Century Race DONE

Our Pushaw Spring Fling didn’t start out well. As late as Saturday afternoon reports were coming in that the conditions looked “sketchy”. While not an approved ice scouting tern, it didn’t inspire confidence. Early Sunday morning Maine was hit with heavy snow squalls making driving to the lake both depressing and “sketchy”.

But lo and behold upon arriving there were at least twenty-five boats setting up, manned by smiling skippers. The conditions were excellent. Hard ice, strong winds. Perfect for exploring the entire lake, setting marks for the Century, and match racing up and down the full length of the lake. The wind held all day and the ice stayed hard. Folks from Connecticut, Long Island, Michigan, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Albany, and a couple of ex-pats from New Jersey rounded out the roster. The pit area was a fairground. Sailing to sunset was the order of the day.

Monday morning was hard and cold, perfect for the Century. On the line at the start were George Neyssen, Mike Acebo, Bob Strzelewicz, Denis Guertin, Bill Buchholz, Dave Fortier, Paul Chamberlan, Ramblin Roger Pickall, Tony Bosco, Jeff Roseberry, Jim Turner, and David Frost.

Buchholz led the fleet for the first four laps until his mast broke. He was assisted by Mike Acebo, Tony Bosco and Denis Guertin who probably all relished the excuse to take a break from the punishing conditions. Guertin towed Buchholz back to the pits where they both set DN rigs and proceeded to finish the race.

The next two boats, Bosco and Roseberry, duked it our until Bosco sought shelter from the winds along the lee shore. Then it was Neyssen and Roseberry neck and neck for a few laps until George caught Jeff at the final mark rounding and was leading him to the finish line, but he mis-judged the line and Jeff crossed first. Great racing!

Buchholz managed a third, Chamberlan fourth, Bosco fifth, and Ramblin Roger kept at it until late in the day, picking up both marks, and blasting into the pits throwing an impressive slush rooster tail, finishing sixth. Roger was quoted as saying he hadn’t sailed as many miles in the past two seasons as he’d sailed in the past two days!

All during this race of attrition Karen and T were running DN scratch races on a civilized little course not far from the pits.

The ice began to soften just in time for lunch. Thanks to the CIBC for feeding the fleet! A few boats rigged slush runners and plowed on some more miles, but just mingling in the pits, eating and drinking with old friends, slowly breaking down the boat with no real urge to hurry was the icing on the cake. How often, if ever, do you take one runner off and then go away to chat with someone, then come back and take one more off. If you’re careful one could stretch out the breakdown for hours. And how delightful would that be on a fine spring day. Today is, after all the first day of spring.

All we have to offer for a prognosis at this time is the usual: There’s always Moosehead!

Thanks to Ron Logan and Bob Lombardo for their great efforts in scouting the lake for us. We couldn’t do it without you guys. And especially to Ron for skiing out to fetch Frosty back from his vain search for the bottom mark.

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