Nite sailor Maureen Bohleber lifts a runner on the race course. Photo: Ethan Brodsky

Iceboating racing champion Jane Pegel always said the best way to attract people to our sport is club racing. During the two-day Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club racing series on Lake Monona, a high level of interest from Midwest ice sailors, photographers, and the Madison community proved her point.

The wind cooperated, allowing the race committee to bang off 30 races in four fleets (Skeeters, Renegades, DNs, and Nites) Saturday and Sunday. Our scoring chair, Tim McCormick, will tabulate those results soon.

One of the biggest thanks goes to Ken Whitehorse, who set the whole weekend in motion. We wouldn’t have been able to get on the lake without him. On Wednesday, he removed the snow blocking the landing with his Bobcat. Ken and Tom Hyslop enjoyed two days sailing their Class A Skeeters before their Wisconsin Skeeter Association support equipment, Ken’s Mule, broke down.

Thanks to Scott Goetz for trailering the club’s ATV from Mendota, Commodore Daniel Hearn for setting courses and taking care of everything that needed doing. Thanks to Pat Heppert for the use of the marks and also for keeping the course organized, and Jerry Simon for starting, calling, and flag duties.

Thanks to our out-of-town guests who gave our club racing weekend a regatta-like feel. We appreciate your enthusiasm and were happy to have you join us on the race course.

In all the years I’ve been involved in ice sailing, I don’t remember seeing so many Madisonians braving the cold to watch us, curious about iceboating. Sunday’s west wind placed the start line within easy walking distance of the shore, and residents flocked to check us out.

There’s nothing more photogenic in a Madison winter than iceboats against the city skyline. It’s been that way since 1878 when Harper’s Bazaar Magazine ran an illustration of ice sailing on Lake Monona. We were thrilled to have several excellent photographers and videographers on the ice with us. They have generously shared their pictures on Facebook, and I’ll be linking to them during the week. The first photographer, Ethan Brodsky, uploaded his photos to Google for those not on Facebook. See them here.