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
Leon LeBeau, long time DN and Renegade sailor from the Detroit, Michigan area, has joined the ranks of the bubble boat sailors. Leon chased the storm and made a quick trip to New Jersey this week to pick up his new Dan Clapp-built Class A Skeeter, which was formerly owned by Rick Stavola. Leon is looking forward to joining his DN friends who have also made the switch to Skeeters and the rest of the fleet. See you at the ISA and NIYA, Leon!
Sail guru Jim Gluek visited the Whitehorse/Krueger Skeeter shop today to look at the recent modifications on PK’s Class A Skeeter boom and spar. Recall that when they last set up the boat in June, it was one of the the hottest days of the year.
Winter is here in the Four Lakes area; we seem to have skipped November and gone right into December. Ken Whitehorse is working hard prepping his Class A Skeeter plank for red paint. Paul Krueger and Ken will be ready for ice – which might come early this year. It was 8F here this morning and with more single digit temps in the forecast – it’s making ice somewhere!
Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate
Daniel Hearn is inspired to name his C Skeeter by, well, read on…..
What’s In a Name
“What, are you thirteen,” she said rolling her eyes? I had to take a quick mental inventory. Let’s see—I still think there’s nothing funnier than a fart in church. I have many names for my male member, and each includes an adjective found on the Thesaurus page for huge. I burp out loud when I think no one else is around. I sometimes forget to put the toilet seat back down. I think Hershey’s is good chocolate. Even though I know I’m not supposed to, I often cut all the food on my plate at one time, because it’s so much more efficient. “Yeah, pretty much,” I replied. “So, what you’re saying is that C-Man is not an appropriate name for a C-Skeeter driven by a man my age who has four children—three of them daughters?” She just walked away, so I took that as an affirmative. Maybe I can still cancel the decal order.
Probably needs to be more sophisticated to win the approval of my Mrs. I hadn’t recalled asking for her approval, but nonetheless, it became clear that she thought she had a vote. I had carved up the districts within our household trying to prevent that, but clearly my gerrymandering was ineffective.
Maybe something from literature? The classics? Or how about mythology? Those Greeks were so sophisticated they convinced people to see pornography as art. I think the sculptors were just as juvenile as me. Their wives were certainly rolling their eyes when the Mr. was out back in the shed chiseling the fine form of a woman with a righteous amount of junk in the trunk.
There must be a cool-sounding “C” name in mythology, with deep meaning, that would be a fitting reflection of my masterpiece. (Well, it may not be a masterpiece, but it’s the best this paint-by-numbers kind of guy can do). That’s it—Callipygian! I think it’s perfect. And I’ll score points with the Mrs. when I tell her that I named the boat after her. But this time, I’m not disclosing the name until the fat bottomed girl hits the ice.
Now that you’ve Googled my name, let me know what you think. Will I be sleeping on the couch again, or will she be flattered by her juvenile husband of 32 years?
Official team gear available here: Righteous Junk
The reason to ask is because the Four Lakes area and beyond woke up to an early winter this morning with more snow to come this week. The 4LIYC Skeeter fleet is on the trailer ready for ice. Ken Whitehorse applied the graphics to his newly painted WARRIOR just in time!
UPDATED ON 22 OCTOBER:
Olaf’s Funeral Service
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: Visitation 11 AM
Service 2 PM
Location: Galilee Lutheran Church
N24W26430 Crestview Dr,
Pewaukee, WI Map
Reception to follow at Harken
Olaf Harken passed away this morning, October 21, 2019. Olaf “did the hard work” according to brother Peter and that hard work had a monumental influence on ice sailing, not to mention soft water sailing. Olaf raced a Nite class iceboat. In his autobiography, Olaf described ice boating as “Our favorite, if not our most frustrating sport, …iceboating: a combination of race-car driving and sailing.” The ice sailing community sends our condolences to the Harken family and Harken employees. Fair winds, Olaf.
Following is cut and pasted from the Harken Facebook page:
Today we remember Olaf Harken. Olaf passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning with loved ones nearby.
This morning in Pewaukee, Peter Harken told an assembly of Harken members: “My brother did all the hard work so I could have all the fun. During the days when the company was just getting going, Olaf was in charge of the money. He kept us in business. If I had been in charge of that we would have been in big trouble. His legacy is in this culture. So, let’s just keep doing what we do. Just keep getting better. You are a great family. Thanks a lot. He’ll be watching you, so no sloughing off!”
The brothers took a lot of chances over the years – and their employees are still encouraged to do the same. When Olaf Harken was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2014 along with Peter, he explained the brothers’ business philosophy: “When trying new stuff our rule is to ask, ‘if it all goes bad, can we survive?’ Then we go to the bar and forget what we just said and do it anyway!”
The Harken story has been full of twists, turns, successes, and reinventions, but through it all, the goal of challenging the status quo and commitment to being at the front remains.
We encourage you to share your memories of Olaf with us. Feel free to leave a comment here or send us a message.
PK and Ken have been working furiously on their Class A Skeeter programs this past week. PK’s been upgrading the trailer lights while Ken worked his magic and transformed the formerly blue boat into traditional 4LIYC red and white.
Daniel Hearn continues to work like a mad scientist while building his Class C Skeeter in his basement laboratory.
Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate
Baby Got Back
The little hussy is no longer prancing around leaving little to the imagination. I call it the Lulu Lemon Effect. Much to the delight of testosterone-filled young men across the country (OK, the old guys don’t mind either), stretchy pants have become acceptable casual wear, formal wear and everything in between for young women. I’m dying to know how they wear them without ANY undergarment lines showing. I’d ask my wife, but that would be a dead giveaway that I might occasionally look. All three of my daughters pull this off, as well, but I decided I probably really don’t want to know. But know this, young men—big daddio is watching. He may not be all that big, but he’s Pitbull-mean and fights dirty. Eyes on the horizon, Bevis.
She’s still got her tramp stamp showing, however. I’m pretty sure she’s intentionally leaving the small of her back exposed, like she’s proud of her decision to deface her body for life. You’d think spending time at a waterpark would be enough to demonstrate that these things don’t end well. What she doesn’t know is that I’ve tipped off her mother. Yesterday will be the last time the base of her spine sees the light of day, unless she’s wearing a swimming suit. Which is going to be NEVER, because iceboats and swimming don’t go together.
Paul Krueger’s Class A Skeeter RAMBL’N is sporting a new coat of paint today in the traditional colors of the 4LIYC, red and white. Paul’s daughter asked Ken Whitehorse if all the recent modifications on PK’s boat would make him go “too fast”. Ken told her not to worry, he went for the pretty paint job instead of the fast one. Paul said, “We waited for a west wind so there were no complaints from the neighbor on over spray”. [Hey, there’s only one neighbor, iceboat.org headquarters!- Ed.]
Gary Whitehorse recently came across this previously unknown photo in his collection. “Came across this negative looking for something completely different. My Dad, Harry’s, front seat “A” Skeeter, Dad in foreground , 1976ish. Not many pictures of it, so I was happy when I found it.”
He posted it on the 4LIYC Facebook page and it solicited a lot of questions and comments. ENTERPRISE III was an aluminum-hull front-cockpit Class A Skeeter designed and built by Harry Whitehorse in the mid 1970s. Gary’s brother, Greg Whitehorse, remembers that it was heavy and “…even today’s front-seaters are on the heavy side. Could have used a wider plank and a less drafty sail. It did ‘kink’ the aluminum skin on its initial cruise (which if I remember, was on rough, snow covered ice, and a windy day), but the kink didn’t get worse. Another interesting thing about this boat was the sheeting system. My Dad wanted to steer it like a race car, with a steering wheel. So he made a cleat on a traveler and track that he could operate with his legs and feet. It really was kinda neat. He said it worked good.”
“A Space for Cowboys:
“Building In The Big City”
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”
Hang on folks, here we go with another Spaight Street Syndicate report from Daniel Hearn:
I was just a skinny dad
Never knew no good from bad
But I knew life before I left my shop dusty
Left alone with big fat fanny
She was such a naughty lassie
Heap big woman
You made a bad boy out of me
I was focused on her bottom last night when Spotify served up a classic. Coincidence? I think not. Just me and my fat bottomed girl havin’ at it in the basement. And my wife doesn’t seem to care, unless things get too loud, but even then she just calmly asks, “can’t you do that when I’m not home?” Reasonable request. She walked in on us a couple days ago when I was nailing her with the pneumatic gun. I apologized profusely for that indiscretion, as I appreciated that it can be shocking when not expected.
Thanks for the sign, Freddie. Enjoyed your movie earlier this year. Rock on and tell my dad I miss him.
It’s time to start thinking seriously about ice! The Minnesota Ice Sailors have announced back to back
fun-regattas (non-sanctioned events) for December 2019. Both regattas will take place on the best ice in Minnesota, location to be announced. Information will be posted on the Minnesota Ice Sailing website, iceboating.net.
DN WESTERN CHALLENGE
December 6-8, 2019
Location: TBA, best ice in MN
Mini-Skeeters are also invited to attend and join the party!
SKEETER WESTERN CHALLENGE
December 14-15, 2019
Location: TBA, best ice in MN
Classes: A, B, and C Skeeters