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.
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.
NORTHWESTERN ICE YACHTING ASSOCIATION 2021 REGATTA NOTICE November 16, 2020
All participating members of the NIYA Board of Directors have been polled and the unanimous decision is to cancel the 2021 event.
The worsening pandemic makes travel, lodging and inside food service for a large group not viable.
It was felt that local club sailing will be possible to conduct safely with protocols in place for face covering, separation and only outdoor activity.
We encourage everyone to get out and sail locally, and look forward to the 2022 NIYA in the third week in January 2022.
Northwestern Ice Yachting Association
Provisional Results Back in from an an extremely cold day with light to moderate breeze, enough too power through the snow. It started out light and built throughout the day. All fleets now have 3 races completed.The Northwest had a first today, the mayor of a town where we are sailing joining in to race. Lake City mayor Mark Nichols races soft water boats and raced his first iceboat race today. Off to the banquet.
We were able to get 4 races in before the snow came. The DNs, Renegades, the A Skeeters, and the Stern Steerers sailed in light to moderate shifty conditions on 1/4″ snow covered ice. Visibility soon diminished as the flurries arrived and persisted causing racing to be postponed until tomorrow.
We are hoping the flurries end without ending the regatta. Stand by for tomorrow’s update.
During the regatta, Mary Jane Schalk will be continually uploading Northwest fleet results like she did for the ISA. Check the link often because she tabulates after every race. In the meantime, check out the list of competitors at the Results link.
Notice – Finishing Method Update for the NIYA Regatta
Please note that the finishing procedure for the One Design classes (DN and Renegade) and the Skeeter Classes must conform to their respective rules per the NIYA By-Laws. Since all of those Classes currently specify use of the Bart rule, that method will be used for 2019 and future NIYA Regattas. The Bart rule method of finish will not be used for the A, B, C, and D class Stern Steerers sailing in their combined race.
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!
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
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 18:
8:30 – 9:30 AM Registration at the launch
10 AM First race
Order of Rotation:
See Sailing Instructions for more detail.
- E Skeeter
- A, B, C, D Stern Steerers
- ISA B & C Skeeters
6 PM Annual NIYA Meeting at the AmericInn
Saturday, January 19
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 20
9:30 AM First Race
Via Northwest Ice Yachting Association Race Committee:
The 2019 Northwest Yachting Association Regatta is tentatively called on for January 18-20. Lake Pepin at Lake City, MN is the primary site with Lake Petenwell near Necedah, Wisconsin as secondary site. This historic regatta, first sailed in 1913, is a three day event that includes the Stern Steerers, A, B, and C Skeeters, Renegades, and DNs. Final confirmation will be posted on Wednesday, January 16 by noon CT. Reminder: The Northwest is now a nine-race regatta.
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.
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.
“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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
The Northwest Regatta has been postponed. Next update is Sunday, February 4, 2018.