born in April of 1953, went home September 1, 2015.
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.
Ron's 2015 Port Huron to Mackinac Photo Gallery
Here are over 100 of Ron's photos taken during the Port Huron to Mackinac race on Equation.
2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
Follow Ron on Equation and Griffin on Fast Tango this weekend during the
Port Huron to Mackinac race. Race tracking is here.
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.
See Ron at the Deep Creek Lake DN Clinic
Deep Creek Lake Yacht Club
Featuring Ron Sherry
Friday, June 19, 2015
Deep Creek Yacht Club
204 Yacht Club Road
Swanton, Maryland 21561
For more information, contact
Ray Gauthier 410-320-4823
Schedule of Events:
11:00 Introduction of Ron Sherry 11:00 Slide show of DN racing by Ron 11:45 Chalk talk on basic tuning of the DN Hull, Plank, Mast and Runners 12:30 Break for BYO lunch
1:00 Demonstrate tuning on US 6001 2:00 Review of club members DN’s and Ron’s suggestions Sailors to take notes on Wish List form
3:30 Short break
3:45 Ron to demonstrate runner sharpening
4:15 Continue review of boats
5:15 Ron to wrap up with recap and more slide show
6:30 BYO Dinner at the club
"Iceboating Rules the Lakes"
Just like several other clubs in the Detroit area that have with stood the test of time, many were started by iceboaters including the Detroit Athletic Club. Quite a few of the founding fathers of the club were iceboaters. Writer Joe Cabadas contacted me about doing an iceboat article and of course I agreed. His timing couldn't have been better because we were just gathering with all of our European DN friends at Z's Villa making preparations to leave for the DN World Championship in Kingston, Ontario. Check out the article here.
Ron Returns to Russia
"Leon and I finally have our airline tickets to Irkutsk, Russia where we will take a bus to Lake Baikal. It is quite an adventure just to get that far. Getting the Russian visa was an odyssey in and of itself."
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.
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.
Ready for the DN Gold Cup and North Americans?
On Board Video with Griffin at the Western Challenge
First Iceboat Ride for Eloise
"Dad, let's talk runner alignment."
For her very important first iceboat ride, Eloise is making sure her dad, JD, has his boat ready for next weekend's Great Western Challenge, the opening fun regatta of the season that will take place somewhere in Minnesota. International competitors will be arriving from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden to sail the WC. Watch for the latest updates on the Minnesota website.
My Video from 2014 European Championship
The Great Packers/Lions Snickers Bet
Jane Pegel and Ron bet a Snickers bar on the first game of the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions football game. The Lions won and Jane paid up at Sunday's Skeeter Ice Boat Club Swap Meet. Ron taped the candy bar to his cheesehead because he thinks there's a good chance she'll get the candy bar back when the teams meet again in December.
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."
National Sailing Hall of Fame website.
Ron's Chicago to Mackinac Photo Album
Ready for Chicago to Mackinac
It's less than a week until the race from Chicago to Mackinac Island begins. Follow us on Equation as we set sail on July 11.
A Fan's Guide to the Race to Mackinac
With 324 boats participating in the 333-mile journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island this year, the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust will offer plenty of opportunities for fans to view the boats on land, on the water, and from anywhere else you might be. Here’s how you can see and track the 2015 race.
A special welcome to the newest member of the Detroit iceboating community and Leon's first grandchild who was born on June 17. Mom Leanne and baby Greyson are doing great.
Throw Back Thursday
Another New Boat Delivered!
Ed Cook came and picked up his fourth new boat today. He is very happy with his custom wood boom and tiller.
Back At The Shop
Cathy's DN Gold Cup Photos
Ron & Griffin conferring at the Gold Cup.
Cathy Firmbach shot some high quality photos during the Worlds.
See them here.
DN Gold Cup Drone Video
Excellent footage from the 2015 DN Gold Cup sailed on Lake Ontario in Kingston, Ontario, CA. Watch the full size version on Youtube.
Wanna Go For An Iceboat Ride??
Sailing with Ron, Griffin, and Matt Struble on Lake Skegamog, December 21, 2014. Click here to watch on Youtube.
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
C2 Builds CH1
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."
Fall Runner Tracks Magazine Now Online
Another fantastic issue of the magazine of the IDNIYRA, Runner Tracks, proudly sponsored by Composite Concepts. See it here!
HOT of the Press!
Ron In Russia
2 Stories In The Russian Media:
"Lake Baikal hosted international competitions in ice sailing. Five days in the Gulf of Kurminskom 50 riders competed with each other to become the owner of the Cup of Baikal. Was the most successful sailor from the United States Ron Sherry, who won almost all the races...." Click here to continue reading.
4-12-2013: DN Worlds to Baikal in 2016?
"Vladimir Silkin visited regatta in the class DN ice yacht on Lake Baikal During President VlaRon in Russiadimir Silkin RYF on "Cup of Baikal" by buernomu sport meeting of the heads of Russian Yachting Federation with Irkutsk Region Governor Sergei Eroschenko on which agreement was reached on the Baikal World Championship in ice boat in 2016." Continue reading.
Asia Cup and Baikal Cup results are posted here.
The first video from Lake Baikal.
Click here to watch on Youtube.
Photo Credit: Alexadra van Egmond
Ron is back from Russia and has many stories, photos, and video to share on the blog. Inadequate internet access made it impossible to keep the blog updated while he was there but he did keep a record s and will be sharing that in the upcoming days.