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.


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.


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.


75 Years of News & Views – Now Online!


Steve Schalk, Secretary/Treasurer of Northwest and ISA, has dedicated countless hours to preserving 75 years of essential iceboating history from the International Skeeter Association newsletter, News and Views. In the past few days, I’ve uploaded the PDFs to, making the complete archive easily accessible on the website. It’s a privilege to share this invaluable resource with everyone. Visit the ISA News & Views archives here.

Welcome to the News and Views Archive. This collection has been digitized in searchable pdf format directly from the official document collections of the International Skeeter Association and the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association.


In the 1950’s and earlier, the two Associations published documents such as meeting minutes and race results separately. Beginning in the 1960’s, the publication “ISA News and Views” was used to gather and publish news, meeting information, race results, member lists, local club news, and a for sale section.


The collection is organized by Iceboat racing season, which stretches from fall of one year through spring of the following year. The order of seasons starts with the most recent and goes back to 1948-49 season.


The content gives an insight into developments in iceboating over the last 75 years, with the voices and images of many of the most prominent competitors, designers and builders appearing in these pages.


I hope you enjoy your journey back in time using these archives.


Steve Schalk
Northwestern Ice Yachting Association

Reflections & Resolutions – 4LIYC Meeting Recap

Last night, the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club gathered for its final season meeting at the Four Lakes Yacht Club. The event was memorable, with Lars Barber in charge of pizza pick-up, Daniel Hearn bringing the essential bottle of Irish whiskey, and Ken Whitehorse hauling in the historic Northwest pots and pans. We honored our Northwest champions and paid tribute to the legacy of Tim McCormick while also remembering other departed members. The gathering brought together familiar faces, including those from Green Lake and Oshkosh, adding to the camaraderie. Ken Whitehorse showcased the Northwest Skeeter Trophy and the Northwest Free For All Trophy, awarded at the first Northwest regatta in 1913.

Despite the shortness of this sailing season, we are always optimistic and are already laying the groundwork for an exceptional season ahead. The club is gearing up to host the Southern Wisconsin Iceboat Swap Meet next fall and brainstorming ways to make it an unmissable event.
Video link to Ice Sailors Irish Blessing.



“Goodness Prevails” – A Message from M197

Dear Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Member Clubs,
I started racing skeeters in 1970. In 1977 at the age of 26, I was very fortunate to win the Northwest Championship. In 2024 I again was fortunate to win the Northwest championship. Well..that’s almost back to back victories! If you factor out 47 years! TODAY as in the past the Northwest Regatta has the world’s best Regatta Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, Steve Schalk. We have the world’s best race committee. We have the world’s best volunteer support group. Additionally we have the world’s best boat builders and sail makers. Finally, and of least importance, as in the past, the Northwest has the world’s best ice boat sailors. We all are truly blessed to participate in iceboat racing! Goodness withstands the test of time.
Ken WhiteHorse M197

The Neighborhood Just Got Better

PREVIOUS: There Goes the Neighborhood
The next door neighbor of made some improvements on their building on the Monday after the Northwest regatta.. Greg Whitehorse was there to help and document the change.

It was a busy day at the Past Champions Iceboat Shop in Monona, Wisconsin. Ken WhiteHorse captured the Northwestern Class A Skeeter Championship last weekend on Minnesota’s Lake Waconia, 47 years after capturing that same title in 1977(!!!). You do,after all, have to keep things “Current”.

2024 Northwest Regatta – A Note of Thanks

Photo: Shane Lewis – Silverfoxviz

See all of Shane Lewis – Silverfoxviz photos here.

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Championship Regatta came to a successful conclusion on Sunday February 25th 2024.
As Regatta Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer and competitor, I have many people to thank and acknowledge for the success of the event.
My number one support was Pat Heppert who drove all over Minnesota sailing potential ice sheets, and then set marks at the crack of dawn every day and moved them throughout the event as the wind moved around. He started most races and called numbers as well.
Thanks to the DN Western Region who let us use their ATV and trailer for the whole event.
Thanks to everyone who helped set, pick, move and reset the starting blocks and safety zone markers. Colton Hibbard got to learn the trade at his very first regatta.
Thanks to Deb Whitehorse for her usual efficiency in getting the data down right through all the weather changes and course moves, also instantly posting notices of all changes we made. Thanks to Ann Foeller for setting up the tabulating file and Mary Jane for completing that file and tabulating Saturday. Thanks to Julie Jankowski for monitoring the windward mark throughout. Thanks to the rest of the race committee for splitting the workload and making timely decisions.
I want to especially acknowledge the participation of Paul Kreuger and John Davis, who are still racing hard in all conditions at the ages of 84 and 80 respectively. They are perfect examples of the competitors who built and maintained this sport that we all love.

Steve Schalk
NIYA Secretary/Treasurer

Northwest – Across the Ice

Across the Ice | Minnesota 4K from ImageStream Press on Vimeo.

Winter may be coming to an end, but not yet for the 2024 Northwest Regatta on Lake Waconia in Minnesota. Some rough ice for iceboating but good winds and weather. The Northwest is the oldest ice sailing regatta in North America dating back to 1913. The DN Class North American Championship begins on Monday, 2/25/24. Great to have this event in Waconia, Minnesota.

Aerial segments filmed with a Mavic 3, edited and color graded with Vegas. Portions of the film have been sped up to compress the time over the vast distances with adjustments to lighting for effect. Flown within visual flight ranges, max altitude 400ft AGL across Minnesota. Music by Christopher Dennis Coleman “Vesper”, CHPTRS “Last Chance, “You Will Find Me” courtesy of the Musicbed.

2024 Northwest Prize Giving

Congratulations to all participants of the Northwestern Yachting Association Regatta! Thank you for your dedication and passion for the sport as you competed in North America’s oldest ice sailing regatta, a tradition that began in 1913.

The wind never fully cooperated Sunday morning, leading to a challenging waiting game. The regatta was called complete Sunday at 11 AM by NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who contributed to the regatta’s success, from those who scouted for ice, set courses and starting blocks to those who assisted with off-site tabulating, including Ann Foeller and Mary Jane Schalk.

Northwest DN champion Robin Lagraviere, alongside his fellow Canadians Nicholas Mabboux and Jacek Marzenski, were notably absent as they were out on the course training for the upcoming DN North American Championship, set to begin on Lake Waconia today, Monday February 26.
Follow the action here.


Northwest Regatta – Day 3 – AM Update

C Stern Steerer ACE OF SPADES – Photo: Kevin Barta


Day two of the 2024 Northwest Regatta brought clear, sunny skies, ideal conditions for a day filled with races and camaraderie on Lake Waconia in Minnesota. As the day progressed, the race committee concluded the day’s activities earlier than planned in light of the building winds.

Mike Peters and ACE OF SPADES

Ken Whitehorse tells the story of the when Buddy pulled out a bottle of Cutty Sark out of his jacket at Northwest. John Davis is on the plank. John has been attending the Northwest since 1954.

A highlight of the day was the presentation of the esteemed Bottle Trophy to the deserving crew of the C Stern Steerer ACE OF SPADES, helmed by Mike Peters and Terry Reynolds. In his eloquent speech, Ken Whitehorse shared the rich history of the trophy, first sponsored by the legendary Buddy Melges. Mike Peters and ACE OF SPADES with crew Terry Reynolds carry on the bottle trophy legacy this year.

2024 Northwest: Day 2 – AM Update

Renegaders Doug Kolner and Mike Derusha at the one and two blocks.


Update –  Post updated to include the real location. The webmaster regrets the error and blames it on not enough coffee. The 2024 Northwest Regatta kicked off on Lake WACONIA in Minnesota on Friday, February 23, the first one held in five years.

The winds remained relatively steady throughout most of the day, ranging from 8 to 12 mph. The Race Committee had to reset the course twice. However, as the day progressed, the winds began to fade. The last Stern Steerer, B Skeeter, and DN races were black-flagged because of the time limit.

The bumpy ice conditions tested each sailor’s skills. After each race, sailors had to check all fittings to ensure they remained secure, noted DNer John Harper (US60) from Michigan.

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Schedule Update
9 AM: First Race. Stern Steerers Race #2
Followed by B & C Skeeter Race #2
Normal rotation then resumes:
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter

Michigan Renegader Peter Sarelis turns the hotel hallway into a sail loft.

2024 Northwest Update: Stern Steerers Race at 9AM on Saturday 2-24

Photo: Jacek Marzenski

A long day on the ice. I’ll have more early tomorrow morning. A message tonight from NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Schedule Update
9 AM: First Race. Stern Steerers Race #2
Followed by B & C Skeeter Race #2
Normal rotation then resumes:
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter

Day 1:2023 Northwest Starting Positions

Good Morning from Waconia, MN, site of the 2024 Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Regatta. Starting positions will also be posted on the RC trailer on the ice.
Skipper’s meeting at the launch at 9 AM. See you on the ice!
The last time the NIYA was held was in 2019 on Lake Pepin in MN. The Northwest is the oldest ice sailing regatta in North America and was first sailed in Menominee, Michigan in 1913. It survived two World Wars, a pandemic and it’s great to be back. We are pleased to see such a large DN fleet this year with the DN North Americans having been called on for Waconia as well. The DN North American Championship begins on Monday.

Friday, February 23, 2024 Schedule
Skipper’s Meeting at 9 AM at the launch
First start 10 AM
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter
NIYA Annual Meeting at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn, Chanhassen, MN

2024 Northwest Regatta Information

The 2024 Northwestern Ice Yachting Association regatta is called on for Waconia Lake in Waconia, Minnesota.
Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Regatta
Dates: February 23 – 25, 2024
Location: Lake Waconia, Waconia MN
Launch: Lake Waconia Regional Park
8170 Paradise Ln, Waconia, MN 55387

Regatta Headquarters: Holiday Inn Express Chanhassen, MN
$109 per night King
$119 per night 2 Queens
Online Booking Link
If you are booking online, please make sure to put in the correct dates otherwise it will say there isn’t an existing block.
Tell them you are with the Northwest Regatta to get the discount.

AmericInn by Wyndham Chanhassen, MN

Country Inn & Suites Chanhassen, MN

Super 8 by Wyndham Chaska, MN

Register: Click here to register online.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, February 23
Registration closes at 7AM
Starting positions for the first race in each class will be posted on a Competitor list by 9:30 am at
First start 10 AM
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter
NIYA Annual Meeting at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn, Chanhassen, MN

Saturday, February 24
First start at 9:30 AM

Sunday, February 25
First start at 9:30 AM

Race Documents
Notice of Race
Sailing Instructions

Regatta Watch: NIYA Called ON for Waconia, MN Feb 23-25

DN Class: Spouses Julie Richards & Dick Wollam draw 1 & 2 for the start at the 2010 Northwest

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association has called the 2024 championship regatta for February 23-25th at Lake Waconia Minnesota. This is the final call, launch site is Lake Waconia regional park on Paradise lane. Hotel information will be available tomorrow February 21st.

The ISA Championship is postponed to March 1st-3rd 2024.

Steve Schalk



Feb 18, 2024 Regatta Watch: NIYA, ISA & Renegade Championship Called ON for Feb 23-25

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Race Committee has called the 2024 regatta on for a yet to be determined Minnesota location north and west of St. Cloud. The dates are February 23rd-25th.

The lakes are still to be final checked for surface and launch conditions. There are potential lakes in the Alexandria area, where lodging may be an issue, and lakes further north.

The final call will be made as soon as possible, but Wednesday February 21st by noon at the latest.

The International Skeeter Association Race Committee has made the same call on for February 23rd-25th. In the event the Northwest is held the ISA will defer and postpone.

Steve Schalk

A Big Thanks to NIYA & ISA Ice Checkers

A message from NIYA & ISA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The Race Committees for the Northwest and ISA regattas, would like to acknowledge all the efforts of our ice checkers who have been scouting and sailing potential regatta sites. Pat Heppert and Chris Wiberg spent an entire weekend driving the width of Minnesota setting up their boats and test sailing multiple lakes. Terry Reynolds and Mike Peters sailed Little Bay De Noc, and Jim McDonagh drove up to Lake Osakis on Wednesday at dawn sailed his DN all over the lake, then drove back in a whiteout. We all owe them a big thank you for the huge efforts made to find a place for us to have an event. Many thanks to you guys.

Steve Schalk



Feb 14, 2024 Regatta Watch: Postponement for ISA & NIYA


The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Race Committee has postponed the 2024 Regatta to February 23rd, 24th, and 25th. A combination of incoming snow, snowy travel, 5.5 rated surface with high winds forecast led to the postponement.

The International Skeeter Association Race Committee has postponed one week to February 23rd-25th. If the Northwest is held that weekend the ISA will defer.

Steve Schalk

Regatta Watch: NIYA Or ISA Called ON for Feb 16-18 in MN or WI

The 2024 Northwestern Regatta is on for Lake Osakis Minnesota for February 16th, 17th and 18th. The final call with details on the launch site located off Lake street in downtown Osakis will be made on Wednesday by noon.

The 2024 ISA Regatta and Renegade Championship is also called on for a location to be determined in Minnesota or Wisconsin. If the Northwest is confirmed on Wednesday, the ISA will defer and postpone.

NEXT UPDATE: Wednesday, February 14 by 12 PM CT.

Steve Schalk

Regatta Watch: ISA & Northwest Postponed

Rob Evans sails his A Class Skeeter on Lake Monona, January 15, 2022. Photo: Joe Berger

The NIYA is postponed one week to February 16th, 17th, and 18th 2024. Colder weather returning The week of the 12th should provide one or more viable locations.

Steve Schalk


Northwestern Ice Yachting Association

The ISA Regatta is postponed to February 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2024. Colder temperatures the week of February 12th will allow for multiple locations to become available.

Steve Schalk


International Skeeter Association

Regatta Watch: 2024 ISA & NIYA Postponed to Feb 9-11

Greg McCormick

The Northwest and International Skeeter Association & Renegade Championship Race Committees have postponed for one week to February 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2024. Both Committees determined that the high temperatures, sun, and lack of overnight freezing will make the ice too soft for acceptable regatta conditions. The presence of plenty of ice that should stay in place until colder weather arrives gives us a good chance coming later in February.
Steve Schalk
NIYA & ISA Secretary/Treasurer

Regatta Watch: Northwest AND ISA Called ON for Feb 2-4 on Lake Waconia, MN

Ken Whitehorse / Photo: Dave Delap

A Regatta Watch two-for-one tonight:

The  Northwest Ice Yachting Association Regatta is called on for Lake Waconia, Minnesota for February 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2024. The final call will be made by noon on Wednesday January 31st.


The International Skeeter Association and Renegade Championship are also called on for the same location and date. If the Northwest is called on Wednesday, the ISA & Renegade Championship will be postponed. If the Northwest postpones on Wednesday, the ISA Race Committee will determine if the ISA & Renegade Championship can proceed or be postponed. That decision will be announced at noon on Wednesday January 31st as well.


Steve Schalk



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