NIYA

Northwest Ice Yachting Association An iceboat regatta first sailed in 1913 in Menominee, Michigan.

Stern Steerers

The NIYA was originally a stern-steerer regatta organized to determine ice yacht supremacy in the Midwest. A,B,C,& D stern-steerers continue to compete in the NIYA.

Skeeters

Class E Skeeters first raced the NIYA in 1936 when Lake Geneva sailor Harry Melges won in MICKEY FINN.

DN Class

Skip Boston of Detroit was the first winner of the NIYA in the DN class in 1954.

Renegade

First sailed as a seperate class in 1958 and won by “Mr. Iceboat”, Elmer Millenbach.

NIYA Centennial

The NIYA celebrated 100 years of iceboat racing in 2013 on Green Lake in Wisconsin.

A Brief Overview of Northwest Regatta History

Welcome to the home page of the Northwestern Ice Yacht Association Regatta. This historic regatta was first sailed in 1913 in Menominee, Michigan. Skeeters, DNs, and Renegades weren’t even invented back then when the big stern steerers ruled the ice.

Learn more.

Dateline January 13, 1913. Wisconsin State Journal. “Representatives of Oshkosh, Madison, Menominee, and Marinette met at the Hotel Menominee this morning and discussed future of the new NIYA….. LF Porter, of Madison, a man who has been connected with several water and ice craft organizations, gave some timely and instructive suggestions in regard to the proper manner of conducting the association. He proposed having two delegates from each club present at a future gathering and from a constitution and by laws at that time.”

In 1913, Menominee skipper E. Peterson won the first Class A championship in “Square People”. Madison, Wisconsin’s Emil Fauerbach won the 1914 championship in the famed Princess II, a boat that went on the win the Hearst International Trophy.

 

Other notable Class A winners throughout the years include John Buckstaff of Oshkosh, Fritz Jungbluth and Carl Bernard of Madison in the Fritz, Harry Melges of Lake Geneva (Buddy’s father), Carl Bernard again in the Mary B, the Debutante currently owned by Mike Derusha, and Buddy Melges in his Ferdinand the Bull. The DNs were first recognized as a separate class in 1954 when Skip Boston won the inaugural NIYA DN championship. Other notable DN champions include William Sarns in 1956, Jane Pegel who first won in 1960 and went on to capture another nine championships. Class E Skeeters first raced the NIYA in 1936 when Lake Geneva sailor Harry Melges won in Mickey Finn. Elmer Millenbach took the 1949 trophy sailing his Renegade II back when the Renegades and Skeeters sailed together. Other famous ice boating names who’ve won the NIYA Class E championship include Bill Perrigo, Howard Boston, Frank Trost, Jack Ripp, Dave Rosten, Bill Mattison, Lou Loenneke, Buddy Melges, Bob Pegel, and Paul Krueger. The Renegades first raced in the NIYA as a recognized class in 1958 and of course, Mr. Ice Boat, Elmer Millenbach won his first of many NIYA Renegade Championships in Renegade III and went on to win every regatta until 1984. Other winners include Arlyn Lafortune, Lorne Sherry, Jack Ripp, Tim McCormick, Roger Derusha, Don Anderson, and Mike Derusha.

 

2019 Northwest News

Class A Skeeters lined up at the 2010 Northwest Regatta on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Photo: Joe Terry

Acting NIYA Secretary Steve Schalk has updated the Northwest Ice Yacht Association 2019 regatta documents. See the Notice of Race and 2019 NIYA Agenda over on the NIYA page.

The first possible dates that the NIYA could be sailed if conditions allow are January 18-20, 2019. Stay tuned for the next 2019 NIYA regatta update which will be on Sunday, January 13, 2019.

NIYA: 2019 Notice of Dues

iceboating_madison_wisconsin

Photo: Joe Stanton

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association is an affiliation of iceboat clubs formed in 1913 for the purpose of holding an annual regatta.  Iceboat clubs constitute the membership and now is the time for club’s to pay their dues of $20. If your club didn’t receive a Notice of Dues in the mail, please download and return to the NIYA Acting Secretary, Steve Schalk.

January 18, 29, & 20, 2019 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) is the first scheduled weekend for the 2019 Regatta.Please return any new agenda items for the 2019 meeting to the Acting Secretary Steve Schalk by December 1st. These will be added to the agenda from 2018. The Regatta notice and new agenda will be sent out and posted on Iceboat.org no later than December 7th. The Race Committee and Nomination Slate remains from the 2018 season as no meeting was held.

2019 NOTICE OF DUES NIYA

Regatta Watch: Northwest Canceled for 2018

“The chief difficulty in iceboating is the utter dependence upon the fickleness of the weather dispenser” Wisconsin State Journal 1918

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The NIYA Regatta is cancelled for the 2018 season. Gladstone, MI continues to have a hard crust of snow. Shawano Lake has workable landings but the ice is too rough. Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake have holes. All other sites do not have sufficient landings. With the following weekend being the Easter Holiday, the NIYA Race Committee agreed we should cancel for the season.

The above quote in italics comes from this newspaper article published 100 years ago in 1918, a year when the Northwest was also canceled. In fact, it wasn’t sailed again until 1922. See you on the ice at next year’s Northwest!

Same As It Ever Was

Regatta Watch: NIYA Tentatively Called ON for March 23-25

Photo: Gretchen Dorian                                                       We Sure Do!

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The Northwest Regatta is tentatively called ON for March 23-25. The primary site is Gladstone, MI with Houghton Lake, MI as a secondary site. With all the warm weather this past weekend, we’re getting close! Final determination will be Wednesday, March 21st at Noon CDT.

Regatta Watch: Broken Record Edition

Heeere’s Your Wednesday Regatta Update!

Both the ISA and Northwest Regattas have been postponed. Next update for the ISA regatta will be Sunday, March 18.

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The NIYA Regatta is postponed until March 23-25. Gladstone, MI is the most promising site but they still have 2” of hard crust snow and the wind forecast for this weekend is light. Ice thickness is more than 18” and trucks are driving on and off the ice without a problem. We need a moderate melt for that site to become good enough for a regatta and the forecast for the next week indicates that should happen. Next update is Sunday, March 18 at 8pm CST.

Regatta Watch: Northwest Called ON for March 16-18


Via Northwest Regatta Chair Tim McCormick:

The Northwest Regatta is tentatively called ON for March 16-18. The primary sites are in Upper Michigan but we need some melting there to clear up the ice. Final determination will be Wednesday, March 14th at Noon CDT.

Regatta Watch: NIYA & ISA Postponed

Both the ISA and Northwest Regattas have been postponed. Next update, March 11.

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick

The NIYA Regatta is postponed until March 16-18. Gladstone, MI is the most promising site but they still have 2” of hard crust snow covered by 1” of fresh snow. Ice thickness is more than 18” and trucks are driving on and off the ice without a problem. We need a melt for that site to become good enough for a regatta. Next update is Sunday, March 11 at 8pm CST.

Regatta Watch: NIYA & ISA Tentatively Called ON For March 10-12

ISA News Via Jay Yaeso:
The ISA is called on for March 10,11,12.  Potential sites are:  Escanaba,Mi. Elk Lake, Mi. and Newport, VT.Final call Wednesday, March 7 at noon.

Northwest Regatta News Via Tim McCormick:
The Northwest Regatta is tentatively called ON for March 9-11. We’re keeping our eyes on ice in upper Michigan and Elk Lake and will monitor the snow event Monday-Tuesday. Final determination will be Wednesday, March 7th at Noon CST.

NIYA Regatta Postponed

From Tim McCormick:

The NIYA Regatta is postponed until March 9-11.  The landings in Madison, Green Lake, Winnebago, and Green Bay will not support cars or large trailers so we’re keeping our eyes open for potential ice north of Suamico, WI for the regatta.  Next update is Sunday, March 3 at 8pm CST.

Regatta Watch: NIYA & ISA Postponed

Photo: Gretchen Dorian

UPDATE:ISA postponed as well. Next ISA update is February 25, 2018.

Via NIYA Regatta Chair Tim McCormick:

The Northwest Regatta is postponed until March 2-4. We have a number of potential sites which are close to racing conditions. Madison lakes have smoothed out nicely but they have shell ice; ¾” ice above 1-3” of liquid. Geneva has drain holes with skimmed ice over them. Green Lake is similar to Madison plus it has some hard 4” snow drifts. Lake Winnebago and Green Bay are getting smoother but are still too rough for a regatta. Next update is Sunday, February 25th at 7pm CST.

ISA & NIYA: Nines!

Via Tim McCormick

DID YOU KNOW?

The racing format for the NIYA, ISA, and Renegade regattas has changed from five races to nine races.  Three races are scheduled for each day (Friday through Sunday) and races may be made up if missed on prior days.  For example, if only one race is completed on Friday, then we may sail up to 5 races on Saturday.  Here’s hoping for smooth ice, fair winds, and lots of good racing soon!

Kenny Krieder in POON, a classic rear seat Class A Skeeter

Regatta Watch: NIYA Tentatively Called ON for Feb 23-25

2008 Northwest    Photo: Geoff Sobering

Via NIYA Regatta Chair Tim McCormick:

The Northwest Regatta is tentatively called ON for February 23-25, 2018. We don’t currently have racing conditions, but we have a major weather system moving through the area early this week bringing warm temperatures and rain followed by colder temperatures Tuesday night. We’ll inspect ice conditions Wednesday morning and make the final call by Noon CST, Wednesday February 21st. Potential regatta sites include Madison, Green Lake, and Fond du Lac.

1950s Lake Monona Ice Sailing Photos

Two legends, Bill Perrigo IOU and Elmer Millenbach RENEGADE III

Our club had an unexpected visitor at last week’s meeting who brought us some classic photos. Long time Madisonian Dick Brandt shot these on Lake Monona back in the 1950s. Many thanks to Dick and to Peter Fauerbach for taking the time to scan these important historic photographs. My guess is that many of these were from the 1952 Northwest Regatta which was sailed on Lake Monona.
UPDATE: Skeeter Iceboat Club’s Jane Pegel has helpfully identified some of the boats. The skipper sitting in the MICKEY FINN Skeeter is in question. Jane writes,  “I think Mickey Finn may be Buddy because his sail number is I-180 (Harry C. Melges, Jr.) but perhaps his father was sailing the regatta in Mickey Finn.”

Click here to view more photos

Regatta Watch: ISA & NIYA Postponed

Photo: Chris John    Sailing legend Buddy Melges takes a first place finish in his Skeeter at the 2007 Northwest sailed on Green Bay in Menominee, Michigan

The International Skeeter Association (ISA) and Northwest Regattas are postponed because all of Wisconsin and Michigan are snow covered. Next update for both regattas is Sunday, February 18.

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Regatta Watch: NIYA & ISA Postponed

DEUCE at the 2004 Northwest on Lake Monona, Madison, WI. Photo: David Travis

The International Skeeter Association (ISA) and Northwest Regattas are postponed because all of Wisconsin and Michigan are snow covered. Next update for both regattas is Sunday, February 11.

 

Northwest Regatta Called ON for Jan 26-28

Photo: Joe Stanton

Via NIYA Race Committee Chairman Tim McCormick

“The Northwest Regatta is tentatively call ON for January 26-28. The primary site is Lake Winnebago and we’re holding Madison and Green Bay as backup sites. Final confirmation will be made by Wednesday, January 24th at Noon CST.”

A New First

PIKE an early Skeeter iceboat owned by the Goes Family

From the Skeeter Iceboat Club on Geneva Lake, Jane Pegel sends this photo with a note:

Here is a photo of Chris Goes sailing January 12, 2018, on Delavan Lake in the Beau Skeeter “Pike”. This boat has been owned and given loving care by the Goes family since 1935. With Harry Melges, Sr. at the helm, “Pike” won the Northwest in 1935, the first year that Class E Skeeters raced in the regatta as a separate fleet. This is what the boats looked like when the Beau Skeeter Ice Boat Club (now the Skeeter Ice Boat Club) was organized in 1933.

Jane’s information puts the Skeeters in the Northwest one year earlier than records had indicated, a date confirmed by this Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper article from 2-28-1935. That’s not the end of the story because it appears the Skeeters first sailed the Northwest in 1933 at Oshkosh but that regatta was cancelled for reasons likely related to weather. The Northwest regatta officials must have embraced the new Skeeter class the same year it was organized at Lake Geneva.
Related: Northwest Regatta Winners

Wisconsin State Journal, Feb 23, 1933. The “mosquito class” is now known as the Skeeter class.

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