Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Plymouth Pond Monday 08DEC08: Update

PICS by Dicky Saltonstall, Ella Saltonstall, and Jory Squibb.


Yesterday's first skate of the season was real Magic. Lloyd and I, wondering why we were bothering, traveled to Howe Hill Swamp to find the 10 acre beaver pond open in the middle, but with 1.5-2.25 inches of ice everywhere else. The steady 20Knot NW wind sent streamers of light snow caterwalling across the beautiful black gold. The morning was darkly cloudy. The swamps margins were wild and bleak. I looked at Lloyd. Lloyd looked at me. Smiling...

This is it! This is the treasure of a seven month wait. We might be the first skaters in Maine. I hesitate to publish some of the day's rituals, as my essential paganism bled through the Buddhist veneer: spread-eagling on the ice. hugging. kissing. talking to it. making deals. promising to return ASAP.

After a few circumnavigations, slaloming around the tussicks of grass, the rocky mud bars and many stumps of the swamp's margins, we yielded to the call of a busy day.

And so I hope today is a further improvement on our activities: Skimbatting on a 7 acre pond on Rt 90 just west of the Rt90 and Rt 17 intersection. It's not much to look at, but should have 2.25" of ice and be suitable for skimbatting and skating. Certainly too small for iceboats. I know it's not worth the trip for our far-flung ice hounds, but I think a good chunk of the locals will be there. Report will follow tonight.

Sailing nice black ice. Its been a good season so far. No big ice, no skis, yet...

Ciao Dicky Saltonstall

Check out the North American web site for some of the same pics, ice reports and more


Monday, December 08, 2008

Plymouth Pond Monday 08DEC08

from richardsaltonstall

Really nice black ice with a smattering of snow drifts you could easily steer around. Very blustery NW winds too much for big wings today on this unfamiliar ice sheet. Used 3.8 to check out and explore with Jory Squibb. Some obvious open water; mostly ice is around 4 inches thick, plenty strong and starting to crack into the big plates characteristic of thick stable ice.

The 3.8 went pretty well. Saw top speed of 45 mph, but must admit drifts were harder to dodge at top speeds; wind pack enough to make me cautious.

Learned old lesson again walking off the ice in a about an inch of snow next to shore. The ice had frozen and the water had gone from underneath as the lake level receded. The ice was only about an inch and a half thick supported by air! Through I went up to the knees!

No harm done, but renewed respect for the capricious momma whose frozen play ground we enjoy. I fear the currents in shallow Plymouth where the laker level can recede that much under a freeze and realize why there is still open water there.

See Plymouth 08/09 album for example of ice.

Ciao Dicky

Registration for WISSA2009 is open

Registration for WISSA 2009 is open, participants are starting to register already!

Other good news:
1) We've got winter here already - its snowing hardly for 2nd day already
2) We've got excellent hotel deal for WISSA - DBL room for EUR 51 incl taxes and breakfast.
For 2 people in room it means around EUR 200 for each per 8 days. Much cheaper than in Matapedia :)

Today on Saguenay

This is our friend Benoit Tremblay scamming fresh black glass on the tributaries to the Saguenay Fjiord just behind his house.
Today! This cold snap is money in the bank.


p.s. Ben has a proposal to host WISSA 2010 in Saguenay with $ from the govt. of Quebec

Today's Rally

by William Tuthill

Hello & BRRRRR!

Today was the 3rd edition of the Archipelago Rally - an event that is supposed to be fun, easy and a sort of wrap up to the summer sailing season. The first year we did it on the 2nd week of December [too cold], the second year we moved it up to the weekend after Thanksgiving [better]. This year we tried to out pace the cold and do it the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving. So much for planing - it never came above freezing and it blew a gale! Wind chill numbers were in the single digits. Several boats capsized, and 2 out of 3 windsurfers got smoked. I was able to make the course only by flogging the rig in gusts and trying to sail during lulls.

Several wildly over powered sail craft survived the epic conditions, and everyone got back to shore safely.

BBQ and Narragansett beer. It doesn't get much better than that!


click for more pictures and text

Above: 2006 Spar Island Archipelago Rally (12 craft), at right, Cape Dory 10 "Dinkus"

Above: 2007 Wickford Archipelago Rally (32 craft), at right, Susie the Dyer Foredeck Dog!

Here we are again and ready for an amazing regatta!!! November 22 at Camp Fuller YMCA on the Point Judith Salt Ponds: Plato, Cedar, Albro, Johnathan, Ram Island and more all within a mile on the shallow, flat and protected salt ponds. We have the facility with launch ramp, dock, kitchen, bathrooms and beach all to ourselves!!!

Come feel like a kid again!!!! This is the purist form of sailing, getting out on the water for the sake of enjoying the sport and the elements with friends and family.

Building on our success of the Spar Island Rally (see March 2008 issue of Sailing magazine feature), and last year's Wickford Harbor Rally, the Salt Ponds will be amazing for sure! We have already received confirmations from more than 35 ralliers for this year and we have unlimited room. The beach party will be taken care of, just bring some beverages and $5 to donate to the Camp Fuller YMCA and their amazing summer program that introduces sailing to children who otherwise would not get the opportunity.

Boats already signed up: Cape Dory 10, O'Day Daysailer, Sailfish, Sunfish, Laser, row/sail canoe, SS Classic Gaffer, Mirror dinghies, Hobie cats, Herreshoff Canoe Yawl, Beetle Cats, Vintage Windsurfers, Sea Dogs and a dozen more one-of-a-kind dinghies!!!

Please bring your family and friends and somehting that floats qwith a sail. Camp Fuller is offering a limited number of 420s and JY 15s at no cost to anyone who is interested so please let me know.

All you have to do is email me back to let me know the type craft and number of people you are bringing and I will send updates on registration to the group along with the list of competitors and their Portsmouth Yardstick rating, order of starters etc. This is strictly sail-in-company-type race, you start in order of slowest boats first in hopes everyone, after sliding and slucing around this great groupof islands, finishes at the same time. And all racing can be viewed from our location...you will be so close you can hit a sailor with a Quahog!!

Please let me know if you have any questions and I can't wait to see you in November!


Chris 401.835.5406

PS-Please pass this along to those you have invited on our behalf and send me their emails.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Welcome to the 29th Ice and Snow Sailing World Championship!

Riga, February 16-21, 2009

The event is the longest running international competition in the history of windsurfing and the most prestigious winter sailing event in the world. It is held since 1980 each year alternating between Europe and North America.

There are 3 classes in WISSA World Championship:
• Sled Class: Any sled powered by windsurfing rig where the rider is standing
• Hand Held Class: Any wing held directly by hand
• Kite Class: Any wing connected by lines

Please see the Notice of Race for further details.


Friday, July 04, 2008

2009 in Latvia!

Greetings WISSA Web site visitor.

The 2009 WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships will be held in Latvia. To help get you excited, here is a link with information about this fascinating and exotic destination: www.youwontbelieveit.eu

Of interest to ice only sailors, the organizers plan to host a special "short track" race course for ice boards. This will be a first for a WISSA W.C. and should be very interesting. A WISSA 2009 web site is under construction and will be linked to this site.

Think Ice.
William Tuthill/ WISSA

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


SIBHOLOD - Siberian Cold, the company producing chillers is proud to announce that in order to prove that they are the biggest cold factory in the world the Guinnes World Record will be established. In the middle of the summer 2008 SibHolod is going to freeze a big part of the man-made Ob' Sea. The planned frozen area will about 20km in diameter and will span from the Novosibirsk river dam to Berdsk City.

It was decided that this area is sufficient in size to accommodate several events including the most popular national winter activities: ice-fishing competition, skiing marathon and WISSA 2008-2 Championship!

The organizers are expecting up to 100 athletes for each of the disciplines and will cover all travel and accommodation expenses. The invitations will be sent on request. In your request please provide your name, nationality, WISSA class you will be competing in and reference your results in your three most recent WISSA competitions.

Hurry up! Everyone wants free winter vacation in the middle of the summer!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cams Leap

Famous sailor Cameron Lewis of Maine USA is out enjoying "the ultimate form of sailing" on a lake near his home in Maine, U.S.A. Cam has sailed across the Atlantic several times and around the world two times - breaking records each time.


This is Cam's nephew Davis flying with the Kitewing

Renowned Explorer Will Steger Leads Youth on Arctic Expedition to Examine Global Warming Impact

from The Earth Times
In March, Steger will lead six young explorers from four different countries -- Norway, Great Britain, Canada and the United States -- to document the impact of and inspire solutions to global warming. The team includes two National Geographic grantees, two kite-skiing international record holders, the 2007 Iditarod "Rookie of the Year," a polar historian; and Sam Branson, who is the son of Virgin Group's Richard Branson and joined Steger on his 2007 expedition to Baffin Island. People from around the world will be able to track the Ellesmere Island Expedition team on www.globalwarming101.com, which will include profiles, videos, images, podcasts and blog entries from team members.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- 03/18/08 -- Today famed polar explorer Will Steger announced he is departing on an international expedition to document the impact of global warming in the Arctic region. Steger will be joined by a team of six young explorers -- from Norway, Great Britain, Canada and the United States -- on a 60-day, 1,400-mile dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island, which is the northernmost part of the North American continent.

The expedition team will depart on March 28 and is currently making final preparations on Baffin Island. The team will follow in the footsteps of Arctic explorers who traversed the region in the early 1900s and use their historical routes, journals and archived photos to document the disintegrating ice shelves, retreating glaciers and destruction of wildlife habitat.

Steger and his team members seek to inspire international cooperation in environmental stewardship, mobilize Generation Y to produce global warming solutions and educate youth by providing an eyewitness account of their experiences through videos, podcasts, photos, blog entries and lesson plans at www.globalwarming101.com.

Steger, the 2007 recipient of two prestigious awards from National Geographic and The Explorers Club, selected the team members, ages 21-28, for their accomplishments in exploration: two National Geographic grantees; two kite-skiing international record holders; the 2007 Iditarod "Rookie of the Year"; a polar historian; and Sam Branson, the son of Virgin Group's Richard Branson who joined Steger on his 2007 expedition to Baffin Island.

"My team is composed of some of the brightest young explorers in the world," Steger said. "They continue to inspire my efforts to solve global warming and will serve as excellent role models for future generations."

The Ellesmere Island Expedition team -- profiled on www.globalwarming101.com -- is available for interviews until they depart on March 28.

The Ellesmere Island Expedition is produced by the Will Steger Foundation through partnerships with Fagen, Inc., the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the National Geographic Society, SuperValu, the Renewable Fuels Foundation, the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company and Piper Jaffray.

For more information about the expedition or to schedule an interview with one of the team members, please contact Meghan Krause at 612.333.4595 or mkrause@greenmarksports.com.

About the Will Steger Foundation and Global Warming 101

Established in January 2006 by renowned polar explorer Will Steger, the Will Steger Foundation promotes change through education and advocacy. Global Warming 101 is the first initiative of the Will Steger Foundation and raises broad public awareness about global warming as witnessed through Will Steger's polar expeditions. Global Warming 101 expeditions offer a unique view of people and places at the tipping point of climate change, while www.globalwarming101.com serves as an international platform for furthering education, discussion and activism, and sharing the experiences and updates from each expedition.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Parry Sound Kite Sport Festival 2008

The Parry Sound Kite Sport Festival 2008 was held on Georgian Bay March 1st, 2008. Organized by Chris Hess, this event gave people a chance to experience kite skiing and everything surrounding the sport.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Here comes the first Request for Change of the WISSA RULES published on this site.
Although there were many before we would like to start tracking and discussing those requests and will be updating the rules after each WISSA event.

Please post your comments and questions below.

By: Richard Saltonstall

Maine Ice and Snow Sailing Association
28 Pine Brae Ln
Rockport, ME 04856

Addendum to WISSA Rules


Tacking and gybing: Sailors tacking or gybing must give way. Sailors may not maneuver so as to involve the probability of a collision with another sailor whom, owing to position or speed cannot keep clear.


Obstructions: Obstructions are any object that cannot be safely sailed over. A sailor approaching and unable to clear an obstruction without fouling or endangering another sailor shall signal the other sailor for room to clear. The signaled sailor shall at once give room and if it is necessary to tack or gybe, the signaling sailor shall also tack or gybe immediately thereafter.

B1a. Within the mark circle perimeter the sailor on port tack shall give way to the sailor on starboard tack.



When rounding a mark, if more than one sailor reaches the mark circle perimeter at the same time, the outside sailors shall give way to the sailor closest to the mark.


At the finish line, a tie is broken by awarding the finish to the sailor closest to the finish mark.

Be ruthless, I like the WISSA rules because they are so simple. However I think that bigger fleets of sailors will make some more rules necessary. Should interpretation 1. be a part of rule B1?

Ciao Dicky

2008 Wrap-up

WISSA 2008 was the 28th anniversary of the longest running contest in the history of windsurfing, wing sailing and kite sailing. The conditions were epic!

With two years to plan, the organizing committee was ready. They had secured funding from the government of Canada, as well as a host of local sponsors in advance of our arrival. When not racing, competitors were treated to local delicacies, and cultural experiences such as music, food, drinks, and games. The night time distractions made it hard to find time to wax skis.

For the first time, the Kite Class had its own separate race course, while the wings and kites shared a common starting line.


12 course races in an “up - down” configuration with 3 throwaways.

Speed Trials and a long distance marathon.


Nearly a meter of snow fell during five days of competition. Winds ranged from moderate to gale forced with temperatures never coming above –10°C. On the last day the temperatures hovered around –20°C and wind chill values were around -40°C.


Open Class:
- A new ice sailing sled from Latvia won the Best Design award. The manufacturers successfully pitched the “short track” concept for next year’s event in Riga, Latvia.
- The all new Windski Carve was on hand for demo and testing.
- Marcel Bradette and Langis Caron from Quebec raced on their remarkable winter windsurfing skis.
- Team Poland raced on sleds provided by Janusz Butylkin (Poland) and Igor Renkas (Ukraine)
- Juha Mannermaa of Finland easily won the W.C. title. Teammate Feodor Gurvits has a new sled design which he will make available through wissa.org

Wing Class:
- North American distributor Velum Gravity had a fully staffed booth on he ice featuring demos and sales of all Kitewing products.
- Amazing wing sailor Claude Chasse of Quebec finally took the world title. Where is Vesa Leskinen now?
- Welcome to our new friends – the P Riders from Belgium. What a great team!

Kite Class:
- Virtually every major relevant kite manufacturer was represented at www.wissa2008.org
- All types of kites were put to the test. Inflatable water kites raced foil and flex kites under demanding circumstances.
- The Coupe de Quebec joined forces with WISSA to make a super kite event www.kitezone.ca

WISSA2008 will be remembered as one of the best events ever. The organizers did a great job, the conditions were challenging, and the place was extraordinary. The torch has been passed to Latvia for WISSA2009. Get ready, get psyched, the adventure continues!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Kite skiing in 1958

Let's see what was around just 50 years ago. I wonder, why did this sport not boom at that time?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

59.9 miles!

by William Tuthill

Wing sailing on Lake Sunapee this past week end was world class!

SO much wind that only a 4.8 meter wing was needed

The scenery was so nice that I went 59.9 miles ( 96.4 kilometers) in robust winds on a crusty snow surface between 1:30 pm and dark. I would have walked the extra 1/10th of a mile if I knew that I was that close to 60! It was too dark to read the GPS. The legs will get a break because we all drive to Val Brilliant, Quebec for the World Championships http://www.wissa2008.org NEXT weekend! Have a great week.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

What inspires fashion designers?

Nautica: "We are very inspired by ice sailing. Ice sailing is an amazing winter sport that synergizes with our heritage, while creating a modern edge through innovation and technology. We have watched the Athlete, the Spectator and the Sponsor at ice sailing events and love the hybrid dressing that naturally happens. Suits and windbreakers, performance gear and khakis, and cashmere with nylon bottoms. Bold and masculine looks inspired by the ice … Nautica at its best.'' app.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kite to pull ship across Atlantic

Story from BBC NEWS

The world's first commercial cargo ship partially powered by a giant kite is setting sail from Germany to Venezuela.

The designers of the MS Beluga Skysails say the computer-controlled kite, measuring 160sq m (1,722sq ft), could cut fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

They also hope the state-of-the-art kite will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as it tugs the ship.

Fuel burnt by ships accounts for 4% of global CO2 emissions - twice as much as the aviation industry produces.

The MS Beluga SkySails' maiden transatlantic voyage is from the northern port of Bremerhaven to Guanta in Venezuela. The ship is expected to leave the German port at 1700 local time (1600 GMT).

It's kind of back to the future
Verena Frank, Beluga Shipping

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, on board the vessel, says the computer will enable the kite to harness the full power of the wind.

"The maiden voyage marks the beginning of the practical testing during regular shipping operations of the SkySails System," says Stephan Wrage, managing director of SkySails GmbH.

"During the next few months we will finally be able to prove that our technology works in practice and significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions," he said on the company's website.

Free energy

"We're absolutely excited," said Verena Frank, project manager at Beluga Shipping GmbH, SkySails GmbH's partner.

She told the BBC's World Today programme that the project's core concept was "using wind energy as auxiliary propulsion power and using wind as a free of charge energy".

"Nevertheless, it differs very much from traditional sailing, as we do not have any bothersome mast on deck which might be a hindrance to cargo-loading operations."

Ms Frank said the efficiency of the kite depended on wind and weather conditions.

But the advantage of the SkySails system "is that you do not need only backward winds - there can also be side winds and you can still set sail," she said.

She said the kite could be used on medium-size cargo ships, cruise liners and trawlers.


  • The kite sail will help reduce annual fuel costs by 10-35%. Reduced fuel also means fewer harmful carbon emissions
  • The large towing kite resembles a paraglider and is shaped like an aircraft wing, to enable it to take advantage of different wind directions
  • It operates at 100-300m above surface level - much higher than a normal sailing craft - where winds are stronger and more stable
  • The kite can be used in winds of between 12-74km/h (7-40 knots) and not just when the wind is blowing directly from behind the ship

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good news - Bad news

by William Tuthill

The BAD news is that YOU NEED ONE! and that will cost you (but it is worth it). The GOOD news is that it is one of Kitewing's finest creations - more about that later.

The BAD news is for racers.

This past weekend proved what I had always suspected - that the all new 7.5 square meter "Wave Warrior" from Kitewing is more than just a water wing - it is a powerhouse for winter sailing also! Imagine the difference that an extra 2 square meters of sail area makes when the winds are light or the snow is deep. I knew that it would be good, but I never realized that it would replace almost everything else!
Obviously, the 4.8 and 5.5 will always be great in fast conditions, and I still say that the 4.8 on black ice is the ultimate, but WOW! The 7.5 meter Wave Warrior has way more range than I ever expected.
To quote NASA [North American Skimbat Association] web master Rick Hobbs, "the guys at Kitewing are geniuses". I agree.
The 7.5 meter wing is more advanced than ever. It has a way of absorbing gusts, keeping power, and flying steady in almost any amount of wind. The conditions on Sunday were so gusty that the snow was flying around in small tornadoes that resembled the "dust devils" of the great Australian Outback. Violent surges of power came from all angles yet the wing steered into the flow and kept steady. Quite a feat.
The Wave Warrior 7.5 meter wing will be on display, AND on the racecourse at WISSA-2008.
Come check it out, along with several other excellent winter sailing products, at the "Trade Mission" portion of WISSA 2008.

-- Will

Other winter sailing products on display:

plus several other related products from various manufacturers

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Government of Canada Awards $54,000 in Funding to Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia Inc.

Not bad, eh?

from news.gc.ca

Val-Brillant, Quebec, January 16, 2008 – Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development, today announced that Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia Inc. will receive $54,000 in non-repayable funding to build the facilities needed to host the upcoming Ice and Snow Sailing World Championship. Sponsored by the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association, this event is scheduled to take place from February 10th to 17th in Val-Brillant. Funding for this project is awarded through the Community Economic Diversification Initiative – Vitality, a measure that seeks to support the growth of Quebec's businesses and regions.

"Winter tourism is a booming market, particularly among international travellers. The exceptional geographic and weather conditions of the Matapedia Valley are drawing a growing number of Nordic sports enthusiasts who come from near and far to experience a one-of-a-kind adventure in this magnificent Nature's playground. The contribution we are announcing today will help increase the number of visitors coming from outside Quebec and serve to enhance the region's tourism offering. It confirms the commitment our government has to bolstering the vitality of our regional economies," noted Mr. Gourde.

Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia President Mario Beaulieu welcomed the news of this funding from Canada Economic Development, explaining that "this project will allow us to ensure the safety of the competition participants and spectators and to satisfy the requirements pertaining to the reliability and monitoring of the competition results. It will also enable us to carry out promotional activities to help position the Matapedia Valley as a prime destination in the winter sports market."

"Tourism is a key sector of the Quebec economy and an important source of jobs and growth for all regions of the province. For Canada Economic Development and our government as a whole, this industry is seen as a crucial link in our economic chain and one whose development is a major priority," concluded Mr. Gourde.


Marie-Claude Lemire
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 418-668-4602
E-mail: marie-claude.lemire@dec-ced.gc.ca

Jean-Philippe Payment
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 819-953-5646
E-mail: jeanphilippe.payment@hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca

Sunday, January 13, 2008


by William Tuthill

The sun is low this close to the Arctic Circle this time of year, but
the sailing surface is sweet. Juha Mannermaa is training for WISSA
2008. Open Class sailors, get ready, he is fast.
One month to go: This should be an excellent event.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Winter Sailing

by William Tuthill

Greetings All

I should be preparing for WISSA 2008, but today- this WHOLE week is unseasonably warm. It is global warming ;-((

We needed to move a boat from Newport, Rhode Island to New Bedford, Massachusetts. It is only about 40 nautical miles, but it involves going out into waters that are usually dangerous at this time of year. Today was more like a day in October than a day in January. +15C and sunny with a SW breeze. The boat was a Tayana 64. She is a blue water cruiser with an interior that is nicer than most people's homes.

We left Newport motoring into the wind and waves, and turned East to pick up our course. At that point the hydraulic powered head sail was released and our speed cracked 10 knots. The boat was surfing the chop as we ate and talked. It was peaceful and warm. One week ago this same place was violent and freezing- by next week it will be that way also. It is January and winter is supposed to be here to

Today was rare. There is only one month left until WISSA 2008 http://www.wissa2008.org/ Get psyched- get ready- see you there :-)


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

Something incredible is happening in Massachussets right now...

Part two:

The ice of dream!