Retraction

The announcement earlier this week of the HardWay being “in the books” was premature. It was not in the books at that time. The results are tabulated and submitted to the committee for ratification, and only at that time is it made official on theneiya.org. The post was put out in an adrenaline fueled delirium and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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Lake St. George still ON

With some of the best ice of the season, and a very high islands/broads ratio this lake is sublime. We sailed in near Winni winds today, bringing back wonderful memories of that amazing sail last Monday. We scouted each cove, straight and narrow and found not one ridge, crack or hole. Full bore balls to wall sailing to wherever you pointed the boat. Well, there was one hole, but it won’t be an issue unless you sail into it.
Long wide gybes around a series of small islands led to a deep, fast reach to a back door around large island. A few short tacks put you on a very fast reach across the broads to a peel away around another island. From there you could see the top mark island two miles to windward. All this with the full March sun and a couple of good sailing buddies.

When we posed this shot the bows were head to wind. That’s how shifty it was.

Boats are on the ice. Less wind and more warmth tomorrow, both building in unison, sadly. We’ll get what we get, as always.

Thanks to Bill Bunting for scouting this plate and keeping us up to date on its condition.

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Lake St. George ON

Launch ramp right on Rt. 3. We can only speculate what will happen to the water that fell on the plate today, but with the ramp tight to the plate, moderate cold and building dry NW wind there might be something.

Meet 9:30ish? We haven’t sailed this lake in years. Thickness reported to be 14-18″ but that does’t mean there’re no cracks or drain holes. Ice sailing explorers unite! This lake has a nice figure eight course around two islands. Just sayin’…

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Sailing News

Just to update the HardWay results, another four boats finished the course late in the afternoon. A few of the stragglers that this group shepherded home were running under bare poles. So with seven boats completing the 2021 HardWay, it is officially in the books. Congratulations to the finishers, as well to those who gave it their best shot. We all learned something last Monday, no doubt. Official stats coming from NEIYA soon.

On the long windward bash from Parker to Welsh, this writer was contemplating those light air days where we live and die by the telltales, chasing the elusive gusts and breaking out in a sweat from so much running. That’s just about what we had on Lake Chickawaukee this morning. A DN is a great boat for dozing in the sun waiting for wind. But after lunch the sea breeze kicked in. There were white caps on Penobscot Bay, and Chickie felt the force. The ice stayed hard well into the afternoon in spite of temps in the fifties so we did fast laps up and down the lake in thin gloves and open coats. We’d have set up marks but most of the boats had had enough by then and missed the best of it.

We made a pilgrimage to Robert’s Beach, site of countless campfires and pots of beans. Lloyd came down to chat. He was considering coming out of retirement for a sail or two next season. Seeing his old sail number still in service tugged at his heartstrings, he said.

Bill Bunting, Bob MacEwen and Joel Tompkins came down with their boats but decided just to sit in the sun and take it all in instead of setting up. It was a fine day for that, too.

But come Friday, it looks like we’ll get a shot at Lake St. George. That fire breathing dragon in the sky has yet to slay good old George, and Friday promises buckets of wind; a good thing on a convoluted lake like this one. Stand by for confirmation tomorrow.

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MORE Sailing News

Bob MacEwen and Joel Tompkins romped around Muscongus Bay today. His report:

I sailed at Vannah Rd today with one of my eighty year old friends, Joel Tomkins. He built his own Cheapskate and sailed it today for only the second time.The first time was last Saturday at the farm on Damariscotta. The conditions were excellent today with at least grade 6 ice and steady 7 to 10 mph NW winds. We sailed from 10AM until 3PM when the wind quit. The launch could only be done at the west end of the causeway where there was about fifty feet of shoreline with attached ice. The ramp is not useable with a good 10 feet of water from the shore to any ice. I sailed out as far as the cove with the red shed where ate lunch last a week or so ago. There were open cracks further north so I did not venture any further. The ice up to that point was hard and without any open cracks or pressure ridges. Tomorrow will probably be the last day if anyone wants to sail there. I am planning to sail at Chicawaukee tomorrow. I am guessing that you will be launching at the public beach and not at Lloyd’s house. (correct, ed.) God I love this sport!

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