Succeeding the Last Time

Succeeding the Last Time

From left, Maureen Bohleber and Lars Barber in Nites, Mike Ripp, Skip Dieball, and Daniel Hearn in Renegades

Skeeters, Renegades, and Nites gathered on Friday for what possibly was the last day of racing on Lake Monona. Saturday’s record 1.2″ of rain, high winds, and forecasted warm temperatures may have put an end to the season here, but we’ll check to make sure of that.

Ken Whitehorse and Paul Krueger raced nine times in close match racing style. Ken told me, “Paul wanted to go for a record-breaking ten races, but I was the voice of reason and said we have to get the boats home.” Thanks Ken and Paul for getting us out there on Thursday and Friday .Always a pleasure to see the familiar red Renegade #11, with Mike Ripp at the helm, back on Lake Monona.

Taking advantage of our proximity to downtown Madison, Scott hauled us in the ATV trailer to the shore. We clambered up the sea wall, walked across the street, and had iceboaters lunch.

Lake Monona has been perfect for us this season, generating more interest in our sport and reintroducing Madisonians to the reality that we’ve been sailing these hard waters since the 1870s.

4LIYC Weekend Recap Jan 15-16, 2022

4LIYC Weekend Recap Jan 15-16, 2022

Nite sailor Maureen Bohleber lifts a runner on the race course. Photo: Ethan Brodsky

Iceboating racing champion Jane Pegel always said the best way to attract people to our sport is club racing. During the two-day Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club racing series on Lake Monona, a high level of interest from Midwest ice sailors, photographers, and the Madison community proved her point.

The wind cooperated, allowing the race committee to bang off 30 races in four fleets (Skeeters, Renegades, DNs, and Nites) Saturday and Sunday. Our scoring chair, Tim McCormick, will tabulate those results soon.

One of the biggest thanks goes to Ken Whitehorse, who set the whole weekend in motion. We wouldn’t have been able to get on the lake without him. On Wednesday, he removed the snow blocking the landing with his Bobcat. Ken and Tom Hyslop enjoyed two days sailing their Class A Skeeters before their Wisconsin Skeeter Association support equipment, Ken’s Mule, broke down.

Thanks to Scott Goetz for trailering the club’s ATV from Mendota, Commodore Daniel Hearn for setting courses and taking care of everything that needed doing. Thanks to Pat Heppert for the use of the marks and also for keeping the course organized, and Jerry Simon for starting, calling, and flag duties.

Thanks to our out-of-town guests who gave our club racing weekend a regatta-like feel. We appreciate your enthusiasm and were happy to have you join us on the race course.

In all the years I’ve been involved in ice sailing, I don’t remember seeing so many Madisonians braving the cold to watch us, curious about iceboating. Sunday’s west wind placed the start line within easy walking distance of the shore, and residents flocked to check us out.

There’s nothing more photogenic in a Madison winter than iceboats against the city skyline. It’s been that way since 1878 when Harper’s Bazaar Magazine ran an illustration of ice sailing on Lake Monona. We were thrilled to have several excellent photographers and videographers on the ice with us. They have generously shared their pictures on Facebook, and I’ll be linking to them during the week. The first photographer, Ethan Brodsky, uploaded his photos to Google for those not on Facebook. See them here.


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