Early season for iceboating this year...
The guys up in Minnesota have been sailing for weeks, and there's nice ice in Michigan.
Last weekend the DN "Great Western Challenge" moved further south/east than it ever has in 15+ years. Traditionally the only ice this early in the season is in north-west Minnesota (i.e. near Fargo), but this year the un-regatta was sailed just south of Madison, Wisconsin on Lake Kegonsa.
There were a number of blokart sailors out on the ice. Dean Kitchen (US-4) drove over from Detroit to play in a DN. Wayne Schmiedlin (US-58) brought his DN down to the ice for the first time in years (he's been sailing Renegades recently) and ripped around the lake. Jim Nordhaus (US-61) and Geoff Sobering (US-56) raced in the regatta itself.
More stuff at: http://iceboat.org/seasons/14-15/dn/index.html
A short video of one lap:
New Years day sailing in Wisconsin
The SoCal folks have their New Years day tradition, and up here in the frozen north we do too:
Official PD Rum Taster
Really cool.. cold.
Certified Lead Miner
that is some pretty ice. I was in Northern Mn over the holidays, not a great place for ice cause the snow usually falls when the ice is freezing. This year would have been better than most as it's been pretty dry, but nothing like that stuff.
The ice was amazing. Most people commented it was something you see maybe once every ten years.
It was so hard that the runners had trouble biting in. Especially downwind, when the down-force is least, any small disturbance (bump or steering twitch) could lead to a dramatic slide or spin.
I had one exciting moment in the second race when I broke free, over-corrected, slid the other way far enough to gybe, then stabilized and accelerated back to speed.
My GPS track shows the whole event covered about 100 feet:
(the wind is coming from the lower left corner of the image, the orange circle is the windward mark)