Craig Wilson found the above photo while looking through his dad J. Dale Wilson’s slide collection. (Craig is the aerial kite photographer who has been snapping our pictures for many years. See some of his work here on Flickr.) Craig figures the slide dates from around 1952 or 1953 and wondered if we knew anything about the yellow stern-steerer. I sent it off to Andy Gratton, Mike Peters, and Don Sanford. Here’s what the collective stern steerer history brain trust found:
Via Don Sanford:
The gods of iceboating must be sending me a message…..
I believe that this is the Clancy. She was owned by the Oetking family. See page 81 of “the book” (mine). [On Fourth Lake]
I have been on the trail of these folks for years and during the past six weeks (pandemic) I had a chance to plow through the internet, sailing websites, and obits. This is a family of sailors. Last week, I finally connected with Curt Oetking. (Who also goes by “Pete.”) His dad, Pete, crewed for Carl [Bernard] on the MARY B in a few regattas.
I sent him a photo of the Clancy that Jay Payton gave me several years ago. He sent this message:
“Clancy which was my mother Clare’s nickname…..”
Armed with that info, I looked in the Bernard Slide index and found several entries that mention either “Clancy” or Oetking. Somewhere I have a statement that the Clancy was a scaled-down version of the MARY B. Andy [Gratton] told me that he knows where she is now.
As for the photo, I believe that this was taken on Lake Monona, just off Law Park. it’s the only place on either lake where cars can park that close to the water.
WSSA Secretary/Treasurer Andy Gratton reports that Clancy is still around and in the care of Jim Rettke in Marinette who has owned it at least 35 years or more.
UPDATE: The photo was originally taken by Gary Whitehorse and uploaded to the 4LIYC Facebook page.
Peter McCormick (via Andy Gratton) forwarded this picture to the iceboat.org inbox this week wanting to confirm if these stern-steerers were on Pewaukee Lake and when this regatta took place. I started looking into the files and realized that I was there with my brother and dad, Dave Rosten and that my Dad won the Class A Skeeter trophy. Another 4LIYC skipper, Peter’s dad Bill McCormick, won the C Stern Steerer trophy that year as well.
If you have any information on the stern-steerers or the regatta you’d like to share, please drop a line. email@example.com
UPDATE: 30 April:
“I was 16 years old at the time and won the DN junior trophy. Chuck Miller was racing a DN in the regatta called “Chicken Little.” He got a big kick out of racing against me in the regatta. Ever since that time I always felt that Chuck Miller was a really nice guy, someone who really loved his sailing and iceboating.”
Susie Pegel, formerly DN 905
Andy Gratton, WSSA Secretary: “Max Runge sent me this old photo. …There are some boats I don’t recognize, such as the C skeeter, the black mast, the yellow mast, B9, and what appears to be a round backbone second from the far end. V83 is the D skeeter that got turned around and ended up in Fond du Lac in the 1980s with Herb Bankstahl. He named it FIDDLESTIX, I think it came from Sternkopfs. Who is pushing ROSEMARY?”
Peter McCormick, stern steerer (TWINBEDS) and Renegade sailor: “I remember my dad [Bill McCormick] telling me how he took TWINBEDS to Pewaukee on a lumber truck for either a Northwest or WSSA regatta.”
Tom Hyslop: “Not sure about the lake or the year as some of the Pewaukee boats were not built until the late 70`s.
B9 was CLANCY owned by John Olson.
V83 was a Sternkoph boat.
Yellow mast with red V is COUNTRY WOMAN owned by me.
Black mast with V is ECLIPSE owned by Ric Sternkoph and Mike Hasse.”
1973 Northwest Results
Class A: No Race
Class B: CLANCY, John Olson
Class C: TWIN BEDS, Bill McCormick
Class D: DEE WHIZ, Bill Osenga
Skeeter Class A: Dave Rosten, PIRATE
FREE FOR ALL: No Race
DN Class: George Timmons
DN Class Junior: Susie Pegel
Renegade Class: Elmer Millenbach RENEGADE III
Let’s watch an old sail being repaired at the Hardanger fartøyvernsenter in Western Norway for MATHILDE, a fishing boat, built in 1884. The same techniques were probably used to make and repair the sails on the stern-steerers pictured below. William Bernard kept a rental fleet of iceboats on Lake Mendota. Imagine that!
Tip of the Helmet: Ann Gratton
The WSSA board has decided to cancel the regatta for the remainder of this winter due in part to the need for strict health precautions caused by the coronavirus, There is a slight chance that the regatta could be held in late December 2020. Check here for further updates at that time.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: 12 MARCH 2020 8 AM CT:
Via Northwest Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:
Due to the travel concerns with coronavirus, the fact that locations we are traveling from and to are involved with active cases, that our group has many people who are at the highest risk, and therefore to avoid losing a good portion of our active sailors, we are going to cancel the Northwest for season.
The 2020 Northwestern Ice Yachting Championship Regatta is on for Lake Waconia Minnesota starting Friday March 13th, 2020.
Class A, B, C, and D Stern steerers, Class A, B, and C skeeters, Renegades and DNs will be racing.
The ISA is postponed for a week.
Boecraft boats that for sure will be there are I 564 and I 234. There will be two C skeeters as well so we will sail with them in a separate start from the A skeeters. Lake Waconia is just west of Lake Minnetonka. The trip is 5 hours and 28 minutes according to Google.
The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 21 and 22 but may well be cancelled for the season. The Northwest Regatta is scheduled for March 13 to 15 and will take precedence. The next WSSA update will be Sunday, March 15. Check back here at that time. Snow is melting quickly as well as ramps. If the NIYA regatta is called off for this coming weekend, it is because the bigger trailers will not have access to the ice, therefore the WSSA regatta will be unable to occur.
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.
Video from February 8, 2020, the Mary B Stern-Steerer on Lake Mendota.
The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed again to February 15 – 16, 2020. The Northwest Regatta is scheduled for the same weekend and will take precedence. The next update will be Sunday, February 9, 2020. Check back here at that time. Green Lake and Madison lakes are too thin, Lake Geneva is thinner, Green Bay blew out, Menominee is too thin, Petenwell is thick enough but has too much snow, Minnesota lakes have too much snow, Winnebago is melting but still has water under shell ice and crusty snow. Will water skis work on the boats?
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