Hardwater sailors

Published on January 21st, 2015

There are softwater sailors and hardwater sailors. Softwater sailors want steady winds and perfect courses, and will be critical of any race committee that tries to conduct a race in anything less. All hardwater sailors want is good ice, and they are willing to drive wherever it is found.

The DN North American and Gold Cup World DN Championships will be held next week, January 25-31, somewhere in North America. Does that give you an idea?

The race committee is currently scouting the country for a clear sheet of ice. Options include freshly-frozen ice on Lake Champlain in Vermont or Green Lake in Wisconsin. That is a range of over 1000 miles, and there are other possible venues.

The decision will be announced any day via the organization’s website. Competitors must be prepared to travel across the country to compete.

The DN is the most popular iceboat class in both North America and Europe, so we are talking about a lot of people scrambling at the whim of the weather.

When the site is determined, hardwater sailors must be prepared for a rules quiz at registration. The class makes available a quiz review and a self-test. Following the rules keeps hardwater sailors alive.

But despite the adversity, when the DN is humming at upwards of 65 miles per hour, the thrilling rush of pure unadulterated, bone-chilling, wind-powered speed trumps the hardship. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be as much fun.

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