Monday, February 27, 2012

WISSA 2012: Closing Day

Our final day of racing took place on Saturday with another inch of new snow and a stiff northwesterly, a bit spotty on little Chain Lake. Kite Class had finished for the week and we were able to run six course races all toild, two with an upwind/downwind course and four on a crosswind course which enables us to complete races more quickly. There were many spectators on hand, it being Saturday and also because there was a youth pond hockey tournament taking place on the same lake. There has never been more interaction between the competitors and the spectators than at this event, at least theay I have seen. Several school groups came out to visit during the week. You should have seen Lars Fromell standing on his tall skates among a group of little children, towering three times their height over them like a Pied Piper on stilts. After course racing I was trying to head in for lunch and people wanted me to stop for pictures with them. Ah, the life of a Rock Star....

My position in course racing slipped from 12th to 13th overall. My skis didn't seem to be running right, or maybe it was just the wind holes, but I did finish all of the races except the first one we ran on Tuesday. Mike McCaffrey took 6th, Annie Tuthill 7th, new "Team USA" rider, from Wisconsin, Gatis Makstenieks, came in 11th and Will Tuthill 10th. Mark Bussard bumped me down to 13th by taking 12th, And Viktor Hora, another U.S. rider from Wisconsin, did a good job of keeping me motivated out there and came in 14th. The total entries were 18 in the category.

In slalom, I held onto my 10th place position. Mike McCaffrey slipped to 6th place and Annie bumped herself up a notch to 7th.

These are overall results for the U.S. riders, a respectable showing against the formidable Swedish team and also Finland's Rainer Salo, a mild mannered soft spoken fellow who is a terror on a race course, taking 4th overall in slalom and 2nd in course racing.

For more results see the WISSA 2012 webpage and go to the "Results" section where there are .pdf files for all categories.

After a short awards ceremony down the road at the Kewaydin Casino (no, nobody won anything - that I know of), another World Championships came to a close. The next day I was again crossing the straight on Mighty Mac, heading south to Ohio before turning east toward home. With an overnight stop in Jamestown, New York, I was home this evening about three hours ago as I write.

I will post more about the event and results, afterthoughts and ideas for future. I'll work on getting a hold of some new pictures to post and keep an ear to the wall for any new developments.

I'd like to take a moment to thank all of my fellow competitors for dealing a lot of background difficulties and making a great race of it anyway. I'd also like to welcome all new group members who I met on the ice in St. Ignace. And of course, to the good people of St. Ignace and the area Native community for opening up their town and their hearts to us and allowing us to have our event. A special shout out goes to all of the volunteers who helped out a lot behind the scenes, be it judging the races or preparing our lunches or setting up all of the facilities for the races. It was a pleasure meeting with and getting to know some of you on and off the ice.

So for now, good night, and keep an eye out here for more.

The New England contingent of Team USA will return to its home ice on Lake Sunapee, NH, this weekend. Those in the area are encouraged to join us. One beer, one autograph ;-)


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