Bill Mattison points his Graflex camera at Mauretta who was filming him on Lake Mendota. Dave Rosten M160 in the background.
It’s always a good day when a surprise arrives in the mail, particularly when the package contains vintage ice sailing footage shot by Bill & Mauretta Mattison. Don Sanford recently had Kodak transfer the Mattison’s 16, 8, and Super-8 mm into electronic files which he burned to disc and sent off to me.(Speaking of Kodak, the Mattisons owned one of Madison’s premier film processing labs, Star Photo, for many years.)
Let’s begin by traveling back to the late 1950s/early 1960s on Pewaukee Lake. At first I thought this may have been the 1957 International Skeeter Association Regatta which was sailed on Pewaukee (Buddy Melges won) but a couple clues led me to believe that we are watching a Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club race. All of the boats, except for one, carry the Pewaukee designation V on the sail. The biggest clue is that Bill is filming from the weather mark. Bill finished 8th at the 1957 ISA so therefore, he would not have been filming at that regatta. The 1957 ISA newsletter regatta report and results are posted below the video. Stay tuned to the end of the video to see the spring ritual of carrying iceboats through a wet and deteriorating shoreline. Pewaukee friends, if you recognize any of these Skeeters, please let us know!
I’ll be editing and posting two more ice sailing videos from the Mattison archives in the coming weeks.
Bill Perrigo’s THUNDERJET IOU is easy to spot. Some other sail numbers and boat names I picked out were:
MISS PEGGY V50
SNOW GOOSE V4
V20 John Flanagan
V83 Al Sternkopf
The summer building and dust making season is in full swing over at the Nordhaus Boatworks. 4LIYC Nite sailors Lars Barber and Brad Wagner are almost to the gluing stage on their Nite masts. Jim Nordhaus shared these photos on the 4LIYC Facebook page.
MARY B draws a crowd on Lake Monona in 1952
The Dane County Historical Society Newsletter has published an article by our own Don Sanford about the historic stern-steerer MARY B.
The Mary B was fast, really fast, but just who or what was she? A racehorse, a track star, or maybe a downhill skier? None of the above, she was an iceboat…She was the dream of one of Madison’s largest electrical contractors and public-spirited citizens, Orvin “OT” Havey.
Read the whole story here.
JD at the start of a race.
It’s been a Fourth of July tradition around here for several years to showcase the red, white, and blue Class A Skeeter built by Tom Nichols and now in the capable hands of Minnesota’s John Dennis.
But wait, there’s more – as an added bonus this year, enjoy Charles Wysocki’s “Ice Riders On The Chesapeake” Americana-themed print. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend and continues to Think Ice! You have 150 days until December 1 to sharpen those runners.
Ice Riders on the Chesapeake Bay by Charles Wysocki
In his internet travels, Henry Bossett came across a library site of oral histories from Liverpool, New York. The interviews with Ken Wentworth prompted Henry (a now retired North Sails New Jersey sail maker) to recall an old boat builder “who would come in to show me his hand-designed and built model boats… I asked him about the North Shrewsbury Ice Yacht Club… He replied with a story of how he used to hang out there as a kid and listen to the “Captains” sitting around their potbelly stove, spinning yarns of days gone by, and impressing him with wild tales. Anyway, this guy obviously knows how to spin a tale also, but he does have direct knowledge of some interesting iceboat history.”
Each video runs about 3 minutes and are an entertaining listen.
White Wings and Black Ice: ICICLE Archives
Jane Wiswell Pegel and her Skeeter CALAMITY JANE
Happy 87th birthday to the Skeeter Ice Boat Club’s Jane Pegel today! If you are new to this sport, Jane is a national champion iceboat racer. She has also given back to this sport by serving in many different iceboat class governing roles over the course of her career. If you are interested in the sport, make plans to attend the annual iceboat swap meet in Williams Bay, WI that Jane helps to organize every fall. Watch for the announcement on this website.
Jane Pegel Archives
Jane Pegel in CALAMITY JANE DN.