Steve Schaub sailing on Lake Maxinkuckee
Iceboating has enjoyed something of a resurgence on Lake Maxinkuckee. This winter has provided some wonderful opportunities for the sport. Frigid temperatures with little snow are exactly the conditions that hard water sailors are looking for.
An iceboat glides over the ice on runners similar to ice skates powered by a sail. The runners on ice provide very little drag so the sail quickly transforms into an air foil generating lift. It is this lift generated by the sail that allows the iceboat to travel at speeds 2-3 times wind speed.
On this day Steve and Joe Schaub were taking advantage of some ideal
Joe and Steve Schaub take advantage of ideal conditions for an iceboat sail on Lake Maxinkuckee
conditions. A steady 6-10 mph breeze out of the east with just a little snow in the air. The ice was mostly clear with only a light covering of snow in spots. Accumulated snow slows the iceboat significantly not only increasing the drag on the runners but the iceboat has very little clearance under it.
This low clearance provides an exciting perspective of speed. The runners over the ice provide some sound but most of the sound comes from the wind. The wind noise can be thrilling, it provides very little notice for others on the ice.
The sailors have to be on constant alert for safety. Other iceboats, ice fisherman and open water are the most common obstacles. As speeds increase the time to react to these obstacles decreases. Things happen fast on an iceboat and that is a big part of the appeal.
More photos are available at http://flickr.com/greghilde
Steve Lauretta, President of Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon unveiled the new look for the #9 featuring the “Bolt” which the team used from 1995 to 2001 seasons.
With the start of the 16 race Verizon IndyCar series still a month away, one race in particular seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the IndyCar media day. If you haven’t heard, you soon will, this year’s 500 is the 100th running.
IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are going all in to celebrate. Many of the drivers on hand spoke about how any win at Indy is special, but winning the 100th would be a special milestone.
Doug Boles, President Indianapolis Motor Speedway, highlighted the $92 million remodel that the speedway is calling Project 100. The front stretch grand stands are in the middle of getting a new and expanded roof structure and adding about 1000 seats to the speedway.
The track fence has been replaced with a new mesh that is coated with a smaller filter that you can see through better.
Gate 1 has been changed, there are now 7 elevators on the outside of the main grandstands and 18 suites have been converted to the Hulman Suite Club were people can buy individual tickets for the entire year. Boles stated “The biggest challenge is balancing what makes us special, which is the history and tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
While the speedway of course will be celebrating the 100th running, IndyCar will also be looking to capitalize on the anniversary as the series travels to other tracks. Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman and Company which runs the Verizon IndyCar Series stressed how the series is working with the promoters of the other tracks to grow the fan base. The series has enjoyed two consecutive years of TV viewer growth.
Doug Boles, President Indianapolis Motor Speedway, presents IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves with a section of the old fence that has been replaced. The section of fence came from the spot that Helio climbed in celebration after each of his three wins at the 500.
The schedule for the series has been expanded to 16 races. Phoenix and Road America are on the schedule this year along with a new venue, the Grand Prix of Boston. The Boston race is not without its share of controversy but the series is working with the promoters to overcome the objections. Miles stated that one of the issues that makes the Boston race troublesome is that there are 5 different property owners they are working with.
The same question kept coming up to the drivers, “How special would winning the 100th Indianapolis 500 be?” And the same answer kept coming back, “Any win at Indy is special.”
Juan Pablo Montoya put it as succinct as anyone “If you have to work harder because it’s the 100th, then you haven’t been doing your job.”
Will Power pointed out that as a team it is also special because this will be Roger Penske’s 50th running as a team. “I don’t think you want to focus on the fact it’s the 100th, you want to focus on the race itself” added last year’s runner up.
Graham Rahal’s dad Bobby Rahal won the 500 in 1986. That win “transformed the Rahal name forever” said Graham. Graham won the Daytona 24 overall and the Atlantic Championship 30 years after his father. He is hoping “this tradition continues.”
Other highlights from media day included Honda announcing they will continue to provide engines for at least the next two years with an option for the three years after that. Chip Ganassi Racing unveiled Scott Dixon’s number 9 ride bringing back the lightning bolt from late ’90s. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway presented Helio Castroneves with a section of the old fence that he climbed after his three wins. A final decision on the Honda aero kit changes for 2016 have not been announced yet, but there was some indication that it was only days away.
The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series starts March 13th with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The month of May starts with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. “It’s going to be a special May” as Doug Boles said.
Graham Rahal driver for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team answers questions from the media about the upcoming season.