Chad may have gone North (read the excellent story here: New England Ice Yacht Association), but these guys really went north for some amazing spring sailing/expeditioning. And just in case you miss the small print: the ice is still there right now!
Conditions this past weekend made possible two record setting achievements in the world of ski sailing. Both were accomplished using kites and skis, and both took place in the region north of the Saint Lawrence River, and well east of Quebec City.
#1] After more than a decade, and several previous attempts, Benoit Tremblay of Kitesnow manufacturing, kiteski, buggy, kite surfing, mountain boarding – Air Concept made the 9 hour drive from his home in St. Fulgence http://www.ville.st-fulgence.qc.ca/ to the site of the largest impact crater in the world. Meeting with friend Frédéric Dion [ Adventurer and conference speaker: The Outdoors and Adventure ] at Tadoussac, the pair made the early morning run up the Trans Labrador Highway to the launch spot. From there- they were on their own.
Over 200 million years old, and visible from outer space, this remote lake sprang up when The Daniel-Johnson Dam [Manic 5] was built during the 1960s. The lake is accessible by road, but it is a long journey as it is set deeply into the wilderness. After several camping trips, and countless scouting missions, conditions on Saturday 23 April 2016, were ripe. The goal was to try to make the entire circle is less than 24 hours. As it turned out, the goal was beaten by half!
Conditions were nearly perfect. Long daylight hours, sub freezing temperatures, with big winds- shifting from due north to northwest over the course of the day. Without all of these things, the 11 hour and 56 minute circuit time would never have been possible.
Cheers to Ben and Frédéric on a remarkable accomplishment.
Meanwhile, on Lac St. Jean a few hours west, and much closer to civilization, Michel Montminy of http://www.kitebroker.ca/ was out to lay in some miles of his own. Conditions on Lac St. Jean were [and still are at this time] epic.
We were there to test the all new Kitewing 3.0 mini wing, and can attest to the vastness and beauty of Lac St. Jean. Michel also knew of the excellent conditions forecast for Saturday 23 April 2016 and got an early start at 8:30. He sailed continuously throughout the day, stopping only to drink water and pee. With a family obligation requiring a cut off time of 17:00 he sailed hard all day, and was able to rack up a whopping 376.1 km. [ 233 miles!].
My personal record is 100 miles, and I can tell you from experience that anything over that is super human!
Hats off to our fellow sailors in Quebec. It might not be something to which a Miami or San Diego based dinghy sailor can easily relate, but certainly, all of us can identify with the spirit of adventure and endurance that inspires these intrepid ski sailors from regions less known for sailing
William Tuthill -Jamestown, Rhode Island [just back from Quebec]
Lac St. Jean from our condo. This ice is still good RIGHT NOW! It was well below freezing there last night.
Not the mini 3.0
Thanks for sending this Will. Very inspiring. It’s about 125 miles to circumnavigate the lake not counting the tacks.