Ice yachting

When the ice sailing sailed on frozen rivers and lakes, with very high speeds can be achieved because of the very low friction on the ice. There are, as in sailing in general, a variety of boat types and classes, which differ in their design and size sometimes significantly. Today ( 2009) is the best known and most common Eissegel carriage developed in the 1930s DN- sled.


The origins of Eissegelns lie in 17th century Holland, where sailors were looking for a way to use their boats on frozen water surfaces can. The first ice yachts were therefore small glider, at the flat bottom skids were mounted. With these simple means, a way had been created, the boats continue to sail in the normal water as well as on the ice.

As the sailing generally also found the ice sailing in 1850, the interest of "pleasure sailors ", so amateurs who operated the Segelei not more than professional necessity, but to pass the time. 1865 then the first Eissegelclub the world was founded on the Hudson River, and the first Eisyachten there were (as opposed to the working sailors ) was built. In the early days of the sport at that time still very large and therefore expensive Eisyachten were very rare. Thus, since no real competition was given for races in the early years of the sport, drove the ice yachts in the U.S. race against railway trains which plied along the rivers.

In the 1930s, the need for a small iceboat for everyone came up that could be easily transported and mainly build themselves. At the suggestion of the Detroit News, the DN- sled was designed, which has since spread worldwide, with over 2,000 class members the most popular iceboat at all.

The betting sailing regulations are set by the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association ( IDNIYRA ), founded in the same year since 1953.


Ice sailing is a naturally limited to a few areas sports. He found only there Notable dissemination, where appropriate water, cold winter and a certain maritime tradition are to be found, such as Holland. Thus, the ice sailing is limited to very few exceptions to Northern Europe ( UK, Norway ), the Baltic (Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia) and Central Europe ( Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary), and to the northern United States and Canada.

Boat classes

As with all sports that use a relatively complex sports equipment, comparability is not necessarily given also in Eisseglern. To allow races with equal conditions for all classes were created. However, this can be in the case of Eissegelns great deal of scope in design and equipment.

During the development of the Eissegelsports different classes have emerged in North America and Europe. European classes are virtually unknown in North America, and vice versa. The reason is that Eisyachten are too bulky for transport on the plane. They may be indeed transported by car over long distances ( and have been so well all over Europe and North America spread ), but the Atlantic is an almost insurmountable hurdle for larger Eisyachten represents a ice yachts, the yacht " from another continent " builds, would in his home turf no competition for regattas, this is another reason why not spread the classes on their home continent. As good designs can be found on both continents, there is no motivation, tedious " import " a strange class.

The limited to one continent classes belong in Europe

  • The Monotype - XV iceboat. It is the only two-seat iceboat in Europe, European Championships to be sailed with the regular. Erik von Holst (1894-1962) (Estonia) this iceboat constructed in 1932.
  • The slightly smaller 12 - m ² - iceboat. She was of the EEU (European Eissegel Union, which was founded in 1928 by Erik van Holst ) thought of as "people Seiss Egler ," Holst she drew 1937

And in the U.S.

  • Skeeter
  • Nite
  • Renegade
  • "Big Boats", the classic big boat turn of the century

Only the DN- carriage has been found on both continents widespread. The reason lies in its small size ( it can be transported on a car roof ) and in its simple design, which makes it possible to build a DN in any well-equipped hobby room.

However, one can also ice sailing without a iceboat. Relatively widespread is the ice-surfing, where an Surfrigg is fixed either on a small board with skids, or is directly supported by a skater. A dragon is just as suitable as a means for skaters such as kiteboarding. These simple types of Eissegelns found on both continents international distribution, although less than the DN- slide with their substantially higher speeds.

Ice sailing has a close relationship to the land and beach sailing. In the German Sailing Association, it is therefore organized in the Committee " ice, land and beach sailing ".

Racing and Records

Eissegelregatten be organized for similar standards and performed as racing on the water. There are so-called Up and Down courses sailed, that is, the start is against the wind to a turning mark to windward, and then to a leeward mark, which is close to windward of the starting line. After a specified number of laps around these brands of finish over the start line follows. A significant difference from racing on the water is that the starters are on the starting line at the ice sailing. At the start of the pilots push their boats to speed it up, and rise only when the boat reaches a speed at which the sail itself provides enough thrust. The well-known from sailing on the water " flying start " is not necessary when ice sailing, because the pilots can hold their boats on the ice.

Another field of play is the hunt for speed records. The very high compared to the water sailing speeds have always aroused the desire to measure the achieved speed and compare with others. In the early days of the sport it was limited to measuring the time required for a known distance until later first radar guns and GPS devices enabled more accurate velocity measurements. Frequently, as a record pace of the called of 143 mph (230 km / h), allegedly set up in 1938 by the Debutante by John D. Buck Flagstaff on Lake Winnebago. However, this indication appears on closer inspection is highly unlikely: the heavy "Big Class" yachts such as the Debutante would be at 230 km / h probably broken by the forces, the cotton sails would hardly have withstood the wind in hurricane force, and the crew is hard in its open cockpit, an unprotected platform at the stern of the boat can hold.

The highest reliable measurement (GPS or radar) is currently (2009) at 135 km / h set by a Skeeter, a modern class with much more effective sailing as they were in the 1930s available. There are quite credible reports of higher speeds, but these were individual, the journey of GPS devices detected during read off values ​​( no continuous record of the speed) or by moving next to the Yacht cars.

Most hunters like the project Green Bird trying for years with modern material to break the record of 135 km / hr.


The acceleration and speed ( with the DN about 100 km / h with modern Eisseglern been 135 km / h used) can be reached in no other sport wind on the ground. The required maneuvers differ radically from everything applies when water sailing. For example, are almost entirely jibe with dichtgeholtem boom driven ( headsail there's usually none). The diversity is also evident that ice yachts always protect yourself with appropriate safety equipment from injury.