November 15, 2013
That’s More Like It
From the files of What Goes On at the Spaight Street Syndicate: "Dude, I’m doing all the work while you’re standing there drinking Pepsi and grinning like a dumb a$$." She’s adorable, she sails, she sands and she’s smart. Recent UW grad and new Epic employee, Anna Boatman, preparing one of the development boats at the Spaight Street Syndicate last night, with Eric Tobias. Yeah, she’s real, and no lie, “Boatman” is her name. Suggestion: When some dude asks you to marry him just say, “well, maybe I’ll think about it, but let’s get something straight right now—you’re the one changing your name!”
November 8, 2013
November 6, 2013
Spaight Street Syndicate: Development Night
From the Spaight Street Syndicate last night on the Development Program: "Recent UW grad, and former UW Sailing Team member, Eric Tobias, continuing his education with Cockpit Repair 101."
"4-year old future Ice Opti skipper, Oliver Barnett, demonstrating proper safety equipment for wet sanding. Oliver shared his Halloween candy with the shop. He’s welcome anytime!"
November 20, 2013
Inside America's Cup
with Harken Engineers & Members of Team Oracle USA Ben Biddick and Matt Schmidt
Photo Credit: Jori Lenon
Harken engineers Matt Schmidt left, and Ben Biddick share their experience as members of America's Cup Team Oracle USA at a special presentation sponsored by the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club
Two weeks ago, 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson mentioned during our club meeting that we should replay some America's Cup footage at our next meeting. Two weeks later, not only did we watch some video, we also had the pleasure of hearing Ben Biddick and Matt Schmidt share their experiences from inside the Oracle compound, from the chase boats, and from on (and in!) Oracle.
4LIYC club members Wes Wilcox and Daniel Hearn helped make the event possible and Daniel made his office available to handle the crowd of nearly 100 interested sailors.
As we walked in the door, guests were greeted with Daniel's newest DN hull and a sign instructing them to "follow the Cups to the Cup", a trail of Harken plastic cups that led us to the upstairs conference room.
Wes Wilcox introduced Ben and Matt. They worked with the hydraulics of Oracle and spoke about the challenges of designing the system and staying focused on the goal of winning the America's Cup.
I had planned to take notes but ended up devoting my full attention to the presentation. Some of the things they talked about:
The hydraulics were revised during the months leading up to the regatta and made in Pewaukee at Harken.
A hydraulics engineer was always on one of the chase boats during practice and the regatta ready to jump on the boat and into action if necessary. Some great stories about when it was necessary.
Like ice boat runners need to be sharpened after a day on the ice, the foils had to be wet sanded every night.
Boat weight (including sailors) was super critical and was carefully watched to the last gram.
Their personal video from when they were on the chase boats was spectacular especially one where Oracle tacks and is seemingly headed full steam right towards them and the chase boat bears away in the nick of time. (As someone who stands around on ice boat race courses, it was oddly familiar.)
There was a detailed discussion of the changes made on the boat to improve speed.
Wish you all could have been there!
November 4, 2013
SIBC Swap Meet
Jane Pegel at her familar raffle and information station
The sunny fall weather at Sunday's Skeeter Ice Boat Club swap meet was made to order and hopefully a harbinger of good weather to come for ice boating for this coming season. As always, it was a great time to catch up with ice boaters from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan.
Developing: Ice Sailing
Photo Credit: Jori Lenon
What a great turn out of area 4LIYC DNers at Daniel Hearn's last night who met to inventory the DNs and Ice Optimists that will be made available for anyone who wants to try ice boating either locally or at regattas.
October 15, 2013
History In A Box
For two generations, the McCormick family has been racing stern steerers, DNs, and Renegades with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht club. While going though some old boxes, Renegader Peter McCormick found two vintage 4LIYC trophies. Following is the history of the silver one pictured above.
The trophy is engraved as such:
"Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club,
February 7-11, 1922
Won by Arctic
Owner: William P. Bernard
Skipper: Wm. Van Kuelen"
The dates on this cup match the time period of a five day winter carnival sponsored by Madison’s Chamber of Commerce and the University of Wisconsin that was held on both Lakes Monona and Mendota. Besides ice boat racing, there were skating races, horse racing on the ice, skate sail racing, curling, a snow fight for scouts, ski jumping, and a dog derby.
This was the only instance where Arctic sailed as a Class B stern steerer. The Capital Times reported on February 14, 1922 that Arctic was indeed the winner of the Class B “Week of Winter Sports” championship. In all other newspaper accounts, the Arctic, built by William Bernard of Madison, sailed as an A Class stern steerer.
Later during that same season, Bernard sold the Arctic to E.C. Waller, a Chicago businessman.
From the Wisconsin State Journal, February 26, 1922: "The Arctic, for several seasons without a peer in Madison Class A races was sold to E. C. Waller, a wealthy Chicago real estate man, who sponsored the races, and has competed in its last race under Madison colors on Madison lakes. In Saturday morning’s event, the Arctic trimmed the Hubbard Carpenter boat, reputed to be the fastest craft on Geneva Lake, and immediately Waller began negotiations with Bernard for its purchase.
Waller is an interesting sportsman. Two weeks ago he transported a huge 1000 lb. ice boat, the Genevieve, to Madison to enter in the races held in connection with the winter sport carnival. When it proved too heavy to compete with the lighter Bernard crafts, he straightaway decided to buy the fastest Madison boat he could purchase. Accordingly, he obtained the Valiant II from Bernard for $400 (that’s about $5,500 today). Saturday he could not bear to see such a speedy craft as the Arctic go back to Madison since he is not satisfied until he wins from everybody. He now has a boat which will show his rudder to most of them.”
Waller’s investment paid off when Arctic won A Class trophy at the Northwest Ice Yachting Association regatta sailed on Geneva Lake in March of 1922 with her Madison skipper, Wm. Van Kuelen at the helm.
October 10, 2013
Once again, the Skeeter fleet (the fastest ice boats on the planet) just got even more interesting because Pewaukee Ice Sailing Squadron (PISS) DNers Jim Gluek and Mark Isabell sealed the deal on this Dan Clapp built front seater. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson would like the record to show that Jim Gluek promised that, "Don WILL have a chance to drive the boat."
Fall Runner Tracks
The Fall 2013 edition of the IDNIYRA publication, Runner Tracks, is posted. John Dennis talks DNs and Skeeters and see the latest international ranking list.
pdf version which is searchable for names in ranking list
October 7, 2013
Ice Boating Needs This
Saw this on Scuttlebutt about a Madrid based company, Aerovisual, that offers RC helicopter "aerial photo and video quality and the manufacture and sale of complete systems for many applications." Take a look at this video they made with an RC helicopter following a Moth class sailboat around. (One of the first times that an RC helicopter took video during an ice sailing regatta was at the 2011 European DN Championships. See those videos here.)
Lorne Sherry 1929-2013
Link to obituary
Ice boating lost another legend, Detroit Ice Yacht Club Renegader Lorne Sherry who passed on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Lorne called the Renegade, "the gentlemen's boat." Sailing in Stardust, Lorne won the International Renegade Ice Yacht championship in 1972, 1973, and 1984. He won the Renegade title in the Northwest Ice Yachting Association regatta in 1987 and 2001.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
AH Peters Funeral Home
20705 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Link to Map
Link to Obituary
Below are segments of an interview with three generations of Sherry ice boaters, Lorne, son Ron, and grandson, Griffin.
October 1, 2013
Monitor flying across Lake Mendota in 1955
One more post on the subject of foiling boats on Lake Mendota-4LIYC member and Nite Commodore Don Sanford was kind enough to share with us an excerpt from his upcoming book, On Fourth Lake, the Social History of Lake Mendota.
c. 2013 Donald P. Sanford
" This year’s America’s Cup was the first time most armchair sailors had seen a sailboat go faster than the wind. But for a handful Madison iceboaters including Bill Mattison and Jack Ripp it was deja-vu. They’d seen it all before--one day in August, 1955 when the Monitor flew across Lake Mendota.
In the mid-1930s, Gordon Baker raced E Scows with the Mendota Yacht Club in Madison. Gordon was a great sailor because he really knew something about wind power. That’s because the family business, Baker Manufacturing in Evansville, WI, was one of the country’s foremost manufacturers of windmills. Gordon began experimenting with hydrofoils in the 1940s and launched his first prototype hydrofoil, a sailboat, in 1950 at the University Boathouse on Lake Mendota. Based on its success, Baker Manufacturing soon introduced a hydrofoil kit for powerboats in 1953. Once installed, a 14-foot boat with a 10-horsepower motor could reach speeds of 35 miles per hour.
With some funding from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, Baker continued to perfect the designs on his hydrofoil next sailboat, the Monitor. On August 25, 1955, Baker and his colleague Robert Johnston climbed aboard Monitor and headed for the open water of Lake Mendota off Picnic Point. As the boat’s speed increased, Monitor’s hull lifted onto a set of three ladder-shaped hydrofoils. With her high-aspect sails, Monitor literally flew across Lake Mendota at 25 knots (28.7 mph), setting a new speed record for a sailboat of any kind. Footage of the event was shown on ABC-TV’s John Daly and the News and photos of the boat were featured in Sports Illustrated and Life magazines later that year. A year later, Monitor set another record on Mendota, reaching 30.4 knots (35 mph), or twice the speed of the wind.
September 26, 2013
America's Cup, Foils, and the USS Missouri
Diane and Paul McMillan, Commodore Don Anderson, and Bill Mattison.
One of the highlights of yesterday including the win by Oracle for the America's Cup, was being able to watch the race with Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club retired Skeeter champion, Bill Mattison. Bill was part of the shore team on three America's Cup campaigns, the 1987 Heart of America, the successful 1992 America 3, and the 1995 first all women's team, Mighty Mary.
One of Bill's favorite memories happened at 2 AM in the morning while he was making some modifications to one of the boats. He noticed two men standing at the fence and invited them to take a closer look at the boat, even letting them climb on while warning them it was slippery because of the dew. The men were appreciative of Bill's gesture which was in stark contrast to the secrecy practiced by other teams.
One of the men wanted to repay Bill's kindness and asked if he would be interested in seeing his boat. Bill asked him what boat that might be and that he'd be tied up for a week. The man turned out to be the Commander of the USS Missouri, the "last battleship built by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II."
Bill agreed and the next week, was met by the most beautiful longboat he'd ever seen and rowed out to the battleship. He was given a personal tour by the Commander of "every nook and cranny" of the ship.
Bill noticed a lathe aboard the ship, identical to one that he had in his own shop. He had been trying to find the instruction manual for the lathe for a while and the Commander gave him one of the ship's extra manuals.
Bill mentioned his time in the service during the Korean War and that the Missouri had given cover once during a battle for his unit. The Commander found the log from that day and showed it to Bill.
Another interesting story involves the AC boat foils that give them such tremendous speed. Renegader Paul Macmillan and Bill both remember seeing an experimental boat with foils on Lake Mendota in the 1950s. I was able to track down an article about it. In 1947, the firm engineering staff of the Baker Company in Evansville, WI had done some research on hydrofoils and tested the boat out on Lake Mendota.
Click here to read the article from November 26, 1959.
August 8, 2013
Da One Too
September 25, 2013
AC Race 19
Jay Yaeso up on his Skeeter foil at the Northwest in 2010
Photo Credit: Gretchen Dorian
A group club members will gather at Buffalo Wild Wings in Monona today, Wednesday, September 24 to watch the deciding final race of the America's Cup. But keep an eye on the weather in San Francisco because there might be too much wind for racing. See you at 3 PM!
September 18, 2013
Firing Up for the Season
Ice boaters have been watching the America's Cup with interest. Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association Secretary, Andy Gratton writes, "We're watching the AC and all the excitement that goes along. The best part is the realization that the AC boats are really just stern steerers on foils, though I haven't seen one spin yet."
[Well almost-see picture below-Ed.]
Meanwhile in other areas of ice boating country, someone dropped this anonymous note on my doorstep. "A note from Green Lake Ice yacht Club-Lots of activity here. We will have three brand new Nites, several more used Nites, an additional Renegade, a new/old classic stern steerer to name a few. We have a bunch of new sailors, and some old salts back!!! We will be starting our building/repairing/tuning/sharpening nights the first week of October and of course all ice boaters are welcome! The biggest news is the return of Dave Norton (old is FAST) to ice boating sailing his Nite(the Quack)! The party scene at all regattas will see a big increase, and the launch area will be a bit more fun to say the least! Green Lake Rocks!!!"
September 7, 2013
4LIYC Commodore Scouts AC in SF
"That boat only does 46 knots?"
Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Commodore Don Anderson is in San Francisco today for the America's Cup competition looking to recruit some new Renegade sailors.
July 31, 2013
Slingshots & Sail Rockets
Sail Rocket, it must be the orange color.
SIBC DNer Jane Pegel passed along a video about Sail Rocket 2's (soft water) speed sailing record of 65.45 knots set in November of 2012. Of course, ice boaters have been involved in fast soft water sailing for many years. Back in 1978, the Gougeon brothers built Slingshot, a multihull to compete in the speed trials in Weymouth, England. From the West Systems website, "Slingshot was 60' × 4.5' hull beam × 42' BOA and weighed in at 1,800 lb plus a crew of four. She could sail in both a proa configuration and a trimaran configuration. She recorded the second fastest speed 1979 at Weymouth behind the famous Crossbow I which recorded a speed of 31.8 knots—blistering fast in 1979. Jan reports that later that year in Florida they posted an unofficial speed of 40 knots. Racing the ditch in Texas City, Texas in 1980 with a crew of Jan, Mike Zutek, Ron Sherry, and Olaf and Peter Harken, they posted a speed of 38 knots. But alas, during a storm Slingshot came loose from her mooring and was dashed against the rocks and lost forever. All that remains of her is a section of the bow hanging in the Gougeon boatshop." Read more about Slingshot in the archives of Sports Illustrated.
July 21, 2013
A Couple of Bills, 203 Clamps, Some Gougeon....
July 17, 2013
Digital Runner Tracks
One of my day jobs is serving as the Executive Secretary for the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association as the editor of the yearbook and their newsletter, Runner Tracks. In an effort to keep the dues reasonable for the members, the newsletter has gone to an online magazine format which for me was a great opportunity to be able to use color photography to help tell the story of ice boating.
Take a look at the first online edition here.
July 15, 2013
July 8, 2013
Via the 4LIYC Facebook page, here's Bob Kau and Jay Yaeso working on a "top secret mission".