DN NA's by New England Commodore "T" Thieler

Big Day….
Miracles do happen- And the weatherman ain’t always right!

Yesterday was supposed to be light and fickle but at about 1030 the breeze shifted south and increased…. And increased some more…. And then increased a little more just for kicks.

Full-on, heads-up sailing was the order if the day- Four races sailed, each one in a bit more breeze, hoar frost blowing around, fast and furious all day-

We had all the stuff that keeps us coming back- Insanely high speeds, neck and neck duels, bear-aways at the top mark that squeeze the breath out of you, and our fascination with seeing expensive carbon and glass rigs being bent into pretzels never ceases. I went around one top mark just behind Oliver and Eric as a big gust hit and I HAVE NEVER SEEN RIGS BEND THAT FAR- Words fail me, I’m amazed that they didn’t pop- What a visual… Wow.

Anyway Oliver Moore is top New Englander at the moment in 6th, Chad Atkins a point or two behind in 7th (he was 2nd in first race- Not bad dude!). and yours truly back in 10th after a tough day- bad runner choice in first race and a few mast inversions in the big breeze cost me dearly…. Lessons learned!!!

Ron Sherry is doing well for a rookie and leading the Gold Fleet with a string of bullets and a 7th place finish due to an out-of-boat-experience at the bottom mark. Glad to say he is bruised but ok- Jokes aside Ron is no rookie and it shows-

Will see what today brings- Guaranteed to be interesting!

Stay tuned….

US 5224
James “T” Thieler
Newport, Rhode Island

DN NA’s Under Way
Big news in Plattsburgh NY as the first race was run yesterday afternoon…. Want to know who won? Tough, I’m not telling you until later.

The day started well before dawn with Chad, Oliver and a few other hearty souls scouting a new plate of ice a few miles from the snowy, drifted-out one we were on originally….

They came back with glowing reports and so we bugged out and headed for the new- Worth the trip, this new plate is gorgeous- Smooth with some very cool looking hoar frost on the top.

Still wondering how the first race went? Wait for it….

Prior to that at race HQ there was some red tape to be dealt with as we didn’t know if we needed insurance or permits to launch out of the public ramp- At one point Chad jokingly asked the woman who runs the restaurant at the hotel if she knew the mayor by any chance- When she responded that in fact she did he grabbed her arm and led her into the war room while stating in his best movie secret agent voice “Come with me.” Maybe you had to be there- Trust me, it was classic.

So who won that first race? Keep reading.

Turns out we were good to go anyway and once on the ice Bob Schumacher stepped up to the plate to have a safety meeting and point out a few hazards out by the starboard layline- As soon as he said the word “hazard” the ice flexed under the group and we all dropped down about three inches as we back-pedaled away from each other to spread the weight…. Can’t make this stuff up.

Bet the suspense is killing you now, dear reader.

Line set, just enough breeze to get around the course, flag dropped and off they go…. That first boat around the top mark looks like it has a white mast with lots of orange tape on it…. Good speed down wind…. A little closer…. White hull…. Red jacket…. Could it be….

Suddenly the NEIYA’s own Steve Madden goes flying around the mark in fine form- You could almost see him grinning under his helmet and face mask. After the race he was smiling so much the snot-cicles in his mustache cracked.

Now aren’t you glad you stayed with it???

Way to go Steve! With his win he qualified up into the Gold fleet and also finally got this darn regatta started. Who knows what the hell today will bring- In theory we may have some new faces as Jeff Kent and Greg Cornelius may just get out of the car shop in Manchester and Dave Buckley is purported to be on the way- Pretty sure late arrivals will be welcomed if you ask nicely… Anyone else gonna head up?

Folks, this has been an epic journey- You should hear the stories I can’t or won’t write about- Lotta laughs along the way- Wish is luck on getting this one in the books!

Stay tuned-

US 5224
James “T” Thieler
Newport Rhode Island