VIDEO: Ice sailors from around the world compete in Battle Lake

Ice sailing competitors from around the world compete in Battle Lake

Battle Lake, Minnesota saw a little bit of the entire world this weekend.

Combine freezing temps with a gusting wind and you've got a perfect day to sail, on ice. "We love the speed, we love the weather... sometimes, sometimes not, haha," says Wisconsin ice racer Bob Rast.

Battle Lake is the scene for 60 iceboat racers to kick off their 2018 season. With two world champs involved, the talent pool is looking pretty good. "Well, depends on what good is, we all do our best, we all have our days. Some guys are faster than others, but most of the boats are pretty fast," says Rast.


Fast might be an understatement. These things can go more than 60 miles an hour, which makes the six-mile race go by pretty quick. But, it must be fun because some racers traveled a lot further than 6 miles to compete.

"We came all the way from the other side of the Transatlantic and we come from Hungary; me and my son Steve," says Hungarian racer Pete Hamrak.

Racers tell us it's the combination of difficulty, friendly competition and a massive adrenaline rush that kept this Battle Lake tradition sailing for the last 20 years.

"That's why we keep driving thousands of kilometers to race maybe an hour or two in total over the weekend maybe three hours maybe four if we're lucky and go home with a smile," says Swiss racer Arnaud.

If cruising at a calm sixty miles an hour in a hard water sailboat sounds like a good time to you, Arnaud warns that it can be addicting.

"Maybe don't take that chance, because if you take that chance you're done, you're hooked for life basically," says Arnaud.

So if you're looking for a lifetime hobby to speed through your winters, you might find it here. You'll just have to catch the competition first. The Battle Lake Ice Boat Regatta started with just over ten racers twenty years ago and now it's grown to around sixty.

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