Western Regional Championships Update


Daniel Hearn:
Dear Ice Sailors:

I am postponing a final decision on the possibility of the championships happening this weekend until mid day tomorrow (Thurs. 1/4).  At this point a suitable venue has not been found.  The most promising of the many sheets considered was Green Lake in Green Lake, WI.  It was sailed yesterday in heavy wind by our brave ice checkers in single digit temperatures.  They found very hard styrofoam-like drifts of an inch to inch and a half spotted among clear ice.  In the heavy wind they were able to power through the drifts, but unless winds were at least 8-9 mph, racing would not be possible.  Last night the area received another half inch of snow, so the drifts will likely increase in size.  Nonetheless, the sheet will be checked again today.  Weather for Saturday will be single digits until mid afternoon.  Warming temps will come for Sunday, but snow is also in the forecast.   

All venues in Minnesota are reported to be snow covered.  Pete Johns and Ken Smith are sailing Lake Decatur today, so that remains a possibility.  Lake Seneshwein (sp?) in southern Illinois received 6" of snow.  Lake Carlisle in southern Illinois has no snow, but froze very rough.  The bays of Green Bay winding up to the UP have shown promise, but may have also received snow.  Temps in these further north areas will remain no higher than low single digits through the weekend. 

Please send any more ice information my way, but for now we are postponed with the hope that the following weekend will work out.  There remain large portions of Green Lake and Lake Geneva which are still open, so with calm wind, those could set up to excellent sheets. 

Think Ice!

Daniel Hearn
Western Regional Commodore

Daniel Hearn:
1.  It's Cold
2.  Styrofoam
3.  Western Regional Championships postponed
4.  Hope

That sums it up, campers.  The entire Western Region remains locked in single digit temperatures through Saturday, but there's hope for Sunday.  In Madison a high of 29 is forecast.  I'll be digging out my shorts and tank top. 

With the frigid temperatures of the last two weeks, we've got lots of ice now.  Thick ice.  Unfortunately, most of it is covered with snow.  Dry, stiff snow.  Where we have a combination of ice and snow, we've got drifts.  Styrofoam-like drifts.  Takes skinny runners and lots of breeze to power through. 

Green Lake, in Green Lake, WI and west end of Lake Mendota in Madison, WI were still teasing us for Westerns, but high pressure is going to keep the wind light for Saturday.  Not the engine we'd need to power through the styrofoam.  At best we might have gotten in a 1-day regatta.  Not good, if you can avoid it.  No Westerns, but team maDisoN is going to set up for scrub racing Sunday on the west end of Lake Mendota.  Breeze in the mid teens and temps to 29 degrees should allow for racing.  Technically this Middleton, WI.  Launch at Captain Bill's.   

Large portions of Green Lake and Lake Geneva are open, as are areas along the west shore of the bay of Green Bay.  Warming temperatures next week could also improve some of our more lightly drifted sheets.  So, remain hopeful that we can pull off Westerns next weekend, and join us for scrub racing this Sunday. 

Think Ice!

Daniel Hearn
Western Region Commodore


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