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.
The DN season wasn’t over yet for 2023 World & North American champion Matt Struble US183 who sailed in his home state of California yesterday at America’s Landsailing Championship held at Ivanpah. Considered the “cathedral of land sailing,” Ivanpah dry lake is located on the border of California and Nevada. He joined other ice sailors from around the country. Via Ken Smith’s Facebook page:
A brisk first day sailing ALC at Ivanpah, CA. About 70 competitors in roughly 90 land sailing yachts (sailors in multiple classes). Midwest DN iceboaters include Bob Cave, Lou Lonnecke, Pat Heppert, Pete Johns, and Daniel Hearn. Also Bill Dale and a pair from New England.
We sailed one round of five class starts. We got DN champ Matt Strubble racing in a mini skeeter, a class 3, and a DN on wheels. Wide wind range, shifty direction, and large wind holes made sailing, umm, interesting! -Ken Smith
Matt Struble replies: Absolute blast! Thanks Ken Smith, Peete Johns for a great day of sailing. I logged some wonderful miles of sailing. Felt at home in the DN, especially at the start.
The Western Challenge was “great” as always. 70 boats attended the unofficial opening of the 2020-21 iceboat season on Lake Christina just past Mile Marker 8 in Ashby MN. Sailors from near and far dusted of the cobwebs and enjoyed a weekend of comradery and one solid day of racing.
The sailors split into two fleets and over 10 races were run. In keeping with recent tradition, sailors were free to select any starting position for the two lap races. Finishing positions were not recorded but everyone looked fast. It was fun to see many new sailors and an ever-growing fleet of women sailors.
Special thanks to the Minnesota boys for organizing this yearly event. John Dennis, Mike Bloom, Tom Meyer and Mike Miller lead the charge. But the biggest thanks go to Pat Heppert for running the races and providing the 2 x12’s so we could access the ice without getting wet.
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.
2024 REGATTA DATES
World & European, DN Junior, and Ice Optimist Championships
Feb 3 – 10 idniyra.eu
North American Championship
Feb 25 – March 2 idniyra.org