Tuesday, February 2, 2010
February 2, 2010
Packing for the trek to the DN World Championship. The question is where will it end up?
What a crazy sport, iceboating and especially iceboat racing. You can do it anywhere. You just need at least three or four inches of ice, smooth ice. Oh, maybe a square mile or so. Also no snow or a bit of fresh snow. Too much snow and you are finished with that ice. No holes, or well marked holes, no heaves or humps, no cracks big enough to grab a runner, and few enough ice fishermen to leave open areas to sail free.
And wind. on very good ice 4 or 5 miles per hour of wind is enough. Rough ice or some snow or soft ice, and you need a bit more to really go. But not too much. Too much is scary and can really cause problems, like over speed slides, spinning out and getting tossed off the boat-known in the sport as an out-of-boat experience.
And temperatures not too warm or cold. Warm temperatures ruin the ice surface. Worse, they could turn it to slush or floating ice chunks. Too cold, and the participants become candidates for frostbite or hypothermia. 10 F is the practical lower limit, so dress for the day in layers! Bring hand-warmers and mittens.
And access to the ice. Someplace is needed where you can to set up, near a food source and a lodging source and hopefully a hot tub.
And four or a hundred of your friends. Sailing on ice in the cold is a fun thing, but more fun with much less risk if you have fellow sailors around keeping an eye on each other.
So when a major event, like the North American Championships or the World Championships come up, the location is in doubt until the racing starts. And even then , we're not positive about tomorrow. THis year, the host was to be Poland. Good cold winter made lots of ice. Then, snow fell. No bother, lakes free in Germany and Denmark, not too far. Then snow fell. Well, maybe teh Baltic off Denmark or Sweden. Then snow fell. Hmm. Where now? Maybe Hungary or Austria? I get on a plane tomorrow to Warsaw. My Polish friends will Adam and Darek will meet the plane, load my gear with the boat they prepared for me, and we head south? Destion TBD.
Posted by Ken the Dad at 9:49 PM