The Great Western Challange Regatta, Map, Schedule, Competitor Overview :: MOVING TO BUFFALO :: 11:00am Start

Fergus Falls, Mn
Saturday 8:00pm
In a move that would only make sense to iceboaters... we're moving the regatta to Buffalo, MN... Sturges Park, MN Hwy 25 Buffalo, MN

Start, Race 1 11:00 don't be late...

Consensus wake up calls for 0500, boat tear down in Dead Lake, Shuffle off to Buffalo, and get together an do it again. Hmm. coffee, personal hygene, xx min 25 min to the launch, 30m min for boat tear down, a tank of gas, a little food, 3 hours in the car, half hour to set up... leaves about nine minutes to sail out to the course and check the wind.

As alway... sailors of all abilities are welcome at minnesota ice sailing event.


see comment below


We are aware of sailors already Truckin on the Golden Road to Dead Lake... US 3535 was reported to have left Boston yesterday evening! When he arrives he will find conditions which justify that very very long drive, it's currently about 0 degrees F at the Launch site, it'll be a thick mirror when he sees it.


Launch Site: Collins Landing, West Arm Dead Lake, Dead Lake Township, Ottertail County, Minnesota USA.

Even the "Glues Brothers" couldn't possibly get lost Driving Directions from I 94.
I 94 Exit 67 (right after the Ashby exit)
North on Ottertail County 35 about 22.5 miles...
Yahoo Map - Dalton, MN to Launch Site
It's the big lake with sails up on your right. If you get to Dent, you've gone too far.

Headquarters: Best Western Fergus Falls, 925 Western Avenue, Fergus Falls, MN, 56537-4803, United States Phone: 218-739-2211

Driving Directions: Launch Site to HQ Yahoo Map -Launch Site to Headquarters

Thursday Evening, Welcome, Check In (such as it is) HQ
0900: Check In : Ice Checking Sailing,Launch site
1000: Safety Meeting
Friday Evening: Opening Ceremony / The IceMaker's "Freeze", Fergus Falls Best Western 7:00 PM
0900 Check in
1000 Safety Meeting / Known Hazard Report
1100 First Trial
- Sailing Continuing until Sunset - minus 30 minutes
Sunset: Right now we have nothing formal planned for Saturday Night, Expect something more formal gathering to develop, possibly Kattack Replays (see in the bar or poolside.

0900 Safety Meeting
1000 First Start
1300 Last Start
1400 Closing Ceremony

Notices/Changes Prior to the event, this website will post any pertinent announcements. We'll try to get notice boards at both headquarters and the launch site.

HAZARDS: The Great Citizens of Ottertail County and in particluar Fergus Falls just don't tollerate, and aggressively enforce alcohol impaired driving laws. You won't find anyplace south of the Canadian Border more serious about this. Don't have an issue here, you've been warned.

Again this year, It's a real long way to the Hospital from the sailing area, Safety is a primary concern, this is a bad place to get hurt.

Sailing: The event launches the 2007 trek to the World Championships... our intent here start the season properly... provide more starts and seat time than you'll find at any other "event"... it's our intent to keep the event very low key on the ice... there's little emphasis on anything other than having fun and improving skills and equipment here.

Because of the expected large turnout, we anticipate the need for at least two fleets... three fleets may happen... you'll tell us what you want.

The Rules We sail under the published Right of Way Rules, etc of the IDNIYRA, since this is an informal event, there will be no protests heard, there will be no appeals heard. The Pricipal On the Ice: John Peterson,PRO, will direct the fleet.

Entry This event is open to sailors of all abilities. There is no entry fee.

Spectators: Don't fall in, Don't fall down, early ice is always pretty dangerous, falling on mirror smooth, slippery hard ice causes more serious injuries than cold water immersion. Spikes, Shoe "grippers" or ice skates generally serve better than street shoes.

Stay clear of the course, iceboats travel at high rates of speed and occasionally spin out, there's simply not time to get out of the way. Best spots are below (downwind) the downwind mark or above (upwind) the windward mark.

Other - We seek: 4695 "The Icemaker" has identified two strong skilled sailor/candidates to compete in DN's... I'm seeking a silver fleet quality program for them to sail this weekend. If you have a DN program we can utilize for fleet development, bring it or let me know, we'll arrange pick up and delivery. [mark(at)]

The Great Western Challenge Contact:
Mark Kiefer

IT'S GOING TO BE ___________ You fill in the blank.

4695, The Icemaker

Who had the yellow Nite?

Does anyone know how I can reach the owner of the yellow Nite that was at the regatta? I think it was sail number 363. I can be reached at brian(at)


What a great regatta!

While we'd all like to sail on perfectly Zambonied sheets of ice, with the temps right at freezing, the sun out (but not enough to soften the surface), and winds 10-15 mph...
... but all-in-all the 2006 Western Challenge was pretty durn good. We got one day of outstanding conditions, one test of our collective stupidity, and a third of near-perfect sailing (I couldn't get my boat setup for the light air, so I can't in all honesty give Sunday a personal 10, but that's just me...).

Thanks again for all the folks who made it happen!

See you next year!


Geoff S.

Sunday Racing !!

On Sunday we all got up early, took the boats off the ice at DeadLake and drove to Buffalo.

In Buffalo, at 11:00am temps where around 12deg F.
8-12kts Wind was all over the place, oscilating around 40deg at one point.

We got a nice race course setup, using most of the lake, and got in five races in each fleet.

The ice had the lightest dusting of snow, and was hard and smooth.

I'll put up the top ten, in both fleets and the complete results soon.


THE CALL IS BUFFALO! We Are Moving to Buffalo For Sunday.

We are heading to buffalo early in the morning.

11:00 am Start
Buffalo, Mn

Approx. drive time: 2 hours 46 minutes
Google Maps Directions

quick directions:
South on 35 from Launch site.
I94 East to MN-25 exit 193 to Monticello/Buffalo
South into Buffalo

Buffalo is only 10 miles off of I94. I encourage everyone to stop and have a great day racing.

Ice checkers report 3+ inches of black ice.

This will require an early morning as you will want to be packed up and on the road shortly after 7:00am.

See you all on the ice.


Saturday :: Too Much Wind!

Saturday 2 dec 2006
Dead Lake, Mn
10degrees F
Wind over 25kts.. probably a steady 20kts with gusts..

It's too windy for racing. There are a few boats going out for some high speed rips. You can sail around in it but it's tough to turn around at the bottom, and there is that open water, and you are going very fast.... There is snow and drifting snow on the ice. We didn't get very much snow, but it doesn't take too much in these winds for drifts to form :-(

I had to go back to the hotel for work reasons, so I wasn't there, but the gang actually got in 3 races in both the gold & the silver fleet. It was just informal racing so no finish results.

After I got back I went out with the foster boys and Andy had the antigue road show up to top speed.. dodging the drifts on the downwind.. then we all rounded up and tacked in succesion.. just shy of the open water..

Wondering about alternative locations, like Buffalo, or whale tail, or christina.

from the wind swept tundra,

friday was great!

The GangWe have around 45 boats at the launch site. We went down to the far end of the lake and setup a nice course. There was some about 5+ inches of black ice. There were also some large patches of open water.

Willy FosterThese pictures are just from the treo phone, but you can see it was a great day, with great ice.

There was another race course setup in the bay that we launched from and some people just raced there. Two race courses!

Steve KThe breeze died as the day went on. It was probably around 10kts. On the way in, with the sun going down I was just able to keep the boat moving.

It's flurries up here right now, but I don't think we will get much snow. There is some breeze forcasted for tomorrow so everyone is excited..

Two DN's Sailed Today!

US 45 and US 1277 sailed the West Arm of Dead Lake this afternoon

Characterizing the ice as a 9.5, an easy 4" of clear ice (he says he never gives 10's) with at least a mile between the marks.



Contingency Planning Lake Christina Report Sought

Seeking an Ice Report today on Lake Christina, Ashby. Prefer late this afternoon.

please post, email, or call it in.

ice is totally cool, and by cool I mean SWEET!


Sailors are Already Here!...

US 1277 from Cary, NC is in town, and will sail tomorrow, assuming there's somebody else to sail with, at the launch site say 12:00 and let it warm up a bit... (Never Sail Alone!)

Additionally he reports the Pelican Motel in Pelican Rapids, just west say 15-18 miles from the launch site is pretty clean, has a few 49.00 a night dog friendly rooms, and some larger more affordable rooms.

Business name: Pelican Motel
Address: 900 North Broadway
Pelican Rapids, Minnesota 56572
Phone number: 218-863-3281
Email address:

Description: Pelican Motel under new ownership with many updates being made. 16 rooms, both smoking and non smoking available. Open year round in the heart of Minnesota's lake country. (Otter Tail County has over 1040 lakes!) We are located on the north end of Pelican Rapids on Hwy 59. We are only 7 miles from Maplewood State Park and minutes from dining, shopping, snow mobile trails. Pets welcome, color cable t.v., airconditioning, fridge and microwave available. For reservations and availability please Call 218-863-3281 or visit our web site at

And the wind....?

this just in...

Just recieved a call a guy named Jan from Bay City, MI.

We'll be adding at least one more former World Champion to the Fleet!