2019 DN Western Challenge: December 6-8, 2019

North America’s most famous early season DN fun-regatta will take place December 6-8, 2019 on the best ice in Minnesota. This annual regatta draws ice sailors from around North America, Europe, and Russia. The relatively new Mini-Skeeter class will also be joining the fun this year. Start sharpening your runners! Further information will posted on the Minnesota Ice Sailing website.

2020 International Rank List Published

The 2020 IDNIYRA Rank List has been published. See it here.
If you have questions, please email to Deb Whitehorse at

International DN Rank List

The IDNIYRA  maintains a fleet ranking based on regatta results for continental or higher regattas for the past two years. This ranking shall be the lessor of the following:

  • Best finish in the Gold fleet in the previous two years.
  • 22 plus your best finish in the silver fleet in the previous two years.
  • 40 plus your best finish in the bronze fleet in the previous two years
  • 58 plus your best finish in the aluminum fleet in the previous two years

Celebrating 50 Years of What Holds Us Together

DN sailors Jan and Meade Gougeon, inventors of WEST SYSTEMS Epoxy, enjoying a day of iceboating.

Congratulations to the Gougeon family and WEST SYSTEM employees literally being the glue (well, 2 part epoxy) that has been used in all iceboat builds for the past 50 years.  The DN class and Gougeon (how most iceboaters refer to WEST SYSTEM) have grown up together. From the WEST SYSTEM website:

Brothers Meade and Jan Gougeon begin building DN class iceboats with wood and epoxy, selling 200 iceboats between 1969 and 1974. “Where we got really lucky in our quest for epoxy technology was to be located 17 miles east of Dow Chemical Co. We introduced Herbert Dow (an avid sailor and the grandson of Dow Chemical’s founder) to iceboating. Herb made it possible for us to work with chemists in Dow’s epoxy lab, helping us to develop resins and hardeners we could use as both an adhesive and a coating,” company founder Meade Gougeon says. With Dow’s help, the Gougeon brothers develop the formulations WEST SYSTEM epoxy products are based on.

Jane and Mead have passed but their legacy lives on in every iceboat being made or repaired. Mead and Jan’s good friend, Ron Sherry, attended the 50th Anniversary party at WEST headquarters in Bay City, Michigan on August 3rd. Ron writes, “Great 50th anniversary party last weekend at the Gougeon brothers plant. Wonderful party filled with food, drinks, boats, and lots and lots of great friends all together to celebrate 50 years of making it easy for anyone to build their ultimate toys.” Ron shared the photos below:

Two great champions, Jan Gougeon US1183 and Poland’s Karol Jablonski P36

Jan Gougeon’s first DN, HOT CANARY

Meade (second from left) and his wife, Janet, when they met with the United States Commission on Energy to discuss making wind turbines.

Jan and Meade taking a moment on their catamaran powerboat.

WEST SYSTEMS company portrait when Jan and Meade were still involved.

Results of 2019 IDNIYRA Election and By-law Amendment

Link to Results
The results have been tabulated in the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association Election of 2019/2020 IDNIYRA Officers/New By-Law.

In summary, the proposed slate of officers has been elected and the proposed addition to the by-laws has been approved, with 90% of those voting in support.

Commodore: Warren Nethercote: 102 votes, 103 votes tallied and 4 abstentions from 107 ballots
Vice Commodore: Jody Kjoller: 104 votes, 105 votes tallied and 2 abstentions from 107 ballots
Secretary: Deb Whitehorse: 105 votes, 106 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 107 ballots
Treasurer: Deb Whitehorse: 103 votes, 106 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 107 ballots,
John Stanton 1 vote tallied,
“I do not advocate for an officer holding 2 positions” 1 vote
Past Commodore: Bob Cummins: 98 votes, 101 votes tallied and 6 abstentions from 107 ballots,
Kent Baker 2 votes tallied

Add Paragraph M to the RACING RULES section of the IDNIYRA by-laws: 92 yes, 10 no, 102 votes tallied and 5 abstentions from 107 ballots


Notice of Electronic Ballot: Officer Election & By-laws Amendment

PRO John Atkins                                                             Photo: Cathy Firmbach

On Monday 20 May, 2019 we will be sending out electronic ballots for the election of officers for IDNIYRA for 2019/2020, and for consideration of an amendment to the IDNIYRA by-laws. The Governing Committee encourages your participation in the ballot, which will close on June 2nd.

Ballots are being sent to 242 members. Five members will not be receiving ballots because we do not have their current email address. Only owners of DNs have voting rights in IDNIYRA, so we are using sail numbers as an avatar for boat ownership, and your sail number is your election ‘voting key’. We have another 17 members who do not appear to have sail numbers and who also will not be receiving ballots.

If you have not received a ballot by Tuesday May 21st please send an email to Deb Whitehorse providing your current email address and sail number. If you need to order a sail number please do so online here.

Please vote and be an active member of IDNIYRA.

The Amazing Doug Harvey

One of our eldest DN sailors and a former Commodore, Michigan’s Doug Harvey US1202, was recently in the news about his role in 84th Infantry Division during WW2.

“You gave me my life,” Sophie Tajch Klisman, a survivor of the Holocaust, told Doug Harvey, a World War II veteran, on the street in front of her home Monday, with media cameras recording and clicking. “You gave me a lot, and I can’t believe it!”

“Well, I was only one of thousands,” Harvey told her, recalling how the United States and its allies fought to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe more than 70 years ago. “You’re like the only one left,” he said, referring to the passing of many of the Holocaust generation. Read more.

The story prompted Daniel Hearn to remember how Doug Harvey also had an impact on his life and ice sailing.

Doug is an amazing man in many ways. I wrote the following story about Doug back in 2009.

Bands of Brothers

The #10 envelope caught my eye in the stack of mail. It was addressed with a typewriter. I only see them now in the offices of laptop-using writers who display them as some sort of romantic reflection of their craft. A dot matrix generated the return address and the postage was 14 cent Iceboat 1880’s stamps. Inside was a neatly typed letter with the formal elegance I recalled from my 7th grade typing class. It was charming in an age when most of our communication is abbreviated gibberish exchanged between hand-held devices. But right there under the author’s city, state and zip was an e-mail address. Just who was this Douglas J. Harvey, and what was with all these intriguing dichotomies?

“I met Bart in 1972 when I was in Europe with the first large group of (US) DN sailors to make the trip.” The letter explained that the two didn’t know each other yet, but they were not far apart in 1944 when Doug was in the Infantry as part of the northern-most troops of the US Army. I did the math. 2009 – 1944 = 65…so, if he were 18 when he began to serve our country, that would make Doug about 83 or 84.

Doug lives in Michigan. Bart Reedijk, who is Dutch, now lives in Germany. Both are active ice sailors. No, not former ice sailors… active ice sailors, TODAY! In fact, Doug is the 2009 Bronze Fleet North American Champion. And for the record, Doug is 84. Although on different continents, Doug and Bart have traveled and raced together on both sides of the pond for decades. They are a Band of Brothers.

The two decided they wanted to do something very special for the sport. So, enclosed was a very generous donation to the North American Ice Opti Racing Association with no earmarks. The letter simply stated, “Use this donation to promote youth ice sailing in any way your organization feels appropriate.”

This little story reminded me that my own love of the sport has as much to do with the camaraderie, the friendships, and the connections that can last a lifetime, as the racing itself. Although not unique to the DN, the size of the class and the geographic distribution tend to make the bands more pronounced. In my relatively brief time in the DN, I’ve already come to know many: the Twin Cities gang; the Lake Geneva contingent; the Pewaukee crew; the legendary Detroit group; the masters of hospitality from Traverse City; the Toledo boys; the Lake Wawasee squadron. And I’m starting to get to know some of great people from the east.

One day I hope to beat Matt Struble and Ron Sherry in even a single race. I might not ever get there, but the funny thing is that it doesn’t really matter. I’m enjoying the journey with my own Band of Brothers. And I’m grateful to Brothers such as Doug and Bart who are helping to ensure that there will be future generations of ice sailors forming bands of their own.
Daniel Hearn US5352

May 2019 Runner Tracks

Cover: Pete Johns DN2360, 1st place Bronze fleet 2019 North American Championship

The May issue of the DN class newsletter, Runner Tracks, has just virtually landed in your mailbox. Please take your time reading this issue because there are some important bylaw and technical proposals. Romuald Rowecki P25, who was there the day Wim van Acker brought the first DN to Poland, writes about Poland’s experience with van Acker and how the DN class has thrived in Poland. Runner Tracks welcomes our newest sponsor, Econaway Abrasives, purveyor of custom made sanding belts.

Flipbook Magazine (Flash, best for desktop computers)
Download pdf file (best for tablets)
Download single page pdf (best for phones)


  • Commodore’s Message by Warren Nethercote KC-3786
  • 50 Years of DN Sailing in Poland by Romuald Rowecki P-25
  • Bylaws Proposal: Exclusion by Warren Nethercote KC-3786
  • Technical Proposals by Peter Hamrak M-53
  • Business for the Technical Committee: Counterpoint to Peter Hamrack’s Proposals by Warren Nethercote
  • Regatta Results

Get this issue in a full color soft cover book for $18. Buy Now Button

Runner Tracks is brought to you by these fine sponsors:

2020 North American Championship Dates Announced

Via DN Western Region Commodore Daniel Hearn

DN Sailors:

(If you’re a skimmer, read the bold face).

Mark your calendars! The dates for our 2020 North American Championships are now set. The event will be held January 18 – 25, with the Western Region as the host. We were tentatively targeting the last two weeks in January, awaiting announcement of the Gold Cup dates. Historically, these two weeks offer the greatest number of options for good ice in the Western Region with cold temps locking up most of our lakes by that point, and with less chance of them being snowed out. At the recent National Secretaries meeting in Europe, February 8 – 15 was selected for the 2020 Gold Cup, so we are going for the earlier of our two target weeks to maximize the gap between the two events. Unfortunately, it will end up being a bit tight for those of you planning to race on both continents, but it’s workable. We did consider going even a week earlier, but decided that wasn’t great either, as that would likely make the NAs the first regatta of the season for too many of you. We may end up conflicting with the Northwest Regatta, but as always, we have to look into a foggy crystal ball, place our bet and hope for the best. So, once again mark your calendars for January 18 – 25 for the DN 2020 North American Championships.

I know it’s a long way off, but it’s never too early to be thinking about volunteers. After Mother Nature, it’s the volunteers who make our events amazing. So, if you’re inclined to pitch in, or know someone who would, I’d appreciate an email, text or call letting me know. Whether it’s for a day or two, or the entire week, I’d be very happy to add any names to my list for support in any capacity. Contact info– (mobile) 608-692-4007

Have a great summer, and see you on the ice next season!

Daniel Hearn

Western Region Rear Commodore

Michał Burczyński: “Winning the Iceboat World Championships in a Borrowed Boat”

Photo: Catherine Firmbach

2019 Gold Cup & NA
Read 2019 Gold Cup champion Michał Burczyński’s fascinating account posted on the Ullman Sails website. of how bad luck turned into good luck thanks some help from the DN ice sailing community.

We (the Polish team) had a few days head start in sending our iceboats to the USA, in case of any unforeseen problems. Our equipment got held up at the Paris airport. Our appeals to the shipping company went unheard. And just when things were looking up, our bad luck continued, as the plane which was supposed to bring our gear three days before the start of the Championships, failed to take off because of a malfunction.

We were very nervous. Further calls to the shipping company yielded no results, I gave up and just accepted that my ice boat would not arrive on time. All that was left was to just treat my stay as an opportunity to catch up with other iceboaters and a tourist trip. I tried to borrow an iceboat, just to appear at the starting line and finish the races.

Read more.


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.

2019 NA Results Final 2019 Gold Cup Info 2019 Gold Cup Results Membership View Yearbook


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