We are late with this, but it is a good race report from anarchist John Eisenlohr – enjoy!
The Pacific Rim 2009 Dirtboat Championships were held at Ivanpah dry lake on the California-Nevada Border off interstate 15. 85 entrants (sometimes racing more than one class), including a handful of New Zealand and British pilots, competed in the 7 day event March 20th through 28th. NALSA hosted and Complete Millwork Services sponsored the event. We had 8 classes divided into OD and open designs dictated by maximum sail area. We had international class 2- 121 sq. ft. and open class 4- 59 sq. ft. compete in the first heat, OD Manta singles in the second heat, Open design class 3 – 79 sq. ft. and open design class 5 49 sq. ft. in the third heat, 41 OD Manta twins in the fourth heat, And 5 sq m and Sportsman in the fifth heat. Throughout the event we managed to get in 7 rounds of racing.
Earlier this year, I had been developing a simple inexpensive small solid wing boat to race at the event in open class 5, completing the first one in January. I had a lot of help from my family, especially my nephew Will. I had a lower back fusion in October and a hip replacement Dec 27th and was not not up to snuff yet. We arrived at a new frozen lake called Freezeout lake 30 miles west of GreatFalls MT. Hobbling around with crutches on a frozen lake in freezing temps trying to work out the new boat was quite an interesting time. I was under strict orders to "not do any thing stupid’ from the wife – I didn’t exactly know what that meant, but nodded my approval. We set up the new boat, and while it worked pretty well, I kept seeing weak links and tried to correct them before they broke. The boat performed well in light air and in heavy air. I was able to acheive 71 mph on the ice in windier conditions. It pretty much smoked other boats out there sailing, and I knew I was on to something. After 8 days of sailing throughout January and February, I was satisfied that the boat was ready to race.