at night, iceboater’s delight?
Another late breaking update: the NEIYA tentatively plans on holding the Doc Fellows Regatta this coming Sunday. Light air forecast, but on this ice, anything goes!
After a lay day, the fleet turned out in fine style for some of the best conditions we’ve seen here for a long time. The wind built to a low roar over the course of the day. Cheapskates, Skimmers, a BlowKart and the usual suspects blasted from the very bottom of the River to the pressure ridge at the middle of the North Broads. And back. The ice up there was polished black ice under a veil of blowing snow.
These small drifts, in a Lombardo photo from yesterday, were cast adrift by the howling wind. What was left is just the black stuff you see above. We tacked up to the top of the wind and then peeled off for a mile a minute blast back down. On ice like this the boat can really be pushed to it’s limits, and they were.
In addition to the adrenalin, there were moments of quiet beauty, like this shot looking down the River.
These two boats swapped tacks up and down all day. It was very close competition with no clear winner.
Tomorrow promises big winds and low mercury, much like last Tuesday. The MIT DN Team will be there, and perhaps a few other tough sailors. If you do come, be sure to park your car completely off the pavement only on the lake side of the road. If not, you will be towed and thereby jeopardize our access. We learned that today with a warning.