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.

A Mid Summer’s Nite’s Dream

A Mid Summer’s Nite’s Dream

The Nite fleet from the air on Lake Puckaway, Saturday, December 26, 2020. Photo by Jim Stevenson. Instagram js170b.

We’ve reached Peak Sun today. For those who Think Ice, it’s all uphill from today, the Summer Solstice. The sun will shine 8 seconds less here in Madison tomorrow, on June 22, and continue the march towards the shorter ice-making days. There are only five months before the first weekend in December, the traditional beginning of the Minnesota ice sailing season.

1948 ISA Footage

I can find no newspaper accounts or photos from the 1948 International Skeeter Association regatta, but this 30 second YouTube clip makes up for the lack of pictures. Sailed on Fox Lake in Illinois, Elmer Millenbach won in RENEGADE II, described as a “magic” boat.  The Renegade class competed as  Class A Skeeters in the ISA regatta until 1950 when they first sailed their own championship.
Tip of the Helmet: John Eisenlohr

From “The Renegade Story.”
The non-profit association formed was to not sell plans, but to include them with first years membership dues. The first year, besides scattered memberships all over the sailing area, fleets were building in Toronto, Toledo, and Detroit. At a Detroit regatta, of 42 boats on the starting line, 22 were Renegades. My boat still did most of the winning and in our fleet we tried switching boats in “scrub races”. Whomever sailed my boat won. This seemed to impart some sort of message to some people even though I was handicapped trying to sail someone else’s boat that was set up for someone 6″ sorter than I. Less than subtle suggestions were made that I should build a new boat (according to the plans drawn up) to eliminate any “magic” inherent in Renegade II. This was of course a challenge I couldn’t refuse. I sold Renegade II at the end of the 1949 season.”
Elmer Millenbach

“Mary B, Madison’s Legendary Iceboat” Film Released

“Mary B, Madison’s Legendary Iceboat” Film Released

Screen shots from the documentary film.

Is there a better way to cool off on a sweltering summer day than by streaming a film about iceboating? Strap on your virtual helmet and creepers and watch Mary B, Madison’s Legendary Iceboat on demand, or order the DVD. Details here.

The 43-minute documentary film, produced by Donald P. Sanford, Gretta Wing Miller and Aarick Beher for the Ice Boat Foundation, Inc., tells the story of this Madison icon, the men who built and raced her and the efforts of the Foundation to restore and preserve her. It uses recently restored archival footage and interviews with sailors and Foundation members.

The DVD and the download include these special features:

  • The Stuart Cup
  • The Hearst Cup
  • On the Ice with Mr. Wright

Jack Ripp Interview

Jack Ripp Archives

In 1999, Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Greg Whitehorse sat down with ice sailing champion Jack Ripp (1928-2019) and discussed Jack’s involvement in ice sailing. The interview originally ran in the club newsletter, Blade Runner. We are fortunate that Greg saved the cassette tape. Jack’s son, Mike, converted it to an electronic format and I added photos and some classic 1960s 8mm film from Bob Clemens.

Getting Framed 2: Still Somewhat Confused

Getting Framed 2: Still Somewhat Confused


Previous: “Getting Framed
Pat Heppert checks in with a note about his summer project, a new C Skeeter build and his continuing travails with “ACME” customer service.

Wide Hull Somewhat Explained, Still Confused

The ACME Corporation. Wide selection, instant delivery, questionable quality.

The next shipment arrived from ACME Iceboats Inc., and now it is clear why the frames for the new hull are so messed up looking. The mainsheet assembly actually is about a foot and a half wide. But it seems to have three ropes instead of just one and definitely doesn’t seem to belong on an iceboat. May have been a shipping error. So I got on the phone with customer service again, and they insist that this is what I ordered. How exactly do you expect me to deal with three ropes in the cockpit? “Well, sir, the problem is that you failed to also order our rope-less cockpit conversion upgrade”. They didn’t have pictures of this in the catalog; apparently, it is still under development and doesn’t come with a warranty. Again with the credit card, will see what shows up. But what are all three of these ropes for? “Sir, you need to pull on one of them for more power and pull on the other one for more speed.” That explains two of them, but then I asked what is the third one for? “You pull really hard on that one when you want to beat Daniel Hearn.”

Pat Heppert

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