February 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm #4464
It was surprising to find out that the ice was good enough already to support the iceboats and ice fishermen on Friday, so then all of a sudden Saturday plans had to include a trip to C’berry for some winter fun.
The ice boats were out early and often on the reported 2.5-4″ of ice. Ice fishermen dotted the slippery grey surface, as did some soft drifts and a couple refrozen “splash out” bumps/holes.
Scotty was the early guy out for our crew as best as I can tell. He’s got his old DN looking sharp in a new coat of red paint….with a maroon racing stripe no less! There were at least 6 ice boats doing the loop on the southern end of the pond in the WSW/W wind at 16-28 mph.
I rigged up my 5.5 Kitewing as flat as I could and decided on skates instead of skis. Donny had arrived and was going for a ski kite as he had forgotten his mast in error. Don has to be the winter hard water warrior of the tribe…I think he gets some whenever he wants…….. but back to the ice. Anyhow, his ski’s seemed to be doing the trick, but the ice was so smooth and hard that it made keeping his edge a difficult task at times.
It was clear right away that although the ice was really good, that this was different day from the perfect ice and 12 mph steady breeze a a couple weeks back. A Kitewing will point to wind and go horizontal in (too) strong winds, and that is what I got. At speed in most winds, and sailing off a bit, the wing tips down more windsurf style. The issue for me was that the ice was just bumpy enough for me to not trust flying off the wind on my hockey skates. My Strava data for the day shows me at 14 miles travelled with a high speed of 24.5 mph. Scotty surely exceeded my speeds.
A good opportunity presented itself, and I headed in for the trainer sized Kitewing SK8 which is only in the 2.0 size. FUN, and very accessible. I was glad I brought this little wing, and was getting some good rides on it while figuring out how it likes to fly. One adjustment is that it does not have any battens/spars, so heading to the wind at a sharper angle makes it lose its shape and luff.
I gave the 5.5 another couple runs as the wind seemed to steady, and was ready to pack it in When Scotty decided to give my 5.5 a few runs. NATURAL. FREAKING. ATHLETE. He hopped on and immediately made me look like I had been riding like a chicken all day. It was so good, he decided to go in and rig up his 5.5 wing so we could rip together. And we did! After some good talk with Jason, Mark R., and Don during a break, Don had rigged up his Freeskate on a Chris Joyce borrowed mast and started to fly around like he owned the place. If you haven’t seen him ripping on his vintage NP Dacron sail, well, you need to. For a guy who never windsurfed, he sure looks like he’d be pretty good at it.
For the last 45 minutes Don, Scott, and I headed to the southern end for clean west wind and fairly snow free ice where the iceboat race track had been. We all could have probably been anywhere today, but man were we glad to be there. IT was pretty extreme, but exhilarating.
I got some more Gopro vid and some pics for a video I’ll edit up soon.
A few samples:
February 5, 2017 at 10:38 am #4466
Holy Moly! Real nice pics! Look at that shoulder position. What do you think Doc Miller? HaHa!
After setting up the ice boat that I’d been refinishing and tweaking for the last month, I sailed it in some crazy gusty wind. I joined in with the gang at the far end of the pond for some laps and then came in for a break where Doug, Don, Jason and Mark were setting up an assortment of wind toys. Frankly I was very anxious about setting up the wing in the wind conditions and avoided it until I saw how well Doug was sailing. So I rigged up my wing and joined Doug and Don for some nice rips at the far end of the pond. I was glad to get over my anxiety left from my freak accident last year on the wing. Even with the gusty winds I felt comfortable enough with the decent ice conditions to let it fly and all without a harness!
But the real kudos of the day goes to Doug who after sailing a bit on his small wing comes over to the ice boat gaggle on shore and says “All right…who lost their keys? “. Unbelievably he found a set of keys out on the acres of ice and stopped to pick them up thinking they were a tin of breath mints or something! THEY WERE MY KEYS!!!! ARGHHH! A replacement set including remote features costs 300-400 dollars! Oh man what a day. Can only think that its a karma thing as only a day earlier I reached into an unlocked car in a parking lot and turned some guys light off. You can’t make this stuff up! Really!
So the kite wing is the nuts! In the right conditions on good ice it is a speed demon.
Over and Out. Kim’s throwing up in the bathroom gotta go!
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