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Save the date for the 4LIYC Banquet: Saturday, April 8
Next Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Meeting, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
Northwest: Postponed until March 3-5. Next update Feb 26.
ISA & Renegade Championship: Called on for Feb 24-26 in Battle Lake, MN. Information.
DN Regatta page

A Class Skeeters on Lake Monona - Photo: Carrie Pok

ISA News

ISA and Renegade Championship called ON for Battle Lake, Minnesota February 24-26, 2017. Don Sanford puts it best in this email: "Even though it currently appears that we will be unable to sail on Friday due to high winds, the regatta officially begins on Friday. Races may or may not be held. A decision to go into postponement will be made Friday morning. Forecast for the Sat & Sun looks very good.
Please note there is a potential for blizzard conditions along the route on Friday traveling “from the south” on Friday. The prudent iceboater will travel on Thursday to avoid the bad weather. However, even if you are unable to travel on Thursday, take a chance that we are not sailing on Friday and come up to play for Saturday and Sunday. Ice conditions are very good on Battle Lake. There’s room for a 1 mile course no matter the wind direction."
All ISA & Renegade Championship information posted on the ISA webpage.

  • International Skeeter Regatta (ISA) & Renegade Championship: Called on for February 24-26, 2017. Primary site is Alexandria, MN. Secondary is Green Bay, Oconto, WI. Next update is Wednesday, February 22. Northwest takes precedence.
  • The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association Regatta:The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 4, 5 but the NIYA will take precedence. The next update will be Sunday, February 26. Our last chance is for the ice at Gladstone. Check back here or call the Iceboat Coldline 608-204-9876.
  • Northwest: Postponed until March 3-5. Next update February 26.
  • Nite Nationals: More information.


Sailing Montana is on most every iceboater's itch list but they've so far had a quiet winter. Via Pat Dillon: "It's been a slow sailing winter for the Montana crew. However, we had a great couple of days on Meadow Lake near Ennis this weekend."

Ice Opti World Champion Has Talent

Via Ron Rosten: "Georg Paomees was already having himself a pretty good year. In January he made an appearance on national TV in his native Estonia, performing on the Estonian version of America's Got Talent. In February he won the Ice Optimist World Championship and the European Ice Optimist Championships in Znin, Poland. Congratulations Georg, most people can only dream of having the year you've had." Watch Georg's singing performance here.

The mighty DEUCE on Lake Mendota. Photo: Jeff Russell

Picture of the Week

Cold Play to Paradise

UPDATE: Ken asked me to relay his sincere thanks to all who attended the party and those who couldn't attend but sent their well wishes.
In case you didn't know, 4LIYC Commodore Ken Norton has actually gone and done what he's always said he was going to do; retired, sold his house, and bought a sail boat. He'll be leaving very soon for the warmer waters of Florida and the south east. He's been a tremendous Commodore these past three years. I personally can't thank him enough for the amount of work he put in for all the regattas this club has helped to host including the 2016 Northwest, 2016 DN North Americans, and 2017 DN Worlds. We all hope to see him at future regattas.

Thor Rosten, left, and Eddie Klemets, DN Junior World & European Champion

Junior Worlds

4LIYC Ice Optimist sailor, Thor Rosten, is on his way back from Poland today after competing in the World and European Championship. Thor's father, Ron, reports that they had a great time sailing and having fun with kids from all over Europe and Russia. Congratulations to Sweden's Eddie Klemets for his DN Junior World and European championship wins. Eddie was recently in Madison for the DN Worlds. He attended one of our 4LIYC meetings along with fellow Swedish DN sailor, Tomas Lindgren. Eddie is also part of the Artemis America's Cup Youth Development team and a name to watch in the ranks of professional sailing.
Prize Giving Gallery
World Championship Results
European Championship Results

World Sailing Show March trailer

Mark your calendars for this one. The upcoming World Sailing Show which will go live on Youtube on February 27. It will feature the fastest sailing on the planet, iceboating, and some slower boats, the AC race boats. Click here to watch the trailer.

Sailing Anarchy Podcast: Too Fast to Float

DN North American Champion, Ron Sherry, sits down with Sailing Anarchy's Clean and talks iceboating. "Then we sat down with a guy who sees 50 knots as the speed for the kids boat; it’s multiple iceboat world champion Ron Sherry, and on an icy day in Detroit, he talks with Mr. Clean for an hour about Obsessive Runner Disorder, raising your kids while racing, crazy rigs, and sailing in Siberia." Click here to listen.

Photo: Michael Kroll

Picture of the Week: Andy's Delight

Michael Kroll shares this picture of Andy Gratton's WISCONSIN in all her glory at sunset on Lake Winnebago.

4LIYC Club Racing News

There will be no club racing for the weekend of February 18-19, 2017. The combination of a low wind forecast and saving the landings for the future went into that decision making. We are hopeful that winter will return soon.

Productivity Goals Met on Mendota

These 4LIYC members accomplished their goals today of scrub racing on the west end of Lake Mendota followed by a debriefing at the famous Rathskeller at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. These sailors took advantage of what could be the last day of sailing around here for a while because the Madison area is in for a spell of warm weather that will potentially weaken the shorelines and ice. Let's hope for winter's return in March.

"Bill Mattison's Miniature Circus"

Iceboaters are an ingenious lot and Bill Mattison is one of the best examples of someone who continues to express his creativity. Don Sanford is kind enough to share the following magazine article about Bill: "Most of us iceboaters know about Bill Mattison and his accomplishments on both hard and soft water. Here’s a story about our friend Bill and another of his passions, the Mattison Brothers Circus. It's featured in the winter issue of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letter’s magazine, Wisconsin People and ideas. Spoiler alert: my multi-talented wife, Barb, is the author and she even included one of my photos!"
Read it by clicking here.

4LIYC Annual Business Meeting Tonight: Racing Rules Proposals

UPDATE 2-18: All proposals passed. Stay tuned for updated Racing Rules
There were three proposals submitted at the 4LIYC meeting of January 18, 2017. They will be discussed and voted upon at tonight's meeting (Wednesday Feb 15). Click here to download them in pdf.

Way Back Weds: "An Ugly Assemblage"

47 years ago today, the Chicago Tribune published one of the most imaginative iceboating articles ever written, a lavishly illustrated feature by Tom Hall about the MARY B. He begins, " THE MARY B is not a feminine thing. It is named for a woman, but beyond that it pretends to no gender. It is only a thing. A machine. A rudimentary, awesome, preposterous machine." Thankfully, the Chicago Tribune shares its archives and you can see the whole story by clicking here.

Photo: Robert Hajduk

DN Junior & Ice Optimist Championship Album: Day 1

Nice to see a professional photographer on site at the DN & Ice Optimist Worlds. From - Robert Hajduk Sailing & SeaScape Photography's album: DN Junior and Ice-Optimist World and European Championships 2017. Click here to see pictures.

Ice Optimist & DN Junior Worlds

Video from today's opening ceremony in Znin, Poland. The ice looks hard and the breeze is fresh which is making for a great day of racing.

Buddy Melges & Thor Rosten talk strategy on Lake Kegonsa at the Grand Slam

Ice Optimist & DN Junior World Championship

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Ice Optimist skipper, Thor Rosten, and his father, Ron, arrived in Poland early Saturday for the 2017 Ice Optimist World and DN Junior World Championships. The regatta has been called on for Duże Żninskie Lake in Żnin, Poland which is also the site of Polish Championships that are being sailed this weekend. Competition for the juniors begins tomorrow, Monday February 13. If you are on Facebook, the local yacht club is posting updates. Click here to see their Facebook page.

One Large Leap for Menekaune

Shoving It

Via Kyhm Kreider on Facebook, Menekaune Iceboat club members Ken Kreider and Mike Derusha plant a flag on a giant iceberg on the flats of Marinette.
While we are on the subject of Menekaune, Mike collected signatures on their banner at the recent DN Worlds. Thanks, Mike and Ken for helping to find ice for that regatta and everything else!

Anja Feidler: Photo: Peter Johanson

Peter Johanson Worlds/NA Photo Gallery

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your photos. Please feel to download them here.
During the week of the Worlds and North Americans, Peter Johanson unintentionally completed the famous circle tour, driving totally around Lake Michigan. From his Facebook page dated January 27, 2017: "US 5633 has re-engaged. Less that 48 hours ago I quit the DN Worlds/NAs, turned my back on my circus friends, and headed home. Arrived safely, kissed and hugged wife, kids, dog. Had coffee with Mary , scouted local ice, had dinner with kids. Come to find out I missed nothing because the fleet could not find ice until someone sailed Green Bay. Regatta called ON! ....hmm yeah I can make it, so I get my head on straight -change my mind and hop back in the car. I saw Mackinac bridge lit up with colored lights and the weirdest snow storm I have ever seen! I literally felt like my car was going backwards. I see Green Bay lit up by local lights and arrive at the regatta HQ safely. I look at my clock and calculate that this adventure took me 33 hours to the minute........ "

Photo: Peter Johanson

2017 DN World Championship Report & Results

Sail 1Design
By Dave Elsmo
"On January 20th, 108 sailors from eleven different countries still had no idea where in the Western United states they would race the 2017 DN World Championship, set to begin in two days.
n unseasonably warm weather pattern overtook the Midwest and turned most of the frozen lakes in the region to mush a week before the event was set to begin. Most iceboaters pray for a late January rain, we call it the Great Zamboni, but nobody likes to see three days of rain and seven days of temperatures in the mid-forties before a big event. Warm rainwater creates huge holes in the ice and turns the surface into a slushy, wet mess. It’s the equivalent of racing F1 cars on sandy track littered with potholes big enough to pull off tires. DNs thrive in a frictionless environment, but when pushing through soft ice, things get real slow, real quick." Continue reading.

T Jet on T Bay

Mike Madge continues a successful season of expanding the Thunder Bay iceboating fleet. What a sight to see the vintage Skeeter THUNDERJET, originally owned by Bill "Curly" Perrigo back on the ice. Mike writes, "What a weekend, Skeeters,Stern Steerer, and DNs all out enjoying fantastic ice and big winds. Many new sailors have been recruited and are looking for boats."

Sailing Above & Below

The Madison area is the middle of the slush sandwich between two Wisconsin lakes that have challenging but sailable conditions. To our south, the Boecraft Skeeters are sailing their championship regatta on the east end of Geneva Lake. Access to launches is very limited because of the Lake Geneva Winter Festival and it's good to see the locals get on their lake.
To our north, the Green Lake Ice Yacht Club is also holding club racing on ice that is "snow covered but sailable", putting on at Horner's Landing.
Yet another low pressure system moves through Wisconsin on Tuesday with the usual mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Anything can happen!

"Feel the Power"

Bangor Daily News
By Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN Staff
"JEFFERSON, Maine — Shining in the morning sun, the frozen surface of Damariscotta Lake was like glass, reflecting the blue sky and fluffy white clouds overhead. The ice, polished smooth by recent rains, was an ice boater’s paradise." Continue reading.

DN Worlds: The Fleet Returns to Port

Catching up on some posting this morning. Michaela Vatcheva set up a camera at Springer's at the end of the day and captured the return of the fleet after the first day of racing on Lake Kegonsa January 23.

Photo: Gretchen Dorian

Gretchen Dorian Worlds Photo Gallery

Photographer Gretchen Dorian has been busy editing and uploading photos from the Worlds. They are all available for purchase. See them here.

DN North American podium finishers

DN North Americans: We Did It

Congratulations to Ron Sherry for winning his 12th DN North American championship and to his son, Griffin, for winning the Silver fleet. It feels like we've been hunting ice, moving around, and racing for a month - though in truth it's only been a week (I think.) Will have more photos and video from George Gerhardt posted soon. Also, watch for Northwest and ISA regatta updates later tonight. DN website for NA results.

Ron Sherry spent a lot of time in the one block today

DN Worlds: Day 5 PM Update

Posting from an old familiar regatta hotel, the Best Western in Marinette, MI. Long day on the ice. 10 races, two fleets. Ron Sherry won a few and is likely in first, even after a hound failure in the first race. On my way to help Loretta tabulate. ...follow the drama on the DN website for the lastest updates.

Gretchen Dorian Photo

DN Worlds: Day 4 AM Update

The adventure continues. A few inches of heavy wet snow has put us on hold while scouts are looking for ice to hold the North American championship. Congratulations to Karol Jablonski for his 11th Gold Cup Dn title. The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club own Tim Sugar won the Silver fleet! Stand by to stand by...follow the drama on the DN website for the lastest updates. The DN race committee and governing board is doing everything they can to find ice.

the excitement that is iceboating

DN Worlds: Day 3 AM Update

On my way to the lake soon but time for a quick update on yesterday. The wind never made an appearance on Wednesday and it was one of those days when you catch up on your rest and catch up with your friends from around the world.
There is a couple of inches of wet, saturated snow on the ground this morning. We shall see what it has done to the lake. Off to Springer's! You can see the provisional results on the DN website. Facebook continues to be the place for updates from sailors all over the world. Friend me there if you want to see videos of the starts and score sheets. Today I will try to video some leeward mark roundings - if we are sailing.

Polish DNers, Karol Jablonski & Michal Burczynski confer before the start of a race.

DN Worlds: Day 2 AM Update

On my way to the lake soon but time for a quick update on yesterday. We ran a bunch of races and used the whole day. You can see the provisional results from yesterday on the DN website. Facebook continues to be the place for updates from sailors all over the world. Friend me there if you want to see videos of the starts and score sheets. Today I will try to video some leeward mark roundings.

DN Worlds Opening Ceremony

You missed the party last night at the opening of the DN Gold Cup championship. Here's a quick clip of the Polish team and their robust inrerpretation of the Polish national anthem. I will be posting updates to FAcebook all day. I wish could use the Weebly platform but it's too difficult when I'm on the ice and not scoring from a car. Facebook makes things too easy. So if you want to follow along, you will have to friend me on Facebook.
A very, very, bit thank you to Daniel Hearn who generously offered the use of his office facility for the ceremony.

Kegonsa for the Worlds

DN Worlds Called ON for Kegonsa

The first lake in the Madison area to freeze was Lake Kegonsa and it never received very much snow. It has held up surprisingly well during these past few days of warmer than average temperatures and rain. Ice scouts have been checking it thoroughly for the last several days. After days of heroic ice scouting efforts by iceboaters from every region in North America, Lake Kegonsa was chosen as the primary site of the DN Worlds and North American championships this morning. The first race begins at 10 AM Monday. The best spot to watch is Springer's on Lake Kegonsa. All information is posted on the DN North American website.

Daniel Hearn on Lake Monona. Photo - Kurt Mayer & Astrid Newenhouse

DN Western Region Photo Gallery

Kurt Mayer and Astrid Newenhouse have shared their photos from last weekend's DN Western Regional regatta.
Kurt writes: "My wife and a I had a great time Saturday and Sunday Jan. 7-8 watching the DNs race on Lake Monona and taking a few photos. I've put 26 photos up in a album on my Flickr page, click here to see them. Possibly somebody will enjoy a picture of themself; the images are full-resolution and free to download with my compliments. Managed to catch both champions including #183 with quite a bit of air under one of his blades. Thank you, we met some nice people and enjoyed being spectators"

4LIYC Club Scores Posted

Thanks Tim McCormick for updating the club scores. See them here.

In a Row

Western Region Championship: Day 1 PM Report

Loretta and I are off the lake and sitting at the kitchen table. I'm watching her tabulate today's 6 races, 3 in Gold and 3 in Silver. Below 0F morning temperatures delayed the start by about an hour and a half today. Read more on the DN regatta page.

"A New Beginning"

You may have noticed a young woman filming while we were racing on Lake Kegonsa Saturday. That was Michaela Vatcheva and that day, she took another one of the first steps in a goal of hers, to create a documentary about Jane Pegel. The video embedded here above was posted on her Facebook page and along with it she wrote the following:
"Who's ready for a new beginning? This way, please!
I shot this video on the last day of 2016 and edited it in the wee hours of last night to share a little glimpse into the beautiful and harsh world of ice boating.
It is also a first peek into my passion project: I endeavor to make my first short film this year. It tells the story of legendary ice boat racer Jane Pegel, a strong woman, who dominated the ice and wind for 65 of her 83 years. Watch this space for updates on this journey. It's already taught me so much!
Thanks, Deb Whitehorse, David Elsmo, Don Sanford and everyone else who is supporting my project and has welcomed me into this amazing community. Here we go!"

The 4LIYC Fabrication Shop with Farmer Eric and Welder Ken.

ATV Update

We ran into a bit of an issue on Lake Kegonsa when our ATV's trailer hitch broke out in the middle of the lake. The ATV has given years of service hauling iceboat trailers up ramps and the failure was inevitable. Peter Fauerbach and Scott Goetz rigged it up with chains on Sunday so that we could continue to use it on the lake. Ken Whitehorse. with help from a friend. repaired the hitch last night so that we are ready for the coming weekend of club racing. We are fortunate to have people in the club with many skill sets who immediately step up and fix problems. The ATV is meticulously maintained by Jerry Simon.

Geoff's Drone

Our Vice Commodore Geoff Sobering finally aquired a drone. (What took you so long? - ed.) Here is his first drone video from Sunday's sailing on Lake Kegonsa.

Hold on tightly and take a ride on Steve Orlebeke's A Skeeter plank. Watch this video! Now!

Grand Slam Day 2: PM Update

UPDATE January 3: The A Skeeter scores were in error and have been corrected.
One of our 4LIYC traditions is to hold a ten lap race on New Years Day known as "The Bloody Mary". 4 A Skeeters and one Renegade sailed by TIYC's Glen Betzoldt pushed off to race in very light winds. The first five laps were agonizing to watch as the lack of wind had the skippers pushing their boats. Glen pushed his Renegade back in the pits but his effort deserves mention. Good things come to those who wait, and around the 5th lap, the breeze filled and stayed in for the rest of the day. Ken Whitehorse won this year's Bloody Mary race.
Results: Please let us know if there are any corrections that need to be made. Thanks to Mary Jane Schalk for staffing the shore office on this one. And one more thing, and be sure to watch the video from the photo above. Click here.

Drone shot by Geoff Sobering

Double Grand Slam Double

Take note of Renegade 507 in this picture and DN 5352. They are owned and sailed by Daniel Hearn. I just realized what an amazing feat he accomplished in iceboat racing. He sailed both his Renegade and DN this weekend. Not only that, he placed SECOND in BOTH classes!

New Year's Eve iceboating. America's Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Buddy Melges stopped by Lake Kegonsa and gave Thor Rosten some invaluable Ice Optimist coaching.

Grand Slam Day 1: PM Update

We had a great day of racing with five fleets. DNs, Renegades, Nites, and B Skeeters had four races while the A Skeeters had 3 races. Winds were gusty during the first few races but settled in. Thanks to everyone who came and raced with us today and those who came to watch.

Photo: Joe Stanton

ISA & NIYA: It's On The Agenda

Via ISA and NIYA Secretary, Paul Krueger, the agenda items for the 2017 Interational Skeeter Association and Northwest annual meetings.
ISA Agenda
NIYA Agenda

Bill Mattison Elected to 2017 Madison Sports Hall of Fame

While leaving last night's slide show, Madison Sports Hall of Fame (MSHOF) board member, Peter Williams, informed me that Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member, Bill Mattison, has been elected to the Madison Sports Hall of Fame. Bill's hardwater and softwater friends will want to attend his induction ceremony on June 7, 2017 at Monona Terrace Convention Center. By joining the MSHOF, your dues include two tickets to the Hall of Fame Club Induction Banquet. See their website here and join. Don Sanford deserves much credit for spearheading this effort to have Bill's accomplishments recognized by the Madison community. Peter said that Bill is being inducted under the category of "athlete" which is truly fitting. Congratulations Bill and Mauretta. I'm looking forward to attending the banquet to celebrate your achievements in iceboating and summer sailing.

Throw Back Thursday: 1963 Madison Sports Hall of Fame, Iceboating, and the Packers

What better way to celebrate TBT than to look back to the first group of Madison Sports Hall of Fame inductees. 4LIYC member, Carl Bernard, was elected to the MSHOF in that inaugural year. The featured speaker that evening was none other than the coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi.

2013 ISA Revisited

The folks at Sail Racing have been posting pictures and video recently on social media from the 2013 International Skeeter Association regatta sailed on Lake Kegonsa near Madison. This video has been posted here before but it never gets old. Interesting to note that the Swedish clothing manufacturer is also a partner and supplier of ORACLE TEAM USA, defenders of the America's Cup.

Another addition is Right-of-Way rule 8.a which states: “When yachts sailing ON-THE-WIND on opposite tacks are approaching a MARK, the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear of the STARBOARD TACK yacht.” Click here to see all 9 animations.

Animated: Start, Darling Mark Course & New Weather Mark ROW Guide

4LIYC DNer Dave Elsmo (who is the Sailing Program Manager and Head Coach of the UW Hoofer Sailing Club) created 9 animations to help illustrate the recent changes made by the National Iceboat Authority. These animations cover properly starting, approaching marks on a darling mark course, finishing a darling mark course, and Right-of-Way rule 8.a. See Dave's informative work here.

National Iceboat Authority: Change Summary to 2015 Racing Rules

Last week, the National Iceboat Authority released a new version of the NIA Constitution & Racing Rules which includes two new race course configurations, the DARLING COURSE and INLINE COURSE which may be used as alternatives to the STANDARD COURSE we’ve been using for many years. (Click here to see last week's post.)Today, NIA board member, Tim McCormick has released a summary which briefly describes the changes which have been made to the NIA 2015 Racing Rules. Click here to read the summary.

National Iceboat Authority: Important Announcement

The National Iceboat Authority is happy to announce the release of a new version of the NIA Constitution & Racing Rules. (Click here to see new version.) This new version includes two new race course configurations called DARLING COURSE and INLINE COURSE which may be used as alternatives to the STANDARD COURSE we’ve been using for many years. This allows race committees to select a course which is most appropriate for their ice sailing event. The new racing rules also contain:

  • Updated definitions and clauses to support the use of the DARLING COURSE or INLINE COURSE.
  • Clarification on yachts which must keep clear while approaching the windward MARK on opposite TACKS.
  • Updated restrictions on propulsion.
  • A new rule which prohibits sailing between the LEEWARD MARK and the starting line immediately after the start.
Please feel free to contact any of the NIA Directors with questions or comments.
UPDATE 11-13-2015:NIA board member, Tim McCormick, has created a summary which briefly describes the changes which have been made to the NIA 2015 Racing Rules. Read his report here.

Mote posts from the 2016-2017 season here.