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2002 North American DN Championship

January 26, 2002 to January 27, 2002

The regatta was sailed on Lake Mille Lac, Garrison, Minnesota, the only suitable piece of ice in North America east of Montana and south of Alaska. Across the movable ice bridge and into the fish house suburbs went the troops to find 80% clear pebbly ice with low sticky drifts that put a premium on runner selection and energy management. The first day saw only a single silver race before the wind went away. The next day started light for the Gold fleet but picked up for their second race. During the following Silver race drizzle started falling and visibility was limited. Better conditions greeted the third Gold race but the wind died for good at its end. The wind and temperatures the next day were too extreme and the regatta was called complete with Ron Sherry the leader in Gold and Ken Mitchell the winner in Silver.

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The 2002 North American Championship was held at Mille Lacs, Minnesota on January 26th and 27th. Ninety sailors came from from as far away as Marthas Vineyard, North Carolina, and New Mexico to attend the Regatta. Mille Lacs is a large lake, and the ice was thick enough (20+ inches) to allow the sailors to drive trailers onto the ice. Not only were we able to drive trailers onto the ice, we were able to drive to the starting line to set our boats up! This was a first for all the sailors I talked to, and it was really enjoyable to be able to sit in the car and warm up between races. The ice was mostly smooth and 85% clear, but was dotted with sticky snow drifts up to a couple inches deep. This resulted in racers looking for the best lanes through the snow patches when the wind was light, just like the Western Regional Championship.

The ninety boats were divided into two fleets (50 Gold and 40 Silver). Racing got under way on Saturday with very light winds. The first mini-qualifier was a bust after the lead boat failed to make the time limit. After waiting for the wind to build a little, the Silver mini-qualifier was successfully completed. The wind did not cooperate for the rest of the day, and only the one race was completed on Saturday.

On Sunday, the racers were greeted with good wind in the morning, and everyone was tuning their boats for the increasing wind. This was a fleeting bit of excitement however, since the wind lightened up by the time a course was set. The first Gold Fleet race was pretty tough going for a lot of sailors, with wind shifts and lulls making it a bit of a crap shoot. However, John Dennis seemed to be able to sniff out the zephyrs and showed us that he still knows how to sail by finishing in time to park his boat and watch the second place boat finish! John was followed by Ron Sherry, Greg Smith, and Matt Struble, setting the stage for the battle at the top of Gold Fleet.

The wind lightened further, and it was a depressing sight for most of the day as boats were parked facing all directions and not a single telltale was flying. Late in the afternoon. the wind suddenly filled in from the opposite direction, and the Race Committee hustled to set a new course and get the sailors on the starting line.

In order to insure a successful regatta, the Race Committee decided to start another Gold Fleet race. This race was held in freshening winds, and there were a lot of smiling faces once again. Ron Sherry sailed an excellent race to finish first, followed by Matt Struble. Greg Smith passed Paul Goodwin just before the finish line, and Bernd Zieger, John Harper, and Bruce Williams followed in close succession. Meade Gougeon put on a show for the spectators when he did a full spin right before the leeward mark, demonstrating the awareness and control that iceboaters have since everyone was able to steer clear and not a single splinter was left behind.

As the second Silver fleet race started a very light sprinkle of rain developed, and the racers looked more like snowmen than sailors as they crossed the finish line. A few sailors chose to stop racing due to icing on their goggles and sail windows, but there were no collisions on the course. Rick Lemberg Sr. sailed a great race, and finished with a respectable lead. Rick Kaiser came in second, followed by Ken Mitchell. When I talked to Rick Kaiser later, he said he couldn't see the marks, so he just followed the boat in front of him. The good news was -- that boat was the leader!.

The Race Committee waited to see what was going to happen with the rain, and used the time to reset the course. Bart Reedijk had an excellent idea, and sent one of the Silver Fleet sailors up to the weather mark in his car. The headlights helped the sailors locate the weather mark, and it was soon decided that it would be prudent to try to get a third Gold Fleet race in to insure that the regatta would be complete.

The wind was good, but there was still a slight mist which made visiblility somewhat poor. The good news is, all the sailors stayed on their toes and left plenty of room, so there were no collisions. Ron Sherry sailed another nice race to finish in the lead, followed by Greg Smith and Bryan Breiden. Next in line were a couple Swamp Rats, Matt Struble and Jan Gougeon. It must be good training to dodge cattails and reeds during practice, since the Gougeons and Strubles are always in the hunt at the big regattas.

Overnight the temperatures dropped to below zero (Fahrenheit), and it looked like an arctic air mass coming down from Canada would prevent the temperatures from getting into the double digits. The low temperatures coupled with some stealthy cracks in the ice lead the Race Committee to decide to throw in the towel and let the sailors start the long drive home.

Once again the Race Committee did a fine job. Dan Heaney, Debbie Goodwin, and Jane Sherry were the Race Committee, and with the aid of a lone volunteer managed to make the whole process look easy. The scoring was handled quickly and efficiently, which is more of an accomplishment than most racers realize. With the introduction of the "Bart Rule", results are much more fair for the sailors, but it creates a great challenge for the scorers. Bob Pegel was on hand to act as the Chief Judge and handle any protests, but luckily there were none.

This was a fun regatta to attend, even though there were only a few races. It was gratifying to see so many sailors make the committment to get out to Minnesota for the regatta, and all agreed that it was better than postponing in the hopes of finding a different venue.

Paul Goodwin - US 46


Lake Mille Lac,Garrison
United States

2002 North American DN Championship Results

Gold Fleet

PosSailGold Fleet SkipperSecR1R2R3Points
1US44Ronald J Sherry2 1 1 4.00
2US3662Gregory R Smith Senior3 3 2 8.00
3US183Matt H Struble4 2 4 10.00
4US4691John W Dennis1 8 10 19.00
5US3283J Bruce Williams Senior10 7 6 23.00
6US1183Jan C Gougeon Senior7 13 5 25.00
7US30Leon L Lebeau8 15 7 30.00
8US4379John R Harper13 6 11 30.00
9US4175Bryan J Brieden II11 17 3 31.00
10US4638Guy E Lovejoy16 9 8 33.00
11G107Bernd Zeiger17 5 13 35.00
12US46Paul Goodwin24 4 9 37.00
13US610Don B Jones Master14 12 18 44.00
14US4975Robert E Evans Jr25 10 15 50.00
15US4824Mark R Christensen23 16 12 51.00
16G551Christian Seegers Senior6 35 16 57.00
17US4961John P Davenport12 22 24 58.00
18US3Jim Grogan21 28 14 63.00
19US882Meade A Gougeon Master5 11 49 65.00
20US406Peter M Woodruff32 21 19 72.00
21KC4190Mark Wolff36 20 17 73.00
22US4926Steve Orlebeke19 30 26 75.00
23US5014Mark L Isabell18 25 34 77.00
24US5144Mike Rehe Junior29 24 25 78.00
25US45J. Wendell Sherry Master9 32 37 78.00
26US2360Pete Johns Master34 27 20 81.00
27US4755Rick Lemberg Jr26 39 23 88.00
28US4602David L Kickhafer38 19 32 89.00
29US4974Stan Jones Master31 38 21 90.00
30US294Lou Loenneke Senior15 40 35 90.00
31US3535Jeffrey S Kent28 37 27 92.00
32US3271Mike Jankowski42 23 28 93.00
33G737Jörg Bohn43 14 36 93.00
34US4192Randy Rogoski48 18 29 95.00
35US2Harry J Mote Master20 34 43 97.00
36US1873Raymond E Croasdale Master27 41 31 99.00
37US445Bob Cave33 45 22 100.00
38US4738Richard E Parker37 33 33 103.00
39US4915Robert M Cook Senior30 36 38 104.00
40US3406James Hadley50 26 30 106.00
41US4962Vincent A Labozzetta44 29 42 115.00
42US1854Robert J Thiessen Master22 49 48 119.00
43US5084Al Stefanski35 46 40 121.00
44US738R Scott Root49 31 41 121.00
45US5116David Clapp45 43 39 127.00
46US1006Nick R Vitale Senior39 44 45 128.00
47US4137Ken Smith Jr40 42 46 128.00
48US4695Mark Kiefer47 47 44 138.00
49US88C. Butch Babcock Senior46 48 47 141.00
50US4950Matthew A Ratliff41 DNSDNS143.00

Silver Fleet

PosSailSilver Fleet SkipperSecR1R2Points
1KC5118Ken Mitchell1 3 4.00
2US4249Richard Kaiser Senior4 2 6.00
3US4155Rick Lemberg Sr. Senior8 1 9.00
4US2301Daniel F Bierman3 6 9.00
5US4730David W Leonard2 11 13.00
6H148Reedijk B.B. Master5 10 15.00
7US3937Daniel Vought15 8 23.00
8US3433Robert L Cummins Senior20 5 25.00
9US5172Glenn Betzoldt Senior6 20 26.00
10US1196Anthony M Mancini17 12 29.00
11US1277Hal K Bowman Master13 17 30.00
12US4889Tom Austin16 16 32.00
13US216Richard T Potcova28 7 35.00
14US3705Robert J Holman14 22 36.00
15US4065Thomas R Hamill Senior11 28 39.00
16US5022Luke W Buxton36 4 40.00
17US5214Jim McDonagh26 14 40.00
18US4148Tim Dixon21 19 40.00
19US5053George Reis Senior30 13 43.00
20US4066Rosemary K Kern25 18 43.00
21US472J. William Coberly Senior29 15 44.00
22US1059Michael Ulbrich24 21 45.00
23US1313Robert K Rast Senior22 23 45.00
24US4911David W Zoll Senior19 26 45.00
25US4826Christopher R Croasdale37 9 46.00
26US1202Douglas J Harvey Master9 37 46.00
27US805Jane Pegel Master7 39 46.00
28US2138George E Long Master12 36 48.00
29US4387Charlie Blair Senior23 27 50.00
30US4140Peter J Hoeper Senior18 32 50.00
31US5169Alan Lizee10 DNS51.00
32US4203Pat Fitzgerald Senior27 25 52.00
33US824Marland Griffith31 30 61.00
34US4315Scott M Mcdowell33 29 62.00
35US1985Clark Teal39 24 63.00
36US4775Eben M Whitcomb III35 31 66.00
37US3865Ted Bowen Senior32 34 66.00
38US2221James A Olsen Master38 33 71.00
39US2237Herbert W Dakin Master34 38 72.00
40US3181Charles J Burda MasterDNS35 76.00