The Great Western Challenge DN Iceboat Regatta took place on Lake Christina in Northwest Douglas County last weekend.

About 50 boats were on hand for the regatta, which is sponsored by the Minnesota Ice Sailing Association.

Lake Christina is typically the site of the association's first event each year, due to its shallow depths and quick freeze.

The three-day event included scrub racing Friday, with regular racing Saturday and Sunday. There were more than 35 competitors on hand from all over the U.S. as well as from Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.

Iceboat racing has been happening in the U.S. for more than 150 years, but has been popular in Europe for more than 400 years.

Iceboating got its start as a fast way to travel and transport goods during the winter months in Europe.

Racers typically reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, although speeds were slower this past weekend due to the warm temperatures.

More information and results from the Lake Christina event can be found online at www.iceboating.net.

WHAT IS AN ICE BOAT?

An ice boat is a hull attached to a perpendicular cross piece called a runner plank. Three skates, or runners, are attached to the boat, one on each end of the plank and at the fore end of the hull. Ice boats are strictly wind powered and need relatively snow-free ice to sail.