Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Ontario is a large bay on Lake Superior. It’s known in the iceboat world as the place where the ice is first in and last out. Here in Maine when we think we’re a big deal for sailing into April, the Thunder Bay spring season still has no end in sight.

Mike Madge is the man on the ice up there. He has fifteen days sailing so far this season. You might have met Mike on line during the pandemic when he held a series of excellent interviews with the who’s who of the iceboat racing world. He got to scheming with David Frost in the off season and they decided it would make sense to hold a scratch racing regatta the week before the Great Western Challenge. A tune-up for the tune-up kind of thing.
They pulled it off over the last few days, with two full days of racing. Smooth black ice, big wind, moderate temps. By all accounts just about as good as it gets.

Mike had set the course, and perhaps five or six DN’s ran back to back races on both days.

The Western Challenge is this coming weekend in Hutchinson, MN so if you feel you missed out on the early ice in Ontario, Minnesota will have to do. Last year the Western Challenge had over seventy DN’s.

Thanks to Paul Chamberlain, DN 5700, for the photos.

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