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.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Impressions from WISSA 2009

By Klaus Faisst - Canada

The winds during our 2009 World Championships in Riga, Latvia were only light to moderate, hence, no speed records were broken on Lake Kisezers. However, just about all attendance records were broken, including:

111-registered competitors (most ever)
14 -countries (most ever)
57 -Sailboards (most ever)
18 -Wings (most ever)
 and best of all:
14 -Women (most ever)
20 -Youth (most ever)

Needless to say, the large number of competitors presented quite a challenge for the organizers and race masters, but they did a superb job and indeed deserve special praise. Evaluation of race results was timely, efficient and accurate. Yes, there were a few protests, but they were managed in a firm and friendly way.

Race conditions on Lake Kisezers were tailor-made for blades: Fairly smooth ice, covered with about 5 cm of old snow on the first race day. Another 5 cm of new snow accumulated during the rest of the week. Sled sailors running on blades, and wing sailors running on skates were able to cut through the layer of snow and could take advantage of significant lower friction between steel on ice (as compared to skis on snow). Of course, this is one of the distinct challenges in our sport – having the right equipment for the prevailing surface conditions. The race results and pictures (posted on www.wissa2009.org) tell more of the story.

The blade/ski comparison does not apply to kite sailors. They were all running on skis, that are getting longer and stiffer every year. Their kites too seem to be getting bigger. As usual, there was enough wind for the kites; they managed 12 course races plus the marathon.

The introduction of short-track slalom racing on a snow-free ice surface turned out to be an exiting new addition both for competitors and spectators. This is definitely a spectator sport, full of speed and action on a relatively small area and hence, also well suited for TV cameras. Watch out for short-track slalom racing as a demo in a future winter Olympics. The Latvian Hiberna sleds look particularly graceful on their jibes. The Wing class also had (for the first time) their own slalom races, using the same course as the Hiberna sleds. It was truly exiting… lots of action in short succession without any waiting between heats. I could not tell who was faster around the course – Wings or Hiberna sleds. Perhaps there will be a chance in one of our next WISSA events to find out.

Most of the young people were keen windsurfers from Poland, coached by Witold Nerling.

Over the years, Mr. Nerling has helped many young Summer and Winter sailors achieve top international rankings. In recognition of his exemplary work Witold was presented with the prestigious Victor Hendriksson Trophy at the closing ceremony. The trophy for Best Design went to Ronald Verhaegen of Belgian for his ice skate board. Edmunds Brencis, the official event photographer, took a “must see” action shot with Ronald being carried away by his Wing sail. Check out www.wissa2009.org under 17-feb-2009.

The organizers in Latvia deserve our utmost appreciation for making WISSA 2009 so worthwhile, successful and enjoyable. They have taken care of everything, including a highly interesting sightseeing tour of Riga on “windless Thursday”. Congratulations and thank you!

What’s next? Well, at our annual WISSA-meeting Dominique Robichaud (organizer of WISSA 2008) presented a firm proposal from the City of Saguenay, Quebec, Canada for our 30th Jubilee next year. And there is more good news: Our friend Feodor Gurvits tabled a proposal for WISSA-2011 in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Please help to spread the good new about WISSA. We are very much alive and thriving!

See you next year here in Canada.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Here is a close up shot of "The Leg" from Murmansk. Slava Maltsev is a talented monoski sailor. In light winds, Slava keeps motion with his legendary leg - hence the name "The Leg from Murmansk"


p.s. by Dibutil
Although seldom but history knows cases when Slava was beaten by the other leg... At least once, from Novosibirsk ;-)
p.p.s. In Russian we call Slava the Iron Leg.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WISSA 2002: pictures

By Alexei Nozdrin

01 - Ancient Interlock near Coliseum

02 - Coliseum

03 - Pigeons

04 - Bridge across Tiber

05 - St. Peter's Basilica

06 - Main Alttar of St. Peter's Basilica

07 - Saint Peter's Square

08 - Village on the Resia Lake

09 - Resia Lake Ice

10 - Drowned Bell Tower

11 - USSR Team

12 - Uhan Gross Sailing

13 - Monoski: about 30km/h

14 - Andrei Maslov is boosting to the finish

15 - Finish

16 - Juha Mannermaa

17 - Skimbats

18 - Hotel "At Deceased Windsurfer"

19 - Kite

20 - Sunset

21 - Ice Hummocks

22 - Winner

23 - Winner

24 - Rajev on the third mark

25 - Kite

26 - Kites Racing

27 - Kites Starting

WING Surfing: Lake Sunapee, 14-15 March 2009 update

Hi All

Tour du Lac NOR

Skippers meeting at 1PM vicin Soonipi Park 14MAR SAT. 3 races constitute regatta, after five races throw out high scores. Tour Sun 15MAR TBA by local sailors.

Bring your own prize. You bring something for the prize table; winners get first pick. Beer, picks, spare tips, rip stop repair tape, wax, etc. Copies of rules provided for perusal, no protests allowed. Pissed off sailors will be allowed to sulk with therapeutic beer.

Predictions are sunshine and W winds. Sat building to 15mph and Sunday diminishing but still up to 10 mph. Suspect surface will be transformed corn skis prevail.

Rain is predicted Sunapee this Wed and then cold, but predicted temps for week end in the upper thirties in sunshine so any ice will be soft and likely not so good for blades.

Recommend heavy rill job and edge tune. Use lots of wax. Flouros if you got em.

See you there,

Dicky Saltonstall

Monday, March 09, 2009

WING Surfing: Lake Sunapee, 14-15 March 2009


TO: All potential WING (and other) sailors
TIME: All weekend Saturday & Sunday 14-15 March 2009
PLACE: Lake Sunapee, N.H. Launch point at Soonipi Poad. Exit 11 Interstate 89. Go west on King Ridge Road to the end.
SCHEDULE: TBA We will try for course races and a tour of the lake.


Not windsurfing, and not kite surfing, WING surfing is a sport unto its own. The wing, or Kitewing as it is called for commercial purposes, is of interest to such a broad range of sailors, that we decided to hold an informal event to showcase the product, and welcome newcomers. Kite sailors, Freeskate / windsurfing sled sailors? GET DOWN HERE! You are MORE than welcome!
It is getting late in the season, and the remaining chances are few. The conditions appear to be lining up nicely. The nice folks at the New London Inn circa 1790 in the heart of downtown New London have graciously offered up a very special rate to anyone coming to New London for the event this weekend. It comes out roughly half price and is well below the rates at much lesser accommodations. The rate for racers is $75 USD pp including breakfast!
The New London Inn is top notch. Call or email the front desk and ask for Mindy. She is expecting us.

The launch point at the end of Soonipi Rd has plenty of parking and we will provide a grill. Please try to bring something to cook and or drink. This is a self sponsored impromptu event, but those are often the best. Pray for wind!
If you do not have a wing or a sled, just bring yourself or your windsurfing rig. We will provide some demo wings, a Snowfer for windsurfers, and a Uniboard for kite sailors interested in something very cool & different.
Come on down (or up) and celebrate one of winter's last & best weekends!


p.s. PLEASE help to pass this around. If I were any good at internet marketing, I might be in a different line of work.
p.s. again if you want to add maps & pictures - feel free.

Quebec Cup

by William Tuthill

Greetings WISSA Friends

Here is a post from our friends in Saguenay - the site of WISSA2010. They have been running an annual event at this site - Baie des HA HA! Seriously - that is the name- Bay of HA HA!. It includes the (!) in the name - check the map. It is just one more interesting and different thing about the Saguenay region of Quebec. More about that later.

For now, read the review by Benoit Tremblay of Concept Air, and see the interesting twist that has been added to the usual WISSA mix.

OOOOOOOOOOH! Boy, I was would like.. (I don't know how write this) so much than you was there and to see that show... a great show Very windy all the set up was so almost perfect.. a very good team of voluntary... big usual tent.. inflatable tent with Rock group on ice.. special lunch on ice for the riders.. many bathroom.... big sound system.. 3 hot and big fishing shack for that the rider can put a ski boots or just warming up.... 5 days of speed run(Monday until Friday) on groomed highway (1/2 mile on 150 feet) the winner was Dominic Robichaud on is first ride and it was the last one because at the end of the day a raining storm during 1/2 hour with st-Elmo fire on the leg of Dominic, each ride cost 2$ and of the end we spit the $ between the best we had 137 inscription 274$.. Yes... the speed finish Friday at 6 pm, Saturday 8 triangles and the wind relax Sunday forecast 30 to 70 with sunny in afternoon... 5 triangles the morning and log distance in after-noon.. for this race... not for compilation.. I put a Da-kine Pyro harness (232$) on the picket on the starting line and the first have that like a cowboy race.. no complication for the point just one winner... but many one have fun... the winner have a GPS aboard and he run 87.8 KM... 60 registrations for the race.. 25$ you have for each registration for free 12$ of different Canadian cheeses, you can win a Smart 6.5, many many Dakine product, many nice price. Like sunglasses, etc. etc. 80 persons on the dinner party... the road conditions of Friday were so bad than we was lost some 20 persons was can going because the road was insecure...


Please send back at my friend Georges and Charles..........


Some Pictures HERE

Benoit Tremblay, Concept Air
222 rue Saguenay, St-Fulgence, Qc, Canada, G0V 1S0

Telephone: (418) 674-VENT (8368)
Sans frais: 1-877-545-VENT (8368)
Telecopie: (418) 674-2432


"Ryde The Bull"

Parlez vous "Franglais"?

Voila a report from this past weekend at Saguenay. I have NO doubt that these guys are up to the task of organizing a first class WISSA event. They have been organizing the "A-traction" for well over a decade, and it has become a venerated part of the Coup de Quebec. They are thrilled to be hosting the 30th anniversary of WISSA - the oldest and longest running international competition in the history of:

1] Windsurfing - yes it is true - older than any competition held on water!
2] WINGsurfing - It is the only international racing venue for wings
3] Schneekiten - [as they say in German] WISSA had Kites on the line in 1993 in Choinice, Poland - before that actually - I have photos going back to 1987. There is no snow kiting racing venue with a longer racing pedigree than WISSA Boasting session over - read the report below & get psyched for next year. Please pass this around.

All are welcome!


Thursday, March 05, 2009

WISSA 2009 Wrap Up

WISSA 2009 was a record breaker!

101 competitors from 14 countries. Racing held on hard ice covered with light snow - perfect.

Three classes:

  1. Open Class: any sled powered by a windsurfing rig

  2. Wing Class: all hand held sails - kitewing

  3. Kite Class: all kites welcome

Perhaps what was most remarkable was the incredibly warm and sophisticated way in which the championships were run. Our Latvian hosts did everything within their power to make us comfortable, accommodate our needs, and keep the racing running smoothly. Every obstacle was deftly handled, and everyone came away happy. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Latvian friends. They are welcome addition to the WISSA family!

On addition to that, our Latvian hosts introduced a new discipline that is sure to take hold. The new Short Track Slalom promises to be a huge success. It will attract a whole new class of rider to our events. Despite the difficulty of clearing snow away from the ice, it will be worth it.

The area that needs clearing is relatively small when compared to the high attraction of Short Track Slalom racing. Racing is fast, furious, and right where spectators can observe it. This year, the Red Bull truck had awesome tunes playing as the crowds gathered to watch what could be described as an exciting mix of windsurfing and ice hockey.

Future organizers take note: You will need ice clearing equipment for a 100 x 100 meter area, but your sponsors will love you because the crowds will gather to watch the action up close.

Regular racing seems to have taken the “up down up” course by popular demand. The Olympic Triangle that was tradition for so many years was abandoned on a trial basis, and now the consensus is that DN style “up down up” is best. This is and will remain at the core of our racing venues as will the venerated marathon, but new more spectator friendly disciplines such as Short Track Slalom (for Open Class & Wings) and Freestyle (for Kites) may replace the Speed Trials.

In summary, WISSA is stronger than ever and enjoying a very bright future indeed. Our success is driven by the passion and love of our members. Friendships are forged, competitions wrought, and traditions venerated with each passing year. Thank you to all who have returned, and welcome to all new comers.

William Tuthill / WISSA

The pictures are to follow