Photos & Reports

  • Current Season

    Photos and reports from the current iceboat season.

2015-2016 Season

Ice Sailing Around the World 2: Ice Optimist Worlds

Thor Rosten (who happens to be my nephew!) is competing in the DN & Ice Optimist World Championships on Lake Võrtsijärv in Estonia.

UPDATE: First Day of Sailing Complete!

Via Ron Rosten: "Thor at the start of race 1 of the 2016 Ice Optimist Championships. We chose sail number 11 in honor of Madison's multi ISA, Northwest, & Renegade champion Jack Ripp. Thor happens to be distantly related to the Ripp's through his mother."

Ice Sailing Around the World 1: Wings on Ice

From our friend Andrey Ivolgin in St. Petersburg, Russia, a local TV report on S-8 iceboats (in Russian) where you can see the process of rigging the wing iceboat. Andrey writes, "The three-wheel boat is a kind of experimental one (there are no class rules restrictions for that). One wheel is used for forestay control and drum is controlled by pedal. Generally we have two wheels - one for steering and one for sail control and pedal" Here's a link to another well produced Youtube video with the S-8s racing on the Gulf of Finland.

Northwest Photos

Photographer Gretchen Dorian was taking photos today at the Northwest on the Stern Steerer/DN race course. Here are just a few.

Courtesty of the Nite Facebook Page. Winner of the last Nite Silver fleet race Maureen Krueger Bohleber and Will Perrigo.

Nite Nats News

Congratulations to Nite National regatta champions Scott Brown in the Gold fleet and to Dick Grota for winning the Silver fleet. The regatta was sailed on Pewaukee Lake on February 6-7.

4LIYC member Andy McCormick contemplates how he is going to sail this boat.

Family Reunion

The A Class Stern Steerer, Mary B, was the hit of the party over the weekend at the Frozen Assets Festival on Lake Mendota. Her namesake's daughter, Mary A., made a special trip out to the ice to visit the boat named after her mother and commissioned by her father, OT Havey back in 1947.

The grandchildren of the Mary B.'s builder, Frank Tetzlaff, were also on hand to be a part of the special day. That's Byron Tetzlaff on the right.

Kegonsa From a Cub

Thanks to Jeff Russell for uploading these photos of Saturday's Lake Kegonsa racing action.

Kegonsa & Cub

Quite a few DNs, 3 Skeeters, and some Renegades inauguarated the 4LIYC racing season today on Lake Kegonsa. The DNs and Renegades noted that the ice was rougher than it looked but the Skeeters didn't feel the rough vibes. Renegader Jeff Russell brought the yellow Cub today and we took her up for some picture taking. Stand by for those. Also, Renegaders, check out the photo of George Gerhardt's experimental runner attachment method. (He did put them on the right way and won a race today as did Tim McCormick.) With a forecast high of MINUS 2F tomorrow,4LIYC racing has been canceled.

From Wisconsin Public Radio: "Winter Doesn't Stop Ice Boaters From Taking To Wisconsin Lakes"

"DN, Renegade, Nite, Skeeter, Stern Steerer, runner plank, tiller, light air, heavy air. Those words were not part of my regular vocabulary. Then I went ice boating. Ice boating requires many levels of patience. Just as surfers seek out the best waves and skiers love perfect powder, ice boaters crave decent wind and smooth, black, thick ice clear of snow. That's not always easy to find, especially during snowy winters. So ice boaters always have to be ready to go at a moment's notice to a sweet ice spot - a location that might be hours away." Click here to read rest of story or listen to audio.

History of the Darling Mark

Thanks to Long Island iceboater Mike Acebo for sharing his club's newsletter with a story written by Warren R Darress Jr who witnessed the inception of the Darling Mark firsthand. He also writes about why it's a very bad idea to mix Skeeters and DNs on a race course. Read it here.

DN Western Regional Regatta Called on for Spicer, MN

"The 2016 Western Region Championship Regatta is called on for Green Lake at Spicer, MN." More information on the DN Forum. Watch for photos and reports on the DN Regatta page and live updates directly from the ice on On The Road.

Essence of Iceboating

What you see in this 1960s era film is directly related to why this website exists. It was a rare time and I was lucky to be there to take it all in. These guys, Bill Mattison, Paul Krueger,and Dave Rosten (my father), spent a lot of time together building Skeeters in the basements of our house and Bill's house. Bob Clemens sailed an A class Skeeter, Betty B., with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club in the 1960s. We are fortunate that he brought his 8mm camera with him to the lake.

Runner Tracks

Latest edition of the DN Class newsletter, Runner Tracks, is now available. Read it here.

"Think Ice Safely and Rules of the Road"

Go over and read this essay now by Lloyd Roberts on the Maine Iceboaters website about safety for racers and cruisers. This is the most comprehensive iceboating safety article ever written.

Follow the Surf

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Vice Commodore, Greg Whitehorse, was interviewed on one of the local TV stations over the weekend about how iceboaters patiently wait for ice. Check it out here.

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Montana First First!

Pat Dillon, reports that some Montana sailors were able to get on the ice November 23. He didn't get any photos from that day but "tossed in a couple of photos of a runner box my pal Lance Hoschek gave me. There is a rubber postage stamp on it that looks like, 1958. The other photo is of the Canyon Ferry Rocket a landsailer to ice conversion."

Christina Brings First Runners On the Ice in NA

Lake Christina near Ashby, MN came through for Black Ice Friday once again. The Minnesota ice sailors are the first to sail in North America. Watch for Western Challenge information on Minnesota
Tip of the Helmet: Jim McDonagh US 5214

UPDATE: First Ice Sailing in Canada Today

Mike Madge was able to sail today at his camp on Barnum Lake near Thunder Bay, Ontario. "Sailed for 4 hours and skated for a couple hours. 4" of nice hard black ice with scattered small snow patches."

4LIYC First Meeting Tonight

Please join us at Angelo's Italian Restaurant (downstairs again) for the first meeting of the season on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM. Angelo's is located on Monona Drive, just minutes from the Beltline. The entire list of meeting dates is on the right hand column of this webpage.
This year's membership card features the mighty Deuce on Lake Mendota at last season's WSSA regatta. If you'd like to get one, join the 4LIYC!

van Acker Archives: Iceboating in America 1967

More from the Wim van Acker film archives. Be sure to look at this one for nostalgic shots of DNs, Skeeters, and Stern Steerers ice sailing on the east coast in 1967. Watch here.

Лед! Лед! Лед! First Runners On The Ice?

Grabbed this from Russian DNer Andrey Gilbert's Facebook page and if Google translate is correct, Andrey is one of the first in the world to set up a boat on the ice. He's on the Berd River in Novosibersk.

Iceboats in Advertising: Couch En Fuego

At Sunday's SIBC Swap Meet John Davenport US4961 handed over a thumbdrive with the files from a commercial for a major cig brand that he was involved with back in August of 2000 on Lago Yehuin (Lake Yehuin) in Argentina. DNs were leased from John, Steve Orlebeke, Mark Isabell, Jeff Kent, and Mike O'Brien. John still races the same DN that he sailed in Argentina. The DNs were containerized, and shipped by air to Buenos Aires. They were trucked to Ushuaia from there. The shoot lasted six days

John and the boats traveled 13 hours by air from Chicago to Buenos Aires and then 3.5 hours by air to Ushuaia. They drove on Hwy 3 north of Ushuaia to the lake which is west of Tolhuin
John remembers, "The conditions were poor because of snow, but it was windy every afternoon, so we were able to get the shots they were looking for. The story board was this: A young man discovered a beautiful winter place. He sent a signal to announce his discovery to all his adventure friends. It was to be a big red balloon, but with the cold, it would not rise, so they skipped that. His friends came from different directions in all forms of winter machines and craft and they had their winter games. We stayed at a lodge on a nearby lake with great food and wine every night. One night, all the young models, men and women danced the Argentine Tango. Interesting that all the youth knew how to dance the Tango. There were a lot of areas with dead trees. Apparently, many years ago, they were looking for a new source of fur. Some knucklehead imported Beaver. There are no real predators there and the beaver have flourished. The local flooding kills the trees. It is a beautiful area at the south end of the Andes. It is also an anglers destination for large trout. Great people and food. The night sky was also spectacular as the seeing was excellent with very little light from towns."

Big Turnout at SIBC Swap Meet

The Skeeter Ice Boat Club hosted their annual iceboat swap meet on Sunday. The weather was made to order and the street was lined with stern steerers, Nites, DNs, Skeeters, and a Renegade all for sale.

The van Acker Project: First European DN Championship

Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 inherited a treasure trove of 16mm films and photos from the 60s and 70s from the late Dutch sailor, Wim van Acker. van Acker who "initiated the DN relationship between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and North America."
Fifty years ago in 1966, the first European DN Championship was sailed on the Neusiedler See, a lake between Austria and Hungary. There were 42 entries from Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, and America (Frank Kreutzer of New York and Bill Connnell from Shrewbury, New Jersey.) From the DN Newsletter: "It was plagued with several inches of new snow. While the wind blew the two USA entries did pretty well (Frank Kruetzer won the first two heats), but when it let up, it became a dog-sled operation. Bill ended up 18th and Bill was 16th. The regatta was won by C. Kortenoever of Holland, followed by Jan Dick Wevers, Holland, Hans Bergkvist, Sweden, Konrad Gloeden, Germany, and RC Hoefhamer, Holland. In fact, Holland won 9 of the first 12 places." The 2016 DN Gold Cup and European Championship is being hosted by Austria in January and it is hoped that the Neusiedler See will see another regatta.

The van Acker Project: Vintage 16 Films & Photos

Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 inherited a treasure trove of 16mm films and photos from the 60s and 70s from the late Dutch sailor, Wim van Acker. van Acker started iceboating in the early 60s and he helped to introduce DN sailing to eastern Europe. He brought equipment to the Poles and Estonians and gave it away to them, telling them to "do something with it". (And have they ever.) van Acker served as European DN Commodore and also traveled to North America with his 16mm camera and watch for those films to be posted in the coming weeks. Here's the first film that's been posted.
UPDATE: Jane Pegel shares that "Wim VanAcker was a 'one of a kind' leader who initiated the DN relationship between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and North America."

Wim van Acker, the guy in front, at the first European DN championship 1966.

  • 4LIYC members Jerry Simon, Don Sanford, and Dave Nelson welcome back Jack and Bill at the Dane County Airport

  • Bill Mattison returns to Madison. Wife Mauretta and granddaughter, Abbey, in the background.

  • Jack Ripp returns from Washington D.C.

  • Jack and Bill in Washington D.C.
Bill Mattison & Jack Ripp Honored

Our two most esteemed Four Lakes Ice Yacht club members and Korean War veterans, Bill Mattison and Jack Ripp, were honored for their service on Saturday as they participated in the Badger Honor Flight to Washington DC where they took the opportunity to see the memorials. Bill and Jack attended East High School in Madison together, both served in Korea, raised their families in Madison, and both pursued their passion for building, racing, and sailing iceboats. Both amassed an impressive record of regatta wins as well. So many, that I don't have time to count them up and will update later.

16 Out of 17 Regattas Agree: El Nino Years Aren't That Bad

There’s been a lot of hype in the weather news about an upcoming El Nino that’s supposed to be the strongest ever. More precipitation and warmer temperatures are typically seen in El Nino winters. I wondered what the historical iceboat regatta records tell us about other El Nino years. (I obviously have too much time on my hands.)
I picked five years, 3 strong El Ninos (1958, 1966, 1973) and 2 very strong El Ninos (1983 and 1998). There were 17 major North American regattas scheduled for those years including DN Gold, DN North American, ISA, and Northwest. The results were suprising. Only one regatta out of 17 was not sailed during those years, the 1983 ISA.
So here comes another El Nino year. Here's what we can promise: There will be sailable ice somewhere at some time during the season. We can say that with confidence every year. (The late comedian Chris Farley, born and raised in Madison, had this to say about El Nino.)

Runner Tracks Magazine

Another sign that the iceboating season is kicking off, here's the September issue of Runner Tracks, the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association's online newsletter. Click read it and see the latest DN Ranking list.

Going Green

Here's "Another Green Boat" from the Yaeso Suamico Attic Skeeter Factory. Nice to see a fresh coat of paint on the winning boat of last season's International Skeeter Association Regatta. It's time to get ready for the season.

Getting a Sailor Back on the Water

UPDATE: Here's Hero In Heronemus Part 2 released this week.
DNer and Skeeter sailor Steve Orlebeke has been involved with in inspiring and interesting project to get Steve Heronemus, a sailor with ALS, back into a sailboat. "As many of you know, Steve has had ALS for over 10 years. Prior to contracting ALS, Steve sailed with his father Richard Heronemus who was a very active member of the Sheboygan Yacht Club. He is an accomplished sailor. Despite his disease he continues follow sail boat racing worldwide. It is his passion, which makes this particular journey quite meaningful. As Steve's ALS has progressed, Steve may have lost nearly all of the ability to use his arms and legs, but certainly not his will to sail. He has a slight use of his middle left finger and has enough shoulder movement in his right shoulder to activate switches to steer the boat. He also has the use of his jaw, which will enable him to activate bite switches to trim and ease his sails. Both the steerage and trim systems were inspired by Steve Heronemus, and collaboratively developed by Steve Orlebeke at Harken and Nick/Rich/Matt at Windway. " Watch the video here.

On The Fourth Lake

Madison's local newspaper, the Isthmus, interviews Don Sanford about his soon to be published book about Lake Mendota. Read it here. Great to see that the designer selected a photo of the late Jim Payton and his stern steerer as the cover.

  • Photos: Jori Lenon
Nordhaus Boatwerks Mead Restore: Meet the Cheese Slicer

It was glue night at the Nordhaus Boatwerks on Tuesday when they put a deck on an old Mead two-seater Skeeter that Geoff Sobering and Dean Lima picked up 20 years ago in the area. Jim says they've removed 25 lbs. of excess wood and 2 lbs. of fasteners from the boat. (Yes, he weighed it all.) The new name was inspired by some unusual rigging that was on the boat in its former life. The boat will receive a coat of yellow paint to go with the new name. Interestingly the name of the paint picked out from the auto parts store is "Mac and Cheese".

Tim Woodhouse and Ain Vild

Tim Woodhouse

UPDATE: Link to obituary.
The iceboating community sends our condolences to the family of Tim Woodhouse who passed away Monday, August 31 after a long illness. He was highly regarded and had an impressive regatta record. Tim won the DN Worlds in 1974 in Zergrze, Poland, was third in 1975 in Saginaw, Michigan, and 4th in 1981 in Hamilton Bay, Ontario. He won the DN North American championship in 1970 on Lake St. Clair in Michigan, 1973 in Sodus Bay, New York, 1974 in Hamilton Harbor, Canada, and placed 3rd in 1977. He was the highest scoring junior in the DN North Americans in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
Jane Pegel remembers, "Tim owned Hood Sail makers This is an international sail making firm. He bought the company several years ago. Tim was only 16 years of age when he won the DN North Americans in 1970 and went on to win more championships.
Tim was a big help when we were writing the DN sail measuring procedure (about three years ago) and he felt strongly that it was important for the DN sail to remain a dacron cross-cut sail so to keep it economical to build. "
UPDATE: Ron Sherry remembers Tim, " Tim was one of the most competitive people ever born. He graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1971 where he held swim team records forever. Tim won the DN Iceboat North American Championships for the first time in 1970 on Lake St. Clair at the age of 16. He challenged my son Griffin to do the same." Continue reading.