2020 Northwest Ice Yacht Racing Association Information
Lake Waconia, Minnesota
Looking to attend an iceboat swap meet? We’ve got you covered across iceboating country, from east to west. If you are new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, swap meets are the perfect place to kick the tires, shop for parts, and meet ice sailors. Have a boat or parts to sell? Take them to your local swap meet.
New England Ice Yacht Club
Saturday November 2, 2019
10 AM with lunch at noon
Hudson-Concord Elks Hall
99 Park Street, Hudson, MA 01749
West Michigan Swap Meet at the Muskegon Yacht Club
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9 AM – 1 PM
3198 Edgewater St, Muskegon, MI 49441
Skeeter Iceboat Club Swap Meet
Sunday, November 3, 2019
9 AM to Noon
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.
Minnesota Ice Sailors Swap Meet
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9 AM – Noon
7450 Oxford St., St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Another milestone that brings us closet to the season! If you are looking to buy an iceboat, don’t miss this important event.
Via Jane Pegel:
Skeeter Ice Boat Club: 33rd Annual Swap Meet
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 to noon
With a free raffle at 11:30 a.m.There is no charge for participating.
Location: Lucke’s Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the day to swap, buy, and sell new and used iceboats and equipment. Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. Breakfast and/or lunch will be available at Lucke’s.
Items for sale can be set up on the black top parking area at Lucke’s
and in the vacant lot to the south of the old Sailing Specialists building.
Please do not park your cars in the display area.
Please do not park or set up your displays adjacent to neighboring businesses. A short distance to the north there is a municipal parking lot located at the intersection of Elkhorn Rd. and Stark St. (on the north side of Stark St., opposite Burrough’s Floor Coverings).
For well over 50 years, this iceboat club has kicked off the season with some sort of fall gathering to get iceboating back on everyone’s minds. For many years, we’ve hosted picnics. Two years ago, we held a very successful iceboat show at Dick Lichtfeld’s property.
This year, we are excited to announce an event in conjunction with Hoofer’s Sailing Club at the famous University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. (Sailing iceboats on Lake Mendota to the Union for lunch is part of what makes Madison a unique ice sailing center.)
DN ice sailor Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 from the Netherlands (where it all began) will present a program on the annual ice sailing regatta that takes place every spring at one of the planet’s most remote places, Lake Baikal in Siberia. We will have iceboats set up in historic Tripp Commons on the 2nd floor of the Union.
Please join us on Sunday, October 14, 2018 for this free event where you can meet up with old friends or learn about the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club and how to get started in the sport. All are welcome including area iceboat and sailing clubs. The planets have aligned (at least here in Wisconsin) because there’s no Packer game that Sunday.
ICE SAILING LAKE BAIKAL
A Free Program & Iceboat Exhibit Sponsored by the 4LIYC and Hoofer’s Sailing Club
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Time: Noon to 3 PM Program at 1 PM
Location: University of Wisconsin Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, 2nd Floor of the Union
800 Langdon St, Madison, WI MAP
Parking: Helen C. White Parking Garage MAP
State Street Campus Parking Garage MAP
Food: Your favorite Wisconsin beverages and food will be available for purchase at Der Rathskeller and other restaurants located in the Memorial Union.
Questions? Please email us: email@example.com
It’s been over 20 years since iceboat.org went online. Time to take a look a back through our own archives starting with Lake Monona 6 years ago.
March 29, 2014
Spring Sailing Continues
The DNs and Renegades were able to race on Lake Monona on Saturday on what looks to be pretty decent ice. Tim Stanton was there and took some more excellent photos from his RC drone
This classic ice boat is ready for the ice next season with no additional gear required. The racing hull is 20′ 3″ long; the runner plank is 15′ long; the mast is 20′ 3″ long. The trailer, which is included in this very low price is 23′ 7″ long with all required lighting in working condition. Also included are, of course, three runners in a refurbished box, boom, two sails, new main sheet, all stays, new chocks, seat & back cushions and all necessary trailer tie down straps. Both foot and hand steering options are included on this boat. This sale won’t last long at this price so please contact me as soon as possible before someone else steals it away from you. Located in Green Lake, WI, additional photos are readily available if requested.
This complete ready for the ice package can be yours for only $2,200.00.
Daniel Hearn talks about a recent collaboration with Jeff Russell to build motorized kick sleds patterned after what he saw in Sweden at the 2020 DN Worlds. I think these have the potential to be a game changer for regatta management. There will always be a need for ATVs, but these are easier to transport than ATVs. Need to check ice, change the weather mark, push a disabled boat to the pits, or quickly change the starting line at a DN regatta? No problem, hop on the sled and give her the gas.
Quarantined Ice Sailors
I suck at sitting still. One year during summer vacation, when I was a little kid, my mom thought I needed some daily down time. I was supposed to sit quietly on the couch and read a book, draw, or ponder the universe. The exercise lasted two days. Now I’m going to be a grandfather and my behavior still hasn’t changed.
With COVID-19 rearing it’s ugly head and our governor ruling my livelihood a “non-essential business,” I’ve been sentenced to weeks of down time. (Clearly he didn’t check with my wife. It’s essential for her sanity that she gets me out of the house). Not being deterred by my plight, I convinced a friend to do something he didn’t even know he wanted to do. Advertising must be the right profession for me after all.
Rising from the current chaos is a new partnership between the Spaight Street Syndicate and Russell Aviation. The strategic alliance was formed to build a couple powered kick sleds in the United States for use in regatta management. One party is the brains of the operation and the other is the grunt labor, however, the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) prohibits delineation of individual capabilities.
4LIYC Nite sailor and MARY B group member, Don Sanford, was reviewing some 1953 footage filmed on Lake Monona and noticed this young man sailing by on an iceboat. The boat looks similar to the plans published in the 1952 American Boy magazine posted here yesterday, March 24, 2020.
Speaking of iceboat plans, here are scans of some the earliest plans for ice yachts on record from Fredrik Henrik af Chapman’s book, ArchitecturNavalis Mercatoria published in 1768. (Benjamin Franklin commissioned a set of iceboat drawings from the Dutch in 1767, one year earlier than the publication of Chapman’s book.) Chapman, born in Sweden to English parents, is considered to be the first naval architect.
Though many in the ice sailing world have been aware of these plans for quite sometime, they were new to me. My post about stumbling across the iceboat plans that Benjamin Franklin commissioned prompted Alexander de Voss to take the time to scan and share Chapman’s plans with us which are based upon traditional Dutch ice yachts.
A few words about Alexander de Voss. I met Alexander on Lake Orsa in Sweden this winter when his ice sailing club De Robben trailered their vintage boats from the Netherlands for a week of cruising. (Previous: Where It All Began) He and his son brought a vintage DN and a really cool small-scale Monotype. In 2010, Alexander, built a historical shipyard in order to preserve local old vessels, materials and shipbuilding techniques. If you like wooden boats, read The Historical Shipyard of Alexander de Voss and Shipyard “Klaas Hennepoel” – Warmond to learn more about this functioning museum.
Mike Bloom is back home from Lake Baikal after an extraordinary journey home.
Home at last!
Thanks to all of you who were rightfully worried about my getting back to the USA.
Being in Baikal doesn’t exactly provide a true version of life on the outside. Baikal’s mystical powers are rooted in its isolation.
When I left for Baikal kids were still going to school, Purell was readily available, and face masks were on the shelves at Walgreens. Obviously, things changed quickly while I was gone but in Baikal the effects of the coronavirus on the real world was significantly muted. Plus, we had no television, no radio, no newspaper, no magazines and very little internet. I assumed no news was good news
My first inclination I might have problems getting home was when Delta sent me an email stating the departing flight I booked two months ago was cancelled.
They rebooked me on Air France flight through Amsterdam but in true airline fashion my new reservation included an 8-hour layover in Amsterdam and a 12 hour layover in Atlanta. I later learned I was flying through Atlanta because the Minneapolis airport was closed to direct flights from Europe.
Because of the extensive layovers I was actually happy when later that day Air France then told me that their flight was cancelled. I was then rebooked through Paris and on to Dallas. However, when the Paris airport was closed to foreigners, my reservation was cancelled. I then borrowed Joerg Bohn’s phone and rebooked my Monday flight flying direct from Moscow to New York.
And, of course, being is the middle of Siberia doesn’t help. It creates all kinds of logistical issues. First, I had no cell service in Baikal and the internet connection was marginal at best. But more problematic is the fact that Baikal is a 5-hour car ride to the airport and an 8-hour flight to Moscow. Plus, it is no easy feat to find a cab driver willing to drive 5 hours from Irkutsk down a dirt road to pick me up and then turn around and drive 5 hours back to the airport.
Tuesday night I learned that the other Americans in Baikal,Chris Berger and his girlfriend Marci, had already made the decision to leave early. When I discovered that Marci had already secured a cab ride to the Irkutsk airport for Wednesday evening, I took that as a sign and decided I should go with them. It was a difficult decision to make but I knew it was the right decision. Many of the European sailors had already pulled out because several European countries were closing their borders. I didn’t think I wanted to be in Russia if they closed their border.
So I booked an Aeroflot flight flying direct to New York. I was on the first available flight. But that flight was cancelled. I then got lucky because when I tried to rebook the flight I found a seat on a plane leaving Thursday morning.
Wednesday night Chris, Marci, and I jumped in the cab and drove the 5 hours to the airport in Irkutsk. We arrived in Irkutsk about 10 pm. Chris and Marci went to a hotel. Since I had to be back at the airport at 3 am, and was too cheap to spend money on a hotel, I went to the airport.
I got to the airport in Irkutsk about 11 pm and waited till 3 am to check in for the 5am Thursday morning flight. At exactly 3 am, the Aeroflot gate agent appeared at the ticket counter. She was very stern and definitely not happy with my 2 oversized duffle bags and my way too heavy gun case full of runners. She spent the next 30 minutes calculating the cost of the oversized and overweight baggage and asking me questions in fluent English about the content of my bags. I think she took pleasure in telling me the overweight bags would cost $500 to get home, double what I paid when I flew the other direction. Of course, as soon as I questioned the exorbitant price, she no longer could speak English. Thus, I did the only thing I could do, I slid my visa across the counter and using the best sarcasm possible I said “thank you.” Miraculously, her English returned just long enough to tell me that even though I had purchased comfort class with extra leg room neither this flight nor my flight from Moscow to New York had comfort class seats. Plus, If I wanted a refund, I had to call the number on the back of a card she gave me, but I couldn’t call till the office opened at 9 am, some three hours after my plane departs.
The flight from Irkutsk to Moscow was a painful 8 hours. After a 2 hour layover I then flew an even more painful 10 hours from Moscow to New York (JFK). Surprisingly, getting through customs was a breeze. It was almost nonexistent. There was no customs to speak of. Nobody even bothered to ask me about the gun case, let alone look inside. Even more surprising, there was no real heath check. Other than completing a short health questionnaire and walking by a guy who took my temperature using one of those temporal thermometers, you wouldn’t think coronavirus is a global issue.
While in the custom area I noticed my bags were tagged to go to Detroit, not MSP. Predictably, nobody was at the Delta counter so I was forced to leave the customs area and go upstairs to the Delta ticket counter. Once there I learned that Delta had cancelled my flight to Minneapolis along with all the other flights that night to Minneapolis. The next available flight was the next day at 4 pm.
At this point, I had not slept for about 30 hours. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I couldn’t bear the thought of a 24 hour layover. This was the 7th flight that had been cancelled!
Fortunately, I had enough sense to check my Delta app. I did what the Delta agent could not do. I found a Delta flight leaving in 90 minutes out of LaGuardia. After a quick cab ride from JFK to LaGuardia I walked onto a near empty plane and arrived in Minneapolis early Thursday evening.
Glad to be home. Glad we came home when we did. Twelve hours after I arrived, both JFK and LaGuardia closed because air traffic controllers have tested positive for coronavirus. It is a trend that will not reversed anytime soon.
Despite my expectations, I was not quarantined, unless you count my wife who says she won’t come within 6 feet of me, but that might not be coronavirus related. Still, the CDC says symptoms typically appear within 5 days of exposure so I’ll hang low till next week.
So that’s my Baikal experience. Honestly, the good parts of the trip clearly outweigh the hassles of getting home. I’d go back in heartbeat.
Ran across these marvelous magazine covers during internet travels. They make me wonder the fate of the originals and make me hope they are being enjoyed somewhere by someone.
2020 Nite Nats champion Chad Rechcygl explains how he went from “seeing how long he could stay in a hike” to winning the Nite Nationals. He set goals, took to heart what his fellow Nite sailors and mentors told him, tracked his progress, and committed to an off season physical regiment. Chad’s article is a glimpse into the mindset of serious iceboat racers.
I appreciate those who reached out to me and asked me to write an article on my path to winning the 2020 Nite National Championship. To be able to do this means a lot to me and it is still so surreal. It is nice to look back and see the progression. Over the years I made note of my mistakes and implemented solutions. I watched footage to see where I could improve performance. I also tracked my races using the Ski Tracks App on my phone to study laylines, boat speed and buoy roundings.
To simplify I followed 3 simple rules:
1) Learn Something from Every Race
2) Never Quit a Race
3) Apply new knowledge
Hang on as you ride the plank with Steve Orlebeke back in 2016 on Lake Kegonsa.
Here’s a clip from our friends on Lake Scugog in Canada from last weekend. Happy to learn that other iceboaters from Canada and the east coast have connected with them. Expect to see more ice sailors on Scugog!
Previous: Renegades Get Another Day in Canada
Previous: When Ben Franklin Ordered Iceboat Plans
So yesterday, I sent an email to the Founder’s Online, where I found the letters detailing Benjamin Franklin’s request back in 1767 to have a set of iceboat plans drawn for him by Holland’s “ship builder of the Admiralty.” Someone from Founder’s Online was very kind to respond this morning and include two scans of the ice yacht plans. The scans are in very poor condition and I did what could in Photoshop to clean them up. I’ll continue to look for better scans but in the meantime, enjoy these! Chasing down Ben’s iceboat blueprints have opened up a rabbit hole into historic ice yacht plans. I’ll post more in the coming days.
Mike Bloom shares his incredible day at Baikal. For those of you who don’t know, Mike and his good friend, Mark “Doctor” Christensen had promised to make the journey to Baikal together but the Doctor passed on after a long illness at the beginning of this sailing season. Mike kept their promise and remembers his friend at the close of this ice sailing season on Baikal. Good luck getting home.
Yesterday is why you travel to Baikal. When the winds called the Baikal Beast exceeded 17m/s and racing was cancelled I was invited to visit the Stupa on the big island out in the lake. So I put on my spikes for a 7 km walk in winds so strong it could blow us off our feet. Dederic organized the day and we were joined by his wife Alexandra, Chris Berger and Marci and two other Dutch sailors both named Hans.
A Stupa is a religious structure containing the remains of Buddhist monks and is used as a place of meditation.
The shape of the Stupa represents a Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. But a local guide said the Stupa may represent the five purified elements: land, water, air, fire, and sun.
We honored the Buddhist tradition of circumambulation which is an important ritual of walking three times around the Stupa. As a result, Stupas have a path around them. We also left a small token at the alter. Surrounding the Stupa were many prayer flags. Being there was a moving and spiritual experience.
We then walked back to the ice and walked to the tip of the island to view a famous rock outcropping in the shape of a dragon.
From there we walked around edge of the island to seek shelter as the winds really picked up. We stopped in a beautiful spot with an amazing view of the lake. The rock outcroppings were covered with ice and Dideric and Marci surprisingly produced a bottle of Baikal vodka and glass shot glasses. We all briefly spoke about how fortunate we are to sail in Baikal and to be together with friends from around the world.
We drank a toast to Mark (Doctor) Christensen and then a separate toast to fun and friendship.
As we started the 7k/m trek home suddenly a four dirt Buggy’s were heading straight for us. They were incredibly loud and appeared to be having way too much fun. Turns out they were sent by Jörg to find us.
After a couple of high speed 360’s they stopped and offered three of us a ride to see some ice caves, mountain goats and another large spiritual rock shrine. So without hesitation Hans, Hans and I jumped in. After all, what could go wrong traveling at freeway speeds on a sheet of ice in dirt buggy’s driven by a bunch of crazed iceboaters!
Some three hours later we were back on shore for the regatta’s international dinner. Each sailor brought food from their home country.
Jorge brought eel. Hamrak brought salami and herring. Jost brought bread and sausage. Marci made delicious American baked beans. The Swiss brought Cheese and chocolate while I have no idea who brought the rest.
After a very fun dinner the music started, as did the dancing. Young and old joined the festivities and international boundaries were no longer relevant.
Sailing continues today. The ice has gotten slightly better. Not sure about the wind though.
I made the difficult decision to join Berger and Marci and return home today. Air travel out of Irkutsk is getting difficult. European borders are being closed to foreigners. My airline reservations keep getting cancelled. Many others have already left.
My trip to Baikal was everything Ron Sherry, Jörg and Dideric promised it would be. The people, the culture, the geography is indescribable. It was truly a remarkable journey. One I will remember forever.
Ice sailing was on the minds of America’s founders! This post was originally going to be about how the 1918 influenza pandemic affected the ice yachting world but during the course of research, I stumbled upon some important history that took place 150 years earlier while browsing the National Archives website . Benjamin Franklin ordered a Dutch ice yacht model* and a set of plans from someone in Holland. (The Dutch are founding fathers of ice sailing.) John Adams even was a passenger in one while in Holland though he didn’t seem too thrilled with it. Maybe Ben Franklin’s iceboat plans and model are gathering dust in some museum? Below are excerpts from letters to Ben Franklin and from John Adams.
To Benjamin Franklin from François Willem de Monchy, 9 January 1767
“I have spoken here with a man to make you a model of an Iceboat, but as it must be made in the proportion of an Inche, or perhaps less to a foot it will cost you about 10 Duc., that is between 4 and 5 guineas, and this is the reason why I ask you first if you will give so much for it, if you like it, I’ll take care it shall be made soon, and send it over directly.”
To Benjamin Franklin from François Willem de Monchy, 15 May 1767
Agreeable to your desire I have send you two drawings of an Ice-boat. That without the mast is in the proportion of an Inch to a foot, and that with the mast but the half of that proportion otherwise we could not have brought it within the compass of the paper. You would have had it much sooner, had not the death of my deaer Mother prevented me from fininching my part of the drawing. The model without the mast was done by the ship-builder of the Admiralty, the other by my self under his direction. I shipped it yesterday on board the King George sloop, Capt. Harper, who lives in Queen’s Court St. Katherines and promised to take great care of them.
*Footnote: Ben Franklin appears to have asked Monchy for scale drawings of an iceboat of the type used on the Dutch canals. Although Monchy here uses both the words “drawing” and “model,” it seems probable that he was using them interchangeably, not that he was sending both pictorial representations on paper and three-dimensional scaled constructions of wood or other material. The scale drawings he did send are reproduced here, though necessarily much reduced from the scale mentioned in the letter.
John Adams to Richard Cranch The Hague April 3. 1784
He wrote about having to go “to Holland in one of the worst Seasons ever known, and I underwent Such severe hardships in Packet Boats, Boors-waggons and Iceboats as again endangered my Health and my Life.”
Part of the mystique of Siberia’s Lake Baikal is the way the weather unfolds and swirls around you. Dideric van Riemsdijk posted this from today.
A few short messages and photos from Mike were waiting in the in-box this morning. Looks like he’s starting the journey back home.
Update: I’m not sure if he’s heading back. Stay tuned for more updates.
Postponed. Gusts to 17m/s. No racing. The Baikal Beast is roaring. Way too much wind.
Mike Bloom wrote this tonight. The sailing conditions are tough but are inconsequential compared to the challenges he will be facing trying to get back to his home ice on Minnetonka. Good luck, Mike. We are pulling for you.
Very tiring day. And frustrating.
The course is 60-80% covered with Styrofoam snow drifts. Many drifts are taller than a runner.
Today we saw nuclear winds, massive wind shifts and super light wind, all in the first race. After today’s first race was completed and scored the race committee threw it out. They said conditions were unfair.
We then sat or slept for the next 3 hours waiting for the wind to reappear.
Racing resumed about 4:30 pm. The race was completed and score. Polish sailor Marek Stefaniuk P107 won the race. The race was like riding a hobby horse. Between the puffs and the sticky drifts the boats were very jumpy. Tons and tons of sheeting in and out. Never could get into a groove.
We sailed a third race that was not without drama. We started about 5:15. First lap had nice steady breeze. Second lap it started to die. Second time down wind saw lots of the leaders out of their boats. Between the light air and big big drifts jibing was impossible. Third lap was very light upwind and down. Again, most everyone was out of boat at some point. Many sailors retired. As I got to finish the scorers we’re waking away. I was told race was abandoned. They said the leader didn’t make time limit. But tonight results were magically posted… with mistakes.
We sailed in as the sun set, which happens here at about 7. It then promptly turned dark. Very frustrating to take boat apart in the dark. We could have used the headlights on the Probe’s suburban to shine some light on the pits.
Huge winds with nuclear puffs are forecasted starting tonight into tomorrow. Virtually everyone took down their masts, tied them to their hulls and anchored boat to ice.
Many sailors are heading home early. There is much concern about European countries closing boarders. Seems like the affects of the norovirus has finally hit Baikal.
Not sure what I’m going to do. Delta has already told me my flight to Mpls has been cancelled. I rebooked on Air France but now they too say my flights have been cancelled. If any of you big wigs have a private jet, please let me know. I would like to get home at some point.
Time for bed. Think ice.
Via Minnesota Skeeter sailor Pat Heppert:
It turned out to be a great recreational weekend on Lake Waconia, despite the rough ice. There were 2 A skeeters, 1 B skeeter, 2 C skeeters, and 2 DN’s. The ice was a solid 18”-20” with drive-on conditions , and was officially rated as high as an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 1,000. A total of 4 scrub races were completed in the C skeeter fleet on Sunday, with a substantial number or lead changes. Below is video of a slow speed ride along.
After a couple of days of wind famine, the feast arrived on Baikal. Mike Bloom sent a photo a few hours ago with a short message that the racing was delayed because the wind was blowing 10 meters per second (22 mph). The situation turned around and they were able to race today. See video below. More: Baikal Ice Yacht Racing Facebook page.
I thought we were finished but we had a couple cold nights and I was squeezing a few more days out ! LAKE SCUGOG is a little rough but we still have a fair bit of ice . Just took a break to send this photo and heading back out now ! First day We’ve been out in a while !
Kelly , Phil and Aant