Press-Republican

Local News

January 23, 2014

Ice yachts find sailable ice on Lake Champlain

CHAZY — An ongoing search for sailable ice has landed a major ice yacht competition on Monty’s Bay.

The Lake Champlain ice in the Town of Chazy has proved perfect for 2014 DN North American Championship races that have migrated east.

First scheduled for Senachwine Lake near Putnam, Ill., for last Saturday, the races were snowed out and relocated to Montreal last Sunday. But snow canceled the Quebec competition as well, and the race was on to find a suitable frozen sheet of lake.

NATIVE SUGGESTED SITE

Louise Racine, originally from Plattsburgh, competes on the winter circuit.

A member of the New England Ice Yacht Association, she was visiting family here and went looking for a frozen cove.

“I was like, geesh, let me see what’s out here,” she told the Press-Republican on Wednesday.

They found “regatta quality” ice in Monty’s Bay, after searching and testing other locations, including Cumberland Bay in Plattsburgh.

“The local businesses and Gilbert Brook Marina are really great, giving us access at the marina and places to park,” Racine said.

TIME TENTATIVE

And so wind and weather is blowing some 50 or 60 ice-yacht sailors into town. Registration is tonight at the Holiday Inn in Plattsburgh. 

The racing committee will establish the course, race rules and the final time for competition contingent on weather.

Racine said they were looking to start the Thursday races between 11 a.m. and noon.

But if frigid cold persists, organizers will move the event’s start to Friday, when air temperatures might improve, Racine said.

WORLD-CLASS RACERS

The competition will field seven races altogether, according to a format set by the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association, drawing some heavy competition from New England, Midwestern and Canadian ice-yachting athletes.

“The real all-stars — and there are some folks who have gone to the World’s (Ice Yacht Competition) — are here,” Racine said Wednesday.

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