There will be a major convergence of iceboaters from all over the east this weekend at Lake Winnipesaukee. Rumor has it that a couple of A class stern steerers are coming. As we know, there are only two left in the East: Rocket from New Jersey and Jack Frost from the Hudson River.
The DN New England Championships will be contested over Saturday and Sunday. Skippers meeting at 10:00am, first start at 10:30. Launch at Ellacoya State Park. Be sure to leave lots of space at the ramp for others, especially the grouchy ice fishermen.
VERY slim chance there will be the Hardway on Sunday, but this is a sport of miracles.
Any way you slice it we are having a weekend long iceboaters party. Cheap rooms at http://www.firesideinngilford.com. Cocktails and dinner to follow racing on Saturday!
The wind that was supposed to die off mid morning held beautifully until well after lunch. Denis Geurtin, who leaves for the tropics on Sunday, needed to sail the last puff down before leaving. He came ghosting respectably in. As Lloyd always says, pushing back to the pits is not an option: you have to sail it back no matter what.
We managed two more trips down the river, with tight racing both directions. Not clear who won as one guy wasn’t told where the downwind mark was. Thankfully he didn’t get wet…
The ice seemed a bit rougher to some today, but the consensus was that you feel it more when sailing slowly. At yesterday’s warp speeds we were more in the air than on the ice!
Speaking of rough ice, have a look at this photo taken this afternoon of Jordan Bay from Pat Keely:
He reports 2″ plus, no zippering or cracking. Temps tonight in the mid teens should sock in close to another inch. Sadly, there’s not much wind in the forecast over the weekend, but see above to de-bunk that!
The DN New England Champs are scheduled for this weekend on Lake Winnipesaukee. See the neiya site for details. Light air racing on smooth ice is FUN!
The CIBC was represented out on Winnipesaukee on 1/29/20 doing what we are known for. Cruising big reaches of ice, crossing pressure ridges, sailing fast across black ice, stopping to gather up and have a gam. We mighr have been able to sail the Hardway distance but the West end of the lake was getting progressively rougher and the sun was getting lower. On everyone’s minds werr the big wet cracks and active pressure ridges that were dead down wind in 10 kts + of breeze.Charlie and Ann Sylvanius, Roger Pickall, Karin Wilson, Lee Spiller, and Jerome a local fast and bold sailor sailed From Brewster Beach nearly to Six Mile Is. before the prudent time to turn around came. We could see the Mount Washington at her winter berth in Center Harbor ahead but that was still 6 miles away. As it was we got back to the beach after the sun was below the hills.
Boats are still on the iceat Brewster Beach. Huge areas of incredible ice. Pressure ridges and wet cracks, duh, it’s a big lake. But the miles in between are sailing heaven.
After holding back on us for nearly half the season Dammy gives us the gold. Big wind, hard ice and plenty of atv ruts to keep us humble. But in the coves and bays off the beaten track the ice was like glass. Peeling off for a big hike and a jibe after skirting the shoreline was divine.
A small group sailed up to the top of the lake for a peek at the old clubhouse, just to the right of the frame and now inhabited year round, the snow plowed conveniently onto the ramp.
The ice was rougher in the north end so we sailed full speed non stop back to Deep Cove for lunch. The narrows were exceptionally rutted but with this wind you could short tack along the edge, using the coves to stay wound up.
The ice in the river was the best on the lake, and we sailed it twice just to be sure:
Soon after discussing the forecast for tomorrow Jim came across what appeared to be trash but actually was a NOAA weather balloon come to earth. We shook it hoping for an accurate forecast, but indeed we need to mail it back to HQ for processing. We should also include a copy of Ashley’s Book of Knots; the weather boys were obviously never boy scouts. Which still leaves us with conflicting wind reports for the rest of the week. Consensus is maybe wind tomorrow, less Friday and even less Saturday. Then snow.
There are boats on the ice hoping for a breeze tomorrow.
Nicely wet out smooth grey surface top to bottom. There were large patches of shell ice at both Vannah Rd and the Farm. We launched from the Farm and sailed into one patch just to be sure it wouldn’t hold a boat. Boots are drying by the fire as we speak.
As the shell was thinner and the launch access better, we’ll be setting up at Vannah Rd. tomorrow. The lake has NOT been scouted beyond a couple hundred feet from the launch. Stay together and sail heads up. General thickness is eight inches.
Meanwhile, here’s a report on Winni from Scott Page. Remember the cracks:
|Ellacoya. Winnipesaukee. Very nice ice. A little wet 35F. 3-4 inches according to fishermen. 3 boats setting up now. Moderate strong wind. No snow till Saturday. Cold nights.
This morning’s post on Jordan Bay lost its photo. Apparently our editor has not fully recovered from Montana Maddness.
Latest word is that the inner bay has 3.5″ and what we see here is an inch. Thanks to Pat Keely for checking.
Pushaw is in about the same condition as Damariscotta, but thoroughly abused by vehicles.
Here’s the ice this morning. It has lost some thickness since skated last week; probably down to an inch.
It’s a far more appealing than some of the re-surfaced wet out crud we see elsewhere. Some of that stuff will be scouted today and hopefully we’ll be sailing tomorrow.
If Jordan Bay can hang on until the weekend and build thickness over the forecast cold nights this week, there’s a possibility of a regatta on Saturday. For those of us who endured the lunar surface ice conditions of Fort Peck Reservoir at the NAs last week a plate so achingly smooth makes us weak in the knees.
Well, the third day started like the second day just a light breeze enough to get you out there. The DN’s were tuned and race ready and made good work out of the light air. You can really tell who keeps there boat tuned when the winds are not. As Leo would say “ in light wind know your boat in heavy wind know the rules”
Today we had 28 boats, as I counted, on the ice. The MIT DN team shower up and made a good showing. About 1:00 someone flipped the switch and we had wind, the speeds increased and hiking began it was a great feeling to be at it again. The marks had been set and some races were held but I’m not sure of any of the results.
There was a professional photographer on site who I was able to make contact with and hope to receive some pics from, (for a later post). By 3:00 wind was dying and the ice on the small 3” cracks which was 5” in the morning was now down to 1/4” a DN sailor directly in front of me hit one parallel and dropped a runner through (no damage no harm) my signal to call it a day. Most people were starting to pack up and pull off the ice in anticipation of the change in weather. A few boats were planning on sailing the morning wind today as the forecast was for good in front of rain.
At this point, it is only rain in the forecast so stay tuned for a chance at Winni 2. Note: The mystery man on crutches was not a sailing incident.
Sent from my iPad