Patience rewarded at DN US Nationals

Published on February 1st, 2022

For the second consecutive year, the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association cancelled its North American Championship due to the pandemic. In its place, the US Nationals was scheduled for January 23-29, but with any iceboating regatta, the weather gods are in charge of when and where the racing is held.

With the site to be revealed by January 20, the challenge of finding suitable ice was settled a day later when the event was confirmed for Lake Monona in Madison, WI. And then Mother Nature through a curve ball. While the lake was sailable on January 23, the cold temperature would not allow for the regatta to begin.

Later that day, due to the unexpectedly high volume of snow received on Monona, scouts scoured two other locations – Lake Senachwine near Peru, IL and Green Lake, WI. Plus, with very cold temperatures across the region, the earliest the US Nationals would start was now January 26.

While the scouts found too much snow on Green Lake, the update on January 24 was to move the venue to Senachwine Lake. The lake was deemed raceable with approximately 1″ of snow, but very low temperatures that night and the following day could change the snow texture.

A final test on January 25 found the conditions to be adequate, but there remained some hazards in the ice. While race organizers would do their best to mark what they could find, the ominous warning came that some hazards may not be marked for the 56 competitors.

The forecast for January 26 was very cold and light wind, which led to a waiting game in hopes that conditions would allow for racing. Two hours before sunset, the breeze started to fill in, and the Race Committee was able to complete one race.

The heartiness of the competitors were ultimately rewarded on the last day as the ice and wind converged in just the right quantities. Ron Sherry found his gear and took three bullets for the victory, again showing why he is a five-time world champion, 14-time North American champion, and three-time European DN champion. James Thieler and JR Francis completed the top three.

Amid the pandemic, the Race Committee and competitors hung tough and waited for the right venue, and their patience was rewarded with a six-race series.

Final results:

Photographer Sean R. Heavey followed the caravan from Lake Monona to Senachwine Lake. To view his images, click here.

comment banner

Tags: , , ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.