DN Regatta Reports
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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.
The National Sailing Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held last weekend in Newport, RI. Watch the Hall of Fame Induction Facebook Video (Jane’s induction starts at 1:28.) Jane and Susie could not attend the ceremony but Jane’s remarks were read by another inductee and friend, Lynn Jewell Shore. Congratulations, Jane.
I am pleased to be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame and disappointed at not being able to be in Newport this weekend. It’s a true honor to join the ranks of the nation’s top sailors.
Growing up on Lackey Drive in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, sailing was the neighborhood “thing.” As a first generation sailor, I learned how to sail by the trial-and-error method. Those in the know around Geneva Lake told my father Dr. Clifford Wiswell what sort of equipment I should have whether it be sailing equipment or iceboating equipment.
I learned many valuable lessons competing against great sailors and watching great sailors in action. Having a husband who was a master boatbuilder and sailmaker certainly helped my race results.
I consider Bill Buchan the ultimate role model for sailors seeking to become champions. He worked hard to perfect his equipment as well as his sailing technique. He always sought to be ahead of the curve and his results in the Star class reflect his dedication to the sport.
Iceboating was always #1 for me for more than 60 years. I raced in the Skeeter and DN classes, and served as an officer and committee member in many iceboat organizations. For more than 40 years I served on the National Iceboat Authority, writing and analyzing the rules that govern iceboat racing. I am proud to say I mixed the epoxy when the stern-steerer iceboat “The Deuce” was rebuilt roughly a decade ago. (“The Deuce” is the world’s largest iceboat.)
I have watched many generations of sailors coming up through the ranks through my involvement with the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and Geneva Lake Sailing School. The tradition of champions coming from Lake Geneva is being carried on by Laser Radial sailor Chapman Petersen and others.
Thank you again for this honor. By the way, I’m not related to the Johnson Boat Works family in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Most of my relatives hail from Walworth County, Wisconsin or Grand Rapids, Michigan.
P.S. Many thanks to Lynne Jewell for representing Jane at this ceremony. Jane and Susie enjoyed racing against Lynne in the Laser class over the years.
To help attract new ice sailors, the North American and European DN Class have introduced a world portal website, dniceboat.org, showcasing high-quality DN videos, photos. The portal also features IDNIYRA’s common governing documents, regatta history, and rank list.
Under the Class Information menu item, the DN Specifications and Racing Rules are two pages of note to all ice sailors. The class will keep Specs pages up to date in an easier to read format than the class yearbook, adding the Interpretations to their specific Spec. The Racing Rules and their definitions are presented in more of a graphic form.
Via Mike Bloom
Harold “Harry” Allen (DN 2452) died Tuesday night, September 2, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Harry was a talented helmsman who raced multiple classes of iceboats in the winter and raced E and A scows in the summer. And, if Harry ever needed a crew, more often than not, one of his three daughters was on board sailing with him.
As much as anything, Harry loved to iceboat. Harry raced Nites, DNs and his Stern Steerer. Harry was as popular as he was generous. If iceboaters were setting up on Minnetonka, 99% of the time the boats were in front of Harry’s house. There was not a more welcoming or friendly sailor on the ice.
Harry’s passing leaves a huge hole in the Minnetonka sailing community. The DN fleet sends condolences to his wife LeeAnne, daughters Emily, Katie and Mary, and to the rest of the Allen Family.
May Harry’s memory sail on.
Previous: Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the NSHOF
A celebration to commemorate Jane Pegel’s induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame was held at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club on Sunday, August 27th.
Susie Pegel reports:
Those in attendance at Jane’s party August 29th at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club included folks from Lake Geneva, Delavan, Madison, Pewaukee and Green Lake. And there was a surprise guest appearance from former DN world champion Mike O’Brien who flew in from New Jersey to say “hi.” Flowers had previously been sent to Jane from former DN world champion Henry Bossett. Mauretta Mattison sent regrets that she and Bill would be unable to attend the party. Many thanks to all the iceboaters who sent messages to Jane wishing her well and congratulations.
Excerpt from email sent to Jane from Dan Heaney:
“I am honored to be invited to the celebration of Jane’s selection to the Sailing Hall of Fame. I will miss the opportunity to hear the wisdom expressed by Jane regarding sailing, both hard water and soft water. Jane’s comments, especially those directed to my attention were always welcome and a positive contribution to my efforts as a race manager for the IDNIYRA. I look forward to the opportunity to see Jane in the future and will make it a priority to contact her and yourself on the occasion I have to be in Lake Geneva….we raise a toast to Jane in congratulations for being recognized for all the contributions made to the sport of sailing and the influence she has had on the sailors who have been lucky enough to meet her.”
Dan Heaney, Neenah, WI
The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced today nine sailors comprising its 11th anniversary class of inductees.
The Class of 2021 includes ice sailor, Jane Pegel of the Skeeter Iceboat Club in Williams Bay, WI. Jane began her ice sailing career in the Skeeter class and eventually switched over to the DN class where she won numerous regatta titles. More to come.
National Sailing Hall of Fame
Jane Pegel has owned a series of ice boats and speedy scows that have all been given colorful names. People notice boats with interesting names especially when the boats are at the front of the fleet. Jane Pegel has been a champion sailor from the Midwest since her earliest days. She has also taught thousands of aspiring young sailors to improve their skills. Her first ice boat was named “Holy Smoke”. Pegel’s C Scow was named “Calamity Jane” and her legendary E Scow was named “Frozen Asset”, a phrase every sailor can appreciate. Pegel started sailing early in life and was the descendant of a line of sailors. Her grandfather, John O. Johnson, started the Johnson Boat Works on White Bear Lake, Minnesota in 1896. He was the original builder of the A Scow, a 38-foot flyer that impressed all the participants racing for the Seawanhaka Cup.
Continue reading Jane’s biography on the National Sailing Hall of Fame website.
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!
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.