The world’s ice sailing community is growing more extensive, with Chinese sailing clubs discovering the DN. Jinzhou Yachting and Sailing Association and Jinzhou Bay Sailing Club officially joined IDNIYRA Europe this past weekend during their annual Secretary’s meeting. A Ron Sherry-built DN was shipped to China a few years ago, and the Jinzou Sailing Club purchased DN plans to build their boats soon after. According to Google maps, Jinzhou Bay is only a nine-hour drive to Vladivostok, Russia, where DN ice sailing is very popular. It will be interesting to watch the development of organized ice sailing in China. Perhaps they will be curious about what it’s like to sail a Skeeter or Stern-Steerer.
Via IDNIYRA Europe:
…This weekend at our annual National Secretaries’ Meeting we had some very special guests in attendance:
On behalf of the Chinese DN Fleet, Mr. Wang Qiguang chairman of the Jinzhou Yachting and Sailing Association and Jinzhou Bay Sailing Club, Mr. Wu Ming director of the club and Ms. Zhu Di, Chinese-Canadian interpreter was also invited to serve throughout the process.
…As they told us, in the past three years, during the introduction, training and participation in- and hosting of various icesailing competitions, they stumbled across pictures and videos of DN iceboats on the Internet. The appearance, structure, speed and specifications of the DN immediately aroused everyone’s interest. In 2019, they purchased plans from North America and manufactured a few of China’s first iceboats of the class. Last year contact has been established with IDNIYRA – Europe and official talks began on joining the Organisation. We received their application of membership earlier this year.
…We wholeheartedly welcome the Chinese Fleet in our Class Association!
Count them, 18 DNs!
Source: Thunder Bay Ice Boating Facebook Page
Source: Thunder Bay Ice Boating Facebook Page
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada ice sailors usually open and close the ice sailing season in North America. While most of us in the U.S. are turning our attention to soft water and off-season projects, Mike Madge continues to sail well into April, the perfect time to spread the iceboating creed when he actively works on getting new people to try the sport.
No matter what time of year, respect and caution are always part of ice sailing. Spring sailing can be tricky, and NEIYA Vice Commodore Jay Whitehair explains his common sense decision-making process when faced with marginal conditions. Read it here.
(Tip of the Helmet Mike Peters.)
The Spaight Street Syndicate has a guest columnist this week, DN sailor Erin Bury US5397:
Since the December Spaight St. Syndicate wrote about me, I bought my own iceboat (DN 5397) and sailed it on two occasions – the day I bought it and at the U.S. DN Nationals. At Nationals, it seemed like anything that could go wrong did go wrong – boom jaw broke off, outhaul on the boom that was loaned to me in the wake of the broken boom jaw disappeared mid-warmup (sorry Daniel), and I was catapulted from my DN in a 40 mph gust. What I learned – my boom jaw was overtightened, things can shake loose on chunky ice, and how far a 109-pound human missile can fly when launched 30-40 mph. The launch was due to my plank being too stiff for my body weight and this would need to addressed in order for me to stay competitive (and in my boat).
It may be indelicate for a lady to discuss her weight, but in this sport, weight matters. (Plus, let’s be done with body shaming already.) In ice sailing, one can use her weight to her advantage. An ice sailor gets to tailor her boat to her body instead of tailoring her body to her boat. Imagine having precise input on how something fits you and you do not have to change anything about yourself to make it happen. Cue plank shaving!
Over the course of a weekend, Daniel Hearn (DN 5352, walking encyclopedia of all things sailing, ranked seventh internationally as of the 2020 Gold Cup, and a killer catamaran sailor) and Dave Shea (motorcycle number 426, engineer who races dirt bikes on the ice and motorcycles in the road race circuit) helped me customize the plank on my DN for my weight. First, we measured how much it was bending under my weight, which was around 21 millimeters, while the ideal range is 42-44 millimeters (translation: I was having zero impact on it). We decided on an arc that could be described as “sexy” and began planing the plank. After shaving off large chunks, we started sanding. Once we achieved the desired shape, it was time to set it in stone (or glass). Once the fiberglass was set, it was time to sand it again to remove stiffness and maintain that “sexy” shape. The goal is to have it ready in time for the Western Region Championship; thanks to Daniel and Dave this will be possible.
These are usual growing pains of buying a new toy and learning a new sport. When trying something new, I ask myself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” I’d get flung from my iceboat a hundred more times if it means I get to learn something. I cannot wait to get out on the ice to see how my boat performs and what I am capable of with a new boom jaw, a secured outhaul, and a newly formed and customized plank. Anything worth doing will come with challenges and opportunities for growth. As my late grandma/best friend/inspiration (who was third in the world as an All-American triathlete) would say, “Live while you are alive.”
Thank you to Dave Shea for being hands-on in helping with this new endeavor and supporting this little lady at the helm!
Extra special shoutout to Daniel Hearn who is a marvelous sailing mentor. I would not have had access to the same resources nor be exposed to as many opportunities in ice sailing. Thank you for all you do for the sailing communities and for supporting newbies like me!
No matter what type of iceboat you race, watch and listen closely to this interview with 12 times DN World Champion Karol Jablonski. Karol breaks down every racing move he made on a short course with shifty winds.
Below is the original video Karol and Mike are discussing.
When was the last time you clocked in at 100 mph in your sailboat when the breeze was a steady 15 knots? Not recently? Let’s chat with Harken Director of Engineering Steve Orlebeke. He brought his freaky fast Class A Skeeter and brand new DN into the factory to give you an inside look.
Here’s the link to the full video of Steve racing his Skeeter.
Watch this DN U.S. Nationals regatta film shot by professional videographer and DN sailor Peter Norton KA2 (yes, that’s an Australian sail designation because Peter’s by way of Australia.) Peter shared the raw video with DNer and University of Wisconsin Madison student Sam Bartel for editing. The result is outstanding.