Short Course Sailing

For almost a decade we've been musing about some alternative sailing tracks which allow sailing on smaller areas, expanding the season, fun to sail, reducing the potential for collisions, creating a course that might be easier to televise, more interesting to watch and fun to sail.

A couple experiments have been conducted which seem to be acceptable to the sailors. Based on a regatta on Elk Lake a couple years ago, JD, and 5214 suggest this combination as an experiment:

"Dirt Track" Sailing
- Windward / Leeward Course,
- Marks ~ 1/8 Mile apart (or ~200 yards)
- Six - Ten Boat Fleet
- All boats start on Port (reducing the number of port starboard crossings on the first beat)
- Ten Lap Course

Added benefit: the~ two acre (10 hockey rink sized) area required for sailing on this track is small enough to remove snow, at least theoretically.

Obviously the boats must be set up a little differently, more for acceleration and less for top end speed. I suspect that many of the "silver fleet" boats find themselves a great deal more competitive.

The only real drawback is the boats won't come close to wharp speed; 100 yards and a Tack / Jibe won't get you wound up quite as quickly.

If we sail Minnetonka this weekend, odds are we'll be in one of the smaller bays, ie. excelsior bay... with a constrained area.. Saturday might be perfect timing for to give it a try.

I really like the concept, and think we should tee up a couple rounds on Saturday, with the purpose to see how much we all like sailing this type of course, and soliciting comments.

Anybody care to give it a go?


Dirt Track

A few of us have been talking of plowing an oval track 4-5 boat widths wide, 50 yards long, abeam to prevailing winds with corner radius equal to a fairly tight tack/ jibe. everyone would be traveling in the same direction so any contact would be less dramatic. This size would be manageable to plow with a 4wheeler, or 2-3 snowblowers. If it proved to be too scary one could do solo timed laps. Hey Foster boys, Iceboating meets the World of Outlaws. I'm sailing Parkers Lake today and will play with some dimensions.


This might be the perfect venue for this type of sailing...

Anybody been there? What's it like?


Calhoun ice, Thursday AM 12/7

Calhoun is looking very good but still some open water in the middle.