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.
Lake Monona from the south shore on Wednesday, January 6, 2022.
4LIYC Commodore Daniel Hearn and Doug Kolner scouted Lake Monona today for the DN Western Region Championship. Though they didn’t find regatta quality ice and the regatta was postponed, Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club sailing for Saturday and Sunday is a distinct possibility.
Daniel reported, “Plenty of ice thickness onshore with 2-3″ of black ice in the middle with an open hole dead center in the middle of the lake. There may be enough space on the east end for club sailing. There was very little snow. The hole could firm up by the weekend.”
Please meet at the Tonyawatha Landing at noon on Friday, January 6, 2022, for a Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club ice check. We will post our decision about club racing by 5 PM on Friday.
Ever since Buddy Melges’ induction in the first class of 2011, ice boaters have numbered among the elite sailors honored by the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF). Other hard water inductees include Peter Barrett, Olaf & Peter Harken, Jan & Meade Gougeon, Bill Bensten, Herbert Lawrence Stone (who authored books and articles), Bill Mattison, and Jane Pegel.
The sailing community’s full recognition of the sport of ice yachting has culminated with the inclusion of an iceboat in the new NSHOF museum in Newport, Rhode Island.
When visitors enter the impressive interactive exhibition hall, they will notice six boats hanging overhead from the exposed wooden rafters of the historic former armory. One of those six is an iceboat representing our community and those who live to “Think Ice.”
The NSHOF asked Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Nite sailor Don Sanford (the driving force behind Bill Mattison’s induction), myself, and others for an iceboat. The museum had hoped to hang a Class A Skeeter, but the wide plank would have taken up too much space. They chose one that would fit – the most popular iceboat globally, a DN.
Peter Harken asked that the boat not be a “fixer-upper” but a fully fitted racing boat. The NSHOF accepted Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Doug Kolner’s offer to donate his complete modern DN.
The DNs natural wood hull and plank, built in a small garage in Monona, Wisconsin, are true to the roots of the DN’s humble beginnings at the Detroit News hobby shop in the 1930s. Doug built the boat using standard DN plans, and it symbolizes all the iceboat builders who enjoy kicking up some dust and mixing epoxy in their garage shops.
Current members of the NSHOF’s influence is evident in the fact that the boat was built using Gougeon brothers epoxy and Harken brothers fittings technology. Doug recognized NSHOF member Bill Mattison and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Joe Norton as the builders who had influenced his iceboat building know-how.
While we wait for ice, check out this slice of iceboat heaven from Doug Kolner who sailed his Renegade on Lake Puckaway yesterday (December 27, 2019). Doug, 4LIYC Nite sailors Lars Barber and Maureen Bohleber took advantage of Puckaway’s Hollywood ice before the rain and snow moves in today.