The Skeeter group toasts JD for winning the “Bottle Trophy.” From left, Jay Yaeso, Steve Orlebeke, Mark Isabell, Ken Whitehorse, Paul Krueger, John Dennis (JD), Eric Hyslop, Tom Hyslop, Leon Lebeau.

As told to the Editor by Ken Whitehorse

The Madison-based Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Skeeter Fleet of Paul Krueger M165 and Ken Whitehorse M197 relentless search for ice finally paid off this past weekend at Menominee, Michigan, where they enjoyed 3 days of racing and camaraderie.

Earlier in the week, they set up on the west end of Lake Mendota on Tuesday in 40 mph winds and a 20f temperature. They checked ice with the 4LIYC ATV, and Ken sent out the word to the other Skeeter guys that “all systems go, ice looks great” in anticipation of Wednesday racing.

Tom Hyslop V738 arrived Wednesday morning to find the launch quickly disintegrating. The lake ice was still holding, and Ken proposed that they take turns at the wheel in his boat. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson arrived with the orange marks and the club’s Nebulous flotation device. The Dane County Lakes Patrol warden visited the landing, and Ken said, “a long talk ensued.”

Ready to leave for Oconto and adventure.

Rather than trying to sail, Ken and Paul decided to pull off the trailer. Tom Hyslop and son Eric Hyslop assisted with boat disassembly and loading. When Ken hauled the trailer off the lake with his Mule ATV, the 8000# Bulldog trailer jack was damaged and bent. Ken remarked that “seven sets of Skeeter runners in the trailer might have been a bit much.” That afternoon, word came from Iceboat Central U311 Jay Yaeso about ice on Lake Michigan near Oconto, Wisconsin.

Bright and early Thursday morning, Ken went to the Past Champions Iceboat Shop and fired up his blowtorch to heat the trailer-crank cherry-red and fixed the roller wheel. Paul and Ken shoved off for Oconto to rendezvous with Tom Hyslop. Oconto’s ice was tremendous, but ice fishermen blocked access to the lake because the fish were hitting there.

Thankfully, Mike Derusha R188 called Paul and reported that Menominee, Michigan had plenty of ice and told them to “come on up.” The three ice seekers didn’t waste time making the 30-minute drive to Menominee. Mike met them at the landing with a big smile and welcoming arms. They thanked Mike for taking care of the Skeeter fleet. Ken said Mike’s response was, “M fleet helps us; we help you.” Ken texted Jay, informing him to spread the word that Menominee was the place to be. Tom ended the evening by holding up a PBR nightcap and uttered, “we ride tomorrow.”

The conditions at Menominee were perfect for three days of Skeeter racing. The Skeeters are grateful for Eric Hyslop’s help setting up the marks and helping the fleet. Thanks to Mike Derusha for providing trees. JD and Tom were instrumental in setting our racing courses. Thanks to Steve and Mary Jane Schalk in Fontana, WI for tabulating the scores.

The week started with just three Skeeter sailors getting together on Lake Mendota to sail before the ice went terrible. We chased ice, and we were lucky to find it in Menominee, where we experienced a club-racing-like atmosphere. We just happened to have a bunch of trophies to make it more fun. No one is in charge of the Wisconsin Skeeter Association. If there’s ice, the Wisconsin Skeeter Association racers will be there.

2021 Wisconsin Skeeter Association Championship

March 6th & 7th – Menominee, Mi.

Results are provisional as of 18:30 on March 7, 2021


Sailed: 10, Discards: 0, To count: 10, Entries: 9, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank SailNo HelmName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Total
1st U194 John Dennis 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 10.0 DNS 2.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 21.0
2nd M197 Kenny Whitehorse 3.0 3.0 1.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 21.0
3rd V 738 Tom Hyslop 2.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 8.0 4.0 5.0 41.0
4th M165 Paul Krueger 4.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 2.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 6.0 49.0
5th D888 Leon Lebeau 5.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 10.0 DNS 6.0 8.0 7.0 7.0 8.0 69.0
6th V30 Mark Isabell 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNS 10.0 DNC 2.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 74.0
7th V500 Steve Orlebeke 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNS 3.0 4.0 4.0 10.0 DNC 3.0 74.0
8th U311 Jay Yaeso 10.0 DNC 4.0 3.0 2.0 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 79.0
9th V137 Alex Peterson 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNC 10.0 DNS 7.0 7.0 3.0 6.0 7.0 80.0

Sailwave Scoring Software 2.28.1