....and it is the GREAT WESTERN CHALLANGE!
NEIYC Commodore James "T" Thieler (DN US 5224) eats sleeps and breaths iceboating. If it has anything to do with racing he is all in. So, it is no surprise that with just 6 months to go (give or take a week or two) Mr. "T" optimistically posted the first NOR of the season.
The only thing "T" forgot to mention is that "Friday is always the best day," sailors of all ability are welcome and, of course, "its going to be epic!
What follows is T's post on the NEIYC web site:
If you belong to the IDNIYRA you just received a ballot in the mail. This is your chance to vote for the officers who make up the DN Governing Committee and for 2 changes to the class By-Laws. Cast your ballot. Let your voice be heard. Just remember to return your ballot by July 1, 2016. If you are not already a member of the IDNIYRA now is also a good time to ask "Why Not?" Most of us take advantage of the DN class without even knowing. Do you ever go online to learn how to make a repair or look for regatta information? You can thank the DN class for the web site.
If you ask anyone on the iceboat circuit to name one person who singlehandedly has had a profound impact on our sport the unanimous answer would be Jorge Bohn (G-737). Unfortunately for the fleet, Jorge recently announced his retirement as European Commodore.
Jorge frequently travels to Minnesota to sail the Great Western Challenge. He is a true ambassador of our sport and the Minnesota sailors owe him a debt of gratitude for his service and leadership. What follows is his final post found on the IDNIYRA-Europe website.
Maybe the season really isn't over.
Yes, the ice is out on Tonka but it snowed today. Tonight's forcast is for a low of 29 degrees. And, they are racing DN's as we speak in Baikal Russsia.
Maybe I am overly optimistic but Think Ice!
(click for pictures) We got in 4 races today before noon, which is quite obviously a BEIYC record considering our races usually don't even start before noon. Ice was soft and sticky, winds were high but plenty manageable. The new marks and starting blocks have catapulted the club into the 21st century, if only we could figure out what the numbers mean. Brett Smith was consistently fast all day, and had a runner in the air a lot. Some pictures below.
Well, they say ice boating is mostly social and this weekend was no exception. It was mostly all talk and very little action. Yesterday, we stood around and swapped stories as we had zero wind. Today, it blew the dogs off their chains. High winds and soft ice saw the Tonka fleet back in the pits by 11:00.
Spring sailing is always iffy. If you venture out after the weekend scout the ice and sail safe. Wear ice claws. And never sail alone!
Tonka scrub racing. Sat March 5, 2016. 9 am
That's the plan. Most likely on the main lake. Starting early while the ice is hard. It will get soft due to warming temps.
Rob Evans (10th place) was not the only MN Boy to do well at the North Americans.
John Bushy, Lake Riley Sugar Shack and Ice Yacht Club, won the Bronze fleet. How cool is that? Well done, John!
Enjoy these clips of me desperately trying to get down the race course. We had a great time. I did pretty good. The only Minnesota member in the top ten was Rob Evans - DN4975. He got the coveted final 10th place! Nice job going from unranked to 10th!
Thanks to everybody for the great time!
Had a great time yesterday with John Stasieluk sailing his "Phantom" class A stern steerer on Bald Eagle Lake yesterday. It was about 40 F, very soft slushy ice and light winds. We hit a top speed of about 40 MPH which is probably fast enough for this huge boat on a small lake with fishermen. There was even a bald eagle sitting out on the ice!! Here's the short, shaky video:
Now there is no excuse to not attend this regatta. The North American Championships have been called "ON" for Madison, WI. For us MN boys, that's practically in our back yard. Racing begins on Monday Feb. 22, 2016, with 14(!) races scheduled. Go to https://ice.idniyra.org/hotline to access the latest regatta and lodging information. The DN hotline page is the official notification center for the regatta.
To quote an oft used phrase: It's going to be epic.
There is a good chance the 2016 DN North American Championships, scheduled for Feb 22-26, 2016, will be sailed close to home. A preliminary decision regarding regatta location will be made tonight. Bookmark https://ice.idniyra.org/hotline to access the latest information. The DN hotline page is the official notification center for the regatta.
If you haven’t already committed, think about attending. The NA's is a great regatta and a rare opportunity to see the best of the best strut their stuff. This year’s regatta is scheduled for 14 races.
A very fun regatta. The 4LIYC pulled out all the stops. They host an amazing regatta. Their membership deserves high praise. Side by side courses. Saturday night dinner. And valet parking for getting trailers on and off the ice. Nice touch. Not sure how they will top that one!
Team Tonka did well. The Doctor dominated with 4 bullets. Jim McDonagh was the only other race winner and he did it in style. Jim lead race 2 from start to finish and won the race by a country mile.
The word out of Pewaukee Wisc. this Super Bowl Sunday is that Scott Brown sailed his beloved Betsy (Nite #559) to his third straight Nite National Championship.
Details are sketchy but all that really matters is that the local boy did good.
Join me in congratulating Scott.