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.

Evolution of a Mast Project

The sanding crew, from left Paul McMillan, Jerry Simon, Steve Holtzman, Stefan Schmidt, Lars Barber, Don Anderson, Mike Ripp.

Just as changing a light fixture in a house frequently evolves into a room renovation, replacing a broken sheave on the mast of MARY B became a more extensive project.

In August, the Iceboat Foundation showcased two boats – the MARY B and the Class A Skeeter INSANITY – at Marshall Park during the E Scow Nationals. While both boats impressed the onlookers, the crew encountered an issue with a faulty sheave when they tried to take down the sail.

Mike Ripp, paint specialist

As they were replacing the sheave, the crew decided to take the opportunity to give the mast a fresh coat of paint. Mike Ripp, volunteered to do the entire paint job and will apply two coats of the traditional white paint, one side at a time over the course of the week.

Keeping Sharp

Mike Ripp, Ron Rosten, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner get ready to sharpen. 

Saturday was a busy day in the world of iceboating. 4LIYC Renegader Ron Rosten shared runner-sharpening wisdom with Mike Ripp, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner, who have recently invested in Bob Rast’s state-of-the-art sharpeners.

Adding to the excitement, a new Ice Optimist arrived in Madison. Ice sailors on Facebook shared stories about the Nite fleet welcoming a new member and the gang at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, preparing to get their DNs on the ice.

In less than three weeks, DNs will head to Minnesota to kick off the season at the annual informal gathering, the Western Challenge.

“It’s The People That Make the Club”

Where is YOUR trophy base? Paul Krueger’s was done within 24 hours of receiving the trophy! (Note PK’s photo on the wall.)

We had a packed house at last night’s Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Awards Banquet at Springer’s, overlooking the lake that hosted the most iceboat racing in North America and maybe even the world.

It was a perfect mix of veteran and newer members. Long-time club members like “Admiral” Dave Nelson (Kegonsa is his private lake) and Mrs. Admiral Nancy came in the latest 4LIYC shirts, while Jerry Simon ensured the classic red blazer was present.
Banquet chair Lars Barber surprised the room with a sincere presentation highlighting the season and behind-the-scenes help that 4LIYC members provide to keep the show running.

Trophy chair Damien Luyet handed out the “pots and pans.” Because the club’s trophy engraver, Ray Karas, is no longer engraving, Damien and Donny Anderson had to devise a new way to get the job done. Ray was one of the last engravers we know about who could carve on a rounded surface. Damien asked that all trophy recipients make a base to make it easier for flat engraving.

The trophy base-building winner is Paul Krueger, who whipped up a base this morning for his Class A Skeeter trophy. Who will be the next person to make a trophy base?

4LIYC Sailors On the Dirt Leaderboards

4LIYC Geoff Sobering, left, 3rd, Dave Lussier of RI, 2nd, and 4LIYC Jim Nordhaus 1st of the 2023 Blokart North American Championship.

RESULTS BY DIVISION RESULTS OVERALL

Congratulations to Four Lakes Ice Yacht members for taking on the dirt at last week’s 2023 Blokart land sailing North American championship at Ivanpah, Nevada.

Land sailing has become a popular way to wrap up (or extend!) the ice sailing season. In recent years, the list of ice sailors making the pilgrimage to Ivanpah for the NALSA or Blokart regattas has been increasing.

 

In the Performance Superweight division, Jim Nordhaus took first place, Geoff Sobering placed third, and Brad Wagner placed 5th. Jim also took first place overall. Lars Barber took 4th in Performance Middle Weight, and Wayne Schmeidlin took 4th in Performance Heavy Weight. Wayne’s grandson, the veteran junior sailor Aiden Schmeidlin, won the Performance Light Weight division.

 

The surprise of the regatta was Wayne’s grandson and Aiden’s younger brother, Alex, racing for the first time, winning the Production Lightweight division against some seasoned sailors. Alex was a natural and was at ease even in some big wind. We hope to get Aiden and Alex to learn how their land sailing skills transfer to the ice next season.

 

Nina Fleming and I were co-PROs. It was our second regatta of the season after working the 2023 DN World Championship on Lake Kegonsa. The cold weather made this event feel more like ice sailing, though we generally don’t have to worry about 75 mph wind gusts on Lake Kegonsa as we did for the day racing was postponed at the Blokart regatta.

 

The expanding cross-pollination between land and ice sailing benefits both communities and helps to grow both sports.