Sydney Royal Yacht Squadron’s First Iceboat

Sydney Royal Yacht Squadron’s First Iceboat

Previous: Sail Australia in Montana
“I’d Like to Get Into Ice Sailing”
In November 2021, Australian sailor Michael Dunston emailed me about continuing his ice sailing journey, which had begun in the Netherlands.

I’m from Sydney, Australia. I have grown up sailing all my life. I tried ice sailing on a DN for the first and only time last winter opportunistically in the Netherlands, and I loved it. This year I moved with my family to Bozeman, MT, which is where my wife grew up. I would like to find a way to do more ice sailing!

If there was an inexpensive, entry-level ice boat (a DN, or similar), then I would be interested to buy. Naturally, it would also be great to connect with some like-minded folks. Is there a club or a group that sail on Canyon Ferry MT that I could connect with?
Michael Dunstan

Michael is one lucky sailor, having been in the Netherlands 2021, the birthplace of our sport, for their few days of ice sailing, then landing at Canyon Ferry, a place of legendary North American ice.

I forwarded Michael’s email to Canyon Ferry iceboaters Dale Livesey and Dave Gluek, who welcomed him into the community and pushed him off the line.

I wanted to update you on Michael Dunstan, the Australian sailor. He’s an awesome guy and a good addition to our fleet. He purchased Dale Livezey’s DN and is a quick learner. He has been fun to sail with. Mike’s Dad is visiting Mike this week, and we sailed a Nite in big wind the other day. Both of them are accomplished sailors! Thank you for introducing us.
Dave Gluek

Michael’s mother, Judy, wrote an article about their visit to Big Sky & Ice country for their yacht club’s newsletter, the historic Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. In addition to receiving a British empire Royal charter in 1862 and challenging for the America’s Cup in 1962, the RSYS has added Michael’s DN to their Squadron Yacht register in 2022.

Hard Water Sailing by Judy Dunston

HWS Update: Try Again in 2023

HWS Update: Try Again in 2023

Photo: Pat Heppert

Ice Sailors:

With regret, we must announce that the Hard Water Summit will not be happening this year. Mother Nature decided she wanted an extended period of warm days, lots of sunshine and nights barely below freezing. The snow is, indeed, gone, but this weather pattern is leaving us with lots of slush that will likely only get deeper.

We appreciate your enthusiasm for this adventure and we may decide to give it a go again next year. We’ll have to consider whether doing the event in the same season as a DN Gold Cup in the US makes sense. If you have any input on this question, we’d love to hear it. montana.icesail@gmail.com From a timing standpoint, we may also move up our target week to the first week of March. This would steer us clear of any conflict with land sailing events and possibly increase the likelihood that we’d have the ice and weather we need. Again, feel free to let us know what you think.

Of course we are a bit disappointed, but then again, we are blessed to not be hiding from Russian artillery as we go about our daily lives. Keep the Faith!

Your HWS Team,

Daniel, Sean and Deb

HWS: On Hold…Still Hopeful

HWS: On Hold…Still Hopeful

On Hold…Still Hopeful

As of this morning, the Hard Water Summit remains on hold. The weather on the Fort Peck Reservoir has remained cold, so the drifts are still too large and stiff. Warm weather is coming the week of March 13. We’ll monitor the weather that week to see if we get the melt we need to clean up the snow, and the below freezing temps at night to keep the ice firm. Please stand by. We intend to make a final call one way or the other on Thursday, March 17.

Think Ice!

Your HWS Team,
Daniel, Sean and Deb

New HWS Target Week March 21 – 24

New HWS Target Week March 21 – 24

Adjusting Our Sails

New HWS Target Week: March 21 – 24

Unfortunately, snow has covered the ice at Fort Peck. Mother Nature decided she didn’t want us during the target week, and until she decides what she wants to do, we are on hold. Weather models show a significant warming trend next week. We want to put everyone on standby with hopes to hold the HWS on the third target week of March 21 – 24.

Ice sailors are eternal optimists, and we are holding out hope that the snow will disappear. We will continue to keep you informed about conditions. We understand it may be challenging to adjust your schedules, but we will still try to make this happen if Fort Peck ice comes in. All the pieces are in place, and the snow will soften out with a bit of luck.

We will keep you in the loop and send a weather update on Monday, March 7.

Your HWS Team,

Daniel, Sean and Deb

HWS Update: Polishing the Playground

HWS Update: Polishing the Playground


Polishing The Playground
We can officially report now that the inaugural Hard Water Summit will not be taking place during our early option week. All signs are “Go” for our target dates of March 13 – 18.

Here are a couple shots from yesterday, March 1. Over the next 10 days, there is hardly a dusting of snow in the forecast and it’s going to be warm during the days. That means our playground will continue to get polished, setting us up for an epic event! If you are not yet registered, don’t delay any longer. Register here. Hotel rooms and event commemorative vest, both which are limited, are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Your HWS Team,

Daniel, Sean and Deb

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