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Montreal Ice Boating

This year winter got off to an early start. November saw ice n snow. Today on Wednesday, December 19th in 2018 I went to the Baie D'Urfé Bay (yes, that is a double bay) to check out the ice boating. Mr. Ed from work told me yesterday about the facebook page:

and there was a conversation/post on-going that they would meet at the aforementioned bay n day at 10 o' clock - n that's taday fo me.

So, I showed up with my Nikon D200 , two lenses and GoPro with no SIM card 😕
(that last one was obviously NOT on poipuss - and fogot me cleats too).

Vehicles were arriving at about the same time as me ...
Looks easy enough to transport on top o' the car.

Others  were setting up with one wife in the warm car.
(On re-read that last line sounds just terrible LOL)
Her husband was here for his first outing on an Austrian made ice sled ...
(okay - they call 'em boats)

Clique on pics to enlarge

Some had their ice boats already assembled and parked next door at the marina...

The group was VERY friendly and explained that there were stringent rules in the size of the sled, mast, cross plank, runners, etc. Seems to be the most common international DN class is what these folks were all riding. The fiberglass looking boats are made in Poland (42 pounds if i am not mistaken) and all the dudes have their racing numbers starting with KC, as in Kingdom Canada - what the heck ?? Yes, the masts are often made with carbon - as were some parts. The sail one fellow was using on these Polish boats was quoted as being 60 square feet. I think it was André who said just divide by ten and he is pretty close. It is 5.57 square meters, but looks larger than my 6.4 sail !!!

The wind was VERY light and coming out of the East. Some folks walked/slid their boats out and André ran it out and jumped in ... Read on wiki that these boats can go ten times as fast as the wind. The ice on the other hand was quite good - they gave it 9 outta 10 on their facebook ...
They did pick n choose where they went and will be back tomorrow too !!
Mr. Ed asked where is my windsurf sled ? Left it up north $%^&*
Actually wind was too light for me !!!

They were definitely having fun !!!

Now to make sure my GoPro is ready for next visit !! DONE 
No need for me to make a video - there are plenty of good ones on the you/boob tube
Next time bring cleats and my winter sleds too ??

It is extremely dangerous to go out on the ice !!
People die in Canada every winter when they go through :-(

2018 was a BUST

As you may know, I build sleds to go on ice and snow.
In 2018 I only managed to get out six times when the average is ten times per year ...
Here is a video that shows when the ice is good on local river
The blue is from a GoPro copy I was testing in 2017

I changed jobs in 2017 which meant I had less opportunities to windsurf during the week.
Officially making me a weekend warrior who does not venture too far ...
This reduced the number of outings and ensured many sessions were light wind sessions on light wind gear. AND the learning curve dropped :-(

There was a total of twenty-eight(28) sessions with the majority at OKA/La CrĂȘte on the Mistral Equipe 2 XR board and the HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5 sail (typically with the Curtis 47 cm slalom fin).

Was very fortunate to get a 2007 Gaastra Swift 10 m² sail which I have been using ...
This sail is a freerace sail with 2 cambers, but tight luff and 6 battens,but quite light at only 5.7 kilos . This is SO much lighter and easier to use than a full on race sail like my MauiSails TR-4 10 m² sail ...

This session actually got an eight outta ten... Shows how desperate I was this year ...
NO speed until about the 18 minute mark !! and NO-ONE else there !!

It's supposed to look more like this:

This is a shot on my way out of the beach area from my phone ...

Y'vente à Montréal

Vous pouvez avoir la discussion en francais --> utilisez "google translate" ci-haut

Y'vente is slang for there is wind or it is windy
Yvente is the nickname of a local windsurf legend who also runs the QuebecWind forum
He is the only local windsurfer who windsurfs on water year round
There are many videos of him in ice water ...
Yvente seems like a guy who can ride anything - he kites, foils, etc, etc
Same thing on ice ...
He also makes great videos

FULL screen and pump up the volume 😊

Baie des Brises été 2018 from Yvan Boucher on Vimeo.

just to prove his versatility at making vidoes, kiting and windsurfing ... skiing, snowshoeing ...

Printemps 2018 (version light 3) from Yvan Boucher on Vimeo.

and here you see why i call him the "ice man"


image from 2018 when we had early snow and winter - like starting in November

Canadian MASTERS Windsurf Championship Trois RiviĂšres this weekend !!

Here is a report on the 2018 event at Trois RiviÚres (in French) on the QuébecWind forum ...

with the results here:

and will call this one "the official report" :-)

photo from farcebook ...

Go Pro Alternatives

Since the GoPro gained such popularity , went through many versions and also had the Hero, other companies tried to make cheaper imitations... Since I lost my GoPro 3 Silver ... I decided to try the different alternatives. The first one I tried was a Pic Tek from Amazon and cost just over one hundred Canadian dollars. Since I am not looking for perfection, it was ok and I recommended it to some people who were completely satisfied. I was NOT ...

This video seemed okay, but the first one in the winter outside had a strange hue ...
The next video in the winter did NO|T have that strange hue - perhaps I somehow overcame this with the settings ??

what was I disappointed about ??
already mentioned the hue and basically some colour just did not get my attention ...

Ed, my buddy at work showed me some footage at Hawaii above and below water with an SJ CAM.
I liked the colour and the option to reduce the wide angle ...
So, I purchased an SJ400 for under $70 delivered ...
This is my first video at OKA on Canada Day 2018 , well actually Mon, July 2nd ...

In the cover shot colours are good ..
Sound is not bad without the case ...
A bit shaky with no change in settings ..
Date is wrong and showing on the film = FIXED $%^&*(

here's one heading out of OKA La CrĂȘte - same day ...

une autre essaie mais avec le camera en dessous le boom/wishbone  - sans date et 1080p

there are PLENTY of cheaper GoPro alternatives that do the job just fine ..
just google it ...

and there is also the GoPro Hero Session - well, there WAS - is it no longer manufactured ??
it was a tiny little camera that seemed very handy ...
they seem to be available still
and are $$$ like all

Self Rescue

Because of what happened to me recently on my first outing on a D2/Division 2 board ... and after some discussion with Franco of Montreal, I found it appropriate and important to discuss "self-rescue".
If one goes out alone or no-one left on the water or just too far from anyone else ....

It is VITAL to be ready for the unexpected ...

Here is Tinho's take on what one can do to come back - without the sail !!!

and since ... posts disappear on the web or addresses change &^*()
i will copy that information here directly !!

and it is on a Fanatic Shark 130 that looks like my 145 = oh oh
is it an omen ??
What it means to self rescue: You de-rig while in the water, stow your rolled up rig on top of the board (or give it to someone else, and paddle your board back.

Self rescue simple rules:
1- ALWAYS stay with your board. Do not ever under any circumstances leave your board.
2- Only self rescue when you are sure you can reach safety by paddling. If you are in the middle of the Atlantic, keep your rig together with your board, it is more visible and slows drifting.
3- While de-rigging only have one loose piece of gear on your hand at a time. Secure loose items to the board as you de-rig.

Sit on the board with the legs to the side of the rig, (or straddle the board in the case of  narrow or shorter boards). Disconnect the rig from the board. From this point on, rule #1 applies!! You cannot catch a loose board in 20 knots of wind. If you fall off the board, immediately grab your board.

Move the rig around so you can reach the outhaul and clew.

Release the outhaul and be sure to place your finger in front of the cleat so the tip of the line does not get stuck on the cleat. If this happens, you will not be able to self rescue!!.

Remove the inhaul and separate the boom from the rig.
Tie the uphaul to the footstrap so the boom is tethered to the board.

Remove the downhaul completely. Use the same trick with the finger on the cleat so the line tip does not jam inside the cleat. 
Remove the extension and connect it to the mast foot, so your hands are free.

Remove the sail from the mast. Careful to keep all the pieces together. If a mast has broken, careful with the sharp edges of the mast. 

Once the mast is off the sail, hold the mast under your leg, and begin rolling the head of the sail around the battens.
As soon as you give it a few wraps, place the mast pieces inside each other if possible, or both side by side inside the roll you just made.

Roll the sail as tight and neatly as possible, keeping the mast pieces and the battens parallel to each other.
It really helps to spread the legs and keep them extended so the sail is kept as flat as possible while rolling it up.

Tie the boom front to the roll, using the uphaul, then use the outhaul to tie the opposite end

Turn the roll around and tie now the outhaul around the other side of the roll, so the boom is holding it all together

Place the extension inside the roll and use the downhaul to tie the roll securely.

And this is your complete 1 piece package, ready to stow on top of the board and begin the joyful paddle back!!

At this time, unscrew the mast foot from the board and connect it to the mast extension.

Next , maneuver the rig across the board. If you have a short board, lay down on the board and begin shifting the rig lengthwise, gradually getting on top of it. It is important to keep the boom front end facing down, and facing the front of the board, so the boom tubes stabilize the rig package.

It's time to paddle.  Do use your arms as deep as possible in the water, rest your head on the rig, and keep a rhythm.

Do practice self rescue with your equipment. You will need it one day.
I prefer to say - you MAY need it one day
Prepare for the unexpected !!

And this is ONLY one aspect of self-rescue.

MANY other things can go wrong too - broken/lost fin, broken mast, etc
For the broken fin, I have read that people have attached their harness at the back to act as a rudimentary fin.
For the broken mast this fellow suggests inverting the top and sliding into the bottom:

The next edition of the Canadian Master's newsletter carries a piece about my incident on the water:

Safety on the water - please read the article on page 6 from Joe Windsurfer. Wow he is so lucky to have survived, what a story. Joe lost his board when the rig separated from the board and almost lost his life. Make sure you have a whistle and stay with your board and always sail with a buddy are the 3 key messages. Also, for those of you that like to paddle, please make sure you have a lanyard connecting your leg and the board. Every year paddle boarders die because they fall off their
boards and cannot swim fast enough to catch up with their boards blown away in the wind.

Personally feel that it is a little exaggerated. Never did I feel close to death, but I was wondering how deep into hypothermia I was going to be. The important message again is - be careful and always be ready for the unexpected !!!

While we are on the subject of safety ...

Please check your equipment at the beginning of the season !! As I don't go out that often and usually go in light wind, I am NOT expecting too many equipment replacement issues .... And what have I been saying here ?? over and over ... Expect the unexpected !!!

This is my tendon of my Chinook mast base ... I asked how often should one replace this ?? Yvan of auventfou says to just check it annually. Jack of the South Shore says every three(3) years.

Fortunately when I picked up a used board at auventfou, I asked Vincent to check my tendon and this is what we saw !!!

Clique to enlarge
Clique to enlarge
 Bad things were about to happen !! Check your stuff !!!

Was I going to drown ??

Obviously I did NOT !!

People have suggested I make this a separate post rather than at the beginning of this one:

A quick summary is that I was out alone on semi-cold water (about 15 degrees C or 59 F) doing a first run with my newly-acquired D2/div2/Division 2 board. The wind was side-shore and my first session of the year at La CrĂȘte/OKA Parc.

The good news is that I was wearing a wetsuit (only the farmer john portion of a 2 piece BARE) , booties and did have on my good safety jacket ...

The bad news is - I did NOT prepare for the unexpected !!
The board was a 1982/1983 REIX Competition board

that had been found on some rocks near Montreal by Eric Bouillet, who is the president of the international id2ca organization. They are trying to get a comeback on these boards - racing/fun/etc ...

When I purchased the board, I asked if the mast base connection was solid.
Eric had replied YES

It definitely connects well with a modern Chinook mast base

Basically what did happen was - the mast base DID separate from the board in the middle of the lake. When I was attempting a tack. 
André Lefrancois at work says why not a jibe/gybe ??

Was informed by Eric and iwindsurf forum that this was known issue - in 20 years of windsurfing, I have NEVER had this issue... Not with Fanatic Ultra Cat, BIC Dufours, BIC SL200 and definitely not with boards that have mast tracks ...

I managed to grab the board once, but let it go when going for the sail.
That was a MAJOR mistake - forget the sail at this point - get on the board or get a good solid grip.
I considered getting rid of the life jacket and dashing after the board.
Was worried about being in the middle of the lake with nothing ...

So, the board continued on its way and I was left with the sail.
Basically I swam for two(2) hours until I was rescued ...
More on that later ...

What I did not have was - NO phone in water proof bag (both in the van).
Did not have a whistle - also in the van ...

As I said, I did NOT plan for the unexpected and was ALONE on the water ...
The alone part surprised me - there were kiters on the beach when I left and NO boats on the water during the first long weekend of the season ...
Basically the kiters stayed close to shore and boaters were all preparing for the upcoming season.
It had been a rough spring - with lotsa rain ...

I am SURE I had some premonition because once started, my thought was to go across to the other side (3-4 km across) and then tack in the shallow waters - in case anything went wrong ...

What happened with the wind and current I was headed more downwind and would have to go into the bay ...

So, I was thinking, "Is that really necessary ? What can go wrong?"
and I tried a tack, but with the rounded belly of the board was having some issues...\
The sail came out and some of the story has been told ...

Two major issues as far as I am concerned - where I should have known better ...
They are not about safety equipment, but more about the plan of action !!

1) If testing a new setup - use on-shore winds , smaller venue, etc
         ie TAKE IT EASY

2) IF board and sail separate - go for the board and hold on to it for dear life ...
         ie this is your safety vehicle

The other BIG lessons are safety ...
if alone - bring whistle, phone, VHF, beacon, everything you got ...
on older boards (1980's) tie the sail to the board
a couple of times I immersed my head in the water to save the sail
that is NOT recommended and may have been why i was starting hypothermia ...

when I was rescued by Caroline (a sailing instructor of Club Voiles Deux Montagnes, Vaudreuil) I could barely get in the inflatable dinghy and was shaking profusely.
I waved them down when I thought their eyes may directed in my direction ...
Simon Deschenes (a 14 year old sailor) helped drag my ass into the dinghy
I draped a windbreaker over my shoulders and Caroline called ahead to Guy @ the club
The sail was rescued and so was I ...
Guy met us at the dock and was checked for hypothermia and asked if i thought i needed an ambulance. I did not think so ....
By pressing my skin and seeing the colour come back in 2 seconds Guy felt i was just starting hypothermia ...
I was offered a hot shower and hot tea ...
Both items were helpful in getting my core temperature back.
Actually had to go in and out of the hot shower for about an hour before i could stop shivering entirely.
Then sat in the sun out of the wind to completely warm up ....

People at the club were SO friendly and helpful
Caroline, Guy, Guy Deschenes , his wife, Simon and Daniel - thank you so much
asked the club how i could thank them through the club ...
The Deschenes actually gave me a ride back in their van to La CrĂȘte - once Simon finished his lesson.
At the park i could not get a ride at the gate because there was an emergency ...
The kiters at the park had actually called 911 - they saw me go , but never come back !!
It turns out - I was the emergency :-)
Everyone seemed so happy to see me - and i was even happy to see my co-workers on Tuesday after a long weekend :-)

What about the board ??
Many e-mails to boat clubs, windsurf forums, windsurf shops, etc
It is not about the money - it's just because that board was about reviving DIV2
For that reason Eric of id2ca, who sold me the board, is more concerned than I about retrieving it ...
I would sail it again when it turns up - but either permanently attaching base or at least make it better and attach it to the sail $%^*()_+

Today the next Sunday my wife and I went to check out where board may have gone ...
Drove north side of the 40 just west of the BIG bridge /Pont Ile aux Tourtes ? - until we hit water
Talked to Daniel and Guy Deschenes at Club Voiles Deux Montagnes, Vaudreuil - my rescuers ...
Drove around Ile Cadieu stopping at a few places and looking about
Went to Senneville avenue to try and see from the other side
WOW - really do need a boat and lotsa time
Daniel seemed to think it would end up in Laval
I am almost guessing more South Shore
Oh well - I tried ...

Buddy suggested I mention that it took some time to recover.
At least a couple of days - from the effort and initial hypothermia.
In terms of the wife - yes, she is more wary about my going out alone.
Suggests getting the VHF first, etc
Co-workers ask the following Monday - you're alive ??
My new song is "Stayin' Alive" from the Bee Gees ...
I am ready to go out again - just waitin' for wind !!!
(with whistle and phone if alone)

Division 2 boards aka D2 and DIV2

Well this is a quick and sad story ... 
I wanted to try these boards, perhaps even go to a few races and have some fun ... 
As you will see below ... 
I did purchase one at a decent price and okay shape ...

On Sunday 20MAY 2018 i had the chance to try it on Lake of Two Mountains in NW 20+ kph winds. The board went fine and i was considering going to the other side of the lake before tacking in case anything went went wrong ... Ah, what can go wrong ... It was a little tricky to tack and on the second attempt, the sail and board separated with the sail in my hands ...
Managed to get the board and when i turned towards the sail, the board slipped out of my hands ...
This board seems to float high in the water and with the wind and waves, it was moving ...
do i abandon the sail and go for the board again ??
what if i don't get the board then i have nothing $%^&*
stayed with the sail ...

thought i could swim to nearest point but the wind was sideshore and so was the current
i spent about two(2) hours in the water until i managed to signal Caroline, an instructor at Club de Voiles Deux Montagnes - which is in Vaudreuils. She was in an inflatable dinghy with one sailor and two young fellows on sailboats with 4.7 sails...
On the way during the two hours ... my sail sank twice, but i would not let it - that was to be my saving vessel - could float with it/rest !!
Once I got to the yacht club, Guy and Daniel were VERY helpful and I had warm showers, towels and warm tea. Took me a good hour to fully warm up ...
Even got a ride back to OKA where they had called 911 and the police.
At the gate I could not get a ride in since there was an emergency/urgence.
Turns out - that emergency was ME,

Gros merci Ă  Guy, Guy et sa femme, Simon leur fils, Daniel et Caroline !!
I need to find a way to thank them properly !!

The yacht club suggested a water proof VHF radio - they are on channel 68 
Often i carried a phone when alone - who would i call ??
Helmut suggested coast guard ...

Many people suggest I write a separate post on the incident - what went right and what went wrong ?
Lessons learned and obviously - the management question - what can be done to avoid this in the future ?? 

As a think i am a comedian, i made many silly jokes - like spoke to the gods and we agreed it was not my time - YET. 

Probably lost five (5) pounds -- should i try this again next weekend ??

Was telling everyone I will see them again ,, but next time ON the water !!

At work next day some asked if i would take up ballet instead ?? since a wet-suit is like tights anyway ...

Told the wife maybe it is time for me to give up windsurfing. She said NO WAY.
ALWAYS listen to your wife !!

Note: the logos above are merely for presentation and as yet, I am NOT an official member of the D2 world ...

Since I have been longboarding for over 20 years, I have been fortunate to try quite a few longboards.

Some of my favourites are the BIC Dufour Wing, Fanatic Ultra CAT (my FUC board :-) , Mistral Equipe One XR and my current one - Mistral Equipe 2 XR also known as my MEQ2 ...

Was always hoping to try a Windsurfing One Design - one of the earliest boards .... but ...
would probably have to go to Australia or order a new copy ... were currently being made/copy of the original  - still ?? In 2018 the Windsurfer LT is being made in the Cobra factory, Thailand.

Around the early 1980s there were the Dufours and also the Division 2 boards - also known as D2s...
They have become a class of their own ... with VERY particular criteria ...
Dufours do NOT fit the criteria ...
There was a BIC Hervé Borde that is a D2, but I have not seen one ...

So, up until now I have NOT had a D2 board in my windsurf quiver ...

Well all that changed last weekend ... Will post about my "new" board before going into details regarding all the different DIV rules and classifications  ...

It is a REIX Competition 1982-1983 found on the rocks and refurbished by Eric Bouillet (more on him later). As a D2, it is 67 cm wide, about 20 kilos, with a fully retractable 70 cm dagger, mast base holes and consisting of 330 liters - styrofoam polyestre... Believe it is 3.90 meters long as per the DIV2 standard - to be confirmed ..

As you can see it comes with a wooden dagger which I thought was home made, but it turns out THAT is the original dagger. All the REIX boards I can find on the internet seem to confirm this ...

It also came with the original sail - Eric managed to scrounge around the world to find all the missing parts for this board. The board and the sail remind me greatly of my BIC Dufour Wings ... The sail is 6.3 just as my Dufour sail was and is also with a ridiculously long outhaul/boom - supposed to be about 270 cm, but needs to be confirmed ... and should work with my HPL carbon boom (which is 220-280 cm). NOT sure carbon booms are allowed in D2 races, but more on that later ...

The difference between the BIC Dufour and the REIX are definitely in terms of rail thickness, the dagger is fully retractable on the D2, bigger dagger on the D2, and obviously more volume in the board. The REIX mast base is interesting in that one simply attaches a universal joint and can then attach a standard mast extension with pulleys !!

This board is supposed to be the fastest in very light winds. The shape has influenced such boards as the AHD Takik and the Exocet RSD2:

AHD Taktik
Exocet RSD2
However, it is important to remember a Division II/DIV2/D2 board MUST adhere to VERY strict measurements ... and the hull is a displacement hull with no rear section for planing like the RSD2. One of the links I will share later says these boards are really like a small dinghy with a sail 😊

There is NO way I can discuss these boards here giving a full history , especially without making errors or leaving serious omissions !! Suffice it to say, they are a VERY important part of the windsurf board history and they have been resurrected. It feels like followers of this class are a tight group and it is like a religion (no sacrilege nor insult intended). I must apologize right away if i make errors or offend anyone - as stated - this is not intended...

These boards have been the official Olympic board in 1988 (Lechner with class A sail - triangular 6.3 m²) and 1992 (modified Lechner = A-390 with class B sail - fully battened up to 7.5 m²)

Seems there is also a class C. This one seems a little less stringent in the rules ...
Then the board does not meet all the criteria for a DIV2 necessarily and can use sails up to 9.5 for men and 8.5 for women as per


Eric Bouillet who sold me the Reix Competition (with completely original parts ) and official D2 sail is NOT only a local Division II/DIV2/D2 spokesperson, but also on an international level !! He represents this class of windsurf board at the IWA/International Windsurf Association.

seems the resurrection has NOT been so long ago ... like around 2015 ?? Eric wrote on seabreeze forum that in 2009 there were 3 D2 enthusiasts trying to bring it back !!!


here are some websites I have been using for information on this subject ...

in terms of rules ...

the board: it seems this is standard across the different "classes"/divisions and the classes are all about sail size. It seems the boards are 3.9 meters or 390 cm in length, 63 cm in maximum width and 22 cm in depth. Volumes typically over 300 liters in volume ... As it is a displacement vessel, the bottoms are rounded. Daggers are allowed to be fully retractable and some boards have sliding mast track plus foot straps. The maximum dagger length is 70 cm. The fin cannot be longer than 30 or 40 cm depending on class ...

the measurement rules are as follows;

quick summary of the different classes:

Class A: obviously with the board described above ..
                triangular short battened 6.3 sail with a mast of 480 cm maximum height
                NO limitation on the boom - carbon okay ??
Class B: same board
               using a fully battened 7.3 sail with a mast of 530 cm maximum length
               again seems to be no limitation on boom
Class C: rules on the boards are less stringent, but seem to insist on 1979-1992 boards
               the sail can be 9.5 for men and 8.5 for women with a maximum mast length of
               600 cm
               in this class it seems the boom cannot be more than 300 cm

Phew ... once one gets past all the rules and measurements - they better have some FUN 😉

let's see if there are not some decent videos ...

as a displacement vessel you surely noticed how water spray is generated at speed
also, with such a long board, tacks are performed with the nose way up in the air ...

the logos presented at the beginning of this post are the stickers placed on equipment that is considered part of the D2 class i.e. it adheres to the rules ... The red one seems to symbolize that the equipment (board and sail) are Class A or B compliant while the blue one clearly shows the C.
Ironically the II looks like a pause on many electronic devices or software and that is where this division of boards was for quite some time ...

(this is still a WHIP/work in progress ... but spring is in the air :-) )
or at least it was until today %^&*()

On Sunday April 29th 2018 I picked up my REIX Competition from Eric on the South Shore of Montreal, It was a cold, rainy day and so, NO going on the water with this or any other board :-(

with a VERY round bottom

and a 31 cm BIC Sport fin in a US fin box 

and the mast base twists to tighten to board and accepts standard current mast bases
and that was in 1982 !!

and yes the original daggerboard is made out of wood !!

As I was going through my pictures, I found some of the maiden trip to the water of my now gone REIX D2 ... Truely sad because I felt it could have become something
btw buddy lost his kiteboard with foil last year and it never turned up - i have lost hope for this one too
even if it is white and larger ...