Runner Tracks Newsletter September 2023

This issue offers insights from Robert Cummins US3433 on efficiently organizing and trailering your DN. Whether you are an experienced ice boater or a newcomer, Runner Tracks is the ultimate resource for everything related to ice boating. Check out the complete online library here.


  • The Perfect DN Trailer by Robert Cummins
  • DN Quick Build by Deb Whitehorse with Commentary by Warren Nethercote
  • Traveling Trophy by Julie Jankowski

Get this issue in a full color soft cover book for $20.

Expressing Gratitude

After the 2023 IDNIYRA World Championship, a group of participants took up a collection to recognize PRO Pat Heppert’s exceptional dedication. Daniel Hearn selected action shots of Pat, captured by Cathy Firmbach, and commissioned a company to create an awe-inspiring 3D photo montage.

Yesterday, Pat was presented with his gift at Daniel’s shop, where he joined a gathering of fellow ice sailors busy preparing Nite masts. During his visit, he also took the chance to organize the DN Western Region equipment, a significant portion of which had been generously contributed by retired PRO Dan Heaney. Pat will join us again for the North American Championship on February 25 – March 2, 2024.

2023 Minnesota Swap Meet: Nov 4 @ Sailcrafters

Getting the plank aligned.

A sure sign of ice, another Swap Meet is scheduled! Meet local DNers and find your next ride in the Minneapolis area.
Hosted by Tim Carlson at Sailcrafters Loft and Rigging.
Date: Saturday, November 4.
Time: 9 AM – Noon CT
Location: 7450 Oxford Street
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

2023 Wisconsin Swap Meet Oct 22 @ Green Lake

2022 Swap Meet at Delavan Yacht Club

A swap meet is a great place to shop for DN iceboats and connect with the ice sailing community. The Green Lake Ice Yacht Club will host the annual Wisconsin Swap Meet on Sunday, October 22, 2023 from 9 AM to noon at the Town Square. More details will be forthcoming.

Stay tuned for swap meet dates from the Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club in Michigan, the New England Ice Yachting Association, and Sailcrafters in Minnesota.

Announcing the DN Senior Shuffle Regatta!

Announcing the DN Senior Shuffle Regatta!

It’s the first, maybe annual, no-running regatta for the “more seasoned” DN sailors. It will take place the three days following the Western Regional Championships, hopefully on the same ice.


  • January 8 – 10, 2024, the three days after the DN Western Region Championship, which is scheduled for January 6 – 7.


  • Open to Seniors (50-59), Masters (60-69) and Grand Masters (70+) who will race under Shuffle Rules with one start.
  • Open to “aspiring” Seniors (49 or younger) who will also race under Shuffle Rules with a separate start.


  • No running. Not at the start. Not during a race. No track stars allowed in a Shuffle race!
  • Starting positions will be determined, in advance, by random draw for every race. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged with a starting position based on their previous race performance. It’s all luck of the draw.
  • Racers must start with one foot on their plank, and are limited to five kicks.
  • Racers must stay in their boats unless they come to a complete stop during a race. In that event, a racer will have one additional 5-kick opportunity to complete a race. A second stop is an automatic DNF.
  • No more than 4 races which count on any one day. Scrub racing may continue after official races for any who are interested.
    Maybe we’ll award prizes…maybe we won’t. But what we do know, is that this is all about fun and camaraderie.
  • Oh, yeah. And that means no protests. We’re going to race like a Wisconsin intersection. “You go. No, you go. Ohhhh, please, I insist der my friend. Oh, cripes, tanks, der good buddy!”


  • $50 registration fee to cover prizes and extras
  • All registration will be online. If you’re tech-challenged, ask a youngster for help.
  • Because we’re so green, race documents will only be published online.


2024 Western Region Championship: January 6 – 7

Photo: Joe Berger

Mark your calendars for the 2024 DN Western Region Championship, a two day regatta sailed on the best ice in either Minnesota, Wisconsin, the UP of Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, or Indiana.
2024 DN Western Region Championship
Dates: January 6 – 7, 2024
Location: Best ice in the Western Region
Information: This website –


2024 International Ranking List Published

2023 World Championship. Photo: Hannah Noll / Harken


Time to start Thinking Ice, the 2024 International Ranking list has been calculated and published. See it here. The rank list is used to seed regatta fleets at continental events. Thanks to Ann Foeller for her assistance.

From the IDNIYRA Regatta Management Agreement (RMA)
14. DN Split Fleet Ranking

The Continental Secretaries shall maintain a fleet ranking. This ranking shall be updated yearly and shall be published by October 15 using regatta results from the previous two GCs (Gold Cup), NACs (North American Championships), and ECs (European Championships). This ranking shall be the lessor of the following:

• Best finish in the Gold fleet in the previous two World Championships, North American Championships, and European Championships.
• 22 plus your best finish in the Silver fleet in the previous two WCs, NACs, and ECs.
• 40 plus your best finish in the Bronze fleet in the previous two WCs, NACs, and ECs.
• 58 plus your best finish in the Aluminum fleet in the previous two WCs, NACs, and ECs. In the event of equal ranking for more than one sailor, the ranking which is based on the most recent race result will be considered higher.

2020 North American Championship
2022 World Championship
2022 European Championship
2023 World Championship
2023 North American Championship
2023 European Championship

All corrections must be submitted to the respective Continental Secretary by November 15. The list will be final on December 1.

Questions about your rank? Please email

IDNIYRA 2023 Spring Ballot Results

Thank you to all who voted in the election. Here is a link to the results. 
See Runner Tracks February 2023 for proposals put forward at the Annual Governing Meeting. 

Election Results for 2023 IDNIYRA Spring Ballot

Started at: May 19, 2023 at 4:00pm
Finished at: June 2, 2023 at 4:00pm
Time zone: Central Time (US & Canada)

85 of 202 ballots cast.

1. Candidate: Commodore David Frost US5358
Yes – I approve the candidate: 84 votes 100.00%
No – I reject the candidate: 0 votes 0%

Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 100.00% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 84
Abstentions: 1

2. Candidate: Vice Commodore Rob Holman US3705
Yes – I approve the candidate: 83 votes 97.65%
No – I reject the candidate: 2 votes 2.35%

Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 97.65% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 85
Abstentions: 0

3. Candidate: Secretary Deb Whitehorse US2366
Yes – I approve the candidate: 84 votes 98.82%
No – I reject the candidate: 1 vote 1.18%

Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 98.82% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 85
Abstentions: 0

4. Candidate: Treasurer Deb Whitehorse US2366
Yes – I approve the candidate: 84 votes 98.82%
No – I reject the candidate: 1 vote 1.18%

Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 98.82% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 85
Abstentions: 0

5. Candidate: Past Commodore Robert Cummins US3433

Yes, I approve the candidate: 80 votes 97.56%
No, I reject the candidate: 0 votes 0%
Kent Baker: 1 vote 1.22%
Eric Anderson: 1 vote 1.22%

Yes, I approve the candidate wins with 97.56% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 82
Abstentions: 3

Yes: 72 votes 94.74%
No: 4 votes 5.26%

Yes wins with 94.74% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 76
Abstentions: 9

Yes: 32 votes 46.38%
No: 37 votes 53.62%

No wins with 53.62% of the vote.
Votes tallied: 69
Abstentions: 16

Notice of Electronic Ballot

Photo: Harken / Hannah Lee Noll

All members in good standing should have received an email invitation from Election Buddy today to vote for our next Executive Committee and two proposals. If you have not received the email invitation, please check your spam folder. Contact if you have not received your ballot. Please participate and vote.

From Runner Tracks May 2023 Commodore’s Column by IDNIYRA Commodore Jody Kjoller:
There are two proposals, one is to amend the IDNIYRA Constitution, and the other is the amend the IDNIYRA By-Laws. [See February 2023 Runner Tracks]
Proposal 1: Amend the IDNIYRA Constitution
The Governing Committee supports the “Proposal to amend the IDNIYRA Constitution Article VI and Article XII” submitted by Warren Nethercote KC3786. We have not had a way to remove anyone from an elected position until this proposal. As you know, situations arise where an individual may no longer represent the best interests of an organization. This proposal will allow said persons to be removed if need be.

Proposal 2: Amend the IDNIYRA By-Laws
Proposal to amend IDNIYRA By-Laws General 1, proposed by Jody Kjoller US5435. There has been a bit of a debate about this proposal. Participants at the annual meeting amended and approved annual class dues increase to $50 US dollars. Since the meeting, there has been much discussion concerning “non-racing, dues-paying members”. There is a rather large group of our membership that no longer actively races the DN but still wants to be part of the class. There is a concern that such an increase in dues may deter this group from maintaining their class membership. Please think about this before you vote.


Harry “Buddy” Melges 1930 – 2023

Buddy Melges adjusts his sail at the 1975 IDNIYRA North American Championship on Lake Geneva. Photo: Henry Bossett

The IDNIYRA extends our deepest sympathies to the family of Buddy Melges US2974, one of the most incredible soft and hard water sailors of all time.

Buddy raced in nearly every class of iceboat, including the DN. He competed in two DN regattas in 1975, one of which involved Coast Guard helicopters and ice floes on Saginaw Bay in Michigan. See the stories and results below.

Sailors from all over have shared their stories about Buddy Melges on social media. DN class sailors have many of their own. Joe Norton US781 recalled the 1975 North American Championship qualification races when Buddy searched for the correct settings for sticky snow. Joe suggested a few and, in the next race, Joe started in the one or two blocks. Joe had a decent lead, and suddenly there was Buddy windward of him like a fast freight train and went on to win the race. Joe also recalled, “as much as Buddy loved iceboating, it didn’t hold a candle to his passion for duck hunting.”

Ron Sherry US44 won the 1997 Renegade Championship thanks to Buddy’s advice on easing the side stays on his Renegade. Ron commented, “If you make the people around you faster, you will also become quicker. Buddy followed this principle.”

Runner Tracks Newsletter May 2023

The Online Magazine of the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association

Runner Tracks cover sailor, Jost Kolb, invites you to read the latest issue, featuring articles on DN sailing worldwide, informative results, and a Bob Gray technical article. We want to thank our sponsors who made this all possible.

In the coming days, all eligible members will receive an electronic ballot to vote for officers and two proposals. Please check the Commodore’s column for more details on the proposals. By the way, this will be Commodore Jody Kjoller’s final column. Thank you, Jody, for contributing to keeping the IDNIYRA as a thriving one-design class.


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Runner Tracks Library – previous issues


  • Richard Gustring – Remembering a Friend by Ron Sherry
  • Grand Masters Report by Hal Bowman
  • Staggered Starts by Andre Baby
  • DN Tech – Replacing the Stud Plates by Bob Gray
  • DN China Arrives by Jorg Bohn, Dimitriy Kachin, and DN China
  • Regatta Results

Get this issue in a full color soft cover book for $20.


Get this issue in a full color soft cover book for $20.


The DN is most popular iceboat in the world. Whether you are a racer or cruiser, your $25 membership in the IDNIYRA helps to promote the art and skill of DN ice yacht construction and the sport of ice yachting on all the hard waters of the world.


  • World & European, DN Junior, and Ice Optimist Championships
    Feb 3 – 10
  • North American Championship
    Feb 25 – March 2
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