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
I simply walked over next door to the Krueger/Whitehorse Skeeter Iceboat Shop to ask if they’d be ready to sail next weekend if Kegonsa came in and was immediately tasked with helping Ken make some adjustments on the blue Class A Skeeter. Ken caught me up on the latest news from one of the busiest Skeeter shops in town. (Yes, there’s another which we hope will start sharing photos of their build. Hint. Hint.) The big news of the weekend was the delivery of massive Skeeter Class A size runner sharpener made by Bob Rast.
FAKE NEWS CORRECTION
Previously, it had been reported on this website that Steve Orlebeke designed the Skeeter cascade block system. Sources tell me that it was actually Jay Yaeso who figured out and installed this sheeting system 2 years ago.
Oh, and to answer my original question if the Skeeters will be ready for next weekend, the answer is yes, PK’s boat is on the trailer ready to go and Ken will have the blue Skeeter ready as well.
4LIYC Skeeter sailors Ken Whitehorse, Paul Krueger, and Jim Gluek gathered at the Krueger/Whitehorse Skeeter Shop on Saturday. They brought and measured 8 sails and learned that all were less than 74 square feet. They also spent the day configuring a new Harken cascade pulley system designed by Steve Orlebeke for Ken’s new blue-soon-to-be-red Skeeter. Steve’s design is attracting a lot of interest including some from Daniel Hearn who stopped by to see it being installed. Ken reports that Tom Hyslop will also be changing his pulley system over Steve’s design which uses a combination of Harken block 3238, 3216, and 3215. Iceboat work never stops!
Jim Gluek took some of the photos and sent along this note:
Great day with two legends in our sport. PK and Kenny. Stories of the Skeeter side-car so Kenny could take a crew; two sets of chocks on the plank so you could move the runner in board. One of the most awesome thing about ice boating are the people and the stories over the years.
4LIYC Skeeter & DN sailor and head of Harken Engineering Steve Orlebeke explains why he’d rather be on ice in the Harken publication, At The Front.
Like a lot of us here in Pewaukee, I’m a lifelong sailor. Maybe less like most of us, my favorite sailing is done where you really hope you never get wet. For the last several years I’ve been working as hard as I can in the Skeeter and DN iceboat classes. I descend from a grand Harken tradition. Get them in the right moment, Peter and Olaf might let slip that they like iceboating best too. Read more.
Via Greg Whitehorse’s post on the 4LIYC Facebook page.
Down at the Whitehorse/Krueger Boat Works. Measuring up a spot for upcoming lettering on Ken’s new Skeeter. WARRIOR VI. Previous: Skeeter Swap Meet.
Some big developments at the Krueger/Whitehorse Boatbarn-
The Krueger/Whitehorse Boatbarn hosted a sort of swap meet on Saturday, January 26. Recent NIYA and ISA Class A Skeeter regatta champ, John Dennis, made the 5 hour drive from the Minneapolis area to pick up Ken’s Class A Skeeter, WARRIOR 5. This will double the size of the Class A fleet in Minnesota!
That frees up space on the trailer for Ken’s latest acquisition, a very fast modern Class A skeeter originally owned by Bob Kau and built in the attic of a Suamico Skeeter builder. Everyone has had their eye on Kau’s blue Class A Skeeter since its been for sale and the 4LIYC is glad that Ken decided to make the boat part of our Skeeter fleet. The paint schemes will switch up with JD putting WARRIOR 5 in blue and Ken changing the blue Kau Skeeter to the traditional 4LIYC red and white livery.
JD and PK talked at length about runner technology. JD shared his vast knowledge of the numbers on crown and flat. Much thanks and credit to Jay for coordinating the sale. All participants are very pleased with the exchange. The Skeeter fleet is growing!
The Skeeters are back on Lake Pepin this weekend to bring it on for the Northwest, including this boat, Jim Gluek’s A Skeeter Merlin. A Jim McDonagh video production.
2019 International Skeeter Association Regatta
January 11-13, 2019
Lake Pepin, Lake City, MN
Photos: Julie Jankowski
2019 ISA Results
It took a cooperative effort to make the ISA a success. Thanks go to the following:
John Dennis & Jim McDonaugh: Ice checking, course setting, race starting
Steve Schalk: ISA Secretary/Treasurer, course setting, flagging, and anything else that needed doing.
Jason Thompson & the rest of the SIBC sailors who helped in any way asked.
Mary Jane Schalk: Off site tabulation. She published race results at a blazing speed, even before the sailors had a chance to walk over to look at the line up sheets to see how they finished! She also contacted the hotels and arranged the banquet.
Julie Jankowski: Facebook video and photo updates which were much appreciated around the world.
Steve Brown: Lake City resident and licensed drone pilot who shared his videos and pictures with all of us.
Don Sanford: Flagging, race starting
Wayne Schmeidlin (Wayne’s Automotive on Cottage Grove Road, Madison) and his son, Adam, who not only tuned up our ATV but made sure my car was in good shape to haul it. We would not have had as many races without an ATV in good working condition.
The people of Lake City, Minnesota who welcomed ice boaters for the second weekend in a row. It’s heartening to see them come to the landing to see what we are up to, ask questions, and take pictures.
All four fleets for always being lined up and ready to race as soon as the last boat crossed the finish line.
Lake Pepin’s titanium-hard ice provided one of the best ISA and Renegade Championships seen in years. The Renegades and A Skeeters had 7 races each which the B and C Skeeters and the Nites had 6, that’s a 26 race regatta, folks! Stay tuned for more photos and some well deserved thank yous.
Congratulations to all who participated and to the fleet champions:
A Skeeter: John Dennis, Windjammers Ice Yacht Club
B Skeeter: Jason Thompson, Skeeter Iceboat Club
C Skeeter: Pat Heppert, Skeeter Iceboat Club
Renegade: George Gerhardt, Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, Oshkosh Ice Yacht Club
Nite: Maureen Krueger Bohleber, Green Lake Ice Yacht Club & Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club
A special congratulations to Nite Class champion Maureen Krueger Bohleber who made history as the first woman to ever win an ISA fleet championship.
Different conditions today compared to yesterday. It was cloudy with the shifty flukies in the morning and dead to juicy in the afternoon.Spectators were treated to hot battles in all fleets. Off to the banquet. Results here.
Just back in from the lake. What a day – fast ice, a steady light breeze, a sunny day, eagles, trains, eight races, five classes, and Minnesota nice! Wish you were here. More to come tomorrow. Results here.
Good morning from Lake City, MN on the first day of the regatta. Mary Jane will be tabulating from the home office in Fontana. You should be able to see results as they happen at this link. (Update: Link has been fixed.) The ice is hard and fast. Keeping fingers crossed for the right amount of breeze to make this a perfect regatta day. The racing starts at 10 AM and the rotation is Renegades, Nites, A Skeeters, and B Skeeters with C Skeeters. If you are a Facebooker, check out the 4LIYC page for live updates and photos.
BACK TRAILERS ON THE ICE, DO NOT DRIVE ON THE ICE
SAILING AREA – WHAT TO KNOW
There’s a fairly obvious pressure ridge about 1/3 of a mile south of the launch. Do not sail to the Willows because of open water. There’s about a 2 mile x 2 mile sailing area. Don’t go wandering off!
UPDATE JAN 10: JD has added more detail to the sailing area map. I don’t have time to revise it from the one that was posted yesterday. JD’s comments and lines are in black. Please review.
Willows on the River Condominium Resort
100 Central Point Road
Lake City, MN 55041
When making reservations you must tell them you are with the ISA regatta.
IMPORTANT: Must call the hotel directly at 651-345-9900 to get discount. No Expedia.
- Single condo rooms sleep 1 – 4.
Thursday is $125.00, Friday and Saturday are $87.50.
- Double rooms sleep 6 -8.
Thursday is $205.00 with Friday and Sat. $127.50.
- Single condo rooms sleep 1 – 4.
1615 N Lakeshore Drive Lake City, Minnesota 55041-9023
2 Queen room (no view) 89.90 + tx.
Single queen with a view $89.90 = tx.
2 queen handicap $89.90 + tx.
2 single King $99.90+ tx.
Suite with 1 king and 1 queen separate rooms $109.90 + tx.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, January 11:
8:30 – 9:30 AM Registration at the launch
10 AM First race
6 PM Annual ISA Meeting at the AmericInn
Saturday, January 12
9:30 AM First race
Banquet at the Lake House Restaurant at the Willows.
6:30 PM cocktails
7:00 PM dinner and order off the menu.
Sunday, January 13
9:30 AM First Race
The International Skeeter Association Regatta and the Renegade Championship have been tentatively called on for January 11-13, 2019. Potential sites include Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN, Lake Puckaway near Montello, WI, and Lake Kegonsa in Madison, WI. Final confirmation will be made on Wednesday, January 9 by noon CT.
Next update Wednesday, January 9 by noon CT.
Always a pleasure to see what Minnesota iceboater Jim McDonagh comes up with video-wise after a regatta. Ride along on the range with JD and Marty Robbins as they race JD’s Class A Skeeter at the ISA regatta in Battle Lake, MN.