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Meade Gougeon

Meade A. Gougeon
September 25, 1938–August 27, 2017
“The wind is coming up. Tell the boys they can commence with the race.” Fittingly, these would be the last words of Meade A. Gougeon as he watched a fleet of sailboats, including his trimaran Adagio, assembling for the Great Lakes Multihull Regatta in front of his home on the Saginaw Bay. Gougeon died Sunday, August 27, 2017, peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He was 78 years old.
Meade, along with his brothers Jan and Joel, founded Gougeon Brothers, Inc. in 1969. Their employee-owned, ISO 9001 registered company is a world renowned formulator and manufacturer of WEST SYSTEM® and PRO-SET® epoxies. The brothers pioneered the use of epoxy in boat construction and repair. They got their start building DN class iceboats with wood and epoxy. Initially, the brothers obtained access to Dow Chemical’s nearby laboratories to develop an epoxy that could be used for coating and bonding.
By 1973, the brothers’ small boat shop in Bay City, Michigan was the largest builder of iceboats in the United States. Even so, in 1974 they sold the DN portion of their business to focus on soft water boats and their burgeoning epoxy business.
In 1971, Meade launched Adagio—the first large, all epoxy bonded and sealed wooden boat built without the use of fasteners. He’d built her with his brother Jan in just six months. She’s been sailing on the Great Lakes ever since, winning the Bayview Mackinac Race in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2016 and 2017. Adagio is proof that fully bonded monocoque structures can be built not just to last, but to be serious competitors for generations.
NASA’s Wind Energy Project Office had Gougeon Brothers manufacture epoxy-laminated wood specimens for testing the strength of an epoxy bond between a threaded steel rod and a laminated wood specimen. The company’s samples were so strong that they broke NASA’s testing machine. GBI would go on to manufacture wood/epoxy wind turbine blades for several years.
In 1979, Meade wrote The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction. This famous boatbuilding guide details composite construction techniques using wood and epoxy. It remains a favorite resource for professionals and first-time boat builders, and is often used as a textbook in boat building programs.
A few of the notable wood-epoxy boats built by GBI. include the Ron Holland-designed half-ton monohull Golden Dazy which won the 1975 Canada’s Cup; the 60′ Dick Newick designed trimaran Rogue Wave; the Georg Thomas-designed proa Slingshot which was clocked at speeds of over 40 MPH; Adrenalin, a Formula 40 trimaran of wood, epoxy, and carbon fiber; the Gougeon 32 production catamarans including Incognito, which, skippered by Russell Brown, finished first in the solo class in this year’s Race to Alaska.
Meade was an avid multihull sailor, ice boater, and cyclist. Aboard the outrigger canoes Voyager and Elderly Care respectively, he placed first in his class in the grueling, 300-mile Everglades Challenge in 2014 and 2017. He raced iceboats with the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association for several decades, winning the US Championship in 1981 and 1997. He was inducted, along with his brother Jan, into to National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2015.
Always a positive force in his community, Meade served on Delta College Board of Trustees, the Kantzler Foundation Board of Trustees, the Bay Arenac Community High School Board of Directors, and the Bay County Library System Board of Trustees. In 2015, he was honored with the Peggy Rowley Community Enrichment Award at the Bay Area Community Foundation’s Faces of Philanthropy event.
Adamant that GBI should remain a robust corporation in his absence, Meade went to great lengths to assure that the next generation of management and employees were smart, hardworking, and forward-looking individuals. Because he laid the groundwork for his succession, the company remains strong as the leader in the epoxy industry.
The oldest of four children, he was born September 25, 1938 to Meade and Elizabeth “Betty” Gougeon. After graduating from T.L. Handy High School, Meade earned a degree in Industrial Management from Western Michigan University in 1960. He served honorably in the U.S. Army.
Meade is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Janet Gougeon and their children and spouses, Glenn Kirkland; Anne Michelle and Randy Mortensen; M. Ryan and Janice Gougeon; Benjamin and Logan Gougeon; Renee and Alan Gurski; Mia and Kwafo Adarkwa; Jae Gougeon; and Laura Gougeon, as well as 14 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Joel (Kaye) Gougeon.
He was predeceased by his parents, sister Pamela (John) Thomas, brother Jan Gougeon, and son Gary (Michele Baltus) Kirkland. An open house celebration of Meade’s life begins at 12:00 noon, with farewell tributes from 2:00-4:00 PM, on Saturday, September 9 at the Gougeon Brothers Boat Shop. All whom Meade would call friend and family are invited to attend.


New 4 & 44 Iceboats!

Look out!!! The brand new #4 (Griffin's boat) & #44 (Ron's boat) DN iceboats are coming together. Ron has been racing a boat built on in 1999, while Griffin has been racing a boat built in 1989. Time for an upgrade...but these two new boats will be available for sale on the ice for the right price.
Stay tuned for photos from Ron and Griffin's next adventure. They are on their way to Bay City Michigan to sail on the 35' trimaran Adagio, designed and built by Meade and Jan Gougeon.

Gougeons Elected to National Sailing Hall of Fame

Photo Credit: Catherine E. Firmbach
"Finally, Jan and Meade Gougeon, two of the most generous and extraordinary men in our sport get the recognition they truly deserve. These two humble geniuses have made it possible for the home builder to take on high tech projects and create the toys of all our dreams. Their generosity is unparalleled by making plans, how-to books and reasonably priced epoxy systems available to everyone."
Ron Sherry
National Sailing Hall of Fame website.

Tim Woodhouse

Tim Woodhouse, born in April of 1953, went home September 1, 2015
Link to Obituary .

By Ron Sherry
" Tim was one of the most competitive people ever born. He graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1971 where he held swim team records forever.

Tim won the DN Iceboat North American Championships for the first time in 1970 on Lake St. Clair at the age of 16. He challenged my son Griffin to do the same.

Tim also won the DN North Americans in 1973 on Sodus Bay in New York, and in 1974 on Hamilton Harbor in Ontario. Tim Won the World Championship in the DN Class in 1974 on Zergrze Lake in Poland.

Tim told me the most horrifying iceboating story I have ever heard. It happened while training with Jan Gougeon for the 1977 DN World Championship on Chesapeake Bay. Tim was faster than Jan, so Jan went in to change runners. While Tim was lifting his boat over a pressure ridge, the ice gave way. Tim and his boat were sucked under the ice by a 5 knot ebbing tide. As Tim was traveling under the ice he took his helmet off and was breathing using air pockets that he found. He knew he was in real trouble and decided to try and break through thin spots in the ice with his elbow. After a couple of attempts he was successful. Being a great swimmer and not panicking is what saved his life. Tim was able to get his arms and head out but the strong ebbing tide kept him from getting out of the water. Jan sailed back out and Tim was no where to be found. Jan finally found him, but had to sail back in to get rope and help. Tim was in the water a long time and had nightmares about the incident for the rest of his life.

Mead Gougeon said, "they tied all their main sheets together and used a helmet and the wind to get a line to him." Tim had traveled about 100 to 150 yards under the ice by Meade's estimation. They dragged him out of the water got him to shore and put him in a warm shower. Tim's boat was never seen again so they pieced together a spare boat and Tim took 6th in the Worlds.

The last time I saw Tim on the ice was at the 1981 DN Worlds on Hamilton Bay Ontario. We were standing on the starting line and I was complaining about how fast the Russians were at the start. Tim said, "well Ron, how about if you just out run them?" Tim was right again.

Tim came to my shop in the fall of 2011. He put a deposit down on a new DN iceboat. He was full of ideas on how to push the envelope of design and technology. Unfortunately, health issues kept him from taking delivery. While he was at my shop I got out a few trophies that have both our names on them and took some pictures. Tim was always one of the phone calls I looked forward too when I won an iceboat event. Tim was a sailing and iceboating genius. I spoke to him last week. He was doing well and working hard. I am comforted by the idea that Tim is in Heaven sailing on black ice with Skip Boston, Jan Gougeon, Art Teutsch, Ed Kraft, Stan Woodruff, Bill Sarns, Chuck Cartwright, and Don Vercruysse."
Respectfully, Ron Sherry


Meade Gougeon and Adiago
Ron and Griffin are in Bay City, Michigan this weekend sailing on Adiago, the Gougeon designed 35' trimaran. Though no longer owned by Meade, he continues to sail on her. With Meade recovering from shoulder surgery, Ron and Griffin are sailing in Meade's place. Read more about the boat here.

Sailing on Arete

During the Chicago to Mackinac race, Ron took photos during the sunset of the 60' Orma trimaran, Arete. In September, Ron and Griffin were invited to sail on this magnificent boat, now based in Detroit, which is capable of reaching 40 knots. Read Julia Winter's story about her time on the boat with Ron and Griffin. (Key phrase: "Do NOT fall off")

Deep Creek Lake:
77 Miles of Paradise

Ron and John Meredith

Thank you to the members of the Deep Creek Yacht Club in Swanton, Maryland where I had a fantastic weekend helping them to make their DNs sail faster, racing with their Flying Scot fleet, attending an outstanding party, and enjoying their hospitality. What a treat it was to meet a bunch of guys who want to learn about the sport we love so much.

The yacht club is on Deep Creek Lake which has 77 miles of lakefront and home to the late Sandy Douglas, designer of the Flying Scott, Thistle, and Highlander. DCYC has a fleet of 180 Flying Scots! Their DN fleet is growing like a weed thanks to the efforts of Ray Gauthier and John Meredith who invited me to their first DN clinic.

I shared my tips on runner sharpening (on one of Bob Rast’s runner sharpening machines), tuning, alignment, and clothing. Their DNs were set up next to the lake and I was thrilled to help each one of them tune their boat for optimum speed.

On Saturday, I raced with John Meredith in two races on his brand new Flying Scot in a 40 boat fleet. What an absolute blast that was with such a large fleet! I steered during the first race and John steered in the second race and we were lucky enough to win both.

Racing was followed by a party attended by 150 enthusiastic members who could all end up sailing iceboats. Deep Creek Lake’s relatively higher elevation helps it to freeze in the winter. Ray Gauthier made some really cool DN models which were on the tables at the party. Ray has been a US Sailing Judge for over 18 years and helped out with registration at the Gold Cup last season. The highlight of the party was when the iceboaters were invited to get on stage, wearing our helmets, and sing a DN version of YMCA, composed by Ray. (Song lyrics here.)

Thank you to John, Ray, and all the members of the Deep Creek Yacht Club for arranging such a memorable weekend.

I am always willing to help out any club who would like to host their own clinic and come to share everything I know about sailing and racing iceboats. Just give me a call at 586-790-5557.

Talking runners.

DNs set up to be tuned.

Sailing with John on the Flying Scot.

Ray's DN models.

DN Ice!

League Champs!

"The Genius Solutions Softball Team won their league championship the other night. The team led by comanagers' Raymond E. Modad and Tim Metcalfe won their last 6 games of the season to clinch the championship. Going into the last night there was a three way tie for first at the top of the leader board. On the last night the winds were gusting well over 30 knots which made pitching very difficult. In our last regular season game we played against the wind, but the team played great "D" and managed to win 11-3 over The Wise Guys a team that was tied for second going into the last night. This set up a winner take all playoff game against Schrammbox a team that was first in the league for the entire season. In the Championship game we were playing with the wind and the score showed it. We scored 5 to their 6 in the first inning and it looked like it was going to be a real tough battle. Schrammbox threw three different pitchers at us but our bats were just too hot. In the next three innings we scored 7, 9, and 13 runs to claim a final 34-10 mercy victory, and the Championship."

Torch Lake

On March 22, Griffin and I drove to Torch Lake for some sailing. The ice was rough and it was blowing 18-28 kts. according to Bob Grey's wind meter. We sailed up and down with out marks for a while and then drove down to see Jack Jacobs and his group sailing on Elk Lake in front of the White Birch Lodge. We spent an hour there and went back to Torch. We raced for the rest of the day with 20 different boats until the wind went down until 6:30. Bruce Williams and David Frost sailed until after 7:00. Griffin and I were the first ones to sail Sunday morning. The wind was light and shifty but built as the day went on and the racing got better and better. Bob Grey won a race early in the day on his 72nd birthday. He said it was the best birthday present a guy could have. Dick Wollam cooked brats, burgers, and had snacks and beers for all of us both days. Awesome!!! Griffin and I packed up and were on our way home by 3:40. Griffin won the last race he sailed and was totally pumped. The rest of the guys were still racing as we drove away.

Back At The Shop

Feb 19: Hardware and hull numbers installed.

Ed Cook's new hull, boom, and tiller. Ready for hardware on President's day.

Regatta Results

Gold Cup Results
Partial North American Results


DN Family Album

Pete Johns and Stan Woodruff at the 1982 DN North Americans in Canadaigua, NY
Here's a great collection of photos of past DN regattas from Susie Pegel.
See them all here.

Welcome 2015!

H-467 born 12-31-14 New Year's Eve

Ready for the DN Gold Cup and North Americans?

These guys are!

Western Challenge

The Western Challenge was sailed on some very beautiful ice on Lake Kegonsa near Madison, WI.
Ice Opti Results
Gold & Silver Results

On Board Video with Griffin at the Western Challenge

The Doctor Opens the Season

Today, November 15, 2014, in Minnesota. Mark Christensen reports that Lake Christina has 6" of consistent ice cover. Mark and quite a slew of other MN ice boaters including Mike Bloom, Western Region Commodore Mike Miller, Pat Huttner, John Bushey, Scott Brown, and Jim McDonagh are ripping it up on Lake Christina today. In case you are wondering, Mark says November 9th is the earliest he's ever sailed in MN.

First Chinese Boat Ready For Ice & Happiness

Here's the new DN which will soon be shipped to China. Red symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture.

C2 Builds CH1

Brand new Composites Concepts DN fresh out of the paint shop. This boat which has the first IDNIYRA Chinese number, CH1, will soon be on the way to China.

1st Annual Great Lakes Team Racing Championship at Bayview

"The weekend of October 18-19, 2014, I competed in the first annual Great Lakes Team Racing Championship. The event was held at Bayview Yacht Club on the Detroit River. Teams competed from all over the Great Lakes and we sailed Ultimate 20s. Each team had three boats with three sailors on each boat. The combined age of the three skippers on each team had to be at least 95 years which is how I got invited. I have to say, the only sailing I've done that is more fun than team racing is racing iceboats or steering Equation. The two other skippers on our team were Nathan Hollerbach, fresh off winning his second Prince of Wales, and his younger brother, Ian Hollerbach."
Continue reading.

National Sailing Hall of Fame Awards
Comes to Detroit

2012 NSHOF Inductee Mark Reynolds, Ron Sherry, 2014 Inductee Peter Harken, Griffin Sherry
" Eight of the sport of sailing’s significant contributors, as members of the 2014 Class of Inductees, were inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame at ceremonies that were the culmination of a weekend of activities co-hosted by Bayview and Detroit Yacht Clubs: Yachtsman, historian and senior statesman of the sport Henry H. “Harry” Anderson, Jr. (Newport, R.I./Mystic, Conn.); mathematician and navigator Nathaniel Bowditch (Salem, Mass.); boat builder and U.S. Olympic Sailing Team boatwright Carl Eichenlaub (San Diego, Calif.); brothers Olaf Harken and Peter Harken (both Pewaukee, Wisc.), respectively, boat builder and sailing hardware designer; naval architect and prolific writer L. Francis Herreshoff (Bristol, R.I./Marblehead, Mass.); 1960 5.5 Metre Olympic Gold Medalist and boat builder George O’Day (Brookline, Mass./Dover, Mass.); and Grand Prix yachtsman John B. “Jim” Kilroy (Marina del Rey, Calif.), the recipient of the NSHOF’s first Lifetime Achievement Award."

Saturday morning round table at Bayview Yacht Club chaired by Gary Jobson where junior sailors were invited to ask the inductees questions.

Each DRYA club chose a junior representative to ask questions and go sailing on classic yachts with the Hall of Famers and inductees. Griffin got to go sailing on a S&S Two Tonner which is the old Piranha and is now Aeristia and owned by Eric Hollerbach.

Mark Reynolds and Griffin Sherry.

Gary Jobson, Griffin Sherry, Ron Sherry

The 2014 Inductees

Peter & Edit who is looking forward to her first ice boat ride.

DIYC Annual Hooters Meeting

The Detroit Ice Yacht Club continues our annual tradition of meeting at Hooter's where we also celebrated the birthday's of everyone's favorite scorer, my sister, Loretta Sherry Rehe, and Harry Defer US99.

Ready for the Season

John Brewer & Tim Dixon picking up their new DN rocket ships at C2!


Griffin Foils

"My 17 year old son, Griffin, with me and George 'Bear' Pete for his first time sailing on a Moth. Griffin said getting on the Moth's foils was almost as much fun as hiking on a DN ice boat."
Click here to watch full size.
A True Fish Story!

Top left, proud dad Rick Paoletti, me, TJ and the man of the hour, Giovanni Paoletti with fish, bottom right his little brother Geitanno Paoletti. "On Sunday afternoon, July 6th, we were fishing at CSYC in our favorite spot where you can bring up rock bass almost as fast as you put a worm in the water. Suddenly, we realized that this little boy Giovanni had not caught a fish so I started teaching him how to use a sinker with an Eagle claw hook. He was still having trouble so I took the pole to show him the technique of bouncing the sinker off the bottom inbetween the rocks so the worm is just above the bottom. I hooked a small rock bass and handed him the pole. He was very excited and started to wind him in when a large mouth bass went after his little fish. Again and again the large mouth went after the little fish. The big fish would grab the little fish and swim away with it, and he would try and wind him in. We got out the net, but when the large fish saw the net it really swam away. TJ suggested we lower the little fish deeper into the water and he came back and some how we ended up hooking the big fish with the little fish in tow. By this time the large mouth was tired out and we were able to net him. What a riot it was with 8 of us cheering and looking over the edge of the sea wall. This was the big fish that did not get away, and a great story we will all talk about for years."


Ron and Ain Vilde of Estonia, winner of the very first Gold Cup sailed on Gull Lake in Michigan in 1973.

With sail maker Mike Boston, last minute tune ups before leaving for the DN Gold Cup and European Championship in Europe.

TJ, Griffin, and Frankie in Sailing Magazine

There's an article about Griffin, TJ, and Frankie Hearn in the February issue of Sailing Magazine. It's not available online but you can pick it up at a store or download it on your Ipad. Really nice interviews with all three of them.


"It takes a brave heart, a keen interest in cryogenics, and a thick coating of neoprene to climb into an iceboat and fly across a frozen lake at upwards of 60 miles per hour. But hey, hard-water sailors don't mind. What else would they do with all their free time?" Click here to continue reading one of the best stories ever written about ice boating.

Ron's 2014 North Americans Report

"As I came out of the boat, my legs took the tiller with me causing the boat to turn hard right. My shoulder got hung up on the side stay and as the boat spun out, I was sling-shotted away from the boat." Read the whole story here.

2014 North Americans Complete

Congratulations to all competitors including Mark "The Doctor" Christensen for second place with only one point separating first and second. Congratulations to Steve Orelebeke for third place and to Mike Derusha for fourth.
Results here. Stand by for a regatta report from Ron soon.

On The Road to the North Americans

"Does anyone know where we are going?" The answer is yes, we are on the way to Plattsburgh, New York where we will register for the 2014 North American championship on Wednesday night. Stay tuned for more from the road.
All official information is posted on the DN website.


My Father's Headstone

We have chosen to honor my father's legacy by including his Renegade on his headstone.

Passing of a Legend Lorne Sherry 1929-2013

Link to obituary.
UPDATE: Here is the eulogy which Ron delivered at his father's funeral.
Click here to read.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of the man who has had the biggest influence on Ron's life, his father, Lorne Sherry. He was a well-known Renegade ice boat sailor and won the International Renegade Ice Yachting Association Championship in 1972, 1973, and 1984. He won the Renegade title in the Northwest Ice Yachting Association regatta in 1987 and 2001.
One of Ron's best memories was the time he and his father tried out for the 1984 Olympics sailing a Tornado together. "We ended up 11th and had two second place finishes in the last two races. It was such a great experience to do that with my father."

Lorne and Ron with their Renegade ice boats on Lake Mendota in Madison, WI.

Here's an interview with the 3 generations of Sherry ice boaters Lorne, Ron, and Ron's son, Griffin. These two clips are Loren's portion of the interview.

View from Equation

"Here's picture that Mike Rehe took from the top of the mast on Equation during our Friday night Booze Cruise on Lake Charlevoix before the Red Fox Regatta. Dr. John Harper is at the helm. Tom Dawson and his wife Lorie are on board. Chris Clark is our navigator. We definitely have a few ice boaters scattered among the 20 crew."
See more photos here.

2013 Mackinac Race

The crew of Equation readies for the race.
Ron is at the helm of Equation today for the 2013 Chicago to Mackinac race. Follow the action here.

Check out this split screen video of the third race on Lake Baikal in Siberia from April 2013

See what's in Ron's head and how he works the boat during a race. Click here to see full screen.
DN Ice Yacht Racing on Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. Read more about sailing on Lake Baikal here on "Ron in Russia".

Griffin Sherry's 2013 Centrals Report

Photo Credit: Catherine Firmbach
"It’s really important not to worry about how well you do but to have fun, that’s the most important part of any sailing. If you aren’t having fun, you are in the wrong sport."
Read Griffin's first ever regatta report here.

"Ice Boating Championships Held on Lake St. Clair"

The Macomb Daily
By Tom Watts
January 5, 2014
"It was 'like father like son' last weekend on frozen Lake St. Clair when Griffin Sherry of Clinton Township won the Central Lakes Regional Ice Boating championships."
Click here to continue reading article.

" Wind Power" on All Russian TV: Now Translated

IDNIYRA Europe Commodore Joerg Bohn interviewed for Russian TV on Lake BaikalCheck out this great 13 minute video about the 2013 Baikal Cup from Russian television. Many thanks to our good friend, Valeriy Dichenko R166, from Vladivostok who took the time to translate the video into English.
Read the translation here.

Sharing the Wisdom

Got a bottle of wine and no corkscrew? No problem! You never know what useful pearls of wisdom you might learn in the hotel hallway at a DN regatta. KC 4536 Bob Crinion passes along his knowledge of how to remove a cork using a screwdriver and a string during the 2013 Western Challenge regatta in LaCrosse, WI.
1. Push cork into the wine bottle with with a screwdriver or something similiar
2. Tie a double figure eight knot on a piece of string
3. Push the knotted end of the string into the wine bottle and get it past the cork
4. Pull the string and cork out of the bottle
5. Enjoy your corkless wine!

2013 Western Challenge Results

Photo Credit: Jim McDonagh
Griffin, Ron, and TJ

From iceboating.net
"Congratulations to Mr. Ron Sherry for a strong showing on Sunday in the light air. He came back to win the regatta and at the same time he had a great time getting his boys out on the ice for an epic father son weekend." Continue reading.

Sail With TJ Sherry

John Harper DN US60 attached his Go Pro camera to TJ Sherry's Ice Optimist at the 2010 Ice Optimist North American Championship Regatta sailed on Lake Charlevoix in Michigan. Click here to watch on Youtube.

Sailing Skimmers at Leon's

"Though I'm no Dave Elsmo (University of Wisconsin Sailing Coach), we were able to get five people who had never experienced an ice boat sailing these past few days and hope to get more out in the Nite." Pictures here.
Ron Sherry

Racing on Anchor Bay

For the first time in several years, the Detroit Yacht Club raced for the Strat Hendrie memorial trophy on Anchor Bay on March 3, 2013.
1- Ron Sherry 5pts
2- Jim Grogan 14pts
3-George Peet 19pts
4-George Reese 20pts
5-Griffin Sherry 24pts
6-Jody Kjoller 29pts
7-Don Jones 38pts
8- Don Niles 40pts

"Clinton Township ice boat racers among nation’s best"

By Tom Watts
For Journal Register Newspapers

"Griffin Sherry is only 15 years old, but the Clinton Township teenager raced with the big boys and finished in fifth place out of 42 competitors at the North American Gold Fleet Ice Boating Championship held on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minn."
Continue reading.

Ron Interviews Griffin

Ron interviews his 15 year old son, Griffin, before his first DN Worlds start. Click here to watch on Youtube.

2013 North Americans

See photos here.

2013 Gold Cup Photos

Photos from sailing and awards here.

Ron's Race Start at 2013 Worlds

Click here to watch in full size on You Tube.

Opening Ceremony

The Russian and American flags are raised at the opening ceremony of the 2012 DN Worlds and North American Championship. Click here to watch on Youtube.

2013 North Americans

Results from the North American championships.

2013 Gold Cup

Final Results Here.

Ron’s report from the 2013 Gold Cup:
Day 1 Report:
" We got there on time and the whole team out to the race course in plenty of time. We had to make sure that Griffin was ready to sail in the mini qualifier with the right equipment. He wanted to stay with the full sail and I convinced him to put the flat sail on. I put on a set of Teutsch aluminum winged ¼” runners. We went out to the course but it was a bit short and it was moved to accommodate a longer course. We stopped where the old leeward mark but Griffin was already there changing his runners so I had him take off all the extra equipment and go out and test this set up. It felt really good to him and I wanted him to try it without there being too many people around. He liked the feel of the boat. It was blowing pretty hard and I wanted to make sure he was going to be in control. I wanted to make sure that Griffin was comfortable in his first Gold Cup. We sailed down to the new pits and got ready for the first Silver fleet qualifier. You just can’t imagine how excited I was when I saw Griffin round the first leeward mark in a 62 boat race in first place! He held the lead through the second lap but ended up third and qualified for the Gold fleet. The wind got a little lighter on the third lap and the 15 lb. Teutsch runners might have held him back a little bit but he qualified for Gold. I actually prayed to Art to take care of Griffin and I think he helped. When Griffin finished he was upset that he lost the race but I told him that it didn’t matter because he qualified for Gold and that score goes away and he’s tied for first with me right now! I changed runners on my own boat to 3/16” with carbon wings and low pro front runner. I went out for a quick test sail and the boat felt good. The wind seemed to keep getting lighter so just before the start of the Gold fleet race I switched to the FO1 sail. I actually got a good start and held my lane. I was in the top three at the first weather mark but got passed by a couple boats and dropped to fifth. Griffin ended up 42nd. It was very tough conditions with rain coming down, zero visibility, and the window completely covered with ice, and having to keep rubbing my goggles to keep them clear. Griffin was having the same trouble and worked very hard just to be safe. After we finished racing the precipitation increased and the race committee called the raced for the day. We changed back to our travel runners and sailed back to the pits, loaded everything in the pits, went back to the hotel, and now our room is completely covered with sails and all of our gear drying out."

2012 Centrals: Houghton Lake Fantastic Venue

Great story in the Houghton Lake Resorter about the 2012 DN Centrals. Check it out here.

2013 Western Regionals

See results and photos here.
Top 5 Gold Results

US44 Sherry, Ron
US4824 Christensen, Mark
US4691 Dennis, John
US4926 Orlebeke, Steve
US5014 Isabell, Mark

Top 5 Silver Results

1 US5501 Orlebeke, Peter
2 US5430 Cutting, Bill
3 US5486 Elsmo, Dave
4 US4602 Kickhafer, David
5 US5508 Sugar, Tim
Regatta Memories from Gull Lake, Michigan

Ron's father, Lorne, sailing his Renegade Startdust.

Shirley Cross Fortune was kind enough to share with us this fifteen minute video from the 1958 Northwest Ice Yachting Association Regatta sailed on Gull Lake in Michigan. Shirley grew up ice boating with her father, Wally Cross (look for the guy in the cowboy hat). The regatta received a lot of press coverage. Jane Pegel DN805, competed in this regatta, winning the NIYA Womens DN trophy along with placing second in at least two races, shared her archives relating to this regatta here.


Jan Gougeon

Butch Babcock, Ron Sherry, and Jan Gougeon at the Bay City Yacht Club Great Lakes Multi Hull Championship in August 2012.
Four time DN World champion, seven time DN North American champion and Ron's mentor, Jan Gougeon, passed away December 18, 2012.
Ron relates, "He was a mentor in the truest form, from when I started ice boating as a 'red headed snot-nosed kid' all the way throughout my life. I'm so glad I got to sail with him last summer on his catamaran, Strings." Announcement on the West System website.
Lessons Learned from Jan Gougeon
By Ron Sherry
" If every one followed Jan’s example of how to live life and treat people the world would have a lot more fun. I could write a book titled “What I Learned From Jan Gougeon” but it would take volumes. So I am going to tell you a few stories about building, racing, and dealing with people that we all need to remember and try to live by." Continue reading.

2012 Central Regionals

The 2012 DN Central Regionals were sailed on Houghton Lake in Michigan.
Gold fleet December 29-30, 2012.
Top 5 Gold Fleet
1 44 SHERRY, RON(S) 1 1 1 1 1 2 ( 6) 7.00
2 183 STRUBLE, MATT 2 2 (3) 2 2 1 2 11.00
3 5224 THIELER, JAMES 3 (25) 2 3 10 3 1 22.00
4 60 HARPER, JOHN (S) 4 3 4 5 5 (9) 5 26.00
5 216 POTCOVA, RICHARD 6 4 7 6 (8) 4 4 31.00

See all final results here.
Meanwhile in the Western Region, there's another regatta being sailed, the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Grand Slam where the "Doctor", Mark Christensen, has four bullets. Results after day one here.

2012 Great Western Challenge DN Regatta

Photo by Chris Clark- Ron takes pictures as Griffin gets ready to race his Ice Optimist

Michigan DNer and photographer Chris Clark DN US4789 captured some fantastic shots at the Great Western Challenge. See his photo gallery here.

Click here to link to full size video.
The first North American ice sailing regatta of the season was held on Pelican Lake in Minnesota December 1-2, 2012. The North American Ice Optimist Championship was sailed in conjunction with the Western Challenge. Congratulations to Griffin Sherry for winning the Ice Optimist championship and for placing second in the DN Silver Fleet.
Results posted here.

Detroit Ice Yacht Club 12-12-12 @ 12:12 PM

The Detroit Ice Yacht Club gathered at Hooters to celebrate the day.

New C2 DN On the Ice

Minnesota ice sailor Pat Huttner enjoying early season sailing with his new Composite Concepts DN on Lake Christina in Ashby, MN.

At the SIBC Swap Meet in Williams Bay, WI

Ron and Loretta attended the 27th annual Skeeter Ice Boat Club's Swap Meet in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.

Composite Concepts at Gull Lake

Ron attended the swap meet sponsored by the Gull Lake, MI Ice Yacht Club.

Toledo Ice Yacht Club's Aaron and Kim Stange 11 month old baby boy, Jacob, (alias Wolfgang) with aunt Erica in early iceboat training at Gull Lake.

Hard At It In The Shop

October is a busy time in the shop for Ron, making DN hulls, planks, masts, and all other kinds of ice boat components.
Steve Orlebeke's DN hull before the decking.

Steve's hull with decking October 24, 2012.

Peter Lundt's DN runner plank.

14 new DN bullnose runners.

On the Bench

Ron is busy in the shop getting boats ready for the upcoming season. Here's a new hull for Pewaukee, WI DNer Steve Orelebeke. But then...

"Steve won't know until he hits a bump..
10 lbs. at each end!"
Leon Lebeau stopped by to help make Steve go "faster".


"Fantastic Festival"

Grosse Pointe News
May 24, 2012
"The Great Lakes Boating Festival took place at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club May 18-20...Three generations of Sherrys, from left, Lorne, Griffin and Ron, who is sailing director at GPYC, stand near an ice boat display at the Great Lakes Boating Festival. Lorne raced from 1950-2004 and is a three-time world renegade champion. Ron started racing when he was 4 years old and is a five-time world champion and 10-time North American champion. Griffin has been ice boat racing since he was 4 and is a three-time North American Opti champion."
See photos and article here.

Ron's 50th Birthday Party Photos

Posted here!

Bill Sarns

Bill & Ron
March 26, 2012
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bill Sarns, a legend of the ice boating world. Bill founded Sarns Hardware in Harrison Township, Michigan in the late 1940s. He made quality hardware available to the masses at a very affordable price allowing thousands of people to enjoy the sport of ice sailing. Bill machined parts for DNs, Nites, Arrows, and made custom Skeeter hardware. He was instrumental in helping to establish the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association and served as the first class secretary. Bill made the Sarns DN plans available so that everyone could make build them. Bill's wife, Joan, said that he was all right until the last two days and that he thought everything was going to be okay. Let’s keep the spirit of Bill Sarns alive by helping fellow ice boaters in any way we can. Put some extra time into helping sailors get a chance to go for their first ride and get established. Bill's funeral is Saturday, March 31, 2012."
Ron Sherry
Link to obituary.

DN North Americans Photo CD

Mike Derusha DN US2545 and Sam Meyers DN US2645 in close battle
Photographer Catherine Firmbach has a 2012 DN North Americans Regatta Highlights photo CD, containing 1,000 images, available for $25.00.
Click here for ordering information.
We've posted some of them on the Ice Boat Racing Photos page here.

Photos: DN North Americans and the Northwest Regatta

Here's a really cool photo gallery from the 2012 DN North Americans and Northwest Ice Yacht Racing Association Regatta (NIYA) both sailed on Green Bay. Above photo is of Dan Clapp's Insanity, winner of the Skeeter Class at the NIYA. There are quite a few shots from the North Americans too.

2012 DN North American Championships

By Ron Sherry DN US44
"Mother Nature has been showing her sense of humor this season. She tested our patience at this year’s North Americans again. When we picked up Joerg Bohn G737, Jost Kolb G936, and Dideric Van Reimsdijk H467 from the airport on Tuesday, we thought we were going to Lake Champlain in Vermont. Joerg was making early predictions of Green Bay and I hate it when he is right." Continue reading.

1 US44 SHERRY, RON 1 1 3 5.00
2 US4691 DENNIS, JOHN 3 2 1 6.00
3 US183 STRUBLE, MATT 2 4 2 8.00 4 US5224 THIELER, JAMES 8 6 4 18.00
5 G737 BOHN, JORG 4 3 13 20.00

1 US4055 STRUBLE, BOB (M) 3 1 1 5.00
2 US4249 KAISER, RICHARD (M) 1 3 6 10.00
3 US4291 KALLMAN, RICK 2 4 5 11.00
4 US1277 BOWMAN, HAL (GM) 5 5 2 12.00
5 US5435 KJOLLER, JODY 6 7 4 17.00

Click here to see awards ceremony pictures.

"Ice boating away on a new day"

By Tom Watts
For The Daily Tribune
Have passion in what you do.
"Ron Sherry has passion and it was evident last week when the Clinton Township resident won his 10th career DN North American Iceboat Championship held in Green Bay, Wis." Continue reading.

2012 DN Gold Cup According to Ron

"The 2012 Worlds presented many challenges. Going into these events I want to be prepared as possible because I don’t want have any excuses for not doing well. If I don’t win, it’s because of mistakes I make. If I listed all the things that I did wrong on this trip you would wonder how I got around the race course at all. So I’ve decided to first list the things that I did right."
Continue reading.

2011 Centrals Results

Click here to see results.

Sarah Somes 2011 IDNIYRA Centrals Recap

By Sarah Somes, pictured above
"I have spent many winters waiting for the ice to melt and feel the first splashes of spring, but on December 28 I received an invitation that opened new doors to my world of sailing. George Peet invited me to meet up with Ron Sherry and Mike Rehe on Lake Missaukee, Lake City, MI for IDNIYRA 2011 Central Lakes Championship."

Continue reading.

With eight hours to pack and sleep, I scrounged up all the warm gear I could get my hands on and started my adventure. I originally planned on learning the boat and playing around on the ice, but the incredible support and encouragement from all of the competitors, event organizers, and volunteers gave me the courage to register and race.

We left early Thursday morning and were registered and racing in 6 hours. When we arrived the temperature was in the 20s and blowing about 15 kts. We jumped right into action rigging the boats Ron Sherry supplied for Charlie Trost, another new ice boater, and I. In the morning Ron, Mike, and George helped Charlie and I learn the rules, sail with proper form, rig our DNs, and gave a short tutorial as we sailed to the starting line.

The ice was wavy but had no pressure ridges or obstructions on the race course. Throughout the day we experienced a steady shift east from the southeast, lighter pressure with gusts in the teens, and periods of snow and low visibility. Gold Fleet kept a fresh level of intensity and excitement while the rest of the Silver Fleet and I watched and learned, patiently waiting for our turn to feel the rush and hear our runners glide over the ice.

I was one among six new racers, of the 14 in Silver Fleet, and all of us were greeted with excitement and advice after every race making all 5 races thrilling and fun.

My favorite part of the race is after the finish, when all the boats stop and the skippers hop out to meet the other fleet waiting for their start; I saw joy on everyone’s face. After racing we all walked to a nearby restaurant where I got the chance to meet many other competitors. The atmosphere among the members of the IDNIYRA was very enjoyable and inviting for newcomers like myself.

In one day I learned how to sail, rig and derig a DN, stone and grease the runners, read the ice and the conditions, sail with apparent wind angles, starting, finishing (without cutting the starting line), the differences between hard water and soft water racing rules, ice boating safety, and most importantly the joy of the sport and sharing the experience with friends.

I’d like to thank Rich Potcova, Eric Lind, Ron Sherry, George Peet, Mike Rehe, Loretta Rehe, and the Traverse City guys that found the ice for making this opportunity possible. I appreciate you welcoming me into iceboat racing and making it a great first experience.

Hide this content.

December 29, 2011: Collegiate sailor, Sarah Somes, sailing an ice boat not only for the first time, but in her first regatta at the DN Centrals on Missaukee Lake near Cadillac, Michigan. She's in 4th place in the Silver fleet after the first day! Photographer Gretchen Dorian captured the day's sailing and has posted pictures on her website.

2012 IDNIYRA Western Region Regatta

The 2012 IDNIYRA Western Region Regatta was sailed December 7-8 on Green Lake in Spicer, Minnesota. The 59 skippers including 3 Ice Opt sailors enjoyed three days of excellent conditions on 10" of snow-free ice that was hazard free and basically smooth with a slight amount of texture. The warm conditions made for excellent grip as well as no complaints of being cold. On Friday's training day, the wind was blowing 25 knots which made for exciting conditions with a few spin outs and break downs. It was good to get practice in those kind of conditions so that when they come up on race day you have the confidence to compete. It was really great to get a chance to work with all the top ice boaters of the Western Region. Working on our tuning together will only make me more competitive at the Worlds in Germany at the end the month. Quite a few Spicer residents came down to the ice to see what the excitement was about and learn about ice boating. Congratulations to Hal Bowman
DN US1277 for taking first in the Silver fleet.
Results here.

Thoughts On Tuning From the 2012 DN Western Regionals

By Ron Sherry, DN US44
I believe you need a looser rig when you are having a hard time getting the boat going. I mean so light and/or sticky that you might have to push more than once. After that, you need to tighten the rig as the breeze starts to build. Then when it is really windy, you need to loosen the rig again so that you have more control and do not spin out.
On Green Lake in Minnesota at the 2012 DN Western Regionals, we had excellent ice conditions with 4-9 kts of breeze. I think this is the condition when you want to have the rig set as stiff as you will ever need it. These conditions are when you want to get the boat to hike so that you can make sure you are pointing high enough upwind and low enough downwind.
Don't get me wrong, it is still possible to make the boat too stiff. When you get the boat set up the way you like it, try making small rig adjustments and see if you can feel the difference in how quickly the boat hikes.
Good luck and great sailing.
Click here for printable pdf file.
Read complete DN Tuning Guide here.

Great Western Challenge

Ice Optimist skippers at the GWC

"The first regatta of the season was sailed on Lake Christina in Ashby, Minnesota, December 2-4, 2011. Over 70 DNs and 3 Ice Optimists sailed in this non-sanctioned tuning regatta, some sailing a DN for their very first time.

Friday's high winds limited racing to the truly brave (or crazy) with winds blasting over 30 kts. Several sailors who attempted to sail on the hard fast ice and big breeze found themselves spinning out. The harsh conditions put a premium on mainsheet maintenance. Joerg Bohn DN G737 remarked, "We'd better race again before the wind completely dies." Friday was Joerg's day and he fully tortured his new Composite Concepts hull and mast and loved every minute of it.

Saturday was just a perfect day with hard, fast ice and 8-12 kt winds. We sailed 5 races each in the Gold and Silver fleets and 4 Ice Optimist races. After 5 races in the Gold fleet, second, third, and fourth were separated by only 1 point. It was truly perfect conditions where everyone had control, speed, and fun. The level of equipment on display at this regatta gave everybody a chance to win.

Griffin Sherry waits for the start of the Silver Fleet race. Photo Credit: Kent Baker

Sunday's wind conditions were much lighter and there was only one race each in the Gold and Silver fleets. The best part of Sunday was when Skip Dieball had 120 lb. Griffin Sherry race his DN in what was the last race of the Silver fleet and he finished second.

The good news is that all the Europeans have called me to tell me that they've made it home safe and sound. A big thanks to all of them for making the trip and making it a truly international event."
Ron Sherry DN US 44
Regatta results
Hal Bowman DN US 2177 3rd Silver fleetJoerg Bohn DN G737 7th Gold fleetWolfgang Butlger DN G597 13th GoldUwe Dieckmann DN G600 25th Gold



Jan Gougeon
lauches his latest Catamaran creation, Strings, on
July 9, 2011.

Celebrating the Life of James Wendell Sherry

By Ron Sherry
"I don’t know about all of you, but these situations always leave me with more questions than answers. My name is Ron Sherry. Wendell is my uncle."
Continue reading.

2011 IDNIYRA Gold Cup Report

by Ron Sherry US-44
JANUARY 2011: "I finally had time to work on my own equipment with all the orders filled, lots of extra parts made, and charter boats organized, aligned and shimmed. I checked the profile and shimmed 20 sets of runners, that’s right, 60 runners. Most of them had been prepped before but still a huge task." Continue reading.

2006 North American Championship Photos

Merili Randma and Ron,
"Here are some pictures from the last time the Estonian princess, Merili Randma, graced our fleet in 2006 at the North American Championships on Lake Pepin where she took first place in the Silver fleet."

TBT: 1982 Gold Cup

Throw Back Thursday:
Here we are after the 1982 Gold Cup in Wittensee, Germany. Fom left,the late and great Jan Gougeon of Bay City, MI-first place, me (Ron Sherry)-second, Vaiko Vooramaa of Estonia/USSR-third, Goran Tell of Sweden-fourth, and Harald Stuertz of West Germany, fifth.