The last racing I can remember on Lake Chickawaukee was a couple of years ago when Andre Beby and a gaggle of Canadian buddies came to visit. We offered the usual cones for marks, but they suggested we use theirs instead and proceeded to set up really first class marks. They folded flat and could be lashed to the plank, were bigger than a cone and were secured with an ice screw and down-haul tackle. Not only that, but they kicked our butt. Fortier gave it all he had, but was having an off day, Lloyd wasn’t feeling up to it, and I’m a middle of the pack guy on the best of days. It must have been the marks.
There was some great scratch racing on Damariscotta this past March, and I have a sense that the racing bug might be coming back to the CIBC. Spotting fish shacks and islands as marks works well enough if everyone can see them, or understands which fish house, exactly, is to be the mark. One memorable race had Bunting sailing over the horizon to some distant shack while the rest of us got our laps in and waited for him at the finish line: two channel markers.
Not that we want folks to take it too seriously, at this level, anyway. But Lloyd keeps hammering home the fact that racing builds sailing skill, and you need skill to sail an iceboat well. Sailing well means you can get to that remote cove, and then get back again, and have a great time doing it.