The Longest Season

Lyle Portelance sailing on Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada on April 2, 2021. Via Mike Madge.

It’s early April, and the DN ice sailing season is still going in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Mike Madge and friends are usually the first on the ice in November, making for a six-month run of ice sailing. Mike’s an experienced DN sailor who’s been on a mission to introduce the sport to the Thunder Bay area.

First Runners On The Ice

Photo: Dideric van Riemsdijk

Facebook was on fire yesterday with photos of local DN sailing coming out of Sweden and Canada. Dideric van Riemsdijk S867 and Richard Gustring S713 made a road trip north to Sautusjärvi, about a 3 hour drive above the Arctic Circle near the famous Ice Hotel.  In North America, Mike Madge KC5449 found a perfect sheet of  ice on Whitefish Lake, an hour west of Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay area has experienced some long ice sailing seasons lately. Last season, Mike sailed his DN from November 7 until mid April.

Mike Madge on Whitefish Lake.

Canadian Championship Regatta Report from March 25, 2017

Photo: Alan Auld – Imagine Films

Via Mike Madge KC5449:
Champagne sailing, sun, wind, nice ice, and close fast racing. The wind was a pretty steady 10-12 knots all day out of the east and slowly clocked southeast. The racing was fast as the ice stayed hard and the top 6 boats were finishing within a minute of each other.  Mark Christensen US4824 and Mike Bloom US5432 were tied going into the final race.  Mark made a few adjustments throughout the day and  along with some great starts and smart sailing, that gave him the edge.

Mark Christensen US4824 MN

Even with 9 races, we had nice breaks during the day where we where entertained by Pat Hepper’s C Skeeter, DRIFTER, sailing less then 2 minute lap times on his Skeeter over a 3/4 mile course. We finished early enough for some competitors to cruise around and check out the scenery. Some lucky sailors even had the opportunity to try out DRIFTER. All I can say about that is “Wow what an experience.”  Also the famous old tandem Skeeter THUNDER JET, was out all day giving rides.
It was such a perfect day for sailing that the competitors agreed to just keep racing and complete the regatta in one day.

The after regatta party was hosted by a great sailing sports bar, On Deck, where for the first time in 2 years, the prestigious Canadian DN trophy was presented.

The ice is still here and the sailors who are sticking around are going to race again today. Many thanks to all the competitors that made the effort to come up and sail with us. All were very helpful and supportive of our new fleet members. Also special thanks to my wife and kids that volunteered for Race Committee Duty.

Canadian DN Champs results (9 races)

POS	NAME	   		R1	R2	R3	R4	R5	R6	R7	R8	R9	TOTAL
1	MARK CHRISTENSEN US4824	2 	(3)	2 	1 	1 	1 	2 	1 	1 	11 
2	MIKE BLOOM US5432	1 	2 	1 	2 	2 	2 	1 	(3)	2 	13 
3	GUY LOVEJOY US4638	3 	1 	3 	(5)	4 	3 	3 	2 	3 	22 
4	MIKE MADGE KC5449	6 	6 	4 	4 	3 	4 	4 	(6)	5 	36 
5	DAVID FROST US5358	5 	4 	5 	6 	6 	5 	(6)	4 	4 	39 
6	PETER VAN ROSSEM KC2766	4 	5 	(6)	3 	5 	6 	5 	5 	6 	39 
7	JORI LENON US5397	7 	(7)	7 	7 	7 	7 	7 	7 	7 	56 
8	LIZ PETRONE KC246	8 	8 	8 	8 	8 	8 	8 	8 	(9)	64 
9	MIKE FABIUS KC 		9 	9 	9 	9 	9 	9 	(10)	10 	10 	74 
10	JIM CAMERON KC3811	(10)	10 	10 	10 	10 	10 	9 	9 	8 	76