Mille 100 Video

Warren Darress made this. Thankfully not the whole 100, but it is long. If you know the lake and the course you’ll find it compelling, especially when he has you in his sights. He’s been sailing his entire life and it shows in the way he constantly works the boat. Warren had this to say:

Just wanted to thank you and your team for getting Pushaw Lake checked and marked. For me, it was my one time out this year, and certainly worth the 500 mile drive each way to Bangor ME from Smithtown Long Island NY. The iceboaters were so friendly, and my extra crew chiefs George Neyssen and Tony Bosco were unbelievable. Thanks to the late Rich Crucet, I have a relatively new axle and wheel bearings on my 40 year old trailer. It was also wonderful seeing Tom Nichols who I have known for 55 years.

While Saturday was too much wind, Sunday was great. I did want to let you know I did join the 100 mile race crossing the starting line just after you guys took off. After 1.3 Laps, and the 15 minute slack wind 5 miles from the launch site, I decided to head back to the launch area when wind came back up. With snow ice starting to melt, I figured be safe with wind, and don’t chance pushing back 5 miles. I continued to sail nearer the launch area.

Iceboating Pushaw Lake Bangor, ME 03-08-20 100 Mile

Thanks Warren!

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Pushaw, now convinced to carry ice picks I am

The start time was scheduled to be 10 o’clock. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Biddeford to the launch on Pushaw Lake getting on the road by 0700 was my plan. I did in fact leave the house by  0700. When I was 5 minutes from my house I realized that I forgot My GoPro, and I did want to take it along because I was hoping to get a bit of instruction from Denis Guertin who I think uses one for his great video postings. I have had the GoPro for at least 4 years, and I always forget to bring it along, so that is why I went back for it. 

Once I was on the highway at 0715 on a Sunday morning the traffic was light and moving a a good clip. When I left 295 in Gardiner and picked up I95, I started following two cabs traveling in tandem at a good 85 MPH. As a matter of fact ALL cars were going over the speed limit, so I was making good time, and would most definitely get to Pushaw before 10. I did indeed get to Orono by 0930, so I decided to stop for gas, and coffee at the Irving there on the route so that I would be all set for the drive south after the action on the ice. 

I arrived at the launch site at 0945, and everybody seemed to be there. I started getting the sail up and checking things over, waiting for the call for a skippers meeting. As I was getting my spikes on most of the boats sailed away. I saw that Jim was still there and I hollered to him about the skippers meeting, and he yelled that there would be one. So, I thought that the gang would return to the pits after a bit of warm up. I finish setting up my boat and headed out to see if I could catch up to a group of them and possibly see what was going on. I was not able to find a group at least not a group stopped that I would be able to talk to. 

Eventually I saw four or five boats sailing south so I followed them. I saw them rounding an island so I followed in that general direction. I did not get close enough to them, I was probably a quarter of a mile behind them. As I follow them I did not follow their lead close enough, I missed seeing the two yellow flags that marked the safe passage around the tip of the island. I subsequently sail into an open lead off the southern tip of the island. Attempting to catch the others I was sheeted in, at speed when I came to a stop instantly hitting the open water. I then was a bit fouled in the rigging, but was able to walk/crawl over the boat/sail off the stern. I then swam to the edge of the ice that I sailed off. There was a few feet of 3/4 inch shell ice that I had to break through to get to the edge of the thicker (5inch) ice. That is when I saw Tom Nichols setting the brake on his boat, and I yelled to him. He was busy getting a piece of line, so I just chilled out and waited. It was unfortunate that I was unable to touch the bottom as I hoped. When he got close I informed him that the ice appeared to be thick to the edge that I was at, but he used caution and stayed 6 feet or so from me and tossed the line toward the edge. I was able to grab the line and then with a bit of a pull and some kicking with my feet was able to swim onto the ice. Fortunately as I said the ice was 5 inches thick, and Tom stayed away from the edge so the ice did not give way. 

We went over toward his boat and talked a bit about me clinging to the plank to ride back to the pits. The temperature was warm, and I was warm enough now that I was out of the water, so I suggested that he sail back solo and get help. Soon a local woman on a bicycle rode up, and asked the obvious questions such as are you OK, didn’t you see the flags…? She was kind enough to share her granola bar with me. I did not even have time to unwrap the bar and get a bite when a local gentleman in Can-Am four wheeler motored out to rescue this wet sailor. I unfortunately did not get his name, and when we got back to the pits I was anxious to find some dry clothes in my car. I fortunately did have some dry clothes, and was able to use the giant skeeter trailer to change in. That was the perfect place to get out of the wet gear, as WET clothes are not easy to get off! When I got back to the ice, I believe that is when Mr Bucholz was arriving with my Super DN that they got out of the lake in tow. The local with the CanAm was not there nor the kind woman on the bike. 

Everyone was packing up their gear in he warm afternoon sun. I was able to pack all my wet gear into the car, and with some help the Super DN onto the car rack. Denis, who had the longest  drive was the first that I saw drive off the ice. The rest of us were not far behind. I would say that we all made it home before dark on the first daylight savings time evening of the year. Cheers, Dave US4690

Posted in 2019 Season | 3 Comments

DN Tuning and sailing tips

Check out this great interview with Oliver Moore and Chad Atkins. It’s from the North Sails newsletter so it has lots of good nuts and bolts. Read it and go faster!

DN Iceboating New England Champs: Family Fun | North Sails

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Mille 100

We all know the challenge of time, place and conditions that can make or break a day on the ice. They are the elements we live and die by for six months of the year. Yesterday was close, but like the last attempt at Mille 100 on Moosehead, here again was too much wind. Today the wind came up with the sun, the race started close to on time, and we had three fantastic and very competitive 13 mile laps before having to stop for a man overboard. One of our more experienced sailors, in a DN, failed to see the open water near the leeward mark. Lesson (1) here is sit up and look out. Lesson (2) is wear ice picks. He could not get out of the water without help from another sailor using his halyard as a throw rope.

By the time he was bundled off in dry clothes in an ATV and the boat pulled out of the water it was fifty degrees. The ice had softened considerably so the race was called off. The standings at the end of three laps:

1. Bill Buchholz C skeeter W-2
2. George Nyessen A skeeter Bad Boy
3. Denis Guertin C Skeeter W-10
4. Jim Gagnon C skeeter W-5
5. Curtis Rindlaub C skeeter INDIGO
6. Frank Henault C skeeter W-11
7. Milo Fleming DN 3314
8. Tony Bosco A skeeter DNF: mast down

Unless we get stellar conditions up north or in Quebec the Mille 100 trophy will stay with Denis for yet another year.

Posted in 2019 Season | 1 Comment

Mile 100 Start Tomorrow at !0:00 am

The race was postponed because of wind: too much of a good thing. Four Whizz with DN storm sails managed to keep boat and body in one piece enough to get a couple of test laps, reset the marks that were blown down and find a quiet lunch lee.

A few other boats ventured out, but soon came back. Breck Holladay did well with his new full hoist blade storm sail. It was a good day for a heavy boat under rigged.

We will attempt the Race again tomorrow. The wind’s forecast to be strong but not excessive. It will get into the forties by afternoon, but this ice has proven to be very resilient so far so might stay hard long enough.

This is the remnants of a plowed path from the shore it a fish house. It is near the shore at the windward mark but easily visable. There is a green flag at the end of it. If you run over it you’ll get wet.

The start will be at 10:00. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead tonight.

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Pushaw Map, Sailing Directions

Hopefully this will help. There will not be a map given out at the meeting so if you need one please print one out.

The windward mark will be at the top (north end) of the lake. There is a small island to your right as the lake opens up into the upper bay called MAGS LEDGE. There is a green flag there. Round it clockwise, leaving island and flag to starboard. Once you round it beware two ice house melt pools, now frozen. They will be marked.

The leeward mark will be Moose Island, the big island at the bottom of the lake. There is an open lead on the south side. Two green flags are set outside the lead. Round the flags and the island clockwise. You can sail either side of Dollar and Hardwood, the islands just north of Moose but it’s suggested you sail the downwind leg on their east side and upwind on the west side. It will help separate traffic.

This course is 12 miles around. Do eight laps.

The lake as scouted today revealed no pressure ridges, no open cracks and no drain holes. There are some shallow healed cracks, and small open leads at some points but nothing major.

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Hundred Mile Race ON for Tomorrow at Pushaw

We scouted the ice, sailed and set the course and the wind has been ordered. All we need are a few good sailors willing to get their teeth rattled out. Surface estimated at Grade 4. Thickness 18″ and the launch ramp is RoRo.

Launch at Gould’s Landing. Start at 12:00 sharp. Skippers meeting at 11:30.

Looking north.

Looking south.

Big wind forecast. A better map will follow.

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