Steve Schalk at the 2015 ISA at Escanaba. Photo: Gretchen Dorian gretchendorian.com
Skeeter Iceboat Club B-Skeeter sailor Steve Schalk is now the acting Secretary and Treasurer of both the Northwest Ice Yachting Association (NIYA) and International Skeeter Association (ISA), He will be the acting Secretary/Treasurer until the Officer elections at both annual meetings.
Steve along with his wife, Mary Jane, recently met with the retiring Secretary/Treasurer of the NIYA & ISA, Paul Krueger, and began the process of transferring files, a daunting task considering how long Paul has been an officer for the organizations. If you have a question or comment for Steve and his “helper”, Mary Jane, please email to them.
The iceboating community thanks Paul for his amazing legacy and dedication to the sport of ice yachting. He’s been taking care of the business of the ISA and NIYA since the 1960s! Greg Whitehorse said it best on a Facebook post:
“PK is definitely one of the most influential figures in our sport. A designer, builder and championship winning sailor, along with being an important administrative officer on a regional and national level. And he is still yanking the go fast rope in his A Skeeter, Rambl’n (not sure what number).”
Paul Krueger pushes his Class A Skeeter as Dave Nelson watches. This may be the first rear-seat Skeeter that Paul built. The design went on to become highly popular because it improved visibility. Photo: Gary Whitehorse
As many of you know, Paul had a rough summer because of health issues. The good news is that he’s back home focusing on getting stronger by the day. We all look forward to seeing him back in ‘RAMBLN as soon as he is able. Iceboaters are a tough breed!
This photo of Paul Krueger and Dave Rosten was published in the Wisconsin State Journal on December 30, 1956 when these two were still in school at East High in Madison. Paul Krueger has been sailing Class A Skeeters longer than anybody and has defined this club. Please keep him in your thoughts as he continues in his recovery from a health issue.
Keith Kennedy’s C Skeeter ready for its first sail.
It’s heartening to see some building activity from out east this summer in the C Skeeter fleet which could make for an exciting ISA regatta. Bill Buchholz has the latest over on the Chickawaukee Iceboat site.
After seeing Drifter race at the ISA last season Keith Kennedy commissioned one to be built here in Maine with the plan to go back to the ISA this season and bring home the cup.
Class A Skeeter Sighting in Pewaukee
Peter Harken’s Skeeter, the Bill Mattison built HONEYBUCKET XIV, was set up at the plant over the weekend to celebrate Harken’s 50 years in business. Olaf and Peter are long time iceboaters and do much to support the sport.
Steve Orelebeke sails in HONEYBUCKET XIV, the last Skeeter built by Bill Mattison. Steve has won several major regattas sailing HONEYBUCKET XIV.
“The Korean War introduced you to the real ‘Honey Bucket Wagons’. You always said, ‘You can never come out spelling like a rose.'” Lynn Mattison Raley about her father, Bill Mattison.
When Jerry Simon and I were looking through the Krogman scrapbook photos, the subject of Bill Mattison’s Renegades and Skeeters came up. I’ve always wondered if Bill ever had an iceboat with plain old HONEYBUCKET on the side, without a Roman numeral next to the name. (As far as I can ascertain, there has never been a HONEYBUCKET. Jerry Simon agreed that Bill went from SNAPSHOT to HONEYBUCKET II.)
Bill’s daughter, Lynn Mattison Raley, explains the lineage best in a wonderful book she put together about her dad.
“Bill was now really hooked on iceboats and started building his first one-design iceboat, a Renegade. Unfortunately, during the winter of 1949, a fire swept through his family’s home. Damage was confined to the basement, destroying Bill’s new iceboat. Undaunted, he built another. Two years later, SNAPSHOT, named in honor of the family business, Star Photo Service, was on the ice ready for her first race. That boat also met with an unfortunate end. While waiting for his first race to begin, the [stern-steerer] FRITZ came around the leeward mark of the racecourse, spinning out of control right into Bill’s new boat, turning the beautiful SNAPSHOT into a pile of firewood. Then came the Korean War and service with the army. Iceboating would have to wait for Uncle Sam.
After the war, Bill finished his third Renegade. SNAPSHOT’S first race was on Lake Monona. “We had 60 boats on the starting line and I finished that regatta in the top 10,” Bill said. Speed, they say, is a narcotic. You can never get enough. So it was with Bill and iceboats. In 1954, he build his first class E Skeeter, HONEYBUCKET. The rest, as they say, is history. His boats set the standard for the evolution of the Skeeter class. He continually refined and improved his designs, eventually producing 14 HONEYBUCKETS before he retired from the sport in 2008.”