Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tour du Phare

The place - Lake Sunapee, N.H. 1102 feet (335 meters) above sea level and a climactic world away from nearby locations in New England.

The background scenery.

That is Burkehaven Lighthouse. There are only 5 lighthouses in the State of New Hampshire, and only 2 are on the Seacoast where you would expect to find them. The other 3 are on Lake Sunapee.

The "Tour du Phare" is an annual event where sailors go around:

  1. Herrick Cove Lighthouse
  2. Loon Island Lighthouse
  3. Burkehaven Lighthouse

This is the view from Herrick Cove looking south towards Mount Sunapee which is a good back up plan if the wind fails to blow.

Al Peterson riding on "Furniture"

Big winds and fast ice

Like nuggets of GOLD - the corn ice was FAST!!!!!

The "Tour du Phare" is fun, fast and family oriented. If you can't do the whole trip, you can take a shorter route. Beginners welcome.

This year there were several milestones:

  • Kimberly Tuthill went out to Burkehaven Lighthouse and back and it was only her second time ever using a wing.
  • Rick Hobbs hit 52 mph (93.4 kph) with a 4.8 wing.
  • Mark Bussard - after several tactical wins in up wind and down wind situations had to skate back (very long distance) when his skis stuck to the ice. A snow squall dumped glue like snow & Mark was caught out.
  • Annie Tuthill sailed all day without a harness using a 4.8 meter wing
  • Steve Barss arrived late and joined right in. He was fast the whole time and made the deadly second up wind run to Herrick Cove during the white out.
  • Mike McCaffery out raced all of the wings on the tactical legs. Up wind & down wind he is the one to beat.
  • Will Tuthill beat everyone to Herrick Cove Light (with a 4.8 wing) on the first beam reach. This is significant because it proves that the the 4.8 is really fast. We all had the same wind, ice and start. There were two 5.5s and three 4.8s on that leg. Charlie Meding was ahead on his 10.5 Concept Air Smart kite, but when the wind came up, the kite became too much to handle & he was pulled down wind. The 4.8 wing was as steady as a freight train powering directly towards the lighthouse.
  • Charlie Meding was the fastest overall with the kite. Later in the day, he hit 60 mph (96 kph)

The "Tour du Phare" is so much fun, that it is officially an annual event. This is the third year, and next year we will try to make it bigger. Also, we will try to attract more kites and windsurfers. As I write this it is windy and way below freezing on Lake Sunapee. With luck, we will get another weekend of sailing, but it would be hard to beat what we just had.
Keep track of conditions on the lake by going to the live webcam.

Maybe we will see you next weekend.


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