Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunapee Squeeze

It is a squeeze when ice access is across a pool of slop and open water is all around. Normally this is the best time of the year on Sunapee, but last Saturday was +20°C [or near the accepted "room temperature" of 70 degrees F] air temperature, and of course - the water was.......COLD!

Poor Rick Hobbs of Lunnenberg, MA got his boots soaked early on. He made up for it by staying out on the ice and logging some good distance before coming in to eat and rest. Just the same, he had to dump water out of his boots!

Those are Volkl powder skis- the better to skim OPEN WATER with! Thankfully there wasn't too much of that.

Looks harmless enough - is is NOT! That is a swimming hole. There were a lot of them. At the speeds we were going, it took an eagle eye to miss them.

Annie Tuthill [age 15] carried a 5.5m wing ALL day without a harness. This may sound simple, but it was not. The wind was hot, dry and gusty. I was hanging from my lines most of the day. The gray stuff was super soft. If not prepared it could knock you down. Twice I had a ski get ripped off my foot by it.

Steve Barrs of Andover, NH is on "solid" ice here. You could really build up speed on these spots. Steve stayed out while many went in to eat and /or drain their boots. He was well over 100 km distance traveled at the end of the day. Also- knowing that the end was near-he was out all day the day before.

That is Rick making some serious speed.

The rider's view. I was riding the 7.5 meter Wave Warrior wing by Kitewing. It has modified battens made by Richard Saltonstall of Rockland, Maine. Richard replaced the stock tips with custom carbon foil sections that he made himself. At WISSA 2010, Rainer and Juho Salo [ Rauma, Finland] together with engineer Klaus Faisst [Toronto ON] made further adjustments. The wing was a heavy handful in this wind. But still easily managed. As hot dry gusts scoured the ice plate the ground effect bounces called for signifigant counter balancing weight- I HAVE IT! I laid my full [ 2 meter tall /100 kilo weight] into this wing and got lifted. [ it was GREAT!] Once while bending off a big air bounce, I skimmed an open hole that would easily swallow a person. Thank goodness [and Kitewing] for lift :-)))

George Baskette of Barre VT was sailing in short sleeves. It was an eire combination of hot weather and dying ice.

George has a big one - Get it? George has been ice/snow kiting from the beginning.

Concept Air Team Rider and host Charlie Meding of Wilmot NH always charges hard. He logs the biggest speeds, longest distances and best jumps.

Charlie was hammering ALL day! He topped 100 kph earlier in the season and has logged over 1,600 km distance in previous years. LOOK at the bend in his skis! He is lit!

The other regular kiter, Chris Porter of Hanover NH has been working in NYC for the past several weeks. He could challenge anyone for best jumps on Sunapee, but this weekend, Chris & Katie spoiled the troops by deep frying turkey and duck on site. They spent hours preparing and the feast was devoured under automobile head lamps. It was delicious. Huge props to Chris and Katie for their generosity and culinary prowess.

Special thanks to Allison Baskette, Kimberly Tuthill, and Lori Meding for holding down the shorefront on this last of days. It was a long haul and you guys were steadfast." Kikea hyvaa sinyle" as they say in Finland "all the best on you"


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