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
Steve Schalk, Secretary/Treasurer
SAIL: Fast Foward Since Birth
Get your masks on because Day 3 of Bill Mattison week takes us into the dusty lair of the Willy Street Boat Shop in this 1992 SAIL article by Knowles L. Pittman. You’ll learn more about Class A Skeeter development and Bill’s role in the 1986 America’s Cup. Click here to read.
The Hard-Water Gang
Shooting the Breeze with Bill Mattison
Bill Mattison Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Welcome to Day 2 of Bill Mattison Week at iceboat.org where we revisit the 2001 International Skeeter Association Regatta on Geneva Lake. Josh Adams’ article in SAIL featured interviews and quotes from a who’s who of iceboating at that time. Peter Harken and Buddy Melges were there and though he wasn’t at the regatta, Dan Clapp and his revolutionary Skeeter ATTITUDE were there in spirit. A full page was devoted to Bill’s Skeeter building history and philosophy. Click here to read the article.
It’s Bill Mattison Week at iceboat.org. In honor of Bill’s September 12 induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, here is the first of a series of articles that will be posted every day this week. “Shooting The Breeze” was written by Barbara Sanford and was published in Madison Magazine in 1980. Click here to read.
Big Tip of the Helmet to Don Sanford for sharing these articles and being the driving force behind Bill’s NSHOF nomination.
Scuttlebutt Sailing News: Class of 2020 – Bill Mattison
4LIYC’s Bill Mattison National Sailing Hall of Fame induction was formally announced on June 23, 2020. He and 7 others will be inducted in a virtual ceremony September 12, 2020. You can be a part of it all by registering for the virtual induction ceremony here.
New England DNer and America’s Cup aficionado James “T” Thieler puts the AC’s ties to iceboating in perspective with his article, “Iceboaters Fingerprints”.
If you are ever in Osterville MA there is something to be seen….
…Two of these were Bill Mattison and Jeff Kent. Bill had worked on the Heart Of America campaign in 1987 and had been building and racing soft water and hard water boats in Madison, Wisconsin for decades prior to that.
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:
MISS PEGGY V50
SNOW GOOSE V4
V20 John Flanagan
V83 Al Sternkopf
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.
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.
Hang on as you ride the plank with Steve Orlebeke back in 2016 on Lake Kegonsa.
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.
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.
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.
ISA & NIYA Secretary/Treasurer
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.
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.
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.
ISA and NIYA Secretary/Treasurer
On behalf of the NIYA and ISA Race Committees
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.
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.
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.