by Ginny Prior
Bone-chilling gusts propel iceboats across frozen Midwest lakes, but the thrill of this winter sport may take you around the world.
An iceboater enjoying the chills and thrills of skimming across a frozen lake. Bone-chilling gusts propel iceboats across frozen Midwest lakes, but the thrill of this winter sport may take you around the world.
On almost any lake with safe ice you’ll see them: ice yachts being piloted across the shimmering surface at breakneck speeds. Well, hopefully not breakneck speeds.
Iceboats can go faster than 90 mph (the world record is 148 mph). With a hull that weighs just 46 pounds, most race boats glide at a respectable 35–55 mph with moderate winds. “When you’re going on a boat that light, you’re literally flying,” says four-time world-champion DN racer Ron Sherry. Come winter, the boats with their colorful sails billowing in the wind, will make their way onto Midwest lakes with thick, black ice that’s relatively free of snow.
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