Keeping Sharp

Mike Ripp, Ron Rosten, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner get ready to sharpen. 

Saturday was a busy day in the world of iceboating. 4LIYC Renegader Ron Rosten shared runner-sharpening wisdom with Mike Ripp, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner, who have recently invested in Bob Rast’s state-of-the-art sharpeners.

Adding to the excitement, a new Ice Optimist arrived in Madison. Ice sailors on Facebook shared stories about the Nite fleet welcoming a new member and the gang at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, preparing to get their DNs on the ice.

In less than three weeks, DNs will head to Minnesota to kick off the season at the annual informal gathering, the Western Challenge.

Manic Blue Skeeter Monday

Ken adjusting the height of the winch in his latest Skeeter acquisition.

An important cog.

I simply walked over next door to the Krueger/Whitehorse Skeeter Iceboat Shop to ask if they’d be ready to sail next weekend if Kegonsa came in and was immediately tasked with helping Ken make some adjustments on the blue Class A Skeeter. Ken caught me up on the latest news from one of the busiest Skeeter shops in town. (Yes, there’s another which we hope will start sharing photos of their build. Hint. Hint.) The big news of the weekend was the delivery of massive Skeeter Class A size runner sharpener made by Bob Rast.

Previously, it had been reported on this website that Steve Orlebeke designed the Skeeter cascade block system. Sources tell me that it was actually Jay Yaeso who figured out and installed this sheeting system 2 years ago.

Oh, and to answer my original question if the Skeeters will be ready for next weekend, the answer is yes, PK’s boat is on the trailer ready to go and Ken will have the blue Skeeter ready as well.

2018 Western Challenge Debrief

4LIYC sailors Dave Elsmo, Doug Kolner, Hugh Sugar, and Tim Sugar are probably a bit tired and sore after sailing at the DN Western Challenge regatta over the weekend in Battle Lake, MN. Following are some photos and reports.

Resourcefulness at its finest.

Doug’s report lifted from his Facebook page:

4987 still looks great. New tenderized plank performed beautifully. Tough racing in 20-25 mph.
1st race tangled with an old friend at the leeward mark when he luffed up in front of me after dropping his main sheet. Had to go in and realign my runners. My next race, I was rounding the weather mark in a good hike when my port runner blew up. (No stiffeners. Would have helped. Longer chocks and big air overloaded them. 21st century DNers have carbon bodied 440c stainless. Rest if the platform is pretty deluxe though.) Did a 360 and parked with a boat heading right at me goin’ a million mph. Missed me. End of a great weekend of sailing with world champs and sailors from Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland and old friends from when I used to race these boats many years ago.
Battle Lake, MN full of Minnesota nice!!! Special thanks to Lars Barber for comin’ to play.

Mad Men On Ice: The Motor City & Iceboat Advertising

Geoff Sobering emailed a link to this old favorite, a Chevrolet advertising newsreel from 1935 featuring a car racing a stern-steerer. A few days ago, Bob Rast posted the Oldsmobile magazine ad below in the 4LIYC Facebook group. (DN class records don’t indicate who owned 289)
Both got me thinking about how much Detroit’s auto industry and iceboating have been intertwined, not only in advertising, but in boat development and iceboat skippers who have ties to GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc.  Detroit has given us the DN and Elmer Millinbach, iceboat innovator.  Renegader Lorne Sherry (Ron’s father)  designed and tested trailer hitches for GM, DNers Paul Goodwin, Jim Grogan, Ted Flack, Rob Holman, and Leon Lebeau work in the industry. Photographer Gretchen Dorian’s family owned a GM dealership in Detroit.
Iceboat ads have been featured on this website previously but they are always fun to revisit to help get us fired up for the upcoming season. I’ll post a few more in the coming weeks. If you have a favorite and want to share it, let me know.

Oldsmobile DN Iceboat Ad