You can tell by the oily scum where the edge of the water was. This scum appears around drain holes this time of year. It’s assumed to be remnants of two stroke exhaust from ice augers and older snowmobiles. Thankfully we are seeing more electric of the former and four strokes of the latter. Two inches of fresh ice on these drain holes made the entire lake trouble free except a few point leads and one mysterious small hole.
This lake is really one of the best we have. Great access, easy to get to, a nice combination of wide open sailing and tight island rounding. Best of all it’s an upwind-downwind lake, meaning there’s not much opportunity for “Reaching Around”. This is when you have a fleet of boats reaching back and forth with no real rules to guide them. It’s a recipe for disaster and the skippers have no chance to hone their sailing skills. Lloyd railed against this for years. If you have no where to go, set up marks.
Here, you need to beat upwind seven miles, and then get downwind from there. It just doesn’t get any better. Well, actually, it does. We held a short track DN race on a plowed loop discovered at the top of the lake. Might have been for skaters, but it was unclear. Was was clear was that it needed to be raced upon:
Here’s Milo in the lead, using his narrow runway saiing skills honed at Loring. It was a close haul up one leg, maybe throwing in a quick tack if the wind shifted, big peel off at the top with some boats hiking around the turn, and then a tight run down. The bottom turn was just as exciting as most bottom marks. If we want to make iceboating an olympic sport, this is how to do it. It would be just as exciting and crazy as short track speed skating.
Tip of the helmet to all the guys who took a chance on the forecast and scored: Bill Bunting, Milo Fleming, Curtis Rindlaub, Dave Hoder, Larry Mazoway, Michael Young, Jeff Rosenbery, Tyler Vroman, Jack Wright, and the two French guys on Freeskates from UMO. You coudn’t have asked for a more perfect day. We even got to do some tree climbing, always fun on a fine spring day, to reeve a lost halyard down a mast.
As predicted earlier in the season, we have built some very high quality ice this winter. It will harden up easily overnights as we move into spring, so there will be more excellent sailing to come.
Lastly, it’s great to see the mighty Hagary back on her element. She carries a fresh paint job but there’s no mistaking this unique design by Ray Ruge. And then there’s that famous sail number…