Think Ice Globally – Sail Mongolia!

The sport of ice sailing has expanded to Mongolia. From the land of horses, yurts, and vast open spaces, Ganaa Davaa recently contacted Nite Commodore Maureen Bohlebher and me to talk ice sailing. Ganaa related that the conditions in Mongolia, similar to the dry landscapes of Montana, are perfect for our sport, with ice from December to April. Ganaa urgently needed iceboats for a January 12 winter festival, so John Hayashi of Windward Boatworks, got on the road and drove two boxed Lockley Skimmers to a Chicago shipping firm, which ensured their timely arrival. The 4LIYC’s Lars Barber helped out by giving his Skimmer sail to John so that the boats would be complete.  Expect to see more iceboats in Mongolia as they continue to build their fleet.
Meanwhile, the first-ever international DN regatta is taking place in Jinzhou, China. Minnesota’s Mike Bloom is there, along with several Europeans and Russians. Follow the regatta in the DN website and Facebook page. It is remarkable how this sport brings together people from around the world.

Regatta Watch: 2024 DN Senior Shuffle Called ON

The 2024 Senior Shuffle

REGISTER FOR THE SHUFFLE

Dates: January 8 – 10,  2024, after the DN Western Region Championship
Location: Two locations under consideration for the DN Western Region Championship: Lake Osakis in Minnesota or Vilas County in Wisconsin. Final confirmation of location by 5 PM CT Thursday, January 4, 2024.
NOTICE OF RACE
SAILING INSTRUCTIONS

Get ready for North America’s take on the European DN Grand Masters Regatta.
It’s the first, maybe annual, no-running regatta for the “more seasoned” DN sailors. It will take place the three days following the Western Regional Championships, on the same ice.

DATES

  • January 8 – 10, 2024, the three days after the DN Western Region Championship, which is scheduled for January 6 – 7.

WHO’S INVITED?

  • Open to Seniors (50-59), Masters (60-69) and Grand Masters (70+) who will race under Shuffle Rules with one start.
  • Open to “aspiring” Seniors (49 or younger) who will also race under Shuffle Rules with a separate start.

WHAT ARE THE SHUFFLE RULES?

  • No running. Not at the start. Not during a race. No track stars allowed in a Shuffle race!
  • Starting positions will be determined, in advance, by random draw for every race. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged with a starting position based on their previous race performance. It’s all luck of the draw.
  • Racers must start with one foot on their plank, and are limited to five kicks.
  • Racers must stay in their boats unless they come to a complete stop during a race. In that event, a racer will have one additional 5-kick opportunity to complete a race. A second stop is an automatic DNF.
  • No more than 4 races which count on any one day. Scrub racing may continue after official races for any who are interested.
    Maybe we’ll award prizes…maybe we won’t. But what we do know, is that this is all about fun and camaraderie.
  • Oh, yeah. And that means no protests. We’re going to race like a Wisconsin intersection. “You go. No, you go. Ohhhh, please, I insist der my friend. Oh, cripes, tanks, der good buddy!”

OTHER DETAILS

  • $50 registration fee to cover prizes and extras
  • All registration will be online. If you’re tech-challenged, ask a youngster for help.
  • Because we’re so green, race documents will only be published online.

EVENT CONTACTS

Announcing the DN Senior Shuffle Regatta!

Announcing the DN Senior Shuffle Regatta!

Get ready for North America’s take on the European DN Grand Masters Regatta.
It’s the first, maybe annual, no-running regatta for the “more seasoned” DN sailors. It will take place the three days following the Western Regional Championships, hopefully on the same ice.

TENTATIVE DATES

  • January 8 – 10, 2024, the three days after the DN Western Region Championship, which is scheduled for January 6 – 7.

WHO’S INVITED?

  • Open to Seniors (50-59), Masters (60-69) and Grand Masters (70+) who will race under Shuffle Rules with one start.
  • Open to “aspiring” Seniors (49 or younger) who will also race under Shuffle Rules with a separate start.

WHAT ARE THE SHUFFLE RULES?

  • No running. Not at the start. Not during a race. No track stars allowed in a Shuffle race!
  • Starting positions will be determined, in advance, by random draw for every race. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged with a starting position based on their previous race performance. It’s all luck of the draw.
  • Racers must start with one foot on their plank, and are limited to five kicks.
  • Racers must stay in their boats unless they come to a complete stop during a race. In that event, a racer will have one additional 5-kick opportunity to complete a race. A second stop is an automatic DNF.
  • No more than 4 races which count on any one day. Scrub racing may continue after official races for any who are interested.
    Maybe we’ll award prizes…maybe we won’t. But what we do know, is that this is all about fun and camaraderie.
  • Oh, yeah. And that means no protests. We’re going to race like a Wisconsin intersection. “You go. No, you go. Ohhhh, please, I insist der my friend. Oh, cripes, tanks, der good buddy!”

OTHER DETAILS

  • $50 registration fee to cover prizes and extras
  • All registration will be online. If you’re tech-challenged, ask a youngster for help.
  • Because we’re so green, race documents will only be published online.

EVENT CONTACTS

A Race to Remember: Race 3 of the DN North American Championship by Chad Atkins

Pat Heppert flags Chad Atkins on Day 1 of the 2023 DN North American Championship sailed on Lake Kegonsa in Madison, WI. Photo by Cathy Firmbach

Chad Atkins and his travel partner, Chris Gordon, are east coast based but keep their DN and Renegade programs in Madison taking advantage of a good season so far. Chad placed 10th in the 2023 DN World Championship and 2nd in the North American Championship sailed on Lake Kegonsa last week. They look forward to pulling their Renegades out of the trailer for some 4LIYC racing or the Northwest.
2023 DN North American Results

A RACE TO REMEMBER
By Chad Atkins
Hello from a very mild Rhode Island. As a winter transplant, a few weekends a year, joining the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club was a no-brainer. I have to give a huge shout-out to Daniel Hearn, who, behind the scenes, went above and beyond with fellow C Skeeter tuning partner and PRO Pat Heppert for going to equal lengths to get both the 2023 DN Gold Cup and North Americans in on Lake Kegonsa. Renegader Ron Rosten was also out helping and moving start lines daily! Don’t forget Deb Whitehorse and the other 4LIYC members that made this 50th-anniversary event such a blast. Thank you all.

 

Once the Gold Cup was complete, many of our European friends decided to head for home, and more than a few North American regatta registrants. Friday’s one race in each fleet (Gold and Silver) was all worth it! Blowing up deep semi-sticky drifts in solid pressure was a race to be remembered!!

Keith Schwark plows through a snow drift on Day 2, in the final race of the 2023 DN North American Championship. Photo by Cathy Firmbach.

It also reinforced a point that our good friend Jost Kolb from Germany expressed that, as a class, we need to see these events through to the end. He talked about a Russian competitor that travels about five days each way in Europe to attend these continental championships and how throwing in the towel or leaving the event because of a forecast isn’t good for our class or why we all do it and love the sport so much.

 

What a day Friday was!!! Thursday night’s snowfall was pleasantly light and fluffy and at the lower end of the forecast. We woke up to trees and branches dancing and the temperature reasonably steady from night to day. It looked promising to complete the North American championship. The day before, the wind died, and we ran out of sunlight.

 

Those who stayed arrived at Springer’s launch to find limited visibility from pulsing whiteout conditions and low-level haze on the lake. Chris Berger and Jost Kolb both took a few laps and determined with Pat that the surface of the course was sailable and we should hang tough for an hour or two to let visibility improve.

 

Around 10:30 AM, Pat decided we would try and start the Gold fleet first. Ron Sherry and Paul Goodwin gave a short safety speed chat about dealing with breeze and snow. Then it was time to get our thoughts, emotions, and breathing in order – this was happening! The breeze was still up, and runners were the easiest choice of equipment with Ronny’s Composite Concepts 440c Bullnote Plates and Slipper Front.

 

When I considered buying those runners, Ron said, “You will thank me when you need them, even if it’s five years from now.” Thanks, Ron, for all three Slipper runners the day before as well; it’s why we have plates.

 

The big question was, what were the drifts doing in texture and size? Can I stay lit with a speed sail, a soft top batten, or keep the power with a full sail? It was a mix with Matt Struble running an ABSS and, I believe, the rest of us running Power Gold or FO1. Matt doesn’t really count since he could beat most of us strapped to some 2×4’s powered by a napkin! He’s a great guy, a natural sailor, and a polished competitor; great to have him back this year!

 

Most of us took a rip up and down, and it would be some physical, exciting sailing with an emphasis on semi-clear goggles. Another snow line came through with some very solid pressure that left us all attending our boats and not letting our sails beat themselves to death.

 

Then the “dry slot” appeared, as Deb refers to it. Pat called Gold fleet to the line. The flag is up, GO! With just a few quick steps, the sail eased, boat hiking as we jumped on the plank and stepped into the boat. We were off, tied by a string, a seesaw back and forth battle plowing and blowing through drifts with a few clear spots to gain speed up the course.

 

At the top, the right side had overstood by less, with US4, young Griffin Sherry, leading as he came off the one block he earned the day before. I was close behind and could sense Jost close behind with the left side boats blazing in under the darling mark (so glad to have these for races like this) and hunting us down. Now for the first turn into a steady line of oncoming traffic from the left. Griffin found his line, and I had to stay a bit higher to avoid a few boats.

 

By the time the snow cleared, we were just bouncing and hiking downwind, and it was all I could do not to start hooting and hollering. That is until a quick glance to leeward showed that Griffin had slid back in my window looking slower and mast straight; he looked ok. And POW, a huge drift exploded all over me! I wiped my goggles, and nothing happened.

 

Oh boy, all that snow on my face had made its way under and inside my goggles, leaving me with enough visibility to see the pits of the leeward mark. With compromised visibility, I was glad to have a thinned-out fleet as I cleared out enough frozen snow to see properly before another drift, hike, butt, and shoulders back to steady things out.

 

Another solid vein of pressure sent us into a gybe to the bottom mark, and around we all went. Quickly after rounding, this US44 guy (Ron Sherry) appeared to leeward, absolutely ripping, deep breath going fine, and by the time I looked over my left, another boat with red numbers reading US183 (Matt Struble) had just tacked, so off to starboard we went.

Damn, I was way overstood and bouncing off and through drifts. Reaching down had no advantage like it would on cleaner ice. Another few laps of the same exciting non-stop action, the North American championship was complete!

 

PRO Pat Heppert ran a last Silver fleet race on top of that, making it three races in each fleet before the dry slot closed and more weather came in. A great way to end a memorable week. Congratulations to Matt Struble for his Gold Cup and North American win and the entire fleet for sticking it out and having the confidence to make it happen. There’s plenty more racing left in the season if Mother Nature allows it.
Chad Atkins

On The Cold Road

Choosing weapons.

Good morning from Putnam, Illinois, the 2022 DN U.S. Nationals site. Senachawine Lake is about 2.5 hours south of Madison, WI and being south, 10 degrees warmer than Madison. But the difference between -16F and -5F is negligible. The Skipper’s Meeting is scheduled for 11 AM, with racing at 1 PM. Follow the regatta on the IDNIYRA page, where updates will be posted. Provisional results are here.