Yachting World's Matthew Sheahan takes to the ice to witness the DN World Championships in Estonia
It takes a while to get used to standing on the ice out at sea. I had hitched a ride on a quad bike. As we charged out to sea at 30mph, jets of water sprayed up from the knobbly tyres like breaking bow waves on a RIB each time we hit puddles on the ice. It even sounded the same. A few minutes later as I clambered off the pillion seat and looked at the 160 strong fleet, lying at rest offshore as their skippers swapped the boats’ shorter delivery skates for the longer racing blades, it was clear I had entered another dimension of this new world. But when the BBQ was fired up and the mid morning hot dogs were handed out, I really had to pinch myself. Ice yachting is a very different experience.
With two weeks to go until the start of the 2014 DN ice yacht world championships, more than 200 people were ready to head to the race venue in Poland. The event had been on the calendar for over a year and many had spent months preparing for this eight day event, training, fiddling and fettling along with planning their transportation and accommodation.
But with just three days to go, a forecast of poor ice and questionable sailing conditions forced the organisers to inform competitors via their web site that they had decided to switch venues from Poland to Estonia.
Here’s a snapshot video of what the DN World Championships looked like along with a peek at what Sir Ben Ainslie’s former coach, David Howlett, gets up to on his days off.
For the full feature see the Dec 15 issue of Yachting World
CLICK HERE To see the video on our You Tube Channel