Damriscotta Lake Iceboating Fesival, 1/15

As Steve Lamb said, while he and James packed their trailer in the very last seconds of daylight, “you could write a book about today. Where you gonna start?” Well, in true Lamb fashion I’ll start with a drink, and not the kind that two sailors today found themselves in. They said the sun was in their eyes, but it was probably more like ice narcosis. Jim Gagnon counted thirty-eight boats around lunch time, and he said that when you include the two Lockly Skimmers that’s forty. Not since Winnepesaukee 2010, correct me if I’m wrong, have we had such a fantastic turnout of iceboats. How could we not be blinded by the light?

To top it off, the Whizz fleet had their first ever gathering with all but two boats (no guilt here, Paul and Bill.) A one lap, ten mile race was organized and befitting the cruising tendencies of the class there was lots of reaching involved. The course was from the pit area, down through the narrows in to South Broads, around an as yet un-named island at the mouth of Deep Cove which we just called the leeward mark, and then back to the start.

There was a bit of carnage, however.  Of the ten boats to start, only one sustained any major damage. W-5 Gee Whizz missed the marked pressure ridge crossing and put his springboard in a hole just big enough to break it. W-10 suffered a sheared mast step socket which was quickly replaced. Later in the day W-16 broke his plank, W-11 his mast, and W-9 went swimming. It’s like little boys: in small groups they can be rather well behaved and play quietly in the corner, but get them in a group and they play war. The race results, as far as we know, are thus:

1st: Whizzard W-2
2nd: Whizz Kid W-1
3rd: Oz W-9

After that it’s unclear, as there were boats going back and forth to help those in need. In the photo above can be seen storm clouds. A small front with a dusting of snow and a package of wind came through, and we considered shifting down to storm rigs, but boys will be boys and we carried on with full sails and big masts. I don’t think anyone regretted the decision. As the front passed, there was less wind behind it. Not much less, a little bit but not at all.

Whizz Kid towing home Gee Whizz.

For all the other boats that showed up, too numerous to contemplate mentioning, thanks for helping to make this one of the best ever days of iceboating. The camaraderie, good sportsmanship, tech help, good ice and sunshine really made the day. David Lambton deserves a special thanks for opening the “clubhouse” for us. It made all the difference in getting our swimmers core temps back to normal, as well as elevating the general quality of iceboating life to a cut above.

The forecast for tomorrow appears to much like today, with perhaps not the mast busting wind, but close enough to keep things interesting. It will be SW, which changes the game considerably. Sounds like an expedition down the Arm is in order.

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2 Responses to Damriscotta Lake Iceboating Fesival, 1/15

  1. Court Dwyer says:

    You all looked GREAT out there, thanks for providing us shore-bound people a wonderful day of watching. Sue and I are “The Clock House” which, if you are out of the area people look for the 3′ tall windjammer in the bay window on the East Pond Rd Side across from Wavus. House is right on the water and may look white from your prospective but it’s actually light green: summer docks are pulled up on the hillside next to the house. Hope to see y’all back tomorrow! Sail by and wave :-).

  2. Breck says:

    Be careful of the arm. That’s where the springs hide out…

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