Monday, November 26, 2007

Ice Sailing Starts Nov 25 07 in South Keswick

Yup, I’m wearing my wet suit, red life jacket and red ski boots. Don’t know if this ice will last till next weekend, as a strong NW wind could break it all up. Most of it is already refrozen broken ice. Nonetheless, it was fine and we had about 10 guys out today.

Joe Albert

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Health and fitness: Top 10 winter sports

Lowdown: This is the most exhilarating sport on the planet. Sail on ice and reach speeds of 70mph.

Would suit: Speedsters, adrenaline junkies and yachties bored with the pace of water sailing.

Do: Wear a helmet.

Don't: Sail over thin ice.

Where: Sweden and Poland.

How much: A course costs about £140 a day including accommodation at the Ice Sailing Centre, Sweden ( Contact Chris Williams for further details ( See also

Try also: Land yachting, its (slower) on-shore equivalent.



Lowdown: Climbing frozen waterfalls.

Would suit: Serious adventurers with a lot of upper body strength.

Do: Make sure your ice axes are sharp before setting out.

Don't: Stand on the rope while wearing crampons.

Where: Scotland's Ice Factor is the largest indoor ice climbing centre in Europe. Or, for the real deal, head to La Grave in France.

How much: Lessons start at £45 per person (01855 831100;

Try also: Indoor rock climbing.


Lowdown: A bike with skis instead of wheels. It's great fun and very easy to learn.

Would suit: Everyone of all ages and abilities, because it's so quick to master.

Do: Sit slightly forward so you can turn by just leaning to one side.

Don't: Be a nutter - you're an ambassador for the sport.

Where: The ski resorts of the Alps. You can find where to hire a ski bike at

How much: A two-hour hire session costs £25 with Ski Bike at the French resorts of Val d'Isère and Tignes (0033 675 42 40 91;

Try also: Mountain biking on snow.


Lowdown: Think ITV's Dancing on Ice but without Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Would suit: Families looking for an activity for everyone.

Do: Wear gloves if you're just starting. You'll be grateful when you fall over.

Don't: Attempt to lift your partner above your head if you wish your relationship to last.

Where: Planet Ice has dozens of rinks around the country. In London, head to Somerset House (

How much: Prices at Planet Ice start from £4 (

Try also: Curling. It is an Olympic sport.


Lowdown: Snowboarding meets kite-surfing. Kites allow you to ski uphill and do incredible tricks. And you can ride on skis or a board.

Would suit: Extremists, kite enthusiasts, budding polar explorers.

Do: Know what you're doing. This can be properly extreme.

Don't: Kite under any lifts.

Where: Frozen lakes and snowfields from the Alps to Antarctica.

How much: A week's snow kiting course with the Paracademy costs around £350 (01305 824 797;

Try also: Para-skiing, where you ski off a cliff and para-glide back down to earth.


Lowdown: Slip into your favourite figure-hugging Lycra and follow an undulating trail through mountain valleys on long thin skis.

Would suit: Marathon runners, walkers, people who like to ski at a gentler pace.

Do: Learn the "skate" technique. It's much faster.

Don't: Try to "edge" when turning, it will only result in a face plant into the snow.

Where: The frozen lake of St Moritz, Switzerland.

How much: A two-hour lesson with Pontresina Snowsports costs £17 (0041 81 842 68 44;

Try also: Telemarking - it's the ultimate skiing discipline and mightily impressive.


Lowdown: It may not compare to the Alps but it's still a lot of fun.

Would suit: Beginners and those looking for practice.

Do: Book.

Don't: Try the freestyle park if you're over 30. Some things are best left to youngsters.

Where: Milton Keynes

How much: A one hour session is £21 for adults, £18 for children (0871 222 5670;

Try also: Tobogganing. Forget lessons. Just hire a slide and go for a ride.


Lowdown: Fresh air, woolly hats and scarves, the crunch of frosted leaves underfoot - oh, and hills.

Would suit: Romantics, lovers of the outdoors and rambler types.

Do: Wear the brightest anorak in your wardrobe.

Don't: Leave the dog behind.

Where: For a list of top walks, contact the Ramblers' Association (020 7339 8500;

How much: Free.

Try also: Winter mountaineering.


Lowdown: Running in the snow, made possible by the latest type of snowshoes.

Would suit: Fitness fanatics and people who enjoy strange looks from other people.

Do: Wear a thick pair of socks.

Don't: Try running with the old 'tennis racquet' style of snowshoe.

Where: America is more into this than laid-back Europe, but Les Gets and Morzine in France are ideal spots for the sport.

How much: An afternoon snowshoe session costs £20 (00 33 670 66 77 56;

Try also: Snowshoeing at a walking pace.

By Telegraph

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WISSA 2008

Notice to competitors and accompanies.

Every night activities, meals and social activities of the week (see Schedule) will take place at " Parc Régional de Val-D'Irène " ski resort, the main accommodation site located at 8 km from the event. The organizing committee will daily provide a free shuttle from the lodging center to the race site in Val-Brillant. If you wish to be close of the animation, you need to book as soon as possible because the places at the main accommodation site are limited (see Wissa package). There are also some "private cottages" to rent, located less than 300m from major lodging (see lodging). If the lodging at the ski resort and his neighborhood is full, you will find others lodging facilities in the village of Val-Brillant, close to the race site.

The organizing committee of WISSA 2008 welcomes you on is web site. Good sailing!

11 to 16th, February, 2008
Val-Brillant, Québec, Canada
Review 07-11-16

1.1. The 28th World Championship will be held from Monday February 11th to Saturday February 16th 2007, on Lake Matapédia, Val-Brillant, Québec, Canada.

2.1. The Championship is organised by Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia inc. as the Local Organising Authority (LOA) for and on behalf of, and under specified conditions laid down by the World Ice Snow Sailing Association (WISSA).

3.1. The event will be based at La Cédrière, Val-Brillant, wich is along Lake Matapédia
3.2. Val-Brillant is 600 km East from Montréal, the nearest international airport.

4.1. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) 2005-2008 Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and Appendix B - Windsurfing
4.2. The WISSA Rules
4.3. This Notice of Race (NoR) & the Sailing Instructions (SI)
4.4. The Sailing Instructions may be altered at skippers meetings
4.5. The WISSA Rules and Sailing Instructions will be available at registration and check-in
4.6. Competitors shall attend the opening & closing ceremonies, including the prize giving.

5.1. Sailboard : Any sled, rider stands with windsurfing rig
5.2. Wing : All kinds of hand held wings (no lines) whitout any ground support
5.3. Kite : Overhead sails, all kite designs, parawings and similar.

6.1. Group:
6.1.1 Open : All competitors (male or female)
6.1.2 Women : All female competitors
6.2. Age:
6.2.1 Youth <19 : born after February 10, 1989
6.2.2 Master 40-49: born earlier February 11, 1968
6.2.3. Grand Master+50 : born earlier February 11, 1958

7.1. Course Races : Up to twelve (12) races of different course. Courses may varie for each class. A minimum of three (3) races is required for a valid Championship

7.2. Speed Trials : Up to tree (3) runs. Speed will be measured with a radar. There will be no division segregation in the speed trials
7.3. Long Distance Marathon : Course and conditions to be determined in Sailing Instructions and skippers meeting.

8.1. All competitors shall bring their own equipment
8.2. The maximum sail size for Sailboard class is restricted to 7.5 m².

9.1. For Sailboard class national letters & sail numbers shall be according to RRS Appendix G. For Wing and Kite classes, numbered bibs/vests will be arranged by Organizing commitee.

10.1. It is the responsibility of each competitor to participate in the safest possible manner at all times
10.2. Helmets shall be worn during racing
10.3. Protective clothing is highly recommended.

11.1. Competitors take part in all races at their own risk. See RRS 4, Decision to Race. The LOA, WISSA or any of their officials or representatives or the sponsors or their officials or representatives are not responsible, under any circumstances, for any damage, loss or injury either ashore or on the sea either to persons or equipment, which may result
11.2. Participation in this event, supporting events and in each race is at the sole discretion of competitor and at his/her own risk.

12.1. Courses shall be as prescribed in the SI.

13.1. RRS Appendix A shall apply
13.2. The Low Point Scoring System of RRS Appendix A4 shall apply
13.3. Discards races as in RRS Appendix A2 shall apply

Sun, Feb. 10th : Arrival
Mon, Feb. 11th : 10h00-16h00 registration
12h00-16h00 training /practicing races
20h00 Opening ceremony
Tue, Feb. 12th : 9h30 Skippers meeting
11h00-15h00 3 to 4 races
Wed, Feb. 13th :9h30 Skippers meeting
11h00-15h00 3 to 4 races
Thu, Feb. 14th : 9h30 Skippers meeting
11h00-15h00 3 to 4 races
Fri, Feb. 15th : 9h30 Skippers meeting
11h00-15h00 races or speed trial or long distance
Sat, Feb. 16th : 9h30 Skippers meeting
11h00-15h00 races or speed trial or long distance
20h00 Prize giving ceremony
Sun, Feb. 17th : Departures

15.1. A class will qualify for awards if there are at least five competitors registered
15.2. A division will qualify for awards if there are at least five competitors registered
15.3. Medals or trophies may be awarded up to the first five competitors in each Class and Division, depending on entry numbers
15.4. Awards categories and the actual number of prizes to be awarded in each properly constituted Division will be posted on the Official Notice Board (ONB) after the close of registration
15.5. The first man/woman in the each class in Open Division shall be known as the Class World Champion.
15.6. The first Woman in the each class shall be known as the Class Women World Champion.
15.7. The first Youth in the each class shall be known as the Class Youth World Champion.
15.8. The first Master in the each class shall be known as the Class Master World Champion.
15.9. The first Grand Master in the each class shall be known as the Class Grand Master World Champion.

16.1. Special prizes will be awarded to the best three competitors in Long Distance Marathon race in each class (No Divisions but Overall only)
16.2. Special prizes will be awarded to the best three competitors in Speed Trial in each class (No Divisions but Overall only).

17.1. In registering for the event, competitors automatically grant to the LOA the right in perpetuity to make, use and show from time to time at their discretion, any motion pictures, still pictures and live, taped or filmed television and other reproduction of them, taken during the period of the event as defined in NoR and SI in which he/she participates without compensation.

18.1. Accomodation will be held at Parc régional de Val-d'Irène wich is 8 km from the Lake Matapédia
18.2. Transportation between race site and lodging will be provided by the organizing committee
18.3. Informations for reservation will be displayed on the web site

19.1. A wide range of scheduled flights are available from all over Europe and USA to the Montréal international airport
19.2. Competitors must arrange their transportation to and from the local airport (Mont-Joli) or bus and train station (Amqui)
19.3. Informations for reservation will be displayed on the web site
19.4. Organizing commitee will arrange free transportation from the Mont-Joli local airport or Amqui bus and train station to the accomodation site for equipment, competitors and support personnel for free if the competitors send their transportation details at latest on February 1st 2008 to organiser.

20.1. The registration office during the event will situate in La Cédrière, Val-Brillant.
20.2. For more information before the event and to make enquiries, find adresses on the web site
20.3. Competitors will be required to produce the following, prior to completing registration formalities on site:
20.3.1 Original Regatta Entry Form
20.3.2 Evidence of valid third party insurance
20.3.3 Parental/legal Guardian Assent - for those under age of 18
20.3.4 Proof of age

21.1. The entry fee paid on site of event is 120 $CDN wich include 10 $CDN donation to WISSA, daily lunches every racing day and breakfast on departure day and shall be paid in cash.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kite Skiing in Antarctica

Apparently Antarctica becomes a tourist attraction. The notorious Luminous Landscape is offering a photo-tour for several years in a row (sorry, the 2009 tour is sold out). Another example is the White Desert company which actually promises "more adrenalin" with "kite-skiing across the frozen horizon"...

Something to dream about.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Season started!

We can't call this sailing yet. Just checking the ski angle and edge sharpness.

Julli the winter sailor.