2020 Season

Landsailing Event On The Way-

The gang from LI wants us all to know about this- if you need an excuse to hit the road this could be it! Read on….


It’s less than a month away.
There’s still time to make a land yacht and get your rig ready.

Bill Buchholz has done an EXCELLENT JOB! setting up this event.
Thank you, thank you, Bill.

This is a great venue and there is even a discounted lodging on-site .
This sure beats going out to Ivanpah Lake CA, just south of Las Vegas
which has got to be an expense$$$ trip.

This could turn out to be a great annual event.
The president of Blokart from New Zealand expressed a great interest
in coming, but his country has restricted any travel.
He claims that Loring Air Force base is the largest air strip venue in
the WORLD at which a land sailing event will take place.
Once the word gets out about the venue, you’ll probably wind up on
a waiting list just to get out there and enjoy the main 2.78 mi runway

that is 314 ft wide. Oh, BTW, there is more than one runway.

There is a reason why the Air Force placed a base in
this location, and it’s called FAVORABLE WIND!.

Join us and you could be part of this inaugural event.
There is a land sailing class for everyone.

All will be included no matter what craft you bring.
Even if you do not have a land yacht come anyway.

Check out the Maine Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Exempt effective June 12, 2020:

– New Hampshire

– Vermont
Exempt effective July 3, 2020:
– Connecticut
– New Jersey
– New York

Check out this website with all the developing and latest news.

2021 IDNIYRA Rank List Is Out!

Take a look gang- see how you did, where your friends/rivals are, start thinking about how to improve for next season, and SWEAR TO HIT THE CIRCUIT!

The NEIYA and the East in general represented well with four DNers ranked in the top ten group. Not bad at all!

Happy reading, be safe, and keep fingers crossed for a good season to come….

2021 IDNIYRA Rank List Published – DN North America

2021 IDNIYRA Rank List Published – DN North America

The 2021 IDNIYRA International Rank List has been published. Many thanks to our North American tabulator, Ann Fo…

An icy burgee, and a cold one… (a poem, of course!)

We love the ice, rough or nice, here or way out there!
(see poem below)

A friend just sent this photo to me and it immediately reminded me of our beloved sailing friend Larry Hardman’s ice poetry. Many knew him as the hand-stand-in-a-DN guy. It made me think how much I miss his goofy company and it made me thankful for the new sailor friends I have made in the NEIYA. I sure am looking forward to the ice again. I’m thinking of the cold, thinking of friends, thinking ice!

Just thought I’d share one of Larry’s many poems – only as accurate as I have in memory!

Ice Watch

When Old King Cold’s reach is bold,

Down from his frozen lair,
It’s then we sleep in covers deep
and shiver upon the stair.

It’s then some curse in their northern berth
In Earthship’s stinging air,
When some dream of spring, when songbirds sing,
and the land is sweet and fair.

But not us guys with goggled eyes
And helmets on our hair!
We like the ice, rough or nice,
Here, or way out there.

We like wool socks, us iceboat jocks,
We like the land that’s bare.
We like a gale, a straining sail,
No matter when or where.

For us the summer is a bummer.
The spring is just a bore.
And, about all we get from the fall
Is thinking what’s in store!

When the timber’s in the ‘ol wood bin,
And felt is on the door,
It’s a lot funner to sharpen a runner
Than any other chore.

The temperature’s seven? To us, that’s heaven!
We wish for seven below.
We disdain thermometer gain,
And we despise the snow.

Sleek as an otter, that frozen hard water.
In glee we watch it grow.
The pond it skims, the lake it rims
We take a step and Oh!

We hear it crack! We all jump back! and we’ll all wait a day or so.

Then two knuckles deep, and back on we’ll creep,
And RACING we will go!

Lessons From 1983 America’s Cup

Hello All-

Hope everyone is getting through this rather unique summer without too much trouble…. We live in interesting times indeed.

But if you need to take your mind off of everything for awhile and learn a bit about long term strategies for improvement, tuning, campaign management and identifying strengths, weaknesses, victories and mistakes take a look at this article.

It is an interview with the late, great Tom Blackaller, one of the great personalities of sailing. He was loved or hated but never ignored. He could be verbose, in fact this interview is mostly “Blacky” doing the talking. The guy had no filter- he never pulled any punches when speaking and if he had an opinion on something, you were going to hear it! He was also an outspoken rival of Dennis Conner and had plenty to say about “Big Bad Dennis” as he called him.

The two locked horns on the race course many times over the years in several types of boats but the most public battles were during the 1983 and 1987 America’s Cup campaigns. Blackaller was the skipper of DEFENDER in ’83 and came back in ’87 with USA, an innovative 12 Meter with fore and aft rudders for lateral resistance and a giant lead torpedo on a strut for righting moment. They met Conner in the semi-finals but that’s another story…. Great book about that campaign here: https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Grinder-first-person-competing-Fremantle/dp/1469944006

Dennis Conner of course skippered LIBERTY in the summer of ’83 and took the Cup match to the bitter end against AUSTRALIA II. An amazing match to be sure and this interview offers a ton of insight into the techniques, politics, strategies, and everything else involved in the Cup defenses of the day. Interesting to see where things went right and where they went wrong….

Of course a lot of it will be relevant to any iceboater who wants to gain some insight about two-boat tuning and how to measure and make progress. Whether you want to do better on the race course or cruise farther and faster this article will help!

Click and enjoy America’s Cup: Looking back on 1983 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News Think Ice!!

America’s Cup: Looking back on 1983 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

When Australia won the seven race series to claim the 1983 America’s Cup, the New York Yacht Club would finally …

Covid Crazy Preseason Training


It’s been a few weeks since I committed to get to the track a few times a week for some preseason fitness training. My first session was trying to stay ahead of a guy that sailed around the world twenty years ago and won his class in what is now called the Vendee Globe Race. It was shameless of me to try and beat a guy that didn’t even know I was racing him. Call it Crazy Covid Times…I don’t know.

Since that first night, I have changed my focus to sprinting instead of distance running for two reasons. One, I truly hate running long distances. Two, I am convinced ice boating success relies on a good start. Last year, I focused on the initial push off the line, making sure my equipment was tuned to me, and the transition into the boat. After my 100 practice starts over 4 weekends, my race results improved dramatically.

But, there are always ways to get better at stuff. Since I started ice boating, I have heard about Matt Struble’s amazing starts. Based on a You Tube video of his start at the 2016 DN North Americans, I get it. The man CRUSHES the start. I was told he was a pole vault jumper back in his early days. Clearly, part of his success is linked to explosive running speed off the line. Look it up.

I have since learned sprinting has its own unique components and the 40 yard dash is a good length to practice. I am sure many of you know it’s the distance scouts use to evaluate speed and acceleration for the NFL draft. The average football player can do a 40 yard dash in 4.48 seconds. The record is 4.22 seconds. For the average human, breaking under 5 seconds is practically impossible. Covid Curiosity struck…thinking about football I remembered Tom Brady being pretty slow out of the pocket and his running game left something to be desired…Yes, I know TB 12 is G.O.A.T, but how many of you knew his 40 yard dash time is 5.28 seconds?

So, now I am really curious about Matt Struble’s 40 yard dash time. Maybe he reads NEIYA updates…Maybe someone reading knows him and can ask him for me…I want some kind of a benchmark to shoot for…maybe others will join me in this Covid Craziness Preseason Training, get to the track, and we can all get better at our speed off the line.

Last week, my time was 6.17 seconds. Tonight, the picture below shows my time. Granted, both times it’s been me pushing the button when I start and stop but I REALLY think my workouts are working. So, now instead of worrying about Around the World Guy, I will focus on getting as fast as Tom Brady or I will learn Matt Struble’s 40 yard dash time…(I already I said I am going a little crazy from COVID life.)

Stay well everyone,

Karen Binder
DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary

Its a new season and it’s time to get ready!

While reefing out some seems on this vintage rowing shell and prepping it for varnish I couldn’t help but notice that #3947 was in my field of view and seemed to be calling me away from my promised boat work to others. It’s way too hot here in my shop and the thought of an icey wind is keeping me going for the moment. If you look closely you can see the pink foam board which will hopefully be shaped into a new tiller and glassed up in a nice streamlined shape that will not only tuck neatly between my legs at speed but also will allow me a better push and punch and the drop of the flag. This is the year I am actually getting an early start on my ice boat projects. I promised myself to switch over to an entire new plank line-up system and to get all my runners dialed in early. A big project…. so exciting to think about.

Finally, after a few shop minutes here, a few minutes there, the hull I bought on a whim at the fall trade/banquet (two years ago) is cleaned up, re epoxied, painted and ready to go for a loaner. My daughter has expressed interest in it as well (hooray!) so if you spot the trailer and the boat is inside feel free to ask about setting it up and getting a few pointers. NEIYA is about the most welcoming group for new sailing enthusiasts young and old and there is always plenty of advice for new sailors. If you spot this COVID escape rocket ship on the ice and have never sailed, don’t have a boat, or just want to give it a whirl please do just that. Simply ask for the keys.

Another swap meet/annual buffet purchased-on-a-whim barn find that will hopefully see the ice this winter is this two seat 40’s era Mead skeeter. Some of you may recall loading the old ship wreck onto my truck roof and thinking it would definitely NOT still be up there when I got home…. but it was! And it is beautiful now! As many of you know I have much more enthusiasm for ice boating than I do banking abilities and with the help of others in the NEIYA I was able to acquire the hardware I needed, a set of runners, and an updated mast/sail combo that should raise some ice chips for those behind us! If you spot Chilly Willy on the ice (formerly know as “Scat!”), a ride is yours for the asking. I rebuilt it specifically to give others their first rides.

I am so excited about the upcoming swap meet this fall. I hope my wife will allow me to go again?!? She seems worried what might come home on the roof next… : )

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Jay Whitehair
Vice Commodore NEIYA
Norwich, VT

Bill Mattison In Hall Of Fame!

Congrats to Bill Mattison on getting into the Sailing Hall of Fame! Bill is not only a central pillar of the Wisconsin iceboating universe but also an extraordinary boat builder, model builder, craftsman, veteran, and has a few America’s Cup campaigns on his resume as well.

Accolades rightly deserved!

RED ALERT: Bill Mattison Inducted Into the National Sailing Hall of Fame! – iceboat.org

RED ALERT: Bill Mattison Inducted Into the National Sailing Hall of Fame…

National Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Bill Mattison has been sailing iceboats with the Four Lakes Ice Yach…

The Little Things….

We all know it’s important to have the major elements of any iceboat ready to go when the lakes flash off in the fall; Perfect runners, plank and runners all aligned, all the bits and bobs in place….

But it’s also good to have the ancillary stuff taken care of- the little things that make traveling and transporting easier. Trailer modifications, car-top rigs, runner boxes, tool boxes, trailer hitches, all that miscellaneous minutia that always takes more time to do than you’d think.

In the never ending battle to be ready by Thanksgiving (keep dreaming, right?) there has been some serious noise and dust being made in RI-

Here we see runner holders being made- amazing how much “snow” piles up from cutting the grooves in the plastic. Have to say the finished product doesn’t look bad!

Also have some pit runners taking shape for NEIYA Secretary and scribe Karen Binder- the runners will be handy later but the poplar shavings from the planer are already mulching the bushes at the house.

Nice to tick these items off the list while it’s warm out. Nice to work outdoors and still feel your fingers. And I’m SURE the neighbors don’t mind the noise!

Think ICE. Days are getting shorter….

Stay safe gang!

Land Sailing Wednesday-

Landsailing on hot asphalt planned for Loring on Wednesday if the wind forecast holds. Anyone interested, call Bill Bucholz via the CIBC site. Regatta planned for September 11-13, details to follow. Pencil it in!

Cool Ice

Cool Ice

The ice at Baikall was less than wonderful this past season, but the photo below shows how perfect it can be. As…

Lockley For Sale

No, not a Skimmer but a summertime craft- Click the link and take a look!

John Pepper sent this along- Many thanks for this and also don’t forget to send any iceboat related web-page fodder my way-

Lockley sailboat – boats – by owner – marine sale


Lockley sailboat – boats – by owner – marine sale

This is a 12 ft sloop rigged sailboat. It was designed to be light enough to be carried on a car…

Think ICE!!

Montana Pebbles, Cont’d….

After the post about the Montana beach pebbles that hitch-hiked back to RI under my van last winter I received a few funny comments and suggestions-

The best was from Eben Whitcomb, who suggested I plant them in some good potting soil and see if I can grow some dental floss…. Had to laugh at that one and no, it isn’t a joke about my lack of dental hygiene (I hope).

It is yet another reference to the Frank Zappa song “Montana.” Like much of Mr. Zappa’s oeuvre it is very serious and somber. This particular piece relates the narrative of a young man who (like many) dreams of moving to Montana, getting a small horse, planting a crop of dental floss, and making a fortune. While wearing tweezers as jewelry.

Of course you could be a snob and say to yourself “What a cliche’. That same story has been told a thousand times.”

But do yourself a favor, click the link and have a listen. Enjoy the interpretation, subtlety and majesty of one of Frank Zappa’s better known works, “Montana.”


A Bit Of Montana….

If you made the trip to Glasgow, Montana for the DN NA champs you may recall the reddish brown stones and sticky mud at the launch site. Very tenacious stuff- I spent hours under the van with a pressure washer blasting it all off.

And now, half a year later, I’m still spotting these little nuggets in the driveway. Have to chuckle every time and also give thanks for a really fun season.

Here’s to the next one!


June 20, 2020. Solstice, baby.
Days will start getting shorter.
Nights will be getting cooler.
We all know what this means….
Think ICE….

On a slightly less cosmic note the Great Western Challenge is less than six months away…. get busy in the shop if you haven’t already!! Send pics and info on any interesting projects you have going- will post on the front page!

Hope all are having a safe and productive summer-



John Curtis checks in from north of the border, showing off his new garden trellis.

He says “Notice the 2 and 1/4” of crown and the slight gull wing profile in the trellis.”

The design is no doubt inspired by current fashionable DN plank measurements.

One wonders how it will deflect and react as the vines grow up and around it….

Not sure who the spokesmodel is but maybe Colin Duncan?

Thanks John- get the garden in order and get back to Iceboat stuff!

Around the Track, Not Around the World

Getting back to fitness requires motivation and sometimes that’s hard to find, but the other night I found some. I prefer going to the track because it’s the easiest way for me to set measurable goals. Lately, I am walking a lot longer before I pick up the pace to a slow run. I know I need to run. I just don’t like to run. The other night it was running night. At the track I saw an acquaintance that competed and won the 1999 Around Alone solo race for his class. Our respective sons wrestled together in high school and I will admit to being fairly awe struck around the guy. He sailed around the world – alone. That’s huge.

He was walking too and we said hello, but we kept to our own fitness thing. After walking two laps, I started to jog and passed him. Then after a bit I started to hear some steps and breathing behind me. Around the world guy had started running too. I really wanted to stop and likely would have, but I decided that the guy that won the around the world race was not going to be beat me on the track. After another two laps, I noticed he’d departed.

Yes, it was a small cheap victory and he didn’t even know I was racing him! What can I say? I needed motivation. Later that evening, T and I watched some ice boating starts of those fast Europeans. Those folks run REALLY FAR before they slide into their boats. That will keep me motivated for a while…

Stay safe everyone!

Karen Binder
DN 5630

Ron Sherry Interview

Whether you already know Ron or not you’ll enjoy this interview- Ron has an interesting history with iceboating and has become fairly proficient at it over the years….

Have a look and listen and enjoy the stories- and of course you’ll learn something!


LRIBYC Poster Boy

It’s not Fabio. It’s not Zoolander. It IS Scott Valentine modeling one of the more stylish face masks you’ll ever see!

Hope everyone is being safe and staying healthy (physically and mentally) and looking forward to the fall and hopefully a time when we will wear face masks only because it’s cold out.

Thanks Scott!

Think ICE!!

Meet The CIBC Rookie Of The Year

Had the pleasure of meeting this young gent up at Dammy last year. Check out his thesis here!


The List! It’s starting….

It’s official. The DN season has begun with the making of the "work list." My boat is in great shape, but there a pit and slush runners to make, a new step to accommodate my height so I can get a better push when I sheet in, some sails to purchase and numbers to buy, a little bag for my stands to fit into and attach to my runner box, drilling a bigger hole for my halyard lobster clasps to slide in and out of, and maybe if time a new plank. Of course, several of these projects will rely on the kindness and skills of others…

I am excited to start on DN projects given almost every soft water regatta this summer has been cancelled. COVID-19 restrictions made me realize how lucky I was last winter to travel to so many places to sail. MONTANA!

It’s also time to start Project Karen which will include a running and sprint regimen, some weights, and more yoga.

Oh yeah…I am going into this season BIG TIME!

Karen Binder – DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary

Charlie Blair: A Day in the Life of the Edgartown Harbormaster – YouTube

Some of you may know Charlie Blair. He campaigned DNs feverishly back in the day- went back and forth to Europe to compete like he was going down the street to get a gallon of milk.

He has a million stories and will deliver them with a twinkle in his eye and a big, booming baritone voice that will rattle the windows!

He is also the Harbormaster out in Edgartown- get a glimpse of his working day here. Click and enjoy!


NEIYA Trailer

John Pepper says he has been cleaning out the garage and had to wheel the iceboat trailer out into the daylight for a little while….

Looks good and of course we can’t wait to load it up and head for a frozen lake somewhere!

Think ICE…..

DN Class Officers

The votes are in- Congratulations to all the officers- be sure to thank them for all they’ve done so far and all they will be doing during the upcoming season-

Think ICE

2020 Officers and Governance Amendments Ballot


2020 Officers and Governance Amendments Ballot – DN North America

There was a 44 per cent response to the 2020 ballot on election officers and amendment of our Constitution and B…

2020 North American Championship, Ft. Peck, Montana. Photo: Gretchen Dorian

There was a 44 per cent response to the 2020 ballot on election officers and amendment of our Constitution and By-laws. It is apparent that specifications management is more important to members than governance, but we are (ice) sailors after all! All of the proposed officers were elected and the proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-laws were approved by overwhelming margins.

The Officers for 2020 are:

Warren Nethercote, KC 3786 – Commodore
Jody Kjoller, US 5435 – Vice Commodore
Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 – Secretary
Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 – Treasurer
Robert L. Cummins, US 3433 – Past Commodore

Warren Nethercote

Commodore IDNIYRA


Commodore – Warren Nethercote, KC 3786 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 99 votes(99.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 1 vote(1.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 99.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Vice-Commodore – Jody Kjoller, US 5435 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 98 votes(98.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 2 votes(2.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 98.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Secretary – Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 101 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 100.0% of the vote.
101 votes tallied and 0 abstentions from 101 ballots

Treasurer – Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 100 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 100.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Past-Commodore – Robert L. Cummins, US 3433 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 97 votes(97.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 2 votes(2.0%)
John Harper 1 vote(1.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 97.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Bylaw Amendment, “General”, Paragraph 2 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 95 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the amendments 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 100.0% of the vote.
95 votes tallied and 6 abstentions from 101 ballots

Amendment of the IDNIYRA Constitution due to EPIC Agreement PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 91 votes(98.9%)
No – I reject the amendments 1 vote(1.1%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 98.9% of the vote.
92 votes tallied and 9 abstentions from 101 ballots

IDNIYRA Bylaw Amendment due to Regatta Management Agreement PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 94 votes(98.9%)
No – I reject the amendments 1 vote(1.1%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 98.9% of the vote.
95 votes tallied and 6 abstentions from 101 ballots

DN Restoration

Ken Stafford checks in with this update on a nice vintage DN he is restoring- it looks like it’s almost too nice to sail now! Maybe he will race it in the Vintage/Classic category at some of our DN regattas this winter….

If you are up to anything iceboat-related over the summer write a few paragaphs, take a few pictures, and email them to me at t_thieler@yahoo.com and I’ll put them on the front page. Any and all content welcome all year long!

And now here is Ken’s report:

The short story about the boat is that it was offered as is, free for the pickup by a professor colleague of mine. It was in Pennsylvania where it had sat unused for over a decade…and no one knew its previous history. It was complete shy some fasteners and a broken batten. The runners were horribly rusted as were all the non-SS nuts and bolts. The sail had no numbers or emblem on it although I could make out the image of its number, “2013”. I stripped off all the white paint on the hull and discovered only a small amount of delamination near the bow…fixed that and repainted with forest green polyurethane. Polished all the bronze fittings and stained SS, replaced all the rusted fasteners with new SS, removed all the rust of the steel chocks and steering pull-rods and painted them black. Completely stripped the varnished spruce mast, re-glued some lose mast top pieces, and refinished with 5 coats of varnish. Stripped the paint off the plank and discovered a beautiful wood grain. Again applied 5 coats of varnish. Carefully copied the old outlines of the sail numbers and logo, cut out new ones from green self-adhesive sailcloth I got from Sailrite, and put them on along with a bunch of tell tails. Found the 2 pieces of the top broken wood batten and was able to bond some very thin tapered wood patches over the break…doesn’t seem to upset the camber too much. Spent about 3 hrs on each of the blades removing rust, and grinding in new edges. Also stripped and refinished both the beautiful wood tiller and unusual hand brake.

The sail is from “Kenneth A Nelson Sailmakers”, the boom blocks are “Sharpnack”, and the runners have “LCB” stamped on the aluminum stiffeners. I’ve been told that it was probably built in the late 50’s/early 60’s and that the sail number was originally issued to Steward Hamel from Sharon MA.


Ken Stafford

Memorial Day

Take a moment to think of those who made the biggest sacrifice a person can make…