Shirley Robertson OBE, Double gold medallist and TV Presenter

  Hard water sailing
17 March 2011

Hard water sailing

Minus 20 on the island of the Saaremaa off the coast of Estonia and Shirley has to man up and take to the ice for the DN Ice Europeans. This is hard core, hard water sailing at high speed. Blasting over freezing lakes in excess of 100 miles an hour Shirley reported that: “this was one of the best things I’ve ever done in a magical environment and with very special people”

The International DN (The name stands for Detroit News, where the first iceboat of this type was designed and built in the winter of 1936-1937) is 12 feet (3.7 m) long, with a 21 inch (53 cm) wide cockpit and an 8 foot (2.4 m) wide runner plank. The 16 foot (4.9 m) mast supports 60 square feet (6.5 m²) of sail area. The front runner is typically rigged with a steering rod that connects the runner to a tiller that is mounted just aft of the mast base. The boat weighs 100 lb (45 kg), features a narrow, single-person cockpit, three steel blades in tricycle style arrangement and a steeply raked mast and remains to this day the most popular ice boat design in use.

Don’t miss the action on CNN Mainsail, showtimes (all times GMT) as follows:

  • Thursday 17 March: 1230, 1830
  • Saturday 19 March: 0730, 1600, 2330
  • Sunday 20 March: 0430, 0830, 1930

Or watch here: CNN Mainsail – March 2011

DN Ice Europeans