ISA

International Skeeter Association
The world’s fastest iceboats.

ISA Regatta

The ISA regatta was first sailed in 1940.

Innovation

The only rules for the Skeeter class are sail area and configuration.
This class thrives on the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Fastest Sail Powered Boats on the Planet

Skeeters are the “Formula One” in the world of ice yacht racing.

B Skeeters

B Skeeters maintain the classic lines of the wooden Skeeter.

Nite

The Nite class has competed as a separate class in the ISA since 1996.

Champions

Bill Mattison 4LIYC: 11 time champion
Dan Clapp NSIBYC: 9 time champion
Buddy Melges SIBC: 7 time champion

Commitment

“Sufficiently committed skippers find the greatest challenge in these boats,
where design, building, and maintenance skills share equal roles with sailing ability.” Charles Johnson

C Skeeter

Sail area 40-75 square feet and mast less than 20 feet 3 inches from deck to top of mast.

International Skeeter Association Regatta


The International Skeeter Association (ISA) was organized in the late 1930s and the first ISA regatta was sailed in 1940. Skeeters were developed on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. They are piloted by a single skipper and steer from the front of the boat as opposed to the original iceboats which were crewed by two or more and steered from the rear.

The Skeeter is the “Formula One” of ice yachting, a wide open development class where state-of-the-art sailing is seen annually. The only restriction on the Skeeter builder is a 75 square foot sail maximum sail area. While the basic configuration for successful E Skeeters has long been established, significant design improvements have been developed within the Four Lakes fleet. Taller rigs and rear seat Skeeters designed and built by 4LIYC members Bill Mattison and Paul Krueger have brought world championship titles to Madison skippers. In 1989, New Jersey’s Dan Clapp took the ice boating world by storm with his first front-seater and dominated the ISA regatta during the 1990s. Skeeter builders are adept with high tech materials like carbon fiber, and Kevlar. The super powerful Skeeters are the fastest boats on the ice. Sufficiently committed skippers find the greatest challenge in these boats, where design, building, and maintenance skills share equal roles with sailing ability

Classic Video: Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club c.1960

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:
SNO USE
V112
MISS PEGGY V50
SNOW GOOSE V4
V20 John Flanagan
TWISTER V71
V83 Al Sternkopf

 

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 

 

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

Lake Waconia Keeping the Fat Lady Away

To quote Bill Bucholz of the Chickawauee Ice Boat Club, “We’re all good: we already wear masks and gloves!”

Via Minnesota Skeeter sailor Pat Heppert:

It turned out to be a great recreational weekend on Lake Waconia, despite the rough ice. There were 2 A skeeters, 1 B skeeter, 2 C skeeters, and 2 DN’s. The ice was a solid 18”-20” with drive-on conditions , and was officially rated as high as an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 1,000. A total of 4 scrub races were completed in the C skeeter fleet on Sunday, with a substantial number or lead changes. Below is video of a slow speed ride along.

Pat Heppert
“Drifter” I-291

JDs fleet, the B Skeeter PUFFER and lurking stealthily in the background the A Skeeter.

 

Regatta Watch: ISA Cancelled for the 2019-2020 Season

One of the best Skeeter photos of all time, Jay Yaeso heads downwind. Photo by Gretchen Dorian.

The International Skeeter Association regatta has been cancelled for the 2019-2020 season.  Given the serious health precautions currently needed due to the coronavirus, the ISA Race Committee felt it was prudent to postpone the regatta with the hopes of being able to hold it in December 2020.

Regatta Watch: ISA & NIYA Tentatively Called On for March 13 – 15

Happy Birthday, PK!

UPDATE: The original post had the incorrect dates. March 13 – 15, 2020 are the correct dates for these regattas. Sorry for the confusion.

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Championship Regatta is called on for two potential sites: Shawano Lake in Wisconsin and Green Lake in Spicer, Minnesota. The dates are March 13 – 15, 2020. The final call will be made Wednesday March 11th no later than noon central time.

The International Skeeter Association regatta is called on for the same locations on the same dates but will only proceed if the NIYA is postponed on Wednesday. The ISA final call will be immediately following the NIYA on Wednesday morning March 11th.

Steve Schalk

ISA & NIYA Secretary/Treasurer

Regatta Watch: ISA, Northwest, and WSSA Postponed

Stern Steerer: TWIN BEDS Peter McCormick

The ISA and Northwest Championship Regattas have been postponed to March 13th, 14th and 15th 2020. Sites under consideration are still either snow covered or too thin to be viable. It is expected that more locations will become available as we melt down this week.
Steve Schalk
ISA & NIYA Secretary/Treasurer

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 14 and March 15. The Northwest Regatta is scheduled for the same weekend and will take precedence. The next update will be Sunday, March 8. Check back here at that time. Still too much snow though it is melting.

Andy Gratton
WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

Regatta Watch: ISA Called ON for Feb 7-9; NIYA Postponed

Renegades rounding the weather mark at the 2013 ISA regatta on Lake Kegonsa

The Northwest Regatta has been postponed to February 14th, 15th and 16th, 2020.

The ISA is called on for the Four Lakes of Madison for February 7th, 8th and 9th, 2020. Potential sites are Lake Mendota at Middleton Bay and Lake Kegonsa.

The final call will be made by noon CT on Wednesday February 5th, 2020.

Steve Schalk
ISA and NIYA Secretary/Treasurer

On behalf of the NIYA and ISA Race Committees

Regatta Watch: ISA & NIYA Postponed

Photo: Jeff Russell

Via ISA and NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The Northwest and ISA race Committees have postponed to next week. The Regatta dates are: February 7th, 8th and 9th, 2020. As always the Northwest takes preference over the ISA as they are now scheduled on the same dates.
There are no sailable sites at this point. Large portions of Green and Geneva remain open and many slush covered lakes may become sailable when colder temperatures occur.

Regatta Watch: ISA, Northwest & WSSA Postponed


Via ISA & NIYA Secretary Steve Schalk:

Green and Geneva are both wide open with only a little ice in the east end of each, so there is hope in two weeks. No place to go for January 24th. Both regattas are postponed until January 31, February 1 – 2, 2020. Next update Sunday, January 26, 2020.

WSSA Postponed:

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to February 1 and 2. The next update will be Sunday, January 26. Check back here at that time. Perhaps Green Lake or Lake Geneva will be ready by then.
Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

Regatta Watch: ISA Postponed


Via International Skeeter Association Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The ISA Championship Regatta is postponed to January 24th, 25th and 26th 2020. There are no sailable locations at this time. There are many sites with open water that will freeze after the upcoming snowfalls. The Northwest Regatta takes precedence now that both are scheduled on the same weekend. Next update is on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

Regatta Watch: ISA Postponed

A Class Skeeter Photo: Jann Klin

Via International Skeeter Association Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The ISA regatta is postponed until January 17-19, 2020. Check back on Sunday, January 12, 2020 for the next update.

ISA Internet Era Archives

2019 Lake Pepin, Lake City, Minnesota

2018 Battle Lake, Minnesota

2017 Battle Lake, Minnesota

2016 Green Bay, Wisconsin

2015 Little Bay de Noc,
Gladstone, Michigan

2014 No Regatta

2013 Lake Kegonsa

2012 No Regatta

2011 No Regatta

2010 No Regatta

2009 No Regatta

2008 Geneva Lake

2007 No Regatta

2006 Mallet's Bay

2005 Geneva Lake

2004 Lk Champlain

2003 Lk Champlain

1975 Saratoga

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