Chicago to Mackinac Race

Chicago to Mackinac Race

Ice boating, it’s everywhere!

The ice sailing season moves closer as another box is ticked tomorrow with the 112th Chicago to Mackinac Island race. So far, I can only find one group of ice sailors on the competitor’s list, Rick Hennig and crew on THUNDERSTRUCK. At 60 feet, Rick’s soft water boat is a few inches longer than his winter ride, the world’s largest iceboat DEUCE. Let me know if there are any other ice sailors out there heading to the island tomorrow.

Speaking of Mackinac, here’s a photo that Wisconsin Stern Steerer Association Secretary Andy Gratton shared. It was on display at a business on the island. Andy guesses it dates from the 1880s or earlier “because the masts appear to be on top of the trussed runner planks.”

He also noted that “It looks as if the Grand Hotel is on the left side of the photo, the Fort on the right. I can’t imagine sailing these vessels and having all the sails trimmed correctly, in addition to ensuring the crew stays on the end of the runner plank where he belongs!”

Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame

Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame


The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced today nine sailors comprising its 11th anniversary class of inductees.
The Class of 2021 includes ice sailor, Jane Pegel of the Skeeter Iceboat Club in Williams Bay, WI. Jane began her ice sailing career in the Skeeter class and eventually switched over to the DN class where she won numerous regatta titles. More to come.
National Sailing Hall of Fame

Jane Pegel has owned a series of ice boats and speedy scows that have all been given colorful names. People notice boats with interesting names especially when the boats are at the front of the fleet. Jane Pegel has been a champion sailor from the Midwest since her earliest days. She has also taught thousands of aspiring young sailors to improve their skills. Her first ice boat was named “Holy Smoke”. Pegel’s C Scow was named “Calamity Jane” and her legendary E Scow was named “Frozen Asset”, a phrase every sailor can appreciate. Pegel started sailing early in life and was the descendant of a line of sailors. Her grandfather, John O. Johnson, started the Johnson Boat Works on White Bear Lake, Minnesota in 1896. He was the original builder of the A Scow, a 38-foot flyer that impressed all the participants racing for the Seawanhaka Cup.
Continue reading Jane’s biography on the National Sailing Hall of Fame website.

Iceboats of Independence Day

Iceboats of Independence Day

JD and his Class A Skeeter on Lake Michigan at Menominee, Michigan in March 2021.

John Dennis’ Class A Skeeter colorful livery has signaled the Fourth of July holiday here for several years. Now, the DN class has its version in the form of Pete John’s latest boat. I’m hoping that next season there will be an opportunity to photograph these boats together. Enjoy the weekend and continue to Think Ice! You have 150 days until December 1 to sharpen those runners.

Pete Johns at the 2021 DN Centrals in Michigan.

TBT: A Beautiful Day in Madison

TBT: A Beautiful Day in Madison


This photo is another “rabbit hole” find, and hey, it happens to be Throw Back Thursday. I came across this marvelous photo of 4LIYC club members enjoying some spring weather (no gloves!) while searching for something else. It originally appeared in the ISA News and Views in either the late 1950s or early 1960s. The gang is relaxing in PIRATE, my father, Dave Rosten’s, Class A Skeeter.

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