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2011-2012 Season

DN Regatta Page

Northwest Ice Yachting Association Regatta Updates

(Currently uncompleted-called on for Feb 24-26, 2012)

Deb's DN World Championship Updates

2011-2012 Season

DN Regatta Page

April 21, 2011

4LIYC Trophy Awards Banquet

Photo Credits: Geoff Sobering

Photo Credits: Greg Whitehorse

May 15, 2012

Extending the Season...

Back in the '70s

Photo Credit: Henry Bossett
New Jersey Skeeter skipper, Dan Clapp, emailed this photo from Henry Bossett. Henry writes that the pictures is "from around 1975 of John Koeck, Ed Knuth and myself out testing DN sails on John’s patio boat.
Ed won the “C” Skeeter title in his “Square Nut” in 1975 and 1976. John and Ed also mounted John’s Skeeter on the boat and rigged scales to test drag and lift from the aerolons and Gurney flaps that they were testing back then. (Dan’s dad had them on his skeeter "Destiny")."

May 12, 2012

Extending the Season Detroit....

April 26, 2012

Photo of the Week

Gretchen Dorian's photo of an ice optimist and DN waiting out a snow squall on Lake Baikal. British sailor Gareth Rowland K11 has uploaded almost 1000 photos of his photos from Irkutsk and Baikal here.

April 22, 2012

Gretchen's Baikal Photos

Photographer Gretchen Dorian has started posting her photos from the Russian DN championship sailed on Lake Baikal.

April 6, 2012

Russian Championships Complete Asia Cup Begins

Photo from Oscar Konyukov on Facebook
K11 reports that there was no sailing on Thursday because of light, shifty winds. The 2012 Russian Championship is completed and they are now racing for the 2012 Asia Cup.
2012 Russian Championship Provisional Results
1st R98 4;4;1;2;11;4;4;
2nd R204 3;2;;12;9;2;2;3;3;
3rd G737 1;13;5;1;1;1;29
4th R5
5th R22
6th R105
20th K11

Henry Bosset passed along a couple of interesting Russian news accounts about the regatta:
Wednesday, April 4
Thursday, April 5
Saturday, April 7

April 5, 2012

From Russia With Wifi

With the wifi turned back on, British DNer K11 reports from the Russian Championships on Lake Baikal they had 3 races on Wednesday and "the Baikal breeze is anything from 13.8 meter per second to nothing. Most of the time it was 6 m/s... Gretchen Dorian was at the top mark all day. At least we had a hot lunch provided, hot sweet tea, buns sausage, and local pastry wrap." After 6 races, German DNer Joerg Bohn is first in points-see results here. See Opti results here.
Gretchen Dorian emailed the following: "Just got internet here in SIBERIA - this morning about 12 hr difference It is 9:45 AM Here on Thursday. THEY ONLY JUST NOW GOT INTERNET SERRVICE @ Uyuga Resort Everybody, if you are Russian, has "cell Service". Amazing 4 hour bus... our building (3 floors - 6 rooms/floor) all new, radient you have indoor plumbing! The Lake is incredible! Weather is great "spring sailing" frost at night. Ice is 3 foot thick Totally Amazing Place...I can only speak to (3) PEOPLE 2 Brits & Joerg Bohn Today last day of Russia Cup; Fri/Sat is Asia Cup for DNs"

Joerg Bohn G737 at opening ceremonies

Chris Williams K1 in a TV interview

April 3, 2012

Day 1 of Russian DN Championships

Waiting for the black cloud to bring wind and snow squall.
Day one of the Russian DN championships are complete with 2 races sailed. Click here for results. K11 writes, "Down in the pits the clouds built up.. We had to sail south to another location that had better ice ready for a 1 pm start. But the Baikal blast had something else to say. Two snow storms rolled in over the mountains. A black cloud with snow crept over us and within 5 minutes the winds increased to 13.8 meters per second and shifted 80 degrees. So it was tie things down and move boats as the weather dictated. Finally the storms went away and the wind moved back to a westerly but with strong gusts."

April 2, 2012

Russian Championships Begin

Launch site on Lake Baikal
Training day for the Russian DN Championships began today. K11 reports that photographer Gretchen Dorian has arrived at the sailing site.
Skippers meeting all in Russian


A hole made for fishing through the ice on Lake Baikal
The Russian DN Championship has begun. Gareth Rowland sent the following text report this morning, "Rough ice, small snow drifts. At briefing. In Russian. No email, no internet. Phones variable to nothing. K11 sailed course. 56 kph max. Can go faster."

For the past couple of days, K1 and K11 have been exploring the area near the sailing site. They drove a 4x4 on a "track that is not a road.. had to make a 2000 ft pass. We bounced, rattled, and forded the track up to the mountain pass where we stopped. I am a qualified 4x4 driver so know these things. We walked 1/2 mile of a deeply snowed track, no visible vehicle track for some time, only clues. K1 immediately said NO! It was possible to walk it and I did, but it was steep, snow covered, with maybe with ice under. It was fine on the way up but we had to come back down?? Experience tells you.... you are 9 hours from any sort of hospital, the mobile is awol, and only one russian 4x4 with a shovel is us. Plus I am not sure if anyone actually knows where we might be? Long story... but we turned round and bounced, rattled stone tracks and ice roads back for a late lunch."
K1 fishes for his supper.

March 31, 2012


Extreme World Racers
British ice sailors K1 and K11 (Chris & Gareth) have made their way 7 hours from Irkutsk to the north of the Lake Baikal sailing site of the Russian DN championships scheduled for April 1-9. On Friday,they met up with some other adventurer types disembarking from a train. Gareth writes, "to our surprise two ice bikes with sledges came out of one carriage, 4 people in all including one French, and one Brit who had just finished an Extreme World Racing marathon, where they biked, skiied, etc the whole of Lake Baikal. The British ice sailing team gave them a hand up to the entrance with their gear."
Gareth filed today's report "with no mains power, no TV, and no internet. The only connection to the modern world is 2 bars on the mobile phone, so I’m sending this report by phone modem. Phones only happened here 20 years ago. There’s not one electric light visible on the horizon and to the west of us is a 3000 ft mountain range with deep gorges. For a long, long, long way there are only brown bears, wolves, moose and mountains, no proper road along the lake." They went ice fishing for their supper and enjoyed a catch of the local fish, Omul.

March 28, 2012


Chris Williams with a 3D model of Lake Baikal at the Irkutsk Museum of Natural Histoy. The sailing area is south of his hand.
Earlier this week, British ice sailors Gareth Rowland K11 and Chris Williams K1 arrived in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia located 270 km from the site of the Russian DN championships on Lake Baikal which begin this upcoming weekend. They've spent the past two days exploring museums, markets, and pubs before making the trip to Lake Baikal. Gareth writes that the temperatures are a balmy 0C (32F) during the day. He'll be sending reports our way as long as he has internet and phone access (if he doesn't have internet access at the sailing site, he's going to try to text some short reports via phone). You can read more about their adventures on the UK Ice Sailing web site (registration required). Michigan photographer Gretchen Dorain will be flying there on Saturday to photograph the event.

Here's Gareth "inspecting a Russian Beefeater" in front of a rather peculiar English/Russian pub that they've discovered in Irkutsk.

March 26, 2012

Bill Sarns: "Champion, Gentlemen, Exceptional Machinist"

From left- John Jacobs Sr., Bill Sarns, Skip Boston, and Elmer Millenbach, probably at a Detroit Ice Yacht Club banquet, c early 1950s.
One of ice boating's legends, Bill Sarns, passed away on Sunday, March 25. Bill founded Sarns Hardware specializing in affordable ice boating parts in Harrison Township, Michigan in the late 1940s. The name Sarns will be associated with ice boating for many years to come. Bill

Bill Sarns and his J14, courtesy of Jack & Kelly Jacobs.
may be the only man who has an ice boat component, the ubiquitous Sarns runner that probably every one of has owned, named for him. Skeeter Ice Boat club sailors, Bob and Jane Pegel shared the following about Bill: "Champion DN sailor, exceptional machinist, gentleman. No other individual has contributed as much to the sport of DN sailing."
The family has requested memorial contributions be made to Hazel Park First United Methodist Church, 315 E. 9 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030 or Henry Ford Hospital Office of Philanthropy, Dorothy Kahkonen Lectureship Fund, 1 Ford Place ,5A, Detroit, Michigan 48202. Bill Sarn's obituary.

The Generousity of Bill Sarns
4LIYC Renegader Greg Whitehorse relayed a story about Bill Sarns. A few years ago, Greg sold an older DN to a guy on Lake Kegonsa. It was the guy's first ice boat and he bought it for cruising, not racing. Later he saw Greg on the ice, unhappy that he couldn't sail the boat because he had bent a runner. Greg suggested he contact Bill Sarns. A few weeks later, the guy told Greg that Bill spent a half hour on the phone with him. Bill ended up sending the guy a loaner runner so he could keep sailing while Bill was repairing the bent runner. Bill Sarns represented the sport of ice boating well.

March 25, 2012


"Until 2004 all championships of Russia in the DN class conducted mainly in St. Petersburg. And only occasionally [ice sailors] from Siberia could afford to come to this championship. This creates unequal conditions for riders from the western and eastern regions of our country and led to a significant imbalance in the qualitative and quantitative development sport in the region. To remedy this situation the Russian Association of class DN (Radni) decided to alternate the venue for years Championships and Cup of Russia in the European and Asian parts."
Continue reading. Via Gretchen Dorian.

March 23, 2012

5000 Mile Plus Leap of Faith

In the past few days, one of ice boating’s good friends, photographer Gretchen Dorian, has taken a leap of faith by deciding to cash in frequent flyer points and click the “Purchase” button on airline tickets that will take her to Lake Baikal for this year’s DN Russian Championship.

Gretchen beautifully documents our sport and doesn’t ask for much other than purchasing her art. She’s self reliant on the race course, pulls her sled of gear out to the weather mark in any condition, and sits out there for hours, characteristics that will do her well in Siberia.
Gretchen is facing some financial challenges in taking this trip. If you like what she does, consider hitting the Paypal donation button on her website to help support the trip to Baikal. All who donate will "receive a special commemorative 8"x10" photograph, signed by me, celebrating this event on Lake Baikal | Siberia! Take a chance on me!"

March 22, 2012

Last Regatta of the Season

Lake Baikal. Sailing site in 2011
There's one last DN regatta scheduled for April 1-9, the Asia Cup and Russian Championship which are always sailed on the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal. European DN Commodore Joerg Bohn is attending for the first time and explains some of the logisitics, "Our first 2.5 hour flight takes us to Moscow [from Germany]. Then we fly 6.5 hours to Irkutsk, followed by another 3.5 hour bus, followed by another hour on a 4x4 truck. Simple accomodation, but direct at the lake.

Above is a photo of our boats in a container at the rail station in Moscow before being send on the Transiberian train to Baikal. Here's a link to the notice of race, the online entry form and some pictures of the location. Here is a link to the accomodations, Holiday Village Uyuga. Looking much forward to my trip.The ice is currently 2 meters thick. Temperatures at night are -25°C and during afternoon slightly above freezing level."
British sailors Gareth Rowland and Chris Williams are also making the trip. Gareth's blog is always entertaining and you will need to register to read about their 2012 Russian adventures. Link to map of sailing area.

March 13, 2012

8 Hours of Heartbreak In 3 Minutes

Via John Lamont, here's a time lapse video from March 10, the day the ice left Lake Mendota.

March 4, 2012

Crack Brigade

4LIYC Skeeter skipper Ken Whitehorse began a new project this weekend.

February 18, 2012

Lake Monona Sailing

February 17, 2012

Ice Optimist Worlds Update

Here are "most likely" the final results from the 2012 Ice Optimist Worlds and DN Junior Championships sailed in Poland via Daniel Hearn.

Frankie Hearn in Poland

Here's international tv star, Frankie Hearn, interviewed by Polish TV.
Daniel Hearn writes, " Five races today in each fleet. 60 Ice Optis on one line. Very cool! Frankie's best finish was 14. He improved with each race, so he's very happy. He was interviewed on the ice by a local TV station. Light snow all day and heavier snow now. Might be end of the regatta, but we'll see. Conditions today hand wind around 4-6 meters with significant snow in ice with plenty of hard drifts. Steering around them and keeping boat moving, sacrificing direction, were key. Hope you all get to sail this weekend on Monona!"

60 Ice Optimists!

US1 first race start.

February 13, 2012

Sunday Sailing Photos & Video

Tons of great photos and videos from Sunday's sailing on Lake Mendota here.

February 2, 2012

More Photos from Last Sunday on Mendota

Peter Fauerbach has sent in a few more photos from last Sunday's racing.

January 31, 2012

Sunday's Photos

Peter Fauerbach's photos from last Sunday are here.

January 29, 2012

4LIYC Club Racing:

After too much wind on Saturday, Sunday brought much better conditions. The Renegade, Nite, and DN fleets sailed four races each in winds varying from 8 to 15 mph with occasional intervals up into the upper teens. Areas of new snow and crusty drifts made for challenging racing in the lower wind strengths.

January 25, 2012

Stern Steerer Kid: Cure for Most Depressing Day of the Year

Some travel marketing web site came up with a pseudo-scientific equation proving that the first Monday on the last full week of January is the most depressing day of the year. "The date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action." Here's a favorite video of the stern-steerer kid taking action.

January 16, 2012

Tanzende Kufen (Dancing Skates)

Via the North Shrewsbuy Ice Boat & Yacht Club Facebook Page who saw it on the Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club website. Here's a German ice boating video from 1938 featuring among many other cool details, an early wing mast. These are Monotype-XV ice yachts "designed in 1932 by the legendary Erik von Holst of Estonia". Read more about them here.

January 12, 2012


Eric Rogers Tobias is a UW Madison student who has discovered the addiction of ice boating. Via 4LIYC Facebook page, "I put together this overly-dramatic video of my first season of iceboating; the footage is from Winnebago, Christina and also Green Lake this past weekend. I just wanted to thank all of the DN fleet for being so welcoming into the sport of hard water sailing and getting me thoroughly addicted."

January 11, 2012

Flying Ice Monkeys

Fritz and Meta Simon's first time Ice Optimist sailing on Lake Wingra on Sunday, January 8, 2012.

January 5, 2012

UPDATE: Now Online
SAIL: A Unique Mindset

UPDATE: See it online.
Be sure to pick up the December issue of SAIL Magazine which should be at your local bookstore any day. Nice photos by Gretchen Dorian and an article written by me.
Many thanks to all who took the time to talk or correspond with me during the writing of the article; Henry Bossett, Dan Clapp, John Dennis, Greg McCormick, Jim Nordhaus, Jane Pegel, Steve Schalk, Ron Sherry, Greg Simon, and Geoff Sobering.

Life Is But A Dream

From Wisconsin's west coast, "Here's how we (ice) boat on Lake Pepin (Jan. 2), Ed Newcomb."

Sunset DN

Stern Steerer skipper Mike Peters sent this 41 second video shot on Clark Lake in Door County, WI last weekend. Mike reports that the ice is gone now because of the warm termperatures. The sailing footage is unremarkable but the beautiful sunset on the wet ice makes this video worth watching for a little slice of heaven.

January 2, 2012

35 Square Miles of Near Perfect Ice!

Via Canyon Ferry sailor Dave Livezey," We started the season with a huge expanse of great ice. We've had some warm weather, a little rain, and some more cold. We now have 35 square miles of near perfect ice. No one remembers this much great ice, this late into the season. We had a huge turnout at the Silos, New Years day. With a steady 5-8 mph south wind, sailors had a delightful recreational day. The skating is amazing. The best fun was skating as far south as possible, turning down wind, and then with two strides, gliding the 2 miles back! Many of us stayed out there until darkness forced us off. This week is suppose to be a bit on the warm side, but with 10-12 inches, the ice should survive. A slight chance of snow later in the week."

December 2, 2011

"You Don't Take Chances, You Take Chapstick"

"Part of the concept that had gotten our client so excited was the idea of a customized ice boat with a black sail emblazoned with the ChapStick logo flying across the ice. In light of this, two additional challenges immediately presented themselves. Who was going to design and build the ChapStick ice boat and who was going to take it to Finland and race it?" Read more about Henry Bossett and that iconic Chapstick commercial.

November 23, 2011

Missouri Nites

At last week's meeting, the 4LIYC welcomed two ice boaters who came all the way from Kansas City, Missouri to pick up a Nite that they had purchased. Terry Haug writes, "Eric and I had a wonderful time visiting Madison and attending the Four Lakes IYC meeting.....

Our Lake Lotawana is near 25 miles SE of downtown Kansas City, MO. Our lake is private with around 700 acres counting all the coves and bays... We have one of the largest MC fleets and one of the largest C fleets in the country. We host an MC Regatta , now 30 plus years running, and a C Scow Regatta older than that.

As far as ice boating our, season could be a few days or none at all. In years past before that global warming we had a record 2 months of sailing hard water. I have counted the following iceboats here: 13 Arrows, 11 Nites, 3 Skimmers, 1 E Skeeter, 1 Boehmke Skeeter, 1 Melges M80 and 3 DNs. We look forward to the jet stream dipping to southern TX. This gives us the cold Arctic air needed for our winter sport of sailing.

This just might be the year we head north to your area for our ice boating adventure."
Check out some Youtube videos of Lake Lotawana ice boating.

November 20, 2011

First Regatta of the Season

Photo from the DN Finland Website
Via the DN Euro forum, the Finland DN Vikajärvi Memorial Regatta was sailed on Lake Jerisjärvi over the weekend. Results here and photos here.

November 16, 2011

First Pond Sailing!

Jamie Smith of Saskatchewan Canada sent these photos and message, "Found some ice last weekend. On November 12 my brother Dave Smith and myself Jamie R. Smith sailed on a frozen pond by Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada. Winds were brisk, however the ice became unstable as the day progressed. That ice needs some colder weather to make it more acceptable for sailing. The next day winds were light. We were able to find a pond in the same area just right for the kids and their ice boat. On November 13th Jessica and Jenna Smith were able to get their pink ice boat out for some runs."