A new spin on Fleet Growth - The Devil's Playground?

Several of us; The Reverend Petey, at Head Injury Media /Penalty Box Productions, Aussie Peter Norton of , Rum Jungle Media , Geoff Sobering Moving Target Photography , and myself for sure have been talking... about "Telling The Story", the story of iceboating, like with all this ice, and all this sailing, the speed, the thin ice, there's a couple great stories to be told. ...like just checking the ice

Litmus Test
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What story do we want to tell? If you could see it then you'd understand
And I said to Aussie Pete, (KA 3)"...The only way I can tell the real story about iceboating is with Some Body of Fiction... there too many things that, well... the human drama of passionate and intense competitive people..." "...I know too much." ; )

We're telling a story about iceboating, which ain't "yacht racin"! To iceboating, we'll be true, but we're nonetheless, just telling a story.
The racers in this story, compete on short, closed course race tracks, the working name for the course is "the Devil's Playground(tm)". Sailing an almost absurd reaching angle with one tack and one jype per lap, oval track racing. We need the camera shots and some close boat to boat competition on camera, some drama, Epic Racing if you would, and we need to film it up close.

Of course these racers set the boats up a bit differently, maybe those 70 degree runners will hold firm, (I would have them) the 90's were too skitchy. And they sail in teams of 3-4 competitors, on extended distance courses, pit stops, driver changes, drama, an engaged audience of fans, cheering. We've done enough of this racing to be "pretty sure" it's about as safe as open course racing, but it's different, it's time we showed it off, to see what people think.

The boats in this story, race in fleets of 8 - 10, on about 1.something minutes/lap course, there really are no marks, just a continuous track, you jybe at one end, and tack at the other.

And visually, we need some color , it's just to monochromatic, to gray for me. This white stuff may be perfect, in all other areas, but as stunning visual imagery, it works best in Still Imagery, like Ansel's Moonrise. Stillness is not the image I have in mind.

The course is defined by break away Colored Ripstop Sail Shaped Flags, with graphics.

The sails will be colored, and have graphics, even sponsor graphics. Heck it's amazing what black mylar looks like as a sail cloth, Thanks to Jimmy Gluek at Quantum for the Prototye.

Of Course, Sponsorship Money Changes Everything.

The boats will be really trick, pimped out. Sweet Custom Paint Jobs, and I imagine we'll all be taking a special look at the hull / plank attachment system, I don't think Bill Sarns ever imagined we'd race them like this, there might be some rubbin.

There's going to be some on-the-ice set dressing, warming heaters, tents, race announcers, music, umbrella girls?

The boats are all set up with GPS and On Board Cameras, (Hi Def, 16 X 9), on a stern mount boom, radio communication is encouraged.

The drama, is on the course, the racing is real, there will be winners, and losers, and in the pits as the 3 guys there work on getting the boat totally dialed in, making small adjustments to rig tune, changing runners, etc, over a 100 lap (about 90 minute) race.

We'll have one camera crew working on the on course shooting, covering full lap continuous coverage when the boats are close. Another covering the in the pit's action, 3 smart capable guys trying to figure out what to do to this boat to get another 1/4 knot out of it. Making pit stop changes, and measuring the improvement, or decrease in performance.

That's how the story is shaping up. OK it's part NASCAR on Ice, part World Of Outlaws Dirt Track Racin, a little part reality TV. That's the story we're telling, it's just a story.

We're filming a pilot of this story at the end of February in Minnesota. Calling it the Icemaker 100, Someplace cool, Visually Pepin is stunning, but a lot could happen in the middle of nowhere, Brainerd?

We're making a party of it. Inviting all our friends, we need a cast of hundreds, can't very well pay them... : )

Now getting it Ready for You, Almost ready for you,... I invite you come help us tell this story. I think it'll be Amazing. I think people will love hearing it.

Carpe DN

For Team, Cast, Crew and Sponsorship Information Contact:

The Rev or 4695

(c) 2007 - 2008, World Iceracing Tour, Milepost 8, MN All Rights Reserved


I'd love to see once with my

I'd love to see once with my own eyes this event. Does it look like in this video http://www.tubestime.com/watch/art-topilow-iceboating-with-justin-topilo... ? If so, it must be very dangerous to go in for this sports. Have any accidents happened to the people on the ice?

The format changes everything from a spectators view...

The WIRC Short Track looks much more like this:


Not everbody thinks this is the way to go...


Fred's Sailing Blog The guy can write, probably in several languages and ain't at all afraid to. I respect that!


How will this grow the sport?

From a notariety perspect: We're going to turn the volume up to 11... iceboating won't be such a closely guarded secret.

From a racing perspective: There will be a spirited dialog and shared experience about boat tuning that translates to other sports,

From a structural perspective: The shared costs of participation, between team members and their sponsor partners (if any) lower the barriers to entry,

The shared experience increases the social construction of value, hence increases the value of the experince.

It looks like a really fun interesting sport, a good springer spaniel, heck even Molly the iceboat dog (she hasn't slept with all the iceboaters... yet) understand it.

Because we're running it at a planned location, we've got to manage a track and prove we can go to a groomed track. By doing this we're about to prove that it's the iceboaters themselves who prefer the lonely solitude of a desolate grey frozen lake, and not the sport, and by this open the sport to a wider group of participation.

And because it's a fun way to race, and a great party, which we can plan on, we'll do a couple more next year, and try to tell the story a little better. We'll attract more people who come for the fun.

But we add the burdens of track grooming to the equation, yup, it's a pain too, ammenities, spectators, publicity, media, sponsors, hawkers of fur hats and DVDs. These need to be special events...

We're thinking that a little enthusiasm, some spirited competition, some ammenities, some fantastic sailing stories and a great party are key ingredients to growing the sport... And just maybe, elevate the performances of the competitors.

(c) 2007 - 2008, World Iceracing Tour, Milepost 8, MN All Rights Reserved

Lets DO IT!

Hi Mark -

First off- want to thank you for being so helpful to me
as a beginner in this sport last year (Gull Lake).

* As for growing the sport, and from the perspective I
had as a beginner, the first thing that comes to mind
is that it is not a spectator sport, IE no bleachers,
grandstands, or toilet facilities for the public.
Attempts should be made to make it more "public-friendly".
(At the same time I realize this is often on thin ice.)
That may mean making the starting points closer to
shore, etc. People won't walk out 2 miles to get there.
At least a windbreak could be hauled out there - I would
volunteer to do that. (My boat isn't competative anyway)
(Members with golf carts invited to ferry people???)
I wish I had a Nite for carrying a passenger.
A small tent with a "sunflower" heater would probably
be a real gathering spot. Somebody else bring out a
keg of beer, and hell, we got a party!

* As for sponsors, I'm sure companies like Nike, Adidas,
etc. wouldn't mind seeing their logo on a sail as it
crossed the finish line on the 10-O'clock news.
Our sails are the perfect billboards.
Companies this big are always looking for new ways to
advertise their goods. Putting a logo on an iceboat sail,
sending a crew out to film, etc. would be a drop in
the bucket for these folks. Not to mention they would
have the most unique footage of their product(s) in use,
as their competition probably isn't even there at the event.
(Yup - I got $50 that says Nike would make a 'iceboat
shoe' if the demand was there..)

* Try to seek out "events" in our areas, such as the
Eelpout festival held every Feb. on Leech lake in Walker.
And there are countless other events across MN during
the winter, as towns try to shore up their economy during
the slow winter months. Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids,
etc....they all have their winter 'festivals'.

* Finally, there are the course clearing and setup issues.
I believe a course could be set up, almost anywhere, using
a modified oval pattern. True, it might not be perfect
in every wind direction, but here in MN you can usually
count on the wind being SW to NW, unless a storm is coming
in which case it would be SE. But, everyone racing would
have the same advantage/disadvantage. A course 50ft wide
could be plowed in 7 passes or so with an 8 ft. blade on a
truck - the cost of which would be paid by the racers at
the time of entry. Prior to clearing the course, check the
forecast for wind direction, etc.

Anyway, that's my $.02....hope this thing gets off
the ground........Blackice / DN 5404

Whut open water ??

What's with this Devil's Playground Thing?

It was just something my Grandma always said about idle hands. ;)

These iceboaters are all bad ass, must win competitors. Racing on a Dangerous Track , it needs a name, it's the opponent.


We want to position the course as dangerous, the way Harley positions their bikes, so that Accountants can dress up like bad guys on the weekend.

(c) 2007 - 2008, World Iceracing Tour, Milepost 8, MN All Rights Reserved

some rationale

Hot Iceboats on Cold Ice, the fire,ice, adversity thing.

$0.02 Heat things up. : )

Pleased to meet you.....

Kinda radical with that Rolling Stones link...:-)

Whut open water ??

Whut open water ??