It doesn’t take much to satisfy a starving iceboater. Give us the clickity clack of the runners on ice black, the pressure of wind on the sail, an occasional hike and a few other sailors and we come home happy. What does it matter that we need to tack and gybe once a minute and keep a very focused eye on traffic because the pond is only a mile around. No islands, no straights, no bays. But we had all of this and more today on Attatash, a frog pond in Merrimac, Mass.
Luke Buxton came out of retirement for a nice spin in a loaner DN, John Bianchi ( who we thought was permanently ensconced in a cabana in Florida for the winter) happened to be in the neighborhood and dropped in for a visit. We marveled at the energy of Louise Racine, who bought his boat this year, and who has been to every Regatta so far and has signed up for all the rest! Jeff Nabb was there, as well as Rick Hobbs with his quiver of SkinBats. Dave and Kristin Buckley came up from Newport with a lovely new mast from Jeff Kent. Dave is determined to become very competitive this season and displayed some of his mojo by pacing Indigo for a couple of laps. This is significant as Curtis had re-vamped the sheeting on the old girl and seriously boosted boatspeed. He’ll be giving Whizzard company this winter! Thanks to Paul Delnero for scouting this platelet on his icebike, and to Jory for the excellent company on the three hour drive from Maine.
This is what it takes to keep iceboating viable: interested people finding sailable ice and the sharing it with the rest of us. Especially in this apparent drought we rely on teamwork more than ever. NEIYA scouts are scouring New England at this very moment searching for a plate large enough for the Doc Fellows Regatta this weekend. It hasn’t been called ON yet, but if you know of anything at least 1×2 miles please check in here, or with Eben Whitcomb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I read the forecast these days my eyes glaze over with the exciting variety of precipitation and super cold temps. Trying to interpolate a small sailing window is like trying putting a split ring into a cotter pin with frozen fingers. It just ain’t gonna
happen. This is all the reason we need to spend six hours in a car for an icy fix on a faraway frog pond.