Archive for » February, 2014 «

Great Falls and North Central Montana | Continuous News

17 hours 33 minutes ago by Alex Clark (alex@kxlh.com)

Ice Sailing…. it’s one of the oldest sports in the books, and not a lot people have heard or even tried it. Well MTNs Alex Clark is on Special Assignment for us tonight, to find why people from all over the world are coming to Helena to tryout this intense sport.

When you drive up to Canyon Ferry Lake you will notice a fleet of sails, harnessed to the ice, ready to combat the high winds.

Ice sailors that have been waiting all year long for just the right winter conditions to bring out their boats.

It’s a tricky sport, you have to have just the right amount of wind, and wait for the lake to freeze over before you can rig up the sail.

But, a word of caution, this sport isn’t for everyone, in the blink of an eye, an ice boat can reach up to 90 miles an hour.

“Up until they invented air planes, ice boats were faster than anything on the planet.”

And he’s not kidding, with high speeds and dangerous conditions, ice sailing has left Alan with a few bumps and bruises.

“I was aware of them but, I had never seen one, and this was clear back in 1971. So, there was a National Geographic magazine with a picture of one off in the distance on some lake and I thought, ah I gotta have one of these. So, I built one, cost me 35 dollars, it was terrible and it wouldn’t sail. Put me in the hospital once, wasn’t too bad.”

Since that 35 dollar boat, Alan has upgraded and spread his contagious love of ice sailing to several others.

“You put your helmet on, and lay down in the ice boat and take off like a shot and of course its bad colored ice, snow drifts, bad things, stuff stuck in the ice, and I’m like these guys don’t have the first idea where the bad ice is. But, needless to say I had a ton of fun and after that first day I was kind of convinced I was going to get my own ice boat. So, then I did and like so many other things that are a lot of fun, than you find yourself buying a second and than a third and than you’re wondering you can only sail one at a time so I ended up with quite a collection of boats there for awhile.”

So, now it was my turn to hit the ice. After hearing the horror stories and watching all day, I was the extremely apprehensive but, I couldn’t be called yellow in front of my new ice sailing peers.

So off we went.

“What you need for ice boating is a lake that freezes but, doesn’t get snow and that’s a real rare condition, generally most climates where it gets snow enough to freeze a lake, its also going to snow. And the sports been around for a lot a lot of years and part of the reason its never taken off is exactly due to that phenomenon.”

“You need clear ice, if there is snow on it, it completely boshes the thing and you might as well go bowling. But, it blows so stinking hard out there that it blows the snow off the lake and secondly, we get Chinooks here in Montana. And this is basically a real, real warm air mass that comes into the state and blows 50 mph with 50 degree temperatures. So, even if you have snow on the lake, it zambonis it and two, three days later its smooth again.”

And that is why people come from all over the world to visit Canyon Ferry Lake. From the average joe, millionaires and extreme sport junkies, they all come for the ice and the audrenaline rush.

“We call it combat ice boating cause sometimes when its blowing that hard, you’re just trying to keep the boat in control and make it back each time and basically we will brag each other off the shore line, and its like, you go, no you go, no, you’re yellow, no you’re yellow, no you go.”

So, if you dare, and you’re not yellow, ice sailing may be the sport for you.


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Helena, Montana | Continuous News and STORMTracker Weather

11 hours 3 minutes ago by Alex Clark (alex@kxlh.com)

Ice Sailing…. it’s one of the oldest sports in the books, and not a lot people have heard or even tried it. Well MTNs Alex Clark is on Special Assignment for us tonight, to find why people from all over the world are coming to Helena to tryout this intense sport.

When you drive up to Canyon Ferry Lake you will notice a fleet of sails, harnessed to the ice, ready to combat the high winds.

Ice sailors that have been waiting all year long for just the right winter conditions to bring out their boats.

It’s a tricky sport, you have to have just the right amount of wind, and wait for the lake to freeze over before you can rig up the sail.

But, a word of caution, this sport isn’t for everyone, in the blink of an eye, an ice boat can reach up to 90 miles an hour.

“Up until they invented air planes, ice boats were faster than anything on the planet.”

And he’s not kidding, with high speeds and dangerous conditions, ice sailing has left Alan with a few bumps and bruises.

“I was aware of them but, I had never seen one, and this was clear back in 1971. So, there was a National Geographic magazine with a picture of one off in the distance on some lake and I thought, ah I gotta have one of these. So, I built one, cost me 35 dollars, it was terrible and it wouldn’t sail. Put me in the hospital once, wasn’t too bad.”

Since that 35 dollar boat, Alan has upgraded and spread his contagious love of ice sailing to several others.

“You put your helmet on, and lay down in the ice boat and take off like a shot and of course its bad colored ice, snow drifts, bad things, stuff stuck in the ice, and I’m like these guys don’t have the first idea where the bad ice is. But, needless to say I had a ton of fun and after that first day I was kind of convinced I was going to get my own ice boat. So, then I did and like so many other things that are a lot of fun, than you find yourself buying a second and than a third and than you’re wondering you can only sail one at a time so I ended up with quite a collection of boats there for awhile.”

So, now it was my turn to hit the ice. After hearing the horror stories and watching all day, I was the extremely apprehensive but, I couldn’t be called yellow in front of my new ice sailing peers.

So off we went.

“What you need for ice boating is a lake that freezes but, doesn’t get snow and that’s a real rare condition, generally most climates where it gets snow enough to freeze a lake, its also going to snow. And the sports been around for a lot a lot of years and part of the reason its never taken off is exactly due to that phenomenon.”

“You need clear ice, if there is snow on it, it completely boshes the thing and you might as well go bowling. But, it blows so stinking hard out there that it blows the snow off the lake and secondly, we get Chinooks here in Montana. And this is basically a real, real warm air mass that comes into the state and blows 50 mph with 50 degree temperatures. So, even if you have snow on the lake, it zambonis it and two, three days later its smooth again.”

And that is why people come from all over the world to visit Canyon Ferry Lake. From the average joe, millionaires and extreme sport junkies, they all come for the ice and the audrenaline rush.

“We call it combat ice boating cause sometimes when its blowing that hard, you’re just trying to keep the boat in control and make it back each time and basically we will brag each other off the shore line, and its like, you go, no you go, no, you’re yellow, no you’re yellow, no you go.”

So, if you dare, and you’re not yellow, ice sailing may be the sport for you.


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VIDEO: RYA Scotland to stage Commonwealth Flotilla

The Royal Yachting Association Scotland announces that 250 boats will muster at James Watt Dock in Greenock before sailing to Glasgow in the Commonwealth Flotilla on Saturday 26 July 2014.

A major backer of the event is Inverclyde Council, which is contributing £250,000 towards its staging.

James Stuart, the chief executive of the RYA Scotland, Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s Environment Regeneration Convener, and Nick Fleming, chief executive of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, talk about their organisations’ involvement.

Interviews by BBC Scotland reporter Keir Murray.


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Team Aberdeen Singapore and France's team in major crash at Extreme Sailing Series

SINGAPORE – Team Aberdeen Singapore and France’s Groupama sailing team crashed just metres from the finish as a big gust hit the fleet on the final run to the line at Extreme Sailing Series on Saturday.

In winds that were varying from 5 to 25 knots, Team Aberdeen Singapore’s boat caught the biggest gust of the day as they came into the finish line and ploughed into the back of the French team.

Tanguy Cariou onboard Groupama sailing team suffered minor facial injuries, and was taken ashore immediately for treatment. The rest of the crew onboard both Groupama and Team Aberdeen Singapore are uninjured, a statement from the Extreme Sailing Series said.

The Safety Team were immediately on site to provide assistance, and all the crews were quickly taken account of. The technical team are craning out the boats at The Float@Marina Bay for full damage assessment.

Due to the conditions, Race Director Phil Lawrence had earlier called the whole day a no-Guest Sailor day, so there were no guests onboard at any time on Saturday.

Groupama is busy working on fixing their mast, and expects to be back on the racetrack tomorrow. However, the damage assessment is not yet complete on Team Aberdeen Singapore.










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Team New Zealand have slipped to fifth on the penultimate day of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series’ opening regatta in Singapore as testing conditions ripped through the 12-boat fleet.

The third day saw more intense action with six races as the breeze across the tight course fluctuated from a gentle five knots to sudden gusts of 25.

The day was marked by a serious collision between Groupama and Aberdeen Singapore, as one of the strongest gusts of the day hit.

No-one was hurt, but Groupama’s rig came down as Aberdeen rode over the top of them and the yachts were locked together.

Groupama skipper Franck Cammas described the moment as Aberdeen, approaching the finishing line as the gust hit, struggled to avoid the collision. 

“We had a big gust and as we were finishing a gybe we saw Aberdeen come really fast from behind and that’s the moment they came over us breaking the mast. Three crew members ended up in the water.”  

Other than the mast, damage can be repaired overnight: “The mainsail, the jib and a hole on the trampoline. I think we will be able to race tomorrow with another mast,” Cammas said.

“What is tricky here is that the wind is quite strong and very gusty which is difficult to anticipate. It’s not easy.”

A full starting grid of 12 Extreme 40s is expected for the final day’s racing although it will be a demanding night in the pit lane as the shore crews rally to make the repairs. Four boats are out of the water but the teams are confident they’ll be ready for the last day of the regatta.

It was not a good day for Team New Zealand, slipping to fifth overall, although skipper Dean Barker remained upbeat about their return to action since the America’s Cup.

“We’re sailing well and still in the hunt for a podium finish. We need a good solid day and have a few breaks go our way,” Barker said.

The four teams at the top of the leaderboard competed in the series last year. Alinghi, and The Wave, Muscat are first and second respectively. Realstone, who missed Day Three’s racing, are third, after being awarded average points following yesterday’s collision with Oman Air.

With 117 points, Emirates Team New Zealand are within striking distance of a podium finish. Fourth Red Bull Racing Team are also on 117; Leaders Alinghi have 163, The Wave 132 and Realstone 130.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1, Singapore

Standings after Day 3, 21 races

1st Alinghi (SUI) 163 points. 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 132 points. 3rd Realstone (SUI) 130 points. 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 117 points. 5th Emirates Team New Zealand  117 points. 6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 104 points. 7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 103 points. 8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 95 points.9th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 89 points. 10th Oman Air (OMA) 88 points.11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 49 points. 12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) 47 points.



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Sailing: Boat crashes into another at 2014 Extreme Sailing Series

A strong gust of wind sent one boat ploughing into the back of another on day three of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series at Marina Bay.


Team Aberdeen Singapore’s boat crashed into the back of the boat belonging to France’s Groupama sailing team on day three of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series.

SINGAPORE: A strong gust of wind sent one boat ploughing into the back of another on day three of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series at Marina Bay, in what was dubbed one of the most dramatic moments in the eight-year history of the series.

Team Aberdeen Singapore’s boat was caught in a big gust of wind as it approached the finish line, and ended up hitting the back of the boat belonging to France’s Groupama sailing team, causing three crew members to jump off.

The Groupama sailing team said one member suffered superficial injuries from the incident and the damage to their boat was not too serious.

Both crews are working overnight to get their boats back out on the racecourse for the last day of the Extreme Sailing Series.


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NZ slip at Extreme Sailing regatta

Team New Zealand have slipped to a share of fourth place at the Extreme Sailing regatta in Singapore, leaving them with no chance of winning the opening leg of the 2014 series.

Placed second going into the penultimate day of the 12-boat regatta, skipper Dean Barker and his crew struggled in the fluctuating wind that marred Saturday’s six races.

Team NZ and the Red Bull Racing Team of Austria are level on 117 points, with no chance of catching Swiss leaders Alinghi (163).

However, second-placed Oman outfit The Wave (132) and Switzerland’s Realstone (130) are in Barker’s sights on Sunday.

“We’re sailing well and are still in the hunt for a podium finish. We need a good solid day and have a few breaks go our way,” he said.

A series of collisions left four boats needing repairs but a full contingent is expected to line up for the last races.

Team Aberdeen Singapore caught a big gust as they came into the finish line struggling to hold off the pace and smacked into the back of France’s Groupama sailing team.

Crews of five men are contesting the eight-leg series in 40-foot catamarans.

New Zealand’s crew comprises Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin Delaat.

NZN


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Serious collision on day 3 of Extreme Sailing Series

Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series saw more intense action as the breeze across the race course fluctuated from a gentle five knots to sudden gusts of 25. Six races were sailed on the tight Singapore course.

The day was marked by a serious collision between Groupama and Aberdeen Singapore, as one of the strongest gusts of the day swept through the fleet.

No one was hurt, but Groupama’s rig came down as Aberdeen rode over the top of Groupama and the yachts were locked together.

Groupama’s skipper Franck Cammas described the moment as Aberdeen, approaching the finishing line as the gust hit, struggled to avoid the collision.

“We had a big gust and as we were finishing a gybe we saw Aberdeen come really fast from behind and that’s the moment they came over us breaking the mast. Three crew members ended up in the water.

Other than the mast, damage can be repaired overnight: “The mainsail, the jib and a hole on the trampoline. I think we will be able to race tomorrow with another mast,” Cammas said.

“What is tricky here is that the wind is quite strong and very gusty which is difficult to anticipate. It’s not easy.”

A full starting grid of 12 Extreme 40s is expected for the final day’s racing in Singapore – although it will be a demanding night in pit lane as the shore crews rally to make the repairs. Four boats are out of the water but the teams are confident they’ll be ready for the last day of the regatta.

It was not a good day for Emirates Team New Zealand, slipping to fifth overall, although skipper Dean Barker says, “We’re sailing well and still in the hunt for a podium finish. We need a good solid day and have a few breaks go our way.”

The four teams at the top of the leaderboard competed in the series last year. Alinghi, and The Wave, Muscat are first and second respectively. Realstone, which missed Day 3 racing, is third, after being awarded average points following yesterday’s collision with Oman Air.

With 117 points, Emirates Team New Zealand is within striking distance of a podium finish. Fourth Red Bull Racing Team is also on 117; Leader Alinghi is on 163, The Wave on 132 and Realstone on 130.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1, Singapore

Standings after Day 3, 21 races

1st Alinghi (SUI) 163 points. 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 132 points. 3rd Realstone (SUI) 130 points. 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 117 points. 5th Emirates Team New Zealand 117 points. 6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 104 points. 7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 103 points. 8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 95 points.9th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 89 points. 10th Oman Air (OMA) 88 points.11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 49 points. 12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) 47 points.


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Spectacular pile-up in Extreme Sailing raises safety questions

“The wind was coming in so fast and there was this bottleneck with nowhere for
the boats to go. When the gusts hit, you lose control and there is nothing
you can do. We were extremely concerned and were waiting to hear that
everyone was safe.

“Ideally we would be in slightly less risky conditions,” he added.

“There have been plenty of close moments when things could have gone horribly
wrong and there has to be some consideration for the safety of the crews and
make sure the organisers are not forcing us into dangerous situations.”

Rob Greenhalgh, skipper of Oman Air, said the conditions were on the limit but
acceptable.

“If people had been hurt, they would be asking different questions but the
gusts go from 5 knots to 20 knots and there are a lot of boats in confined
spaces so there are always going to be accidents. Everyone knows this racing
is close to the edge and no one is raising serious safety issues.”

Phil Lawrence, Extreme Sailing Series Race Director assured the 12 Extreme
crews that he had no doubts over safety in the conditions and all their
safety protocols had worked.

“If there had been any doubts about whether it was safe to race, we would
have stopped racing,” he said.

“We have a whole safety protocol here and review it before each race. We
decided not to put guest sailors on board today because of the gusts and
after Race 21, our team who monitor wind strength at all times reported that
the gusts had reached their pre-designated limits so we stopped racing.

“It was an unfortunate incident and we are very happy no one was hurt,” he
said.

With one day of racing in Singapore remaining, Morgan Larsen and Alinghi are
well placed at the top of the leaderboard with two times Extreme champion
McMillan in second place on The Wave Muscat, having risen from 10th place on
Thursday. Ainslie and his crew on JP Morgan BAR is in 5th place at his first
Extreme event as skipper.


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