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

2021 CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTA NOTICE November 12, 2020

 

The ISA Executive Committee and International Race Committee met on November 11, 2020 to discuss the status of the 2021 ISA Championship Regatta currently scheduled for the second weekend of January 2021.

After careful consideration of the possible impacts of gathering our members from across the nation to meet in either the Western or Eastern Regions of the ISA, our consensus was to cancel the 2021 Regatta.

We feel that local club sailing will be possible with safety protocols in place for face covering, separation and only outdoor activity.

We encourage everyone to get out and sail locally. Mark your calendars for the 2022 ISA on the second weekend in January 2022.

See you on the ice.

Don Sanford, President
Nite 384

Steve Schalk, Secretary/Treasurer
I564

Throwback Thursday: 1975 ISA @ Saratoga, NY

The usual suspects – Left to Right: Harvey Witte, Gary Sternberg, Susie Whitehorse, Greg Whitehorse, Gary & Barb Whitehorse, Sandy Witte, Ken & Walter Whitehorse.

It’s birthday week for 4LIYC Skeeter skipper Walter Whitehorse who celebrated 95 turns around the sun a few days ago. Nephew Gary Whitehorse posted a tribute on the 4LIYC Facebook page, which prompted another Skeeter sailor Harvey Wittee to remember a trip with Walter to the 1975 International Skeeter Association Regatta sailed at Saratoga, New York.
Previous: 1975 ISA slides from Gary Whitehorse and commentary by Dan Clapp
ISA Regatta Records

Since it was Wally’s 95th Birthday the other day, it reminded me of our photos of the ISA at Saratoga Lake in 1975. These photos were taken by Preston Shreeve who was an ice boater from New Jersey. Him and his wife were in the motel room next to us and they were the most delightful and enjoyable people to become acquainted with. You meet so many wonderful people ice boating.
Hope you enjoy the blast from the past!

 

 

Ending the Season On a High

Wisconsin Skeeter Association Trophy. Photo: Gretchen Dorian.

Ashwaubenon, WI iceboater Jay Yaeso doubled his racing time and fun by bringing his Class A Skeeter and Stern-Steerer to Menominee, Michigan, on March 5-7, 2021. Jay sums up the weekend in this report.  Scroll down below his recap to see a few of Gretchen Dorian’s Skeeter photos.

Skeeter sailing and Stern-Steering haven’t been exactly easy these past two winters. Mother Nature and COVID19 tagged teamed and put a beat down on us. That all ended abruptly the weekend of March 5-7, 2021, when a total of nine Class A Skeeters and eight Stern-Steerers landed at Menomonie, Michigan, courtesy of world-famous Renegade sailor Mike Derusha.

 

Mike spent countless hours evaluating the local conditions and determined it was green light go for all involved. He nailed it! Perfect landing and ice conditions.

 

The threat of the Mackinaw icebreaker coming through had us on red alert; however, the Coasties held off their icebreaking efforts the remainder of the weekend.

 

Day one Friday was all about the Skeeters. Conditions were perfect, a light 5-10 mph southeaster, and we completed four races.
John Dennis (JD) in the U194 and Ken Whitehorse piloting the M197 were the boats to beat. Both displayed blistering speed in this light condition. Most impressive is watching the legend Paul Krueger M165 sail at 81 years young! A true inspiration for any iceboater! Class act! The ice stayed hard all day with full sunshine. Rounding out the Friday fleet was Tom Hyslop V738, Leon Lebeau D888, and Jay Yaeso U311.

 

Saturday brought out three more Skeeters, Mark Isabell V30, Steve Orlebeke V500, and Alex Peterson V137. The day started with a light northwesterly, and Skeeters and Stern-Steerers shared a racecourse.

 

The Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association started race one of their championship regatta series. This race was by far the longest iceboat race I have ever experienced. My Stern-Steerer, HAYWIRE, was the only yacht to finish, and what a weird finish it was! She completed the race upwind as a 180-degree wind shift hit on the final leg. It was a grueling race that the Race Committee declared abandoned because of time limit infraction. The incredible wind shift made it easy on the Race Committee because the 180-degree wind shift flip-flopped the course.

 

The Skeeters sailed downwind and commenced race five of the weekend. Ken Whitehorse was hooked up and won the race. The fresh breeze locked in again from the southeast at 5-10 mph, which made it another great day. U194 and M197 were the boats to beat, with the M165 securing second place in race five and V30 showing much speed in race seven.

The Stern-Steerers plugged away throughout the day and managed to race three more races with the Class A boat MICHIGANDER sailed by Erik and Ritch Sawyer acing every race. Once again, proving a Class A Stern-Steerer is the ultimate ride! HAYWIRE chased the MICHIGANDER, followed up by the remainder of the fleet. Dave Lallier, Mike Kroll, Mark Weiner, Max Runge, Joe Terry and Class D winner Andy Gratton.

 

Upon completing the day’s racing, Wisconsin Skeeter Association’s morale Officer Ken Whitehorse presented JD the Bottle Trophy. All participants consumed some of Jameson’s whiskey bottle, which capped off a glorious day of Skeeter and Stern-Steerer racing. Following the Bottle Trophy celebration, the WSA gathered at Jozwiak’s Bar and Grill, home of the delicious and delightful hamburger know as the “Wabash” and killer homemade pizza.

 

Sunday arrived with light conditions with a forecasted south southeast wind at 10-15 mph. The light air gave the fleet leisure set up time. When the clock read 11 AM, we had 11 mph of wind which kept building all day. The Skeeters finished their series with the final race deciding who won the weekend series. JD prevailed with Kenny on his heels. Great to see newcomers Leon Lebeau and Alex Peterson join the Skeeter fleet! We are all looking forward to racing with these guys!

 

The WSSA wrapped up their championship with the MICHIGANDER winning race five, and HAYWIRE launched and sailing on two runners most of race six for the final race win. Great to see all the familiar faces with lots of new ones. We now can put the Skeeters and Stern-Steerers away fast and ready for the 21-22 season.

 

A weekend like this happens with a lot of behind-the-scenes help. Special thanks to Deb Whitehorse for all her support, to WSSA Race Committee Ann Gratton, and Mary Jane and Steve Schalk for tabulating and posting all results. Thank you to Mike Derusha for inviting us all up to Menominee. Thank you to Schoelgels Bayview restaurant for letting us drive through their parking lot and lawn to access this great sheet of ice, and Ken Whitehorse for all his work as WSA morale/trophy officer. Not to forget all competitors, thank you to everyone who showed up put in a tremendous effort to make this a most excellent weekend of sailing. Thanks for the incredible memories!
Jay Yaeso U-311 C-47

The Relentless Search For Skeeter Ice: Mendota-Oconto-Menominee

The Skeeter group toasts JD for winning the “Bottle Trophy.” From left, Jay Yaeso, Steve Orlebeke, Mark Isabell, Ken Whitehorse, Paul Krueger, John Dennis (JD), Eric Hyslop, Tom Hyslop, Leon Lebeau.

As told to the Editor by Ken Whitehorse

The Madison-based Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Skeeter Fleet of Paul Krueger M165 and Ken Whitehorse M197 relentless search for ice finally paid off this past weekend at Menominee, Michigan, where they enjoyed 3 days of racing and camaraderie.

Earlier in the week, they set up on the west end of Lake Mendota on Tuesday in 40 mph winds and a 20f temperature. They checked ice with the 4LIYC ATV, and Ken sent out the word to the other Skeeter guys that “all systems go, ice looks great” in anticipation of Wednesday racing.

Tom Hyslop V738 arrived Wednesday morning to find the launch quickly disintegrating. The lake ice was still holding, and Ken proposed that they take turns at the wheel in his boat. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson arrived with the orange marks and the club’s Nebulous flotation device. The Dane County Lakes Patrol warden visited the landing, and Ken said, “a long talk ensued.”

Ready to leave for Oconto and adventure.

Rather than trying to sail, Ken and Paul decided to pull off the trailer. Tom Hyslop and son Eric Hyslop assisted with boat disassembly and loading. When Ken hauled the trailer off the lake with his Mule ATV, the 8000# Bulldog trailer jack was damaged and bent. Ken remarked that “seven sets of Skeeter runners in the trailer might have been a bit much.” That afternoon, word came from Iceboat Central U311 Jay Yaeso about ice on Lake Michigan near Oconto, Wisconsin.

Bright and early Thursday morning, Ken went to the Past Champions Iceboat Shop and fired up his blowtorch to heat the trailer-crank cherry-red and fixed the roller wheel. Paul and Ken shoved off for Oconto to rendezvous with Tom Hyslop. Oconto’s ice was tremendous, but ice fishermen blocked access to the lake because the fish were hitting there.

Thankfully, Mike Derusha R188 called Paul and reported that Menominee, Michigan had plenty of ice and told them to “come on up.” The three ice seekers didn’t waste time making the 30-minute drive to Menominee. Mike met them at the landing with a big smile and welcoming arms. They thanked Mike for taking care of the Skeeter fleet. Ken said Mike’s response was, “M fleet helps us; we help you.” Ken texted Jay, informing him to spread the word that Menominee was the place to be. Tom ended the evening by holding up a PBR nightcap and uttered, “we ride tomorrow.”

The conditions at Menominee were perfect for three days of Skeeter racing. The Skeeters are grateful for Eric Hyslop’s help setting up the marks and helping the fleet. Thanks to Mike Derusha for providing trees. JD and Tom were instrumental in setting our racing courses. Thanks to Steve and Mary Jane Schalk in Fontana, WI for tabulating the scores.

The week started with just three Skeeter sailors getting together on Lake Mendota to sail before the ice went terrible. We chased ice, and we were lucky to find it in Menominee, where we experienced a club-racing-like atmosphere. We just happened to have a bunch of trophies to make it more fun. No one is in charge of the Wisconsin Skeeter Association. If there’s ice, the Wisconsin Skeeter Association racers will be there.

read more…

Skeeter Fly By

Get a close look and listen as Steve Orlebeke V500 and John Dennis  U194 sail past Alex Peterson who shared this on Facebook. They were competing in the Wisconsin Skeeter Association Championship sailed on Lake Michigan at Menominee, Michigan, March 5-7, 2021. Alex and Rob Evans, both from Minnesota, are partners in the Class A Skeeter MERLIN. Rob sailed the DN Western Region regatta while Alex sailed the Skeeter. Stand by for more photos and a report from Ken Whitehorse about the 3 day event.

 

Wisconsin Skeeter Association Championship


The Class A Skeeters raced on the first day of their Wisconsin Skeeter  Association Championship at Menominee, Michigan on Friday, March 5th. As winner of the 4th race, John Dennis won the “Bottle Trophy.” Steve Orlebeke arrived last night and will be joining the Skeeter fleet racing today. At breakfast, the Skeeter guys said they had an excellent day of racing yesterday and were getting ready for another one.
Skeeter Scores

There Goes the Neighborhood


Stolen from the 4LIYC Facebook page from Greg Whitehorse:

My Cousin Ken called me today and asked if I could help out on a project. He said I would have to use every bit of my accumulated knowledge gained by 31 years of being in the sign business. When I asked if it was a paying job (I recently retired and am now surviving on a fixed income) he quickly replied “Of course not”. Oh well. I decided to help anyway. It seems that the place which was formerly known as “the place where Paul and Ken worked on their boats”, was getting an official name.

Steve O Goes

When was the last time you clocked in at 100 mph in your sailboat when the breeze was a steady 15 knots? Not recently? Let’s chat with Harken Director of Engineering Steve Orlebeke. He brought his freaky fast Class A Skeeter and brand new DN into the factory to give you an inside look.

Here’s the link to the full video of Steve racing his Skeeter.

The C in Connecticut

There goes another C-Class Skeeter ready for measuring and swage rigging. This one’s out East. Mike Acebo built the boat for George Nyssen, a Yankee and J14 skipper in Connecticut. Mike reports the Skeeter was a group effort. Bill Bucholz up in Maine made the mast, George made the springboard, plank, chocks, and seat, the Jeff Rogers of Airplane Plastics from the Midwest supplied the airplane canopy. Mike says, “the most important, Pat Heppert, for the fantastic plans and support. I know George will represent us well when all the pieces are together.”

2021 ISA Regatta Cancelled

Jay Yaeso hikes in his Class A Skeeter iceboat on Lake Winnebago. Photo by Gretchen Dorian. gretchendorian.com

Notice from the International Skeeter Association Executive Committee.
ISA Page

2021 CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTA NOTICE
November 12, 2020

The ISA Executive Committee and International Race Committee met on November 11, 2020 to discuss the status of the 2021 ISA Championship Regatta currently scheduled for the second weekend of January 2021.

 

After careful consideration of the possible impacts of gathering our members from across the nation to meet in either the Western or Eastern Regions of the ISA, our consensus was to cancel the 2021 Regatta.

We feel that local club sailing will be possible with safety protocols in place for face covering, separation and only outdoor activity.

 

We encourage everyone to get out and sail locally. Mark your calendars for the 2022 ISA on the second weekend in January 2022.

 

See you on the ice.

 

Don Sanford, President
Nite 384

 

Steve Schalk, Secretary/Treasurer
I564

Wisconsin Skeeter Association Awards


The top 3 finishers in the Wisconsin Skeeter Association belatedly held their 2020 spring awards banquet this week at the KW Skeeter Shop. Ken Whitehorse won the Bottle Trophy, Tom Hyslop was second, and Paul Krueger third. They also took the opportunity make a final check of the rear-seat Skeeter which is heading west tomorrow with Ed Newcomb.

Previous: West Coast Doubles Skeeter Fleet
The Rear Seat Skeeter Era
Important News for Class A Skeeter Owners

Ken, Tom, and PK.
If you’ve ever wondered how a sail made for a 24′ rig looks on a 26′ rig. (No worries, Ed – that sail won’t be in the quiver!)

West Coast Doubles Skeeter Fleet

The webmaster pretends to square up a plank.

The news from Lake Pepin on Wisconsin’s west coast is that it only took 3 hours for Ed Newcomb to decide to buy the rear-seat Class A Skeeter from Ken Whitehorse. WARRIOR III will join WARRIOR II, another rear-seat Class A Skeeter that Ed bought from Ken several years ago. We’ll be scanning the horizon for these fast Class A Skeeters the next time we sail on Pepin.

Speaking of the Buy & Sell page, by popular demand, there’s a new feature. When you confirm your boat or component as sold, your ad will be moved under the SOLD heading (with your contact information deleted) below the Wanted column. 

Previous:
The Rear Seat Skeeter Era
Important News for Class A Skeeter Owners

Important News for ISA Class A Skeeter Owners

Jay Yaeso makin’ wake.

In addition to this message from International Skeeter Association Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk, an updated version of the 2020 ISA Rules has been uploaded along with an ISA Notice of Dues.

Important News for ISA Class A Skeeter Owners from the Secretary/Treasurer

Rear Seat skeeter owners – Trophies will be awarded to the top rear seat A skeeters sailing in Class A in the Annual Regatta.
At the annual membership meeting of the ISA in 2018 at Battle Lake Minnesota, a change to the trophy schedule was made to award keeper trophies to rear cockpit A skeeters as a sub-class of Class A. All Class A boats will still sail as one class with no changes to any class specifications. While the minutes of the meeting were mailed out to the membership, the change was not publicized until now. Time to dust off the rumble seaters for the next regatta.

Below is the changed section of the ISA Rules, which is also posted on the ISA Page:
Section 3. Trophies
3.1 If only one boat competes in any class, the perpetual trophy will be awarded but not engraved.
The number of trophies shall be as follows:
1 – 14 Boats:   4 Trophies
15+ Boats:       1/3 of the fleet
Within Class A, Trophies per the above schedule will be awarded to boats with behind the runner plank cockpits as a sub-class.

Steve Schalk
ISA Secretary/Treasurer

C is OG

Daniel with Jerry Simon, another OG.

Daniel Hearn unveiled the C Skeeter’s new livery last weekend. Of course there’s a story….

Yo, Yo, Yo…What Up, Homies?

I’ve got less street cred than Mr. Rogers. Yet my kids call me “OG.” I know it’s actually to poke fun, but I’m perfectly comfortable with my dorkiness. Kind of like calling your iceboating buddy who’s last name is Davenport, “Couch.”

OG is short for “Original Gangsta.” To me it sounded like a good name for an iceboat. Yeah, it’s a skinny old white dude behind the bubble, but that’s what the tint is for. Perception is everything.

In Madison, we pride ourselves in “taking it to the man!” Early in their college careers, my kids were on board with that. Until they realized, “wait a minute, OG is “the man,” and that pays for my tuition. Maybe reality does trump perception now and then? (Not a political statement).

I was happy to have the Original, Original Gangsta, Jerry Simon, my brother Brian and the Global Communications Director of Ice Sailing, Deb Whitehorse for the assembly. Once I clearcoat the mast, align the runners, make an anti-mast flogging device and apply a few more decals, I’m ready for ice. Can’t wait!

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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