NIYA

Northwest Ice Yachting Association An iceboat regatta first sailed in 1913 in Menominee, Michigan.

Stern Steerers

The NIYA was originally a stern-steerer regatta organized to determine ice yacht supremacy in the Midwest. A,B,C,& D stern-steerers continue to compete in the NIYA.

Skeeters

Class E Skeeters first raced the NIYA in 1936 when Lake Geneva sailor Harry Melges won in MICKEY FINN.

DN Class

Skip Boston of Detroit was the first winner of the NIYA in the DN class in 1954.

Renegade

First sailed as a seperate class in 1958 and won by “Mr. Iceboat”, Elmer Millenbach.

NIYA Centennial

The NIYA celebrated 100 years of iceboat racing in 2013 on Green Lake in Wisconsin.

2020 Northwest Ice Yacht Racing Association Information

March 13-15,2020
Lake Waconia, Minnesota

Iceboat Swap Meet Mega Weekend- Nov 2-3

Looking to attend an iceboat swap meet? We’ve got you covered across iceboating country, from east to west. If you are new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, swap meets are the perfect place to kick the tires, shop for parts, and meet ice sailors. Have a boat or parts to sell? Take them to your local swap meet.

EAST:
New England Ice Yacht Club
Saturday November 2, 2019
10 AM with lunch at noon
Hudson-Concord Elks Hall
99 Park Street, Hudson, MA 01749
More information.

CENTRAL:
West Michigan Swap Meet at the Muskegon Yacht Club
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9 AM – 1 PM
3198 Edgewater St, Muskegon, MI 49441

WEST
Skeeter Iceboat Club Swap Meet
Sunday, November 3, 2019
9 AM to Noon
Lucke’s Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.
More information

FAR WEST
Minnesota Ice Sailors Swap Meet
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9 AM – Noon
Sailcrafters
7450 Oxford St., St. Louis Park, MN 55426
More information

2018 SIBC Swap Meet: November 4, 2018

iceboat-swap-meet

Get them fresh and hot!

Another milestone that brings us closet to the season! If you are looking to buy an iceboat, don’t miss this important event.
Via Jane Pegel:

Skeeter Ice Boat Club: 33rd Annual Swap Meet

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 to noon
With a free raffle at 11:30 a.m.There is no charge for participating.
Location: Lucke’s Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.
Map

For more info, email sailing19@charter.net

This is the day to swap, buy, and sell new and used iceboats and equipment. Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. Breakfast and/or lunch will be available at Lucke’s.

Display area:

Items for sale can be set up on the black top parking area at Lucke’s
and in the vacant lot to the south of the old Sailing Specialists building.

Please do not park your cars in the display area.
Please do not park or set up your displays adjacent to neighboring businesses. A short distance to the north there is a municipal parking lot located at the intersection of Elkhorn Rd. and Stark St. (on the north side of Stark St., opposite Burrough’s Floor Coverings).

4LIYC Fall Ice Sailing Event

For well over 50 years, this iceboat club has kicked off the season with some sort of fall gathering to get iceboating back on everyone’s minds. For many years, we’ve hosted picnics. Two years ago, we held a very successful iceboat show at Dick Lichtfeld’s property.
This year, we are excited to announce an event in conjunction with Hoofer’s Sailing Club at the famous University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. (Sailing iceboats on Lake Mendota to the Union for lunch is part of what makes Madison a unique ice sailing center.)
DN ice sailor Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 from the Netherlands (where it all began) will present a program on the annual ice sailing regatta that takes place every spring at one of the planet’s most remote places, Lake Baikal in Siberia. We will have iceboats set up in historic Tripp Commons on the 2nd floor of the Union.
Please join us on Sunday, October 14, 2018 for this free event where you can meet up with old friends or learn about the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club and how to get started in the sport. All are welcome  including area iceboat and sailing clubs. The planets have aligned (at least here in Wisconsin) because there’s no Packer game that Sunday. 

ICE SAILING LAKE BAIKAL

A Free Program & Iceboat Exhibit Sponsored by the 4LIYC and Hoofer’s Sailing Club
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Time: Noon to 3 PM Program at 1 PM
Location: University of Wisconsin Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, 2nd Floor of the Union
800 Langdon St, Madison, WI    MAP

DETAILS
Parking: Helen C. White Parking Garage  MAP
State Street Campus Parking Garage MAP
Food:
Your favorite Wisconsin beverages and food will be available for purchase at Der Rathskeller and other restaurants located in the Memorial Union.
Questions? Please email us: debwhitehorse@iceboat.org

Who was MARY B?

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.

DN in Madison, WI

DN hull, wood mast and aluminum boom with mainsheet and boom blocks for sale.
Crispy Quantum sail too.
$650.00 for all.
Madison, WI
Call: 608 two one three 555 seven

Happy Independence Day 2020!

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 

 

“I’ll Tell Ya About Iceboating Around Here”

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

Think Celebrate: Happy Birthday Jane Pegel

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.

 

RED ALERT: Bill Mattison Inducted Into the National Sailing Hall of Fame!

National Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Bill Mattison has been sailing iceboats with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club since he was a teenager. Our club motto is “Home of the Champions” and when I write or say our club motto, I always think of Bill. Congratulations to Bill, Mauretta and your extended family. What an honor!

The Class of 2020 was formally announced on June 23, 2020 and will be inducted in a virtual ceremony September 12, 2020.

From the National Sailing Hall of Fame website:

When superstar sailor Buddy Melges needed help for his first America’s Cup challenge in 1986 he asked his long-time friend, sailing rival and Korean War veteran, Bill Mattison for some help. The heavy 12 Meter Class was a handful for Buddy and his young crew and tuning the boat was a big challenge especially for Western Australia’s famous afternoon sea breeze known as the Fremantle Doctor. Mattison arrived at the compound and went to work. He had a lifetime of experience making boats like scows and ice boats sail faster and faster. His credo was that incremental adjustments made big differences. Buddy’s “Heart of America” was off the pace of his rivals early in the challenger trials, but week after week his boat got faster as a direct result of Mattison’s hands-on work. When you saw him walking around the team’s compound, he seemed to have a tool in every pocket. Bill Mattison is a product of the Inland Lake region where Scows skate over the water at 25 knots and when the lakes freeze the sailors sharpen their blades and attain speeds of 100 mph on a variety of ice boats. Mattison was a perpetual champion in both scows and ice boats and he quickly adapted his impressive skills to the world of the America’s Cup. Buddy Melges said, “Whatever needed to be repaired, designed or improved, Bill would quickly come with the solution and get it done.”

 

Consider this partial list of his victories: 14-time International Skeeter Class Champion, three-time Gar Wood Invitational Champion, 12-time Triple Crown Trophy winner, and winner of over 80 local regattas in A, E and C Scows. Most of his sailing was out of the Mendota Yacht Club in Madison, Wisconsin. His secret to success was being a great sailor and discovering innovations to improve performance. Mattison was the first to use a running backstay system and swept back spreaders in the A Scow when he helped revive the class in 1981 along with fellow E Scow sailor Lon Schoor.

 

Several examples of his innovative work include being the first to use composite construction and the first to incorporate maximum depth foil spar sections to smooth airflow. He was able to create an endplate effect and increase performance. National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductee, Peter Harken says that Mattison had, “Endless generosity” with his time, his expertise and his labor to help others get out on the ice or water. If a boat had a breakdown you could bet Bill would be there to help.”

 

While Buddy Melges’s America’s Cup campaign came up short in 1987 he was back with America3 in 1992 and signed Mattison up again. This time the team won and Buddy was quick to thank his shore crew wizard. Buddy also called on Mattison to help him win ice boat regattas. One of his fastest creations was “Honeybucket XI” Dave Medaris wrote in 1988, “Bill Mattison has wanted to go fast since he was four or five and hanging on to his first iceboat ride. He wanted to go faster as a reckless youth. He wanted to go faster in 1954 with “Honeybucket I” and even after winning this 11th title in 1986 he still seeks the edge.”

~Gary Jobson

The DEBUTANTE: The Derusha Interviews

Around 1915, the Van Camp brothers of Oshkosh, WI wanted to compete for the most prestigious ice sailing trophies of the day. They looked to the east coast and commissioned a top-notch Class A stern steerer. The DEBUTANTE was built by Jacob Buckhout of Poughkeepsie, New York, the most renowned ice yacht builder of the Hudson River style during that time. An first class racing ice yacht needed a corresponding helmsman and the Van Camps called on Oshkosh’s John Buckstaff to take the tiller. The DEBUTANTE won the Stuart trophy in 1920 and 1939 with “Bucky” in the driver’s seat. (The “DEB” also won the 1960 Northwest Class A trophy with Bud Stroshine.)

In 1963, Roger Derusha of Menominee, MI bought the DEBUTANTE in from the Van Camps. Roger was an influential Renegade sailor and passed on in 1999. The “DEB” is still in Menominee, MI with Roger’s son, Renegader and DNer Mike Derusha.

This video combines two interviews from the 1980s. The first interview is Greg Siebold with Roger and Mike. The second interview takes us to a workshop at Marinette Marine where Mike Peters and Steve Buch interviewed Roger at length about the DEBUTANTE. Apologies for the quality and poor aspect ratio of the videos but we are lucky to have them.

The DEBUTANTE with Carl Bernard, Camp Van Dyke, John Buckstaff, and Andy Flom.

 

“Just Something We Had to Do”: Lake Winnebago Guys Talk Ice

Life’s slower pace has motivated me to finally tackle a big project – converting the many ice sailing DVDs that have been given to me into a format suited for the internet. Here’s one of the first, an interview with the late “Nubs” Salzsieder, Mike Peters, and Andy Gratton (and Andy’s young daughter) on Lake Winnebago. Andy bought the WISCONSIN from someone in Lake Mills, WI in 1994 which helps to date the video.

 

Ice-Boat Racer Says….

This Camel cigarette ad featuring Lake Hopatcong Ice Yacht Club Commodore George J. Seger ran in newspapers nationwide in March of 1939. An internet search revealed that Commodore Seger must have capitalized on his Camel advertising fame and marketed a model ice boat. The shiny red Skeeter model and the box it came in are both lovely works of art. The model was offered for sale at an auction site in 2017. I’ve never seen one of these models before. Maybe someone out there has one. If so, send a picture!

June 2, 2020: Vintage Class A Skeeter in Maine

Ray Ruge designed A Skeeter. Built by Hagarty in the early 60’s. Owned briefly by Buddy Melges and carries his sail number. Square top added to sail, new steering and stem block. New hollow plank built to the same section as the fuselage. Sails fast and balanced. These boats were built in limited production and this is the only known sample still sailing. New enclosed trailer. Runners sharpened and aligned.
Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnarey/albums/72157714158938948
In Maine.
$5200.00.
Contact Bill Buchholz 207-975-6980
or hilltop@midcoast.com

Bubble Man


The Spaight Street Syndicate reports in from Florida where Skeeter bubbles are born.

Bubble Man

Made a quick trip to Florida to retrieve a replacement canopy for my C-Skeeter. A builder error caused the original to go airborne and shatter during a photo shoot for the launch of “Black Ice,” a new line of extreme weather clothing from Sail Racing International. The line will be in market this fall. Sail Racing

 

Meet Charles Stence, aka, Bubble Man. He runs an airplane maintenance service in Indiantown, Florida and makes canopies for experimental aircraft as a side business. If you need a canopy, give him a shout. He has exceptionally high standards, good pricing and is an excellent communicator. It was a pleasure dealing with him. Aerocanopy.

 

 

Canopy specialists

1952 Hearst on Lake Monona

MARY B draws a crowd on Lake Monona.  Photos: Earl W Brown

In January 1952, Lake Monona delivered and the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club hosted the Northwest regatta and the Hearst Challenge. (The Hearst trophy was donated in 1903 by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.) Lake Monona in the 1950s could be counted upon for sailable ice thanks to the soot pollution from the coal burning power plant on its northeastern shore. The downside for the Skeeters was that the coal dust very quickly dulled runners. Perhaps the coal cinders didn’t affect the big iron of the Stern-Steerer runners.

The three majestic Class A Stern Steerers that competed for the Hearst that year were 2 4LIYC boats and 1 from Oshkosh including the MARY B owned by O. T. Havey and skippered by Carl Bernard with crew Norm Braith and Charlie Johnson; FRITZ owned and sailed by Jim Lunder with Beauford Polglase; and FLYING DUTCHMEN owned by John Buckstaff of Oshkosh, WI and skippered by  Chuck Nevitt with crew Bud McDonald. MARY B was able to defend her title that year.The excitement of the regatta drew crowds and prompted the 4LIYC to set up a public address system at Law Park. Someone provided a play by play account during the racing.

These historic ice yachts are still with us today. Current owner of the FLYING DUTCHMEN, Dave Lallier in Fond du Lac, reminded me that FLYING DUTCHMEN is the correct name of the boat, not DUTCHMAN. The Van Dyke brothers from Milwaukee commissioned the FLYING DUTCHMEN in the 1930s, hence the plural designation. MARY B is back in Madison and owned by the Ice Boat Foundation while FRITZ is owned by Fred Stritt and is available for sale.

These color slides were originally posted on the Historic Madison, WI Photo Group Facebook page by the granddaughter of Earl W. Brown, the man who took them.

Spaight St. Syndicate Memorial Weekend Report

Tug, Spaight St. Syndicate’s motorized assistant 

New Additions to the Spaight Street Syndicate

Hi all. Been a while. Life moves on during our global pandemic. On May 5, I officially became a real old dude. A grandpa. Haven’t started building Dash (Dashel) Daniel Percevecz’s first iceboat yet, but it’s on my list. Much joy, but also heartbreak, as I lost my mom the same day.

Daniel with first grandchild and newest Ice Optimist sailor.

Since my last update, I’ve pimped out my trailer. It’s set up to haul a C-Skeeter, a Renegade and three DNs; with sails, planks and runners for all. Along with a powered kick sled or two. I’ll give you a tour in a future update. Good ride for a Northwest!

Also meet “Tug,” the newest addition to the Spaight Street Syndicate garage. She’s a real tomboy—an electric powered trailer mover built from readily available parts, complete with lights and cup holders. Many thanks to Ken Whitehorse for the welding. I may have understated the task when I mentioned I had a few pieces of metal to weld up. But Ken was a great sport, and we had fun working on the project. I often need to move trailers around by myself, and Tug makes it really easy not only to move, but to position in tight spaces.

The other active project is repainting my Renegade components. Haven’t paid enough attention to the old girl in a while, so she’s getting a new dress. Plank and springboard done, mast going into spray booth tomorrow. Thanks to Jeff Russell for the booth. Left over from his airplane painting years ago, so all I had to do was reassemble and buy new plastic. Came complete with intake filters and an exit fan. Fumes disperse quickly.

So much for now. Grateful to the veterans out there for all they have sacrificed for our freedom. And to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, Rest In Peace. You will always be remembered.

Ice Sailing Goes Postal

2013 Mozambique Postal Stamp featuring DN and Renegade Class iceboats. The boat left middle US44 is Ron Sherry of Detroit, MI.

2013 Mozambique Postal Stamp featuring a Renegade class ice boat.

Bob Cummins inquired if the iceboat stamp issued by the US Post Office had ever been featured on iceboat.org. His email was a great jumping off point to search for other examples. I knew that Poland had issued a set and the Google pointed to Postal History Corner; Canadian Postal and Philatelic History where there’s a comprehensive page dedicated to ice sailing stamps and postcards from around the world. Until yesterday, the only thing I knew about the eastern African country, Mozambique was that Bob Dylan had written a song about it. What a surprise to learn that Mozambique had issued 6 iceboating stamps in 2013!  All of these stamps are available to buy on ebay or stamp collecting websites.

1955 Hungarian postal stamp featuring a Monotype iceboat.

1978 Polish postal stamp issued in conjunction with the DN Gold Cup sailed at  Krynica Morska, Poland, February 6-11, 1978. 

1985 American stamp with a stern-steerer iceboat.

Meet CLANCY

CLANCY on Lake Monona near Law Park in Madison, WI c.1952

Craig Wilson found the above photo while looking through his dad J. Dale Wilson’s slide collection. (Craig is the aerial kite photographer who has been snapping our pictures for many years. See some of his work here on Flickr.) Craig figures the slide dates from around 1952 or 1953 and wondered if we knew anything about the yellow stern-steerer. I sent it off to Andy Gratton, Mike Peters, and Don Sanford.  Here’s what the collective stern steerer history brain trust found:

Via Don Sanford:
The gods of iceboating must be sending me a message…..

I believe that this is the Clancy. She was owned by the Oetking family. See page 81 of “the book” (mine). [On Fourth Lake]

I have been on the trail of these folks for years and during the past six weeks (pandemic) I had a chance to plow through the internet, sailing websites, and obits. This is a family of sailors. Last week, I finally connected with Curt Oetking. (Who also goes by “Pete.”) His dad, Pete, crewed for Carl [Bernard] on the MARY B in a few regattas.

I sent him a photo of the Clancy that Jay Payton gave me several years ago. He sent this message:

“Clancy which was my mother Clare’s nickname…..”

Armed with that info, I looked in the Bernard Slide index and found several entries that mention either “Clancy” or Oetking. Somewhere I have a statement that the Clancy was a scaled-down version of the MARY B. Andy [Gratton] told me that he knows where she is now.

As for the photo, I believe that this was taken on Lake Monona, just off Law Park. it’s the only place on either lake where cars can park that close to the water.

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer Andy Gratton reports that Clancy is still around and in the care of Jim Rettke in Marinette who has owned it at least 35 years or more.

CLANCY in front of the Ray Stroud residence on Farwell Drive in Maple Bluff, Madison, WI.

 

CLANCY from the Carl Bernard Slide collection.

Celebrating the Women of Ice Sailing: More History


Previous: Celebrating the Women of Ice Sailing

Skeeter Ice Boat Cub sailor Jane Pegel shares her memories of female ice sailors and race committee members. Some of the women she mentions were featured in an article that ran in Rudder Magazine in 1943, see below.
UPDATE: One more woman who must be included is Green Lake Nite sailor Maureen Bohleber who won the 2019 ISA title.

“Sunday morning on Lake Geneva is really ladies’ day. The skipperettes get the boats ready themselves and there is every evidence of sex equality at the crack of the starting gun.”

The Skeeter IBC was organized in 1933 and the Club archives show a fleet of women racing Skeeters:

  • Bettye Nye
  • Ethel Koehler
  • Lucille Fitzcharles
  • Ariel Clayton
  • Sue Vilas
  • Vera Granath
  • Rose Anderson
  • Medora Adams
  • Helen Campbell
  • Frieda Hoiles

Winning the championship:

  • 1934 Lucille Fitzcharles
  • 1935 Vera Granath
  • 1936 Bettye Nye
  • 1937 Vera Granath
  • 1938 Bettye Nye
  • 1939 Sue Vilas

The Club cancelled racing during WW II and subsequently the women’s fleet seems to have disappeared from the weekly race schedule, though many raced in the ISA Women’s Division.

 

When I was a Williams Bay high school student, my father bought me Holy Smoke, a 20 ft. Mead. In 1951 I took it down to Fox Lake to race in the Women’s Division of the ISA regatta. In the opening race I was leading at the first windward mark but didn’t know how to sail off-the-wind so ended up DNF. My recollection is that I improved over the weekend and finished second in the regatta. There were several outstanding women skippers competing, including: Olive Lindstedt, Fox Lake IYC; Dorie Sarns, Detroit IYC; and Harriett Sternkopf and Jean Zwicky of the Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club who were outstanding Skeeter sailors.

 

I continued to race my Skeeter for several years and won some SIBC trophies. Then in November, 1956, I switched to a DN and raced successfully in that class through 2014. My daughter, Susie, started racing a DN in 1969, at age 12. She was top Junior In the Northwest and brought home trophies in several DN championship regattas, both gold and silver divisions,several times beating her mother.

 

Julie Richards from Grand Traverse IYC is an outstanding DN skipper and has taken home a number of awards, including a Central Division championship.

 

The list of faithful women race committee volunteers includes Mauretta Mattison; Cora Millenbach; Mary Jane Schalk; Deb Whitehorse; the three Sherry sisters – Loretta, Debbie, Jane; the Green Lake contingent of Julie Jankowski , Laurie Norton, Debbie Bierman; Mrs. John Koeck came all the way from Lake Hopatcong, NJ; Mrs. Gene Treuter led the Cass Lake contingent. And there have been many DN wives who devoted evenings to keeping class membership records.

 

Many thanks to them all.

…Jane Pegel

Runner Tracks Online Newsletter

May Runner Tracks

If you can’t get enough iceboating news, check out the latest issue of the DN class newsletter, Runner Tracks. The photography is outstanding and does a tremendous service in the promotion of our sport.

RUNNER TRACKS IS AVAILABLE IN THREE DIFFERENT FORMATS:

Flipbook Magazine
Download pdf file (best for tablets)
Download single page pdf (best for phones)

Photo: Sophie Marc-Martin

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