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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(sand yacht), a cockpit or platform mounted on skates or wheels, which moves over ice or flat dry land by means of sails, used for sports and tourism.

The first iceboats (sailboats on runners) appeared in Russia in the 18th century; later, a triangular frame was substituted for the sailboat. Such iceboats were used by the northern shore dwellers and fishermen on Lake Onega for their trades and everyday transportation. The first iceboat races within Russia were held in 1890 at the St. Petersburg River Yacht Club. Ice boating won recognition as a sport somewhat earlier in the USA, where the first sports iceboat was built in 1790 and an ice-boating club was formed in 1856. In 1875 the first international racing prize was established, contest rules were developed, and iceboat classes were defined. Ice-boating sports have gained tremendous popularity since the early 20th century in the Baltic area; iceboat races have been held in Haapsalu, Estonia, since 1904. The European Ice Yachting Union was founded in 1931. In the USSR the first all-Union competition took place in Riga in 1946; championship tournaments have been held regularly in the USSR since 1947.

In modern-sports iceboats or sand yachts a steering runner or wheel is fastened to the hull (a cockpit or platform for seating the crew members) and connected to a tiller or steering wheel, and a crossbar is attached to the hull with two lateral runners (wheels) at the ends to provide the necessary stability and good maneuverability. The hull is rigged with a mast and sail. Iceboats usually develop speeds of 60-80 km/hr. The Soviet sportsmen who have attained the best results in iceboat races (I. P. Matveev, 1949; E. F. Kuz’minov, 1956; P. T. Tolstikhin, 1962; and V. E. Girs, 1966) have attained speeds of 96-122 km/hr in various iceboat classes. Competitions are held for international-class monotype iceboats (monotypes HU and D) and national-class iceboats (S-20 and S-12 from Group A and S-12 from Group B). Monotype iceboats are built and qualified according to a uniform set of official regulations which specify strict limitations on all dimensions. The design and basic dimensions of national-class iceboats are not rigidly restricted, except for the sizes of the sail, mast, and certain other parts. World records for sports iceboating are not recorded. Continental championship tournaments are conducted by the international associations of Europe and America.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) iceboats were used for reconnaissance, communications, and transport, particularly to maintain contact with besieged Leningrad along the Road of Life across Lake Ladoga.


Korovel’skii, D. N. Buernyi sport. Moscow, 1969


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1966, Dutchman Wim Van Acker acquainted Poles with the DN class ice boat invented in the United States in 1937 and named after the Detroit News, a newspaper in the Michigan port city of the same name, which ran a competition for a model iceboat.
Part of a serial publication entitled The Photographic Portfolio: A Monthly View of Canadian Scenery, McLaughlin's The Ice Boat was accompanied by a text which remarked that on those rare occasions when the St Lawrence River froze over into a smooth sheet, "innumerable vehicles, such as the one represented in the foreground, may be seen fearlessly traversing the frozen deep in every direction, with inconceivable rapidity." In this view, the indistinct edges of the sail and the ghostly appearance of the gentleman holding the horse (left) attest to the slow exposure required.
Mikolajczak's recall of the long-ago winter night when they took their ice boats out on Webster Lake.