DN sailing on Lake Baikal. Photo: Igor Bassearab

Mike Bloom wrote this tonight. The sailing conditions are tough but are inconsequential compared to the challenges he will be facing trying to get back to his home ice on Minnetonka. Good luck, Mike. We are pulling for you.

Very tiring day. And frustrating.


The course is 60-80% covered with Styrofoam snow drifts. Many drifts are taller than a runner.


Today we saw nuclear winds, massive wind shifts and super light wind, all in the first race. After today’s first race was completed and scored the race committee threw it out. They said conditions were unfair.


We then sat or slept for the next 3 hours waiting for the wind to reappear.


Racing resumed about 4:30 pm. The race was completed and score. Polish sailor Marek Stefaniuk P107 won the race. The race was like riding a hobby horse. Between the puffs and the sticky drifts the boats were very jumpy. Tons and tons of sheeting in and out. Never could get into a groove.


We sailed a third race that was not without drama. We started about 5:15. First lap had nice steady breeze. Second lap it started to die. Second time down wind saw lots of the leaders out of their boats. Between the light air and big big drifts jibing was impossible. Third lap was very light upwind and down. Again, most everyone was out of boat at some point. Many sailors retired. As I got to finish the scorers we’re waking away. I was told race was abandoned. They said the leader didn’t make time limit. But tonight results were magically posted… with mistakes.


We sailed in as the sun set, which happens here at about 7. It then promptly turned dark. Very frustrating to take boat apart in the dark. We could have used the headlights on the Probe’s suburban to shine some light on the pits.


Huge winds with nuclear puffs are forecasted starting tonight into tomorrow. Virtually everyone took down their masts, tied them to their hulls and anchored boat to ice.


Many sailors are heading home early. There is much concern about European countries closing boarders. Seems like the affects of the norovirus has finally hit Baikal.


Not sure what I’m going to do. Delta has already told me my flight to Mpls has been cancelled. I rebooked on Air France but now they too say my flights have been cancelled. If any of you big wigs have a private jet, please let me know. I would like to get home at some point.


Time for bed. Think ice.
Mike Bloom

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