Ice Sailors Extend the Season on Dirt

Ice Sailors Extend the Season on Dirt


Congratulations to several of our 4LIYC members for their podium finishes at the 2022 Blokart North American Championship sailed at Ivanpah, Nevada.

From left, Wayne Schmiedlin 2nd Performance Heavy, Aiden Schmiedlin 1st Performance Light (6 overall), Gary Nordhaus 2nd Production Light, Jim Nordhaus 2nd Performance Super (2nd overall), Geoff Sobering 1st Performance Super (1st overall), Lars Barber 2nd Performance Middle, and Brad Wagner 3rd Performance Super (5th overall.)

Even after several years working Race Committee for the North American Blokart Association at the cathedral of land sailing in Ivanpah, Nevada, I find more similarities than differences between ice sailing and land sailing.

I assumed that, unlike ice sailors, dirt sailors had an unlimited supply of venues for sailing. It turns out that land sailors have to monitor surface conditions almost as closely as ice checkers. Dirt just aint dirt, and not all playas are sailable. Just like we search for black ice, they hunt for smooth playas.

Ice sailors dread shell ice while dirt sailors pay attention to rain showers, leaving a bumpy, rutted surface. If a playa dries too quickly, the surface can “cup,” resulting in a rough track. The week before the Blokart NAs, a substantial rain had fallen at Ivanpah, changing the dry lake into an actual wet lake. The surface dried out at the optimal rate, and the rain Zambonied the lumps and bumps, leaving an excellent racing track.

During sturgeon spearing season, fishing clubs plot Lake Winnebago with wooden stakes for vehicle control, but these go away. On some playas, wooden claim stakes are popping up placed by speculators hoping to strike it big in lithium mining.

Ivanpah is unique because the Bureau of Land Management has specifically designated it as an area for “wind sailing.” If you ever get the chance to attend a land sailing regatta at Ivanpah, you won’t regret the experience.

Confusion Reigns

Confusion Reigns

“Not sure what boat season it is.”

Daniel Hearn sends word from the Spaight Street Syndicate that he’s unsure what boat season it is. Minnesota’s Dirk Siems sailed his DN on a sunny April day on Otter Tail Lake yesterday in what has to be some sort of late record for Minnesota DN sailing. 4LIYC sailors are returning from Ivanpah, Nevada, with some trophy hardware awarded during the Blokart dirt-sailing event. (More on that tomorrow.) No wonder we are all confused!

Dirk Siems usually finds the first ice for the Western Challenge in MN and now he’s on the hunt for the last ice of the season. He sailed on Otter Tail Lake yesterday, April 9, 2022.

Geoff Sobering won the overall and his division at the 2022 Blokart North American regatta at Ivanpah, Nevada.



Via the 4LIYC Facebook page, a couple of updates from the Nordhaus Boatwerks. Jim writes:

OCTOBER 30, 2019:
Well, “Cheese Slicer” finally saw the “light of day” after almost five years of renovation. The plank was the only part that rolled in on the rocky shore of Green Bay. This was after someone left there boat out too long in the spring. It came from Seymour, Wisconsin compliments of “Adamski”.
The hull was Geoff Sobering and Dean Lima’s which had been stored in Dean’s barn. Runners were extra parts laying around and the rig is my Renegade “C” rig. Now for paint.
“Where’s the ICE!!

NOVEMBER 10, 2019
Great time listening to the Badger game and painting parts for the “Cheese Slicer”. The color is “MAC and Cheese” and it is really—-yellow.
I will work on painting the hull tomorrow. I clear coated the bottom for protection and did the plank and spring board.

Catching Up: 4LIYC Scores & Ice Sailors on Land

Catching Up: 4LIYC Scores & Ice Sailors on Land

Ken Whitehorse in the new blue Class A Skeeter

4LIYC Scores
The 4LIYC did have a racing season, albeit a short one. Fortunately, our by-laws allow for regattas sailed on home ice to be counted towards club scoring. Our Nite class members will be taking home the “pots and pans” at this year’s banquet on April 27. (Banquet information here.) The Renegade class was also able to race that weekend on Kegonsa and Trophy chair Jori Lenon and the board have been working on the specialty trophies too.

Class photo at the 2019 Blokart North American regatta at Ivanpah Dry Lake near Primm, Nevada.

2019 Blokart North Americans: Jim Nordhaus 2nd in division, Aiden Schmeidlin 1st in division, Gary Nordhaus 1st in division, Andy Gratton 2nd in division, Geoff Sobering 3rd in division.

You may have noticed that this website wasn’t being updated very much during the past few weeks. That’s because I was in Primm, Nevada at the 2019 Blokart North American championship along with some other Wisconsin ice sailors. Jim Nordhaus and Geoff Sobering placed 2nd and 3rd in their division. First time land sailor, Andy Gratton, placed 2nd in his division. All three of these ice sailors won races in their division against some extremely tough competition.
Scores here.

Kegonsa 30 December 2018: Spaight St. Syndicate Championship

Footage from today’s historic Spaight Street Syndicate Global Championships on Lake Kegonsa.
Kegonsa has provided a decent venue for DN scrub racing so far – providing you sail and keep close with those who have local knowledge of areas to keep clear of. The next few days of cold temperatures should help to heal the seams on Kegonsa.
Watch Geoff Sobering’s Lake Kegonsa drone video from Saturday.

There’s a mixed precipitation weather system coming through on Monday that NOAA reports “.. is a very complicated forecast and the details will most certainly change over the next 24 hours, so remain alert and flexible and keep up with the forecast.”  Tuesday and Wednesday night’s low temperatures look very promising for Monona and Mendota because both are clean slates, having frozen and opened back up again. Stay tuned!

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