Western Challenge Tune-Up Day

Western Challenge Tune-Up Day

Skip Dieball and Chad Atkins get ready to push off.

Bright sunshine, moderately light winds, and reasonably hard ice made for a perfect first day on the ice at Lake Christina. Marks were set, and laps were run. We had just a dusting of snow in Battle Lake overnight, and we expect moderate wind and temperatures. “Father Nature shows up around noon and we’ll go from there.” Photos from Thursday, 2 December, 2021 on Lake Christina near Ashby, MN.

DN Western Challenge Called ON 3-5 Dec @ Christina

DN Western Challenge Called ON 3-5 Dec @ Christina

It’s on. Picture from Lake Christina near Ashby, MN n Sunday, November 28, 2021.

DECEMBER 1: UPDATE: Final confirmation. Regatta is called ON. Via John Dennis, the Western Challenge is called on for Lake Christina in Ashby, MN December 3 – 5, 2021. The Western Challenge is a an informal tune-up fun regatta for DNs.
What: Western Challenge
Date: December 3 – 5, 2021
Where: Lake Christina in Ashby, MN
Lodging: Recommended nearest Battle Lake, Minnesota
Battle Lake Inn and Suites (almost full, no vacancies for Friday night)
102 Glenhaven Dr, Battle Lake, MN 56515
+12188622500

Bonnie Beach Resort
20341 Bonnie Beach Road
Battle Lake, MN 56515
$175 night 3 bedrooms, (sleeps 4) with kitchen
218-864-5534

The Hideaway at Xanadu Island
35484 235th St, Battle Lake, MN 56515
+12188648096

The Otter
306 MN-78, Ottertail, MN 56571
+12183672525

 

 

Iceboat in National Sailing Hall of Fame Museum

Iceboat in National Sailing Hall of Fame Museum

Visit the musem.

Ever since Buddy Melges’ induction in the first class of 2011, ice boaters have numbered among the elite sailors honored by the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF). Other hard water inductees include Peter Barrett, Olaf & Peter Harken, Jan & Meade Gougeon, Bill Bensten, Herbert Lawrence Stone (who authored books and articles), Bill Mattison, and Jane Pegel.

The sailing community’s full recognition of the sport of ice yachting has culminated with the inclusion of an iceboat in the new NSHOF museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

When visitors enter the impressive interactive exhibition hall, they will notice six boats hanging overhead from the exposed wooden rafters of the historic former  armory. One of those six is an iceboat representing our community and those who live to “Think Ice.”

The NSHOF asked Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Nite sailor Don Sanford (the driving force behind Bill Mattison’s induction), myself, and others for an iceboat. The museum had hoped to hang a Class A Skeeter, but the wide plank would have taken up too much space. They chose one that would fit – the most popular iceboat globally, a DN.

Peter Harken asked that the boat not be a “fixer-upper” but a fully fitted racing boat. The NSHOF accepted Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Doug Kolner’s offer to donate his complete modern DN.

The DNs natural wood hull and plank, built in a small garage in Monona, Wisconsin, are true to the roots of the DN’s humble beginnings at the Detroit News hobby shop in the 1930s. Doug built the boat using standard DN plans, and it symbolizes all the iceboat builders who enjoy kicking up some dust and mixing epoxy in their garage shops.

Current members of the NSHOF’s influence is evident in the fact that the boat was built using Gougeon brothers epoxy and Harken brothers fittings technology. Doug recognized NSHOF member Bill Mattison and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Joe Norton as the builders who had influenced his iceboat building know-how.

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