Ice Yachting

Ice yachting (or Ice Sailing) is a type of sailing sport, where sail boats called ice yachts (or iceboats) are used to race on frozen lakes and rivers. The sport is high speed in nature, where the average is about 72 mph, and high winds boats reaching speeds of up to 90 miles. The sport originated on the Hudson River in the United States. The sport is currently very popular in the United States and Canada, and to some extent in the Netherlands and Finland.

Ice yachts are about 40 ft long, where the entire boat rests on a single piece runner plank with runners, and a rudder. The runners and the rudder are made of soft cast iron. There are four different classifications of ice yachts based on the canvas used for the sails. They are, 300 sq ft and below, 300 to 450 sq ft, 450 to 600 sq ft, and 600 sq ft or more.

A typical ice yachting course is about 15 to 20 miles long with several turns. Each boat will have a crew of six or seven members, who line themselves on the runner plank based on the wind to balance the boat. Most courses are triangular in shape where each side is a mile long, and at least two directions are windward.

Many competitions are conducted on the Great Lakes in the United States, where several clubs compete.

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