world gold cup.. from the silver fleet..

I had a pretty cool time. I got seventh in the Silver fleet and so I got some hardware and something to build on.

My brother was in key west with his mumm 30, champosa, for the exact same time and came back with a sixth.. and that's pretty cool too. Of course down in key west, it's gold fleet all the time..

Iceboat regattas are hard because when you first get to the launch site and setup you are all amp'd to go racing.. but first you always have to pay some dues.. It's tough to hold a iceboating regatta at a certain time.. I guess they used to reschedule to wait for the good ice, but nobody liked that either..

Jan 16, Day 1 :: postponed before we even got started, too cold

Jan 17, Day 2 :: opening ceremonies, very cold, the day wasn't wasted, as we got the web cam going from the launch area

Jan 18, Day 3 :: too windy & cold for the crappy ice, good web cam action from the launch. We went back out to the launch site at 9:30pm to check on the fleet, and it was blowing so hard the boats were starting to move around. One boat had capsized and another was tangled in a trailer. Mine had came off it's stands and the stands had blown 100yrds down the ice. Me and my traveling mate, will foster, had tied both our boats to the one ice screw.. so the two boats were tangled together. we tied his to the trailer, and put mine back on the stands.

Jan 19, Day 4 :: too big of drifts.. although a dozen of us went out for a nice rip after the wind had come down. It was a fun time of sking between the trees and watching out for the dreaded box canyon. We all pack up and went back to the hotel to leave for madison, wi (about 1.5hrs away) in the morning. Racing schedule to start at 11:00am

Jan 20, Day 5 :: We have a slight orienteering problem and so it adds 40mins to our drive to madison.. Get to the launch site late, setup in a hurry, illegally park the car on the grass (but off the ice).. and scurry out to the race course.. the racing doesn't start for awhile, but we do get the qualifiers off and get to check out the ice on the race course.

I just snuck into the silver qualifier in the 12th position.. I jibed early and kept off the bad ice on the left of the course and passed a few boats. I wanted to qualify up, and when i crossed the line, i did a quick count and came up with 11-12-13th.. so i was pretty excited to see that i just made the cut off.

On the silver qualifier I started right to windward of c49, merili randmaa, she probably weighs about 110lbs or about 50% less then me.. and right after the start she zoomed away to win the race.. meanwhile by the time I had rounded the pin i was behind everyone, and it was going light and everyone was reaching hard to make way.. so, thinking that that looked pretty crappy __i jibed__ and was just at the speed to get out and run.. it turned out nobody was going anywhere and by the time I jibed back for the finish, i was on the smooth ice and powered up heading for the finish.. I finished lucky thirteenth to take first in the Silver... that was close.. i almost qualified up to the gold. So i won my first world cup, silver fleet race, well i guess that's the first thing to do on the way to winning a regatta.

They lined up gold.. started them in a slight breeze.. and the gold fleet were slow to get up to the windward mark, of course by the time they rounded the mark the wind had picked up, and ron sherry (us44) missed the cut off time by less then 10seconds.

The visibility then went way down for the rest of the afternoon. The silver and bronze fleet was dismissed after a couple of hours of low visibility and the gold was held out to try and get their race in. We were all surprised when the race committee showed up at the launch site before it seemed that they had waited for the last possible minute to abandon the days racing. There were a couple of gold fleet boats sailing around in pretty good conditions after the racing had been abondoned.

So with tensions at a max from not getting in a gold fleet race during the day.... the Annual Meeting got under way.. we joke it's the annual argument... but this time it wasn't really a joke.. with questions like outlawing t-runners, or only allowing 3 runners/regatta, and other contentious issues.. the meeting kept going of f-o-r-e-v-e-r.. it started at 8:30pm and we hadn't eaten and so by 11:00pm we said screw-it, i'm out of here.. and went to our room and ordered a pizza.. that whole thing will have to be addressed in a separate blog entry..

Jan 21, Day 6 :: Gold fleet racing to start promptly at 9:30am. That's pretty early for some of us.. __we don't like to be rushed__ Because I was leading a world cup regatta (in my fleet, for one day), we ordered up some room service to be delivered at 6:30..

Starting in the Number 1 blockWe got down to the lauch site early and were out on the race course with out too much delay. There was a good coating of sticky snow on everything. I was pretty nervous starting in first place.. and we had to wait till 12:30.. about 3 hrs while they first raced, gold.. adjusted--the-course, gold, bronze, gold, and so after four other races we finally got our first race of the day in.

I finished a disappointing 11th.. I was trying to stay in the top 5.. but couldn't do it. On this day we were using plates, and I haven't really spent much attention to my plate runners, concentrating on my inserts.. All day i had bad windward mark management and only a couple of times got a great launch off of the windward mark. The first time around I was really powered up after the mark and i hit the bumps... and spun the boat.. I thought I had it so I didn't ease the sheet to much.. and the boat kept spinning.. The course was like this.. if you started on port tack.. you went to the ice ridge marked with flags.. tacked onto the layline if you could hold your line.. round the mark.. jibe early around the fish house.. go over the atv, fish holes, through moto cross course..round bottom mark, repeat

us5214After a gold, & bronze, the silver was up again. The wind was clocking and freshening. On this race I was coming into the windward mark on port.. and couldn't find my hole, so I tacked early.. and a guy was heading up to give me some room, and another guy was heading off around the mark and I guess the two of them made contact... Both of them came up to me after the race and was wondering if I got hit.. but i hadn't been hit.. hmmm

So another gold, & bronze.. and the forcasted storm was moving in. You could see the storm coming across the lake, a sort of brown haze.. The silver started with the wind in the 20-25mph, and blowing snow. I had stiffened my rig up and felt pretty good.. I had a bunch of cockpit issues.. At one point I was so on my ear that I had lost my footing and was sliding out of the boat.. I thought I was going over for certain..but then it dropped back down.. and I sheeted in.. and off I went.. I then came down to the bottom mark and it had been blown down and drifted into this huge drift right between the first & second starting position.. I was pretty surprised to be coming into the drift wondering what the center starting cones where doing up by the leeward mark.. I hit the big center starting cones and had them dragging under my plank until i got a hike and was off going back upwind.. With the wind building and shifting you had to jibe right over the roughest part of the course, right next to the fishing hut. It was extremely rough going over the atv tracks at high speed.. I couldn't believe the noise and that the boats could hold up and the runners where just about to jump out of the chocks.. When we got back, one of our group had a stress crack across the front underside of the boat, and another had a pucture wound on the back underside of his boat. On the last downwind I had a questionable call on a port/starboard. I was on port and us445, bob cave was on starboard.. It was really close, but I didn't see how I could really get behind him, so i crossed ahead.. and it turned out being very close.. he probably had to duck me and mentioned it after the race.. Of course the smarter thing would have been to jibe before him, and lead him into the finish.. and see if I could get down infront of him. By the time I crossed him and jibed I was way overstood.. in fact as I was coming into the finish on starboard, overstood, and the race committe was standing at the leeward mark, so after a couple of small skids I cracked the sheet and coasted across the finish.. Nobody wants to lose control and hit the race committee.

I took my time getting my stuff together and was the last boat off of the ice. It was nice to take a cruise around by myself after the regatta was over.

So there was some waiting around, but after the regatta gets done you don't talk about that too much.. really the stories are of the fun racing. The DN gives you the most bang for the buck in sailing, the most speed per buck, and you can sail in the most conditions then any other iceboat.

that's my story and now I'm stuck with it.. ;-)



Hey Jimmy! Nice story! Gu

Hey Jimmy!

Nice story! Guess what, at my 1st worlds (in 97) I was also 7th in the silver fleet (I qualified up also) and I was pretty stoked about it, getting some hardware and all.

This is not an easy game but the rewards are great! Keep plugging away and soon you too will be a player in the gold fleet. It's obvious that we all can get a ton better after you watch Ronnie sail the boat! Just keep the train on the track!


From gold to silver


I like your story. Great detail.

US ?????