1973: The First DN World Championship

1973: Ain Vilde, Estonia

49 years later, 2022: Robert Graczyk, Poland

In 1937, the Detroit News newspaper asked for volunteers to attend a workshop to create an easy-to-build, easily transported, and inexpensive iceboat, which came to be known as the DN. The DN’s popularity grew, and sailors organized a class and sanctioned the first North American championship in 1953, won by Jack Moran of Michigan.

The comparatively small boat found its way to Europe. The “Johnny Appleseed” of European DN sailing, Holland’s Wim Van Aker, traveled the continent, giving DNs to aspiring ice sailors with the instruction, “do something with these.” And did they ever.

North American and European class officers, including Wim Van Aker, Bill Connell, and Art Teutsch, organized the first world DN championship for the 1973 season. They set it up so that the World Championship alternates between Europe and North America. Michigan’s Lake St. Clair was the primary site, but, as can happen in this sport, the lack of ice conditions on Lake St. Clair forced a move.

DN sailors from America, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland made their way to Gull Lake, Michigan. After dealing with less-than-ideal sticky snow conditions and several days without wind, the race committee and 41 competitors hung tough and finally completed the regatta. There are familiar names on the 1973 results list, with a few still racing. Estonian Ain Vilde won the first Worlds in a tight battle by two points over Gull Lake local Randy Johnson.

2023 also marks the 70th anniversary of the North American championship. Tim Woodhouse of Michigan won the 1973 North American Championship, held a few weeks earlier than the World championship.

The IDNIYRA will celebrate these anniversaries at the DN World and North American championships regattas in 2023. Western Region Commodore Chris Berger and the committee are in the planning stages to bring you a great regatta and commemorate 50 years of international competition. It’s time to start thinking ice!

Read more:
The DN Iceboat
A Brief History of the DN
The Blue Streak 60
North American Championship Records
World Championship History Records

1966 DN North American Championship

While we don’t have photos from that 1966 regatta, here are classic DNs on Geneva Lake in early 1960s. 690: L. Wohrle, 445 Bob Cave, 378 Eric Sternkoff, 294 Lou Lonnecke.  Photo from the Bob & Jane Pegel Collection

Mike O’Brien US3456 recently rescued a stack of vintage sailing magazines headed for the recycling bin. Mike, a three-time DN World champion, and one-time North American champion, shared a photo of an article from One Design about the 1966 DN North American championship. Gull Lake in Michigan hosted the regatta.

Gull Lake was also the site of the first DN World Championship in 1972. The DN class will observe the 50th anniversary of that first World Championship on January 21-28, 2023, hosted by the Western Region. It’s time to start thinking about sharpening your runners for the 2023 season!.

Mike O’Brien Runner Tracks Interview

1987 DN World Championship Video

Here’s something to watch while we wait to learn the location of the 2022 U.S. Nationals (The location will be announced next Thursday, January 20, 2022.) Jeff Kent shared this video of the 1987 DN World Championship sailed on Lake St. Clair, Mt. Clemens, Michigan. I added a few captions to identify some of the people who were interviewed. There’s some technical bonus footage at the end including a visit with Henry Bossett at the sail loft and then sighting runners with Jeff Kent. Results are posted below.

 

1993 Worlds: A Look Back Through Video

Here’s a raw, unedited video from the 1993 IDNIYRA World Championship from Andre Baby, the Montreal Iceboating Association, and Jeff Kent. The 1993 Worlds was memorable for being one of the biggest, with four fleets and over 170 competitors, and sailed on Geneva Lake in southern Wisconsin. The video is typical 1990s VCR quality but still worth a look. Pay close attention, and you’ll see many familiar faces in the opening ceremony and the trophy presentation. There’s racing footage in between the opening ceremony and the prize giving. Happy New Year from the IDNIYRA.

Jeff Kent Wins Worlds
By Eric Armstrong US4232
February 1993 IDNIYRA Runner Tracks Newsletter
Jeff Kent of Weymouth, Massachusetts USA, has won what is being hailed as the most competitive Gold Cup in the history of the event with eleven points. One hundred seventy-eight competitors from ten countries gathered in Fontana, Wisconsin, to race on Geneva Lake on January 24th, 1993. Ten competitors at the regatta had a ranking number of three or less. This is the largest fleet of top competitors ever assembled in North America. All of these factors combined to make the 1993 World Champion­ships very competitive and, most of all lots of FUN! Click here to continue reading.

September 2019 Runner Tracks


The September issue of Runner Tracks has been uploaded. The Technical Committee reviewed Peter Hamrak’s proposals, previously published in the May issue, and working with Peter, have submitted the ballot language. Then, we go back to 1971 for a look at what was then called “the championship”, a regatta held at Geist Reservoir in Indiana.

RUNNER TRACKS IS AVAILABLE IN THREE DIFFERENT FORMATS:
Flipbook Magazine (Flash, best for desktop computers)
Download pdf file (best for tablets)
Download single page pdf (best for phones)

IN THIS ISSUE

  • IDNIYRA As a 501(c)(3) by Warren Nethercote KC-3786
  • 3 Specifications Proposals
  • From the Archives: The 1971 Championship at Geist Reservoir
  • Mast & Runner Specifications by Chad Atkins US4487
  • Minutes from the 2019 IDNIYRA European Secretaries Meeting
  • Rank List 2020

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