The Flag is UP Early in Sweden

Stefan Bokfors S107 on Lake Ansjön in Sweden.

While we here in North America are stowing away sailboats for the season, in Sweden, the DNs are hitting the ice. October 30, 2023, kicked off the 2023-2024 season for class members Dideric Van Riemsdijk (S867) and Stefan Bokfors (S107). They found ice at Ansjön, a spectacular location situated 6 hours north of Stockholm. This year, October 30 marked the earliest start for Dideric and Stefan, giving them ample time on the ice for training before the Week 46 Regatta in Finland, which takes place November 17 – 19, 2023.

Important nutrition at the training table.

Grand Masters Regatta Report

Michael Pettersson L65 and Tomas Lindgren S81 line up at the two and one blocks to race.


DN Finland organized the third annual Grand Masters regatta on Lake Öljaren near Katrineholm, Sweden, February 8-10, 2022. In 2018, Ollie Virta L121, Timo Caravitis L37, and Richard Gustring S713 originated this informal fun regatta noted for its unusual starting procedure. Running starts are prohibited. Competitors must be at least 60 years old, start the race with one leg on the plank, and push off with the other leg. And yes, the regatta committee does watch for any infractions to this rule. 

DN Finland and DN Sweden take turns managing the regatta. John Winquist L601 served as PRO assisted by Vesa Karhusaari and Dideric van Riemsdijk S867. 

Snow put a temporary hold on ice sailing in North America after the U.S. Nationals. I had always wanted to see the Grand Masters event and took a chance on traveling to Europe, which was a bit more complicated because of pandemic restrictions. 

The O’Hare Delta agents were baffled whether I needed a visa to travel to Sweden (a visa was not required) or even fly through Amsterdam. The regulations were so confusing that they passed me off to the next flight. And so it went until I presented my test results at immigration in Gothenburg, Sweden. I had made it! 

When I arrived, Sweden didn’t have many restrictions, and all regulations ended a few days later. Ice sailing life was back to normal, the same as my last visit here for the World Championship in February 2020 before the world shut down. Our pandemic lives were a big topic of discussion, and we were overjoyed to be back on the ice and with friends again. 

DN Finland was kind enough to give me a yellow vest and scoring tools. Hard black ice with a skim of water with winds around 15 mph, gusting to 20, made for sporty conditions. The regatta was called complete after six races. The camaraderie among these long-time friends was the focus of the regatta and the four-race per day limit assured plenty of time for socializing and evening group dinners. 

Thank you, DN Finland, DN Sweden, and all ice sailing friends, for welcoming me to your special event. Perhaps it’s time to organize a Grand Masters regatta in North America. 

First Runners On The Ice

Photo: Dideric van Riemsdijk

Facebook was on fire yesterday with photos of local DN sailing coming out of Sweden and Canada. Dideric van Riemsdijk S867 and Richard Gustring S713 made a road trip north to Sautusjärvi, about a 3 hour drive above the Arctic Circle near the famous Ice Hotel.  In North America, Mike Madge KC5449 found a perfect sheet of  ice on Whitefish Lake, an hour west of Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay area has experienced some long ice sailing seasons lately. Last season, Mike sailed his DN from November 7 until mid April.

Mike Madge on Whitefish Lake.

2021 Ice Sailing Calendar from Sean Heavey

Sean Heavey, the photographer we met at the 2020 North American Championship, has issued a printed calendar. Sean’s the guy whose drone video captured the amazing battle between Ron Sherry and Steve Orlebeke. (Just mentioning it is a good excuse to post it again – see below.)

2021 Ice Sailing Calendar Information

Hello all and welcome,

2020 has been a year that will go down in the history books. For myself it has been a year of upheaval and unexpected adventures. The most unexpected adventure began after a text from an acquaintance tipped me off that our local lake was within days going to host North American Ice Sailing Championship.

I rearranged my schedule and went out on to the ice to get a closer look.

What a sight to witness… Truly is!

A few weeks later and with the help of people far and wide, many of whom I didn’t know or I had meet just days earlier, I found myself embarking on a trip to Europe to attend the World Championships.

So this year I though I would make a special 2021 Ice Sailing Calendar with some of the moments I captured along the way.

They are $20 USD each and what you get is a 12 months, full color, calendar that’s 8.5×11 in size with a couple bonus pages for fun. Here is a link to a full layout preview.

>> Full Preview <<<

Because I’m not sure what the demand will be for these I’m going handle them a bit differently than I do my regular calendars. During November I will take preorders and then send it off to printing the first week of December. Turn around is just over 2 weeks which means they should to me around the middle of the month and be ready to ship to you shortly after and with a little luck be delivered in time for Christmas. So if you live in the USA and are interested in getting one or two here is a link to place your order.

>> US Ordering <<< For those of you living outside the USA I still need to look into the best option for shipping. I regularly send shipping tubes to various place in Europe for the flat rate of $24 USD. In the coming days I will visit the post office to see if I can find a less expensive option. I think we will have to deal with them on a one on one bases so if you sending me an email we can work out the details.

>> EMAIL ME <<<     And to hold you over till the ice forms and the calendars arrive here’s the link to the my drone video of final laps of the final gold fleet heat at the North Americans. When I finally figured out how to keep up with these wicked fast boats.

So thank you and I think it’s going to come out looking really nice. Think Ice…