The Ice-Out Fat Lady continues her quarantine. Congratulations to the Chickawaukee ice sailors up in Maine who eked another day out of the season to make it a six month run. Read Bill Bucholz’s report here.
If the Canadian border was open, Pat Heppert and his C Skeeter would be sailing Thunder Bay this weekend. Mike Madge reported 2 feet of ice there on April 16th and they appear to still be sailing. Follow along on the Thunder Bay Ice Boating Facebook page.
Nite Class Announcement
Following the end of our season which was at the 2020 National Championship we as a BOD were tasked with looking at a response to dealing with boats that were lapped on the race course in conditions that may have been marginal. Though rules exist in other iceboat classes that deal with this same issue, it tends to be in a more broad manner. We felt that in the best interests of the class and both experienced and less experienced sailors we have come up with a better solution. This solution is now known as the Grand Prix Rule.
This new rule will be in place in our sailing instructions going forward, it was voted on and passed by the BOD. The use of the Grand Prix Rule will also allow for the race management teams to apply it as needed. The insertion of the new rule in the Sailing Instructions made more sense then the Bylaws as it was a regatta management issue.
The rule reads as follows:
Grand Prix Rule
1. In regatta conditions consisting of marginal wind speeds and warm air temps or with both conditions in effect, the Grand Prix Rule may be instated for all competitors who are sailing within either fleet. This rule allows for lapped boats to be retired off the course.
2. The Head Judge and/or the race committee have the option to use this rule for all races meeting the criteria. Notification of the Grand Prix Rule in effect must be announced prior to the start of that race. A lime green flag will be displayed to competitors that have been lapped. Those individuals will accept their place and withdraw off the race course. The race committee can withdraw its use of the Grand Prix Rule for further races at any time if the conditions have improved, however races that have been sailed under the Grand Prix Rule may not be rescinded as long as all time limits and laps criteria have been met.
3. Scoring for boats that have been lapped shall be as follows see addendum 1.
We look forward to future events and the use of the Grand Prix Rule at Nite Nationals and also Nite Regattas. We hope this improves the already great events we have and allows for the enjoyment of sailors in all skill levels.
DNer Mike Madge executes a fly-by maneuver on Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada on April 11.
Your ice sailing distraction today is an article published in Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal in 1976 about the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, our members, boats, and boat development. This article was written shortly after Paul Krueger introduced the concept of the rear-seat Skeeter. Charlie Johnson who was a club member for many years was also interviewed and shared the club’s long history which began with the stern-steerers.
Tip of the Helmet: Don Sanford
Paul Krueger, iceboating enthusiast from McFarland, set out to make some rather drastic changes in his iceboat for greater safety. He wound up with the greater safety he sought, and another plus. The boat turned out to be faster and he went to cleaning up at the races. Continue reading (pdf file).
The Spaight Street Syndicate and Russell Aviation collaboration begin the testing phase of their new powered kick-sleds.
Previously: “Get On Your Bad Motor Kicksled and Ride”
Much to the displeasure of the Director of Product Development, Jeff Russell, the marketing team showed up in the lab to take glamour photos, even before any product testing was conducted. Seizing the opportunity, Russell lured the unsuspecting Director of Marketing, Daniel Hearn, into a test dummy role. “Looks great, doesn’t she,“ crowed Russell. “Sure does,” Hearn replied, “can’t wait to give her a go.” “It’s your lucky day,” exclaimed Russell, with a twinkle in his eyes!
There being no other gas handy, the sled was filled with high octane aviation fuel. “She might go just a little faster than usual, but I’m sure a stud like you can handle it,” he assured Hearn. Moments later, Hearn was flying down the test track unable to control the speed with no throttle yet installed. Russell claimed it was on back order. And the 20-tooth front sprocket may have generated a bit too much speed. “You should audition for next Jackass movie,” Russell suggested.
Today, with a 10-tooth front sprocket installed and standard fuel in the tank, the sled designer was ready for a spin.
Let’s watch an old sail being repaired at the Hardanger fartøyvernsenter in Western Norway for MATHILDE, a fishing boat, built in 1884. The same techniques were probably used to make and repair the sails on the stern-steerers pictured below. William Bernard kept a rental fleet of iceboats on Lake Mendota. Imagine that!
Tip of the Helmet: Ann Gratton
Via Doug Gaudet from the Maritime Ice Boating Facebook Group:
I’m not sailing but the Nites, with Peter McLaine, Angus Orford and Scott Stewart are still ripping Stanhope Bay apart. Here’s a couple of pic’s of the Nites and the three boys at rest . Pictures are by Alex Bruce.
In Montana, John Eisenlohr and friends have been sailing Lake Mary Ronan and applying rigorous standards to maintain social distancing.
It’s been over 20 years since iceboat.org went online. Time to take a look a back through our own archives starting with Lake Monona 6 years ago.
March 29, 2014
Spring Sailing Continues
The DNs and Renegades were able to race on Lake Monona on Saturday on what looks to be pretty decent ice. Tim Stanton was there and took some more excellent photos from his RC drone
Daniel Hearn talks about a recent collaboration with Jeff Russell to build motorized kick sleds patterned after what he saw in Sweden at the 2020 DN Worlds. I think these have the potential to be a game changer for regatta management. There will always be a need for ATVs, but these are easier to transport than ATVs. Need to check ice, change the weather mark, push a disabled boat to the pits, or quickly change the starting line at a DN regatta? No problem, hop on the sled and give her the gas.
Quarantined Ice Sailors
I suck at sitting still. One year during summer vacation, when I was a little kid, my mom thought I needed some daily down time. I was supposed to sit quietly on the couch and read a book, draw, or ponder the universe. The exercise lasted two days. Now I’m going to be a grandfather and my behavior still hasn’t changed.
With COVID-19 rearing it’s ugly head and our governor ruling my livelihood a “non-essential business,” I’ve been sentenced to weeks of down time. (Clearly he didn’t check with my wife. It’s essential for her sanity that she gets me out of the house). Not being deterred by my plight, I convinced a friend to do something he didn’t even know he wanted to do. Advertising must be the right profession for me after all.
Rising from the current chaos is a new partnership between the Spaight Street Syndicate and Russell Aviation. The strategic alliance was formed to build a couple powered kick sleds in the United States for use in regatta management. One party is the brains of the operation and the other is the grunt labor, however, the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) prohibits delineation of individual capabilities.
4LIYC Nite sailor and MARY B group member, Don Sanford, was reviewing some 1953 footage filmed on Lake Monona and noticed this young man sailing by on an iceboat. The boat looks similar to the plans published in the 1952 American Boy magazine posted here yesterday, March 24, 2020.