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Countdown to DN World Championship

Published on January 12th, 2023

DN iceboat sailors from around the world are making preparations as the DN iceboat class celebrates 50 years of international competition at the 2023 DN World Championship.

Fifty years ago, in 1973, the DN Class held its first international competition on Gull Lake, Michigan. Competitors from Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands joined North American sailors to compete in the first World Championship, which Estonian Ain Vilde won.

Since then, the World Championships have alternated between North America and Europe, and the DN iceboat class has grown to be the largest ice yacht class in the world.

In 2023, the tradition continues with the World title to be decided in North America on January 22-28, with racing for the North American Championship title included in the schedule. The regatta is hosted by the Western Lakes Iceboat Region, which includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Already 100 DN ice sailors from Europe and North America have registered for the event, with the venue to be confirmed by January 18, 2023. 

The defending World Champion is Robert Graczyk of Poland. Robert won his first World Championship last year in Storsjon, Norway. He will travel to the United States in mid-January with his training partner Tomek Zakwerewski, a three-time world champion, to prepare for the regatta.

The Swedish and European junior ice sailing community has its eyes on Sweden’s 19-year-old Oskar Svennson. The young phenom came up through the European Ice Optimist and DN Junior ranks and finished third in the 2022 World Championship. This year, Svensson has already won a Swedish regatta against tough international competition.

Winning the 2023 World Championships will be no easy task. In addition to Graczyk, Zakwerewski, and Svensson, this year’s field is stacked with some of the best sailors the class has seen, including:

• Ron Sherry, five-time World and 14-time North American Champion who hails from the birthplace of the DN, Detroit, Michigan.
• Matt Struble of San Diego, CA, will trade flip-flops and sunglasses for goggles and ice spikes as he tries for his fourth World title.
• Karol Jablonski, of Poland, who has won the Worlds a record 12 times.
• Lukasz Zakrzewski of Poland, who won the World Championship in 2020.
• James “T” Theiler, of Newport, RI, defending North American champion

Event detailsWorld Championship resultsNorth American Championship results

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