UPDATE: October 16, 2019: Please join family and friends of Robert “Ecky” Eckstein at his celebration of life
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
LOCATION: South Side Ice Yacht Club
1842 S. Main st. Oshkosh.
DATE: Monday, October 28, 2019
TIME: 3 PM – 8 PM
Open bar and catered food.
Oshkosh ice yacht sailor, Robert “Ecky” Eckstein, passed away on October 13, 2019. Ecky was a long time Lake Winnebago iceboater and sailed A stern-steerers, Renegades and multiple other iceboats. He was a lifetime member of the South Side Ice Yacht Club in Oshkosh, WI.
In true ice boating spirit, Ecky always offered his help and shop to any sailor who needed it. An example of that was during the 2006 Renegade regatta on Lake Winnebago when he made sure two 4LIYC skippers were able to complete their regattas after some first-day equipment failures by fashioning new steering components and a front stay tang.
The McCormick family, long time members of the 4LIYC, have owned TWINBEDS, a Class C Stern Steerer, since 1949 when 19 year old Bill McCormick purchased the boat from Charlie Bleck who lived in Monona, WI. Peter McCormick, who takes her tiller these days, has been on a quest to learn more about the history of the boat. Charlie Bleck purchased the boat from Phil Berdner, an Oshkosh Ice Yacht Club member and owner of a marina. When Chuck bought the boat it had a spare mast that was 4-5 ft taller than the sail. Chuck replaced the mast with a shorter one.
TWINBEDS was built here in Madison by Carl Bernard in the Hudson River style instead of the Madison style- which means she was built after 1927. (MISS MADISON was the last Madison style stern steerer built here). TWINBEDS has captured the Class C stern steerer Northwest regatta title 11 times.
Ran across this photo on the Historic Madison, WI Photo Group’s Facebook page over the weekend. The photo was part of a collection that a group member found in her dad’s garage. It’s titled “Boat House U.W. Dec. 97” (as in 1897). In it we see a Madison style stern-steerer, designed and built by William Bernard on Lake Mendota near the University of Wisconsin boat house (which was torn down in the 1950s). The Bernard Boat House was just a quick sail down the lake from the university. Back then, university fraternities owned iceboats and iceboats could also be rented by the day from the Bernard Boat House. Below is a photo dated 2 years previous to the UW Boat House photo with an impressive line up of stern-steerers at Bernard’s Boat House.
A few days ago, 2 separate emails arrived within hours of each other regarding history about one of Madison’s original champion ice sailors, Emil Fauerbach. It was a sign that it’s time for a history post. Henry Bossett ran across an article about the Madison ice yachting scene published in 1904 the New Jersey Ashbury Park Press. Peter Fauerbach (Emil’s great great nephew) and all things Fauerbach historian, shared a snippet he found in his research. Emil Fauerbach was most famous for winning the Hearst Cup in 1914 in PRINCESS II. He died a few years later and left such a void in Madison’s ice sailing community that many thought it wouldn’t survive.
Previous: Fauerbach Pennant Back on Fauerbach Ice Boat
Wise iceboaters know that summer time means shop time.
Via Jay Davis, originally posted on the 4LIYC Facebook page:
Summer work project at Davis boat works in Iowa on Little Wind II. Repainting the bottom and sides. Also did some fixing on the trailer.
Bill Mattison with help from 4LIYC members built a new runner plank for the World’s Largest Iceboat©, the DEUCE, in the early 1980s in his Williamson St. shop. Luckily, we have photos that the late Steve Arnold took during that build. Twenty some years later, Bill supervised the lofting and building of DEUCE’s hull at Rick Hennig’s Cabbage Patch shop in Racine which culminated in a glue-party that attracted iceboaters from all over the Midwest who wanted to take part in that historic occasion. (Photos and stories documenting that build here.) I can’t think of a better time to repost Dave Elsmo’s classic video about the DEUCE, “54 Foot of Fast”, embedded below.
The season is over for the Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association. Here’s the Stern Steerer kid to help give the season a send-off.
Regrettably the Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been cancelled for this season. Perhaps there will be some early ice in December that might allow us to race for the 2019 season. In the meantime you have all summer to fix those nagging problems, or for some of us, to finish the new boat so it is ready for early ice. Keep your runners sharp!
The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 23 and 24, 2019. The next update will be Sunday, March 17. Check back here at that time.
The European stern-steerer class, the Monotype XVs, concluded their European championship in Estonia on Thursday. The championship went to Russian sailors Oleg Vasilev and Ruslan Rudenko. Oleg has had a successful 2019 racing season, having placed 13th in the A fleet at the DN European championship in Poland this year.
WISCONSIN ICE BOATING HOTLINE 608-204-9876
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c/o Andy Gratton, Secretary/Treasure
2102 Doty Street
Oshkosh, WI. 54902
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