Tim Ogrinic sails a DN on Fort Peck Reservoir on Saturday, February 20, 2021.

Montana’s wild western ice has long been a bucket list item for ice sailors east of the Mississippi and even east of the Atlantic ocean into Europe. The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club’s C Class Skeeter fleet will soon travel west, destination a wide-open range of ice on Fort Peck Reservoir near Glasgow, Montana. (Pat Heppert has dual citizenship, he’s a Minnesota ice sailor and a 4LIYC member.) I will be joining Pat and Daniel Hearn and making my second trip to Fort Peck. The DN North American Championship was sailed there in 2020, the farthest west the regatta has ever been.


Minnesota ice sailors and others have been sailing Canyon Ferry in Helena for many years. Montana Mini-Skeeter developer John Eisenlohr alerted us to Fort Peck’s potential for the 2020 DN North Americans. We made good friends in Fort Peck, such as photographer Sean Heavey.


So why Montana now? This trip began in Gothenberg, Sweden with Sail Racing. They looked to Sean because of pandemic travel limitations and their need for more photos. In Wisconsin and Minnesota, poor ice conditions turned our gaze west to Montana ice, the canvas Sean lives and breathes. Conditions appear to be just right.


Perhaps there will be some other ice sailors who will meet us there, you never know. There’s big ice, scenery, adventure, and more coming this week. Stand by for Montana.

Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana on 20 February, 2021.