Results: The 1997 Third Annual North American
Snowfer Championship

Competition for The North American Snowfer Championship took place this February at Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada.

Lake Simcoe which is internationally recognized for its superb ice-fishing made the headline news around the world just two weeks before the start of the race when the ice was broken by approximately 100 km winds causing in some area up to 100 meter wide opening, trapping over 200 fishermen and they had to be rescued by the national guard. The area is never short of wind. It has also become the winter sailing destination of choice for the local Snowfer sailors of Toronto, Canada.

This was the third annual event sponsored by Charles Chepregi, the Snowfer inventor and designer. The turnout was excellent regardless of the media attention due to unsafe ice and poor winter sailing condition we had this year, drawing participants from as far away as Minnesota, USA.

The 18 inch ice surface was topped with 2 inches of powder snow above a 3 inch hard-packed snow base. Consequently, precise waxing of the Snowfer base was to be the crucial component for the competition.

Although the competitors conducted their morning preparations on 6.5 to 7.5 meter sails in 5 to 10 knots of wind, the winds abruptly escalated above the 20 knot forecast during the countdown of the first heap. As a result, the first race was aborted by the officials to allow racers to re-rig their sails ranging from 3.2 to 5.0 meters.

This year's competition was taken by #1 Joe Albert of Toronto, Ontario, who placed first in all four heaps, powered by a 3.7 meter sail. Second place was taken by #2 Vladimir Belomestnov and the third place by #3 Russ Dewar.

Speed Trial

The official speed trial was cancelled due to poor visibility on the ice. Unofficially, the fastest speed recorded for this race was 53 km by Charles Chepregi followed by 42 km for Monique Schwartz from New Jersey, USA and 40 km from Charles Damecour of Sutton West, Ontario.

Media coverage

The New VR, a Canadian television station, covered the event and produced a half hour "Very Radical" show. It was first shown in the prime time slot on March 23rd with the possibility of repeat broadcasts. Last year's event was shown over ten times.

<< Back Home Next >>