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Harnessing ice and wind for thrills in Michigan's UP

Competitors during last year's ice and snow sailing championship in Finland
Competitors during last year's ice and snow sailing championship in Finland

If you were listening to Michigan Radio last night, you might have caught a snippet on PRI's The World about a unique winter sports championship that took place recently in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with contestants from all over the globe.

In case you missed it, here's the general idea.

Imagine strapping on skates, skis, or a sled and holding on to a large sail while winter winds blow you at high speeds across a frozen lake. That was the name of the game at the 2012 World Ice and Snow Sailing Championship held February 20-26 in St. Ignace.

According to the event's website, this year's competition was the first in 17 years to be held in the United States. But organizers said the location "offers the ideal conditions" for the sport because the "westerly winds that come across Lake Michigan are unobstructed for over 100 miles."

If you listen to The World's report, you can hear from competitors who traveled to the UP from far-flung locales including the reigning world champ who hails from an unlikely place.

You can also take a look at the video below to see what it actually looks like when these windsurfers take to the ice.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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