I'm not talking about the ice

Mr Miller, (and others)

First of all, thanks for introducing yourself. I've been lurking for several years, so I recognize some names (yours for one) but others I need to search out. And thanks for pointing out my stupidity of not realizing that not only can you not fit 80 iceboats on Bald Eagle Lake, you can't sail One on an official course. Not the point I was trying to make. Sarcasm is difficult in the written medium.

Once again, the issue of my post was not "where is the good ice". Lake Kegonsa looked beautiful in the pics on the 4LIYC site. The issue is spreading the word.

I agree Minnesota ice was not "Regatta Quality" but it was totally sailable. If it was a sanctioned event, I never would have posted anything. Just a point that the GWC could be something more than just a great place to sail. Or, my tarnished impression of that event. Heaven forbid anyone actually say anything on the MISA site.

I feel that my words are falling on deaf ears. That's fine with me. I understand sailors. I'll go back into my shop like most of you. Not many posts here (hence, deaf ears), despite the fact that we are the Land of 10,000 Lakes (not sure how many have the possibility of a 1.5 mile DN course appropriately oriented to the prevailing winds, but I'm sure someone will point it out). (And yes, there are actually 11,842 lakes over 10 acres in size in Minnesota. Wanna split some more hairs?)

But, I'm now building a kayak. And then probably another kayak, maybe a canoe. I love America.

-Randall US4470 (not current)


Interesting,I was told a few

Interesting,I was told a few years ago ( when MN Ice was hard to find and we had great ice here in Thunder Bay) that they would never consider moving the Western Challenge from MN.

Greetings MMadge (and others reading)

Thanks for your comment. It brings up an issue that I briefly mentioned in one of my previous posts but I decided not to pursue (because we couldn't get past ice quality).

When I attended my first ice boat regatta at a Great Western Challenge several years ago, I got the impression that that particular event was unique to Minnesota. Primarily because Minnesota was typically the first to freeze over. And it was casual. Not necessarily for the racers. That format really appealed to me and I believe it would appeal to other sailors pondering doing their thing on hard water. Hence, my sadness that it had been moved to our great neighbors to the East. I feel that the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club has a strong and wonderful club; I'd like to see that in The Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The particular issue mentioned and not pursued is that of tradition in the sailing world. Tradition is very strong in the sailing community. Tradition is strong because much of it is based on things that have proven to have worked in the past. Tradition is strong because it helps build camaraderie and relationships.

I understand that tradition can't be completely static. That's why the Whitbread Round the World Race is now the Volvo Ocean Race (guessing sponsorship money had a lot to do with that) and 12 Meters are no longer the boat of the America's Cup. But the tradition of those events is still the same. Sailors in nearly identical boats facing whatever nature throws at them. To me, that sounds similar to the reason the Detroit News published the plans for the most popular ice boat so many years ago. Build a boat, find others nearby, go sailing, so that many can enjoy the thrill of our still tiny sport.

Sailing is quite elitist also. I choose to try to suppress that tradition and invite others to participate.

My kayak is almost done. Ice report of the Mississippi River south of St Cloud- no ice. Can't wait to put the new craft on the water!

Have fun.

-Randall US4470 (still a non-current member)

Perhaps the GWC should adopt a new name: The Maybe Almost Western Challenge (MAWC). Tradition isn't completely static, you know.

Or the other option is maybe

Or the other option is maybe get it back to it,s Oriigins,not only in location but intentions.The GWC is advertised as a non sanctioned fun type Event.Pretty sure it is a lot more serious then that.One competitor compared it to a Gold Cup Event in terms in level of intensity.Just look at the number of collisions that took place.Pretty intimidating for a newby.
I think it would serve the Class better in terms of attracting more members if they got back on track with an Event that is just that,fun and instructional.To keep it in MN,Don,t restrict it to a date,just advertise it as the first best ice in MN.Forget the scoring and run an Event that caters more to beginners and novices.Get the more experienced sailors to act as mentors and tunning partners through out the Weekend.

Somebody gets it.

Thanks. I guess my message might be understood by some.

Another option is to start a different regatta with whatever parameters that the person organizing the event deems appropriate. Or teach a community education class during the winter: Iceboating 101. Get someone out in an iceboat. Take a local newscaster or writer out on the ice and show them your boat.

It's up to whomever runs the GWC to run it as they see fit. If we don't like it, we don't have to participate. Do your own thing. If it's 80 boats or 8 boats on a lake, it's all good.

I love America.