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Old 09-01-2010, 05:28 AM   #1
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Question Lake safer this year?

According to THIS article in this morning's Citizen the Lake was busier traffic wise this season, but accidents are down from last year.

The article has a number of interesting statistics from the Marine Patrol as well.

Very interesting read with some worthwhile opinions from the great folks over at NHMP!
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #2
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Default Winni Specific

Skip;

Can you confirm that this is Winnipesaukee specific. It seems a little gray and could be statistics for the entire state.

Thanks!

Dan

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Old 09-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #3
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I did notice Barret gave credit to the boating certificate as the reason for less accidents.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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Good article, thanks Skip.

I kinda chuckled at Irwin Marine General Manager Bruce Wright’s comments.

I am not sure how he perceives “good feelings of the economy”, but glad to hear some of the local businesses are doing well.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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Does anybody have data from 2008 and how that compares to 2009 and 2010? That would be interesting to see....
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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Post Statistically insignificant...

When I get a chance I'll see if the statistics given are statewide or Lake referenced. Most of the rest of the article is clearly referenced to the Lake.

But let's assume for arguments sake that the stats were only for Winnipesaukee. Given the annual boating traffic that occurs there the number of accidents per boat/boaters remain statistically insignificant.

If the numbers are for Statewide incidents then the numbers are even more interesting. Given that hundreds of thousands of boaters visit the entire State (and don't forget our coastal waters which also fall under NHMP coverage along with the USCG) these numbers would reflect that horror stories aside boating in New Hampshire remains an extremely safe form of activity!

Anyway I'll put a call in and see if I can get an answer....
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #7
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I find the statistic in the article to be carry to big a variance. It is those the accident numbers from 2009 may be state wide while the numbers for 2010 maybe for a specific lake.

In short this article leave a lot to be desired it doesn't document the statics and back them up other then by hearsay. To me this article is more about trying to add fuel to a fire that doesn't need any more fuel....

Now if someone can hand over the information as to what reporting areas those statistical numbers represent I would be more inclined to give this article some weight, unfortunately I don't believe it is comparing apples to apples....
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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The article is vague, and I don't have the 2009 stats in front of me as a cross-reference. I believe statewide.

Skip makes a good point, and one that we've mentioned many times. The accident rates in NH as a whole, and Winnipesaukee in particular, are very low indeed. The fact that the numbers are so low, even a few accidents skew the numbers quite a bit in any given year. So taken as a whole, the accident numbers are very low.

I'd also like to point out a clear distinction in language. There's a huge difference between pointing out a variety of infractions every weekend on the water, and people actually being scared for a lot of reasons. Many of the infractions pointed out are, indeed, technical violations of the law. Like many of us, I'm sure the Marine Patrol allows for officer discretion when viewing minor infractions. IE: there's a huge difference between two boats heading the same direction in open water, 75 feet apart, and a boat on plane 75 feet from a kayaker or another boat operating at headway speed. I assume the MP uses their own judgment during the busy season.

In terms of accidents and/or fatalities, Winni's numbers have always been pretty low. For a lake with so much activity each summer, it's clear there never has been mayhem or anything close to it. Sure, there will always be some problems on any waterway. As far as I know, the Marine Patrol has been pretty comfortable with their view of the lake being safe for decades. They obviously can't be everywhere, so they miss some that other people see.

Fortunately, there are many more prudent and safe boaters than their are Captain Boneheads. It's the safe and courteous boater that should be included in any praise of such good numbers. The other ones need to work on it
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:02 AM   #9
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Default NH a relatively safe boating state

By past statistics and the informal information presented in this article New Hampshire continues to remain a relatively safe state to boat in. That's nice to hear. I'm sure we will see a more formal boating report after the end of the season. Thanks for pointing out the article Skip.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:20 AM   #10
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I have never felt more safe while paddling my Kayak on Lake Winni than I have this year. Thanks to all the boaters who have made this possible.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:40 AM   #11
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The article mentions seven reportable fatalities in 2009 and three in 2010. I don't remember that many. Does it include snowmobile accidents?
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:04 PM   #12
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I've noticed recently in the Carroll County Independent in the District Court Log that there are a number of fines being levied in my area ( lakes Ossipee, Balch, Lovell, Pine River Pond) for towing skiiers w/o proper observers, operating w/o certificate, operating above headway speed within 150 of another vessel or shore, insufficient # of pfds, etc...
Glad to see NHMP is finally grabbing some of these guys. Their increased presence should help. Maybe why some don't see so many on Winnie? I've only seen NHMP once on my lake (Province) this year. Of course I did see a PWC with 2 onboard towing a LARGE tube with 3 people on it Sunday ?????
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:15 PM   #13
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Default Not snowmobile accidents...

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Originally Posted by Lakegeezer View Post
The article mentions seven reportable fatalities in 2009 and three in 2010. I don't remember that many. Does it include snowmobile accidents?
No, these do not include snowmobile accidents.

That's why I believe these are Statewide statistics.

Snowmobile accidents, even if they occur on Winnipesaukee (or other water bodies) are handled by the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department and reported separately.

By the way, far less folks snowmobile then boat. The snowmobile season is, on average, half that of the boating season. Additionally there are far less registered sleds than boats.

That said, the fatality & injury rate for sledding far surpasses that of boating.

Yes, comparing snowmobiling to boating is obviously apples and oranges. But it does once again show that given at least one other motorized sporting activity in the State boating on comparison remains extrmemly safe.

Finally regardless of the statisitcs in the article I believe some are missing the general gist of the article. Both the Director and the Sargeant, who derive their profession from enforcing laws on the Lake, both indicate that boating is up but the Lake was overall safer than they expected, given the conditions present.

I see no political agenda behind their expressed opinion. And in actuality if they were politically motivated and wanted to increase the MP budget, wouldn't they take the opposite tack...that statistics aside they felt the Lake was not as safe and therefore they needed more funding/manpower?

I value the opinion of those two professionals and come away with the opinion, after taking the article in its totality, that indeed the Lake remains a safe place to spend the day, week or season with your family.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:24 PM   #14
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I value the opinion of those two professionals and come away with the opinion, after taking the article in its totality, that indeed the Lake remains a safe place to spend the day, week or season with your family.
As it always has been. The largest risk you take is the drive to get here.

I also agree with the opening paragraph ...

"Warm weather and little rain has made the 2010 boating season a success, according to state law enforcement officials and local marina owners, although the marine traffic still lags behind where it was five years ago."
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #15
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Default We need more improvement

I have observed many people are still unaware of the things around them, or do not care.

Maybe its because in a automobile the danger zone is mostly straight ahead, while in a boat people don't tend to look far enough to there side for avoidance.

Also people seem to cruise with disregard of other craft around them, they do not adjust course and speed for anything?

For example, last weekend I witnessed a small (approx. 11 ft w/10hp) Boston Whaler trying to go from Lockes Island to the GLendale docks, a relatively short trip on a Sunday afternoon. It was amazing of how close all the craft where coming to this boat (less then 50ft). The boats where not speeding by, they where almost on plane, throwing enormous wakes. I was impressed how the child driver of the Whaler expertly pointed the bow into the waves in keeping a zig zag course. Obviously they had encountered such conditions in the past. I was probably more nervous for the Whaler then he was.

I thought to myself, don't these people realize they could swamp this vessel?
Or do people think, since its a kid in a whaler they are looking to jump there big waves?

People please be aware of your surroundings, I know your having fun, but its easy and fun to putt putt on the lake once in a while. Its relaxing to just be on the water.

Please do not make the lake like Rt93 in Boston, we are all here to get away from the madness of the city.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip View Post
That said, the fatality & injury rate for sledding far surpasses that of boating.

Yes, comparing snowmobiling to boating is obviously apples and oranges. But it does once again show that given at least one other motorized sporting activity in the State boating on comparison remains extrmemly safe.
You just brought up an off topic which got me to thinking...Are there Speed Limits for Snow Mobiles in NH..? I am guessing that most of the time, local trail "Terrain" would dictate prudent speeds. What about frozen lakes which are generally flat, excepting a few pressure ridges and open holes.

What I'm getting at, is there a correlation between sleds and speed limits for them, and boats and speed limits for them....and accident results...ie safety..? NB
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:46 PM   #17
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Post Snowmobile speed limits..

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You just brought up an off topic which got me to thinking...Are there Speed Limits for Snow Mobiles in NH..? I am guessing that most of the time, local trail "Terrain" would dictate prudent speeds. What about frozen lakes which are generally flat, excepting pressure ridges.

What I'm getting at, is there a correlation between sleds and speed limits for them, and boats and speed limits for them....and Safety. NB
Maximum trail speed limit for snowmobiles in NH is 45 MPH.

Many sections of trails are posted lower. There are also speed restrictions when operating near ice fishermen, etc.

There is no speed limit for waterbodies, although skimming over open water is illegal. As always, there are exceptions. Back Lake in Pittsburg and Turtle Pond outside of Concord have speed limitations.

Lakes are self policing. They are not groomed, for obvious reasons. Several seasons ago a Club decided to groom a lake for a winter carnival. The groomer plunged through the ice with the driver narrowly escaping.

You can get up to significant speed on a lake if there are low or no snow conditions, and most times you need a studded track if conditions are icy.

In a normal winter you'd take you life into your hands to go flat out as tracks cross each other at wierd angles, pressure ridges can abound, some lakes always have wet or slush spots, etc.

That said there have been some horrific speed related accidents on frozen water bodies, and many people take fatal plunges by operating too fast at night and getting into open water before they can stop or change course.

As I said in my post above, snowmobiling and boating are mainly an apple and oranges comparison.

Finally there are a number of trails in the State that are flat, wide, straight and have unlimited visibility. It would be easy to soar well past the 45 MPH limit, as most modern machines can easily reach the 90+ mark. However Fish & Game has a reputation for aggresively running radar in a lot of these areas hence high speed accidents are rare.

The most common factor in accidents on sleds...most years and particularly last year?

Alcohol.

'Nuff said....
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #18
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Default partnerships to help make the lake safer

there was a great article in the Laconia Daily Sun today as well (page 19)

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/LaconiaPDF/2010/9/1L.pdf
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post

For example, last weekend I witnessed a small (approx. 11 ft w/10hp) Boston Whaler trying to go from Lockes Island to the GLendale docks, a relatively short trip on a Sunday afternoon. It was amazing of how close all the craft where coming to this boat (less then 50ft). The boats where not speeding by, they where almost on plane, throwing enormous wakes. I was impressed how the child driver of the Whaler expertly pointed the bow into the waves in keeping a zig zag course. Obviously they had encountered such conditions in the past. I was probably more nervous for the Whaler then he was.
Maybe we need a NWZ here too!
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #20
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The most common factor in accidents on sleds...most years and particularly last year?

Alcohol.

'Nuff said....
You can't say that enough times!

I would have to say the worst boating accidents share the same cause
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:53 PM   #21
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I have never seen alcohol operate a car or boat. I am sure it is people under the influence of alcohol that you refer to. I can see the reports, outcry form the masses, and then laws bring us right back to prohibition. This may be a good thing as it will bring back the "rum runners" and put cash back into circulation.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #22
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Exclamation Caution you have entered the no-spin zone,,, ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip

The most common factor in accidents on sleds...most years and particularly last year?

Alcohol.

'Nuff said....


Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaBene View Post
You can't say that enough times!

I would have to say the worst boating accidents share the same cause

I'll agree with that 100% about alcohol related accidents, I personally NEVER drink (alcohol) and then drive anything, its just not worth taking the chance and I would never want to be in the position to have to defend myself should there be a problem the deck is just stacked way to much against you. I enjoy my adult beverages as much as the next guy, but not when driving,,,

Let me also add that I think outright reckless operation has to be way up there as well for causes of serious accidents,,, Snowmobiles are tough enough to keep safely on the narrow and windy NH trails without people acting like hotdogs showing off to their friends or playing bumper-sled. There is just no room for error on most NH trails and reckless operation is a sure way to end up in the woods or worse,,,

That said I have to disagree with the comments about running flat out on a lake. As far as I am concerned a frozen lake is the ONLY place I will run flat out in NH. For those of us who do enjoy a blast across the lake, and do so responsibly (and by that I mean not putting others at risk) a lake offers the only place you can be sure not to run into a tree/rock/etc (unless you know of a really large flat and open farm that will let you ride on)

It’s a fairly simple process to ride a mile or two of lake to determine if it is safe enough for a high speed blast, and there are plenty of places wide enough that you can see if anyone else is riding in the area so as to avoid any collision possibilities.

I’m personally not too much interested in seeing super high speed numbers anymore, but I do enjoy get out and making a couple of good hard acceleration runs once in a while and a mid-week day when the snow cover is good and everything else is right, is when Winnipesaukee is the best place you will find to blow the soot out of your sled and not have to worry about taking out someone else or yourself.

I suspect some will be put out by my opinion and honest confession that I enjoy an occasional high speed run on my snowmobile and that’s fair, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it for better or worse,,,

p.s. I also have to confess to enjoying a good high speed blast in my boats also under the right conditions, and again some wont like that and that’s fair, but I feel no need to hide the truth and offer up a false façade. I don’t buy snowmobiles and boats to go as slow as possible and I don’t buy them to go as fast as possible. But I do enjoy making some use of whatever there performance capabilities are when I can and I apologize to no one for it.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip

The most common factor in accidents on sleds...most years and particularly last year?

Alcohol.

'Nuff said....





I'll agree with that 100% about alcohol related accidents, I personally NEVER drink (alcohol) and then drive anything, its just not worth taking the chance and I would never want to be in the position to have to defend myself should there be a problem the deck is just stacked way to much against you. I enjoy my adult beverages as much as the next guy, but not when driving,,,

Let me also add that I think outright reckless operation has to be way up there as well for causes of serious accidents,,, Snowmobiles are tough enough to keep safely on the narrow and windy NH trails without people acting like hotdogs showing off to their friends or playing bumper-sled. There is just no room for error on most NH trails and reckless operation is a sure way to end up in the woods or worse,,,

That said I have to disagree with the comments about running flat out on a lake. As far as I am concerned a frozen lake is the ONLY place I will run flat out in NH. For those of us who do enjoy a blast across the lake, and do so responsibly (and by that I mean not putting others at risk) a lake offers the only place you can be sure not to run into a tree/rock/etc (unless you know of a really large flat and open farm that will let you ride on)

It’s a fairly simple process to ride a mile or two of lake to determine if it is safe enough for a high speed blast, and there are plenty of places wide enough that you can see if anyone else is riding in the area so as to avoid any collision possibilities.

I’m personally not too much interested in seeing super high speed numbers anymore, but I do enjoy get out and making a couple of good hard acceleration runs once in a while and a mid-week day when the snow cover is good and everything else is right, is when Winnipesaukee is the best place you will find to blow the soot out of your sled and not have to worry about taking out someone else or yourself.

I suspect some will be put out by my opinion and honest confession that I enjoy an occasional high speed run on my snowmobile and that’s fair, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it for better or worse,,,

p.s. I also have to confess to enjoying a good high speed blast in my boats also under the right conditions, and again some wont like that and that’s fair, but I feel no need to hide the truth and offer up a false façade. I don’t buy snowmobiles and boats to go as slow as possible and I don’t buy them to go as fast as possible. But I do enjoy making some use of whatever there performance capabilities are when I can and I apologize to no one for it.
XCR you will get no arguments from me regarding high speed sled passes on Winni or any other lake. I hit 109 off Balmoral Beach last winter (I only know because my sled holds the max speed in the display) and had more left in it. Like you, I make a slow ride out and back and forth before I go to check the conditions.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #24
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XCR you will get no arguments from me regarding high speed sled passes on Winni or any other lake. I hit 109 off Balmoral Beach last winter (I only know because my sled holds the max speed in the display) and had more left in it. Like you, I make a slow ride out and back and forth before I go to check the conditions.
If you like speed, you should get a modern 1000cc sport motorcycle. 109 MPH is what you hit less than a second after shifting from first to second gear at WOT. They are REALLY fun to ride. I got my eye on a new BMW 1000RR.


I am surprised but glad the lake is statistically safer this year. I hope the trend continues. We sure had some glorious days out there and I cannot recall any specific examples of truly rude or grossly unsafe acts. That's not to say I did not witness any, just that my memories of this Summer are solely of great times, great friends, warm water, excellent boating and gorgeous weather; any bad memories have faded already.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:17 AM   #25
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If you like speed, you should get a modern 1000cc sport motorcycle. 109 MPH is what you hit less than a second after shifting from first to second gear at WOT. They are REALLY fun to ride. I got my eye on a new BMW 1000RR.


I am surprised but glad the lake is statistically safer this year. I hope the trend continues. We sure had some glorious days out there and I cannot recall any specific examples of truly rude or grossly unsafe acts. That's not to say I did not witness any, just that my memories of this Summer are solely of great times, great friends, warm water, excellent boating and gorgeous weather; any bad memories have faded already.
I do like speed but I need somewhere safe (for others) to use it. I have ridden a few sport bikes and I am impressed by the crazy acceleration. My favorite? Yamaha V-Max.

My road bike is a 94 Heritage, rock'em stock'em. I do have a high 11 second Oldsmobile sitting in my garage waiting to be reawakened this winter!

Regarding the lake being safer statistically, I also hope that the #s are correct and that the lake is a safer place for all. Further I hope that the trend continues in a steep downward decline.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:49 PM   #26
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XCR you will get no arguments from me regarding high speed sled passes on Winni or any other lake. I hit 109 off Balmoral Beach last winter (I only know because my sled holds the max speed in the display) and had more left in it. Like you, I make a slow ride out and back and forth before I go to check the conditions.
Well maybe I'll dust off my XCR and we can have a go at it next winter,,,

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #27
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Thumbs up Boat Traffic Rebounds From Last Year...

Boating accidents way down as well!

From The Citizen; http://citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...9856/0/CITIZEN



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Always Remember, The Best Safety Device In The Boat, or on a PWC Snowmobile etc., Is YOU!

Safe sledding tips and much more; http://www.snowmobile.org/snowmobiling-safety.html
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:40 PM   #28
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Well maybe I'll dust off my XCR and we can have a go at it next winter,,,

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I only have a little 600...wanna race?
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:23 PM   #29
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I only have a little 600...wanna race?
Hummm, I think we are

Thats said, my XCR is mostly retired and my trail sled is a 600 classic

And just to tie us back to Winnipesaukee safety, I am generally far more interested in a good scenic ride these days that a 100 MPH blast and Winnipesaukee offers both! and offers both with a very high degree of safety if you wait until its well frozen and snow covered.

Heres hoping for an old fashion NE winter and a safe one for all who partake of the other season!
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:00 AM   #30
ApS
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Post We Get to Wait...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Does anybody have data from 2008 and how that compares to 2009 and 2010? That would be interesting to see....
I remember there being only 2 arrests for BUI in USCG 2002 statistics—now there are 18 for 2010?

We'll see how this gets reported in the vaunted 2010 USCG statistics.
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