Finding the ice, that sweet first sail, and screaming in the woods...

Christina Nov 22 08
Christina, just as I'd imagined her... hours of 50 mph formation flying, just checking for flaws, and ripping ... open in seperate window

...and this farmer parks his John Deere tractor, right across the road from Milepost 8, with shitty
boots and the clothes a dairy farmer wears to work, he ambles across to find two totally spent DN sailors resting in the ditch, he stops, hands on hips looks at us, the two DNs on the ice, surveys the lake, and sits right on down in the ditch with a sigh, he looks at 5366 and me and says, "I was expecting to see you guys today, she froze in tight on Monday, and I just knew you'd be here today... I suppose there will be more of you tomorrow too."

There was never a thought we'd taking down the boats, Week 1, Day 1 of the Minnesota IceRacing Season was "I think I can hold the sheet for one more yee ha rip" away from being in the history books... and we knew we were in the spot that was best ice in Minnesota... with a crib, the Ashby Resort right across the road on the south shore of Christina, its two whole miles to a great iceboat resort from the launch site.

And then an hour of what the late DN Class Secretary Debbie Sherry Goodwin once called IceBoater Phone Sex, "...Hey it is so frickin fantastic, 8 inches hard fast smooth... oh oh oh...I leaned on it so hard going into the finish, oh it hurt, oh oh more more oh oh, when you iceboaters get on the phone... "

We were really boasting of our conquest, boasting, agreeing in assessment that Swede Lake was marginal but just a little too close to the edge of the envelope for me... I'm pretty sure you'd be fine...

When we checked in our hosts told us that fishermen of questionable sanity, were set up in the Narrows on Pelican on "almost two inches of ice, it froze on wednesday, Christina froze Monday and I'll bet there's 5-6 inches of ice there...", dog friendly, clean cabins, sail in sail out on Pelican Lake, hmmmm.... In search of protein, we drove the ten miles to Ten Mile Lake, and the Ten Mile Steak House, coincidentally about ten miles from Fergus Falls, and about ten miles from Elbow Lake, somebody had a sense of humor here... we were rewarded with a meal that was really more than champions deserve, great aged beef, all the food was well prepared, presented in classic Ottertail County style, with witty wait staff,it was one of those great meals, everything was going so well, we were really on a roll,

Really on a roll, we headed the Ten Miles back to Ashby, dropped in to Murphy's Pub the local pub in Ashby, really more for a look than a drink, imagine this: a nice bar with 3 guys at one table and twenty or so women seated in a couple tables, all dressed up, some of them looking dangerous, and we walked in... and casually looked around for a place to sit, and at that instant, all those women simultaneously stood up and left the bar. I looked at 5366 smiled and said "That happens every now and then, I don't know why."

The phones started ringing early on Day two, ten more DNs on roofs and trailers headed North on I 94 towards Christina.

Sunday, Day 2, light air, speed testing and a few trips around the bouys showed my program has more speed potential than I'd thougth in the light breeze, or maybe it was that extra day of practice we got yesterday. With a full dozen boats on the ice we got a pretty thorough exam of the lake, and found two hazards, One: the ditches on Lake Christina along MN 78 are steep, we had a trailor loaded with DNs roll over causing minor damage. Two: there's a hole in the ice, one of us left runner tracks clearly showing a windward runner track going right thru open water, enough to wreck a day. There's always one out there, on every lake.

Most things seem to be lining up for an excellent 2008-09 season, great ice in a couple locations, and more on the way...

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(c)2008 World Ice Racing Circuit,LLC. Tonka Bay, MN all rights reserved.


Christina: New Signs Requested for The Great Western Challeng

Great Western Regatta Signs for 2008

Ten Mile Lake - Ice Assessment

I've watched Ten Mile freeze a couple timie, and sailed South Ten Mile once, the lake has some current issues that concerned me enough to be sure there were some thin spots out there, and a near certain fate not to be tempted alone... on shore ammenities are outstanding... she'll probably lag in terms of sailing suitabilty until she's snowed out.

Nice write up...

I figured a two hour drive trumps a two hour water rescue any day.

Sign me up for T-day weekend if nothing firms up locally.