Ice sailing is sailing that is done on solid water using vessels called iceboats. A lot of Northern European countries participate in this sport such as the UK, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Sweden and Finland as well as the USA and Canada.
Most iceboats are trimaran in design with four steel runners (two on the main hull and one each on the sponsons). The rudder is operated using a final steel runner connected to the back.
Although this boat may look like a few bolts hatched together, these boats are made for safety rather than speed, since a capsize on this boat could be fatal for the sailor and the rest of the boats, if the ice cracks.
They can go very fast due to the absence of a high drag force, which occurs in water and so is one of the ultimate extreme sailing sports.
There are many races that go on around Northern Europe and America that happen every year and the sport has a long history. It was started in 1790-ish in the Hudson River in the USA. It was built out of a square box with steel runners attached. Until 1853, this was the standard design, until the box was revamped and sail rigs were introduced.
In 1881, the first sail race occured on the Hudson river in which boats have do sail 5 times around a triangle in which each leg lasted about a mile. This tradition has continued into the 21st century, with the sport continuing to be highly popular in the Great Lakes and Scandinavia.
In high winds, iceboats can reach speeds of around 72 miles per hour, but speeds of 90 mph have been reached. The course is also now longer, with a 20 mile course being able to be completed in around 50 minutes.
Ice boating truly is an amazing sport and if you haven't tried it, try it and see how different it is from normal water sailing!
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