I can find no newspaper accounts or photos from the 1948 International Skeeter Association regatta, but this 30 second YouTube clip makes up for the lack of pictures. Sailed on Fox Lake in Illinois, Elmer Millenbach won in RENEGADE II, described as a “magic” boat. The Renegade class competed as Class A Skeeters in the ISA regatta until 1950 when they first sailed their own championship.
Tip of the Helmet: John Eisenlohr
From “The Renegade Story.”
The non-profit association formed was to not sell plans, but to include them with first years membership dues. The first year, besides scattered memberships all over the sailing area, fleets were building in Toronto, Toledo, and Detroit. At a Detroit regatta, of 42 boats on the starting line, 22 were Renegades. My boat still did most of the winning and in our fleet we tried switching boats in “scrub races”. Whomever sailed my boat won. This seemed to impart some sort of message to some people even though I was handicapped trying to sail someone else’s boat that was set up for someone 6″ sorter than I. Less than subtle suggestions were made that I should build a new boat (according to the plans drawn up) to eliminate any “magic” inherent in Renegade II. This was of course a challenge I couldn’t refuse. I sold Renegade II at the end of the 1949 season.”
Elmer Millenbach Interview Part 1
Elmer Millenbach Interview Part 2
Elmer Millenbach Archives
Here’s the final installation of the Elmer Millenbach interview with historic video footage of Elmer winning a race on Lake St. Clair in the 1940s. Elmer’s wife, Cora Lee, also makes an appearance in the audio track. Cora Lee was vital in building the Renegade fleet, serving as Renegade class Secretary for many years. She also worked race committee at iceboat regattas.
Previous: Elmer Millenbach Interview Part 1
Elmer Millenbach Archives
Here’s the second of the three-part Mystic Seaport Museum interview with Elmer Millenbach, designer of the Renegade class iceboat where he details the different design phases of the Renegade.
Watch it here on YouTube.
Elmer Millenbach Archives
Detroit’s Elmer Millenbach (1912-1996), the creator of the Renegade iceboat, was arguably one of the most influential men in North American iceboat development. The boom of Ontario, Canada’s Class A Skeeter sailor Rob Intini carried the message “We All Play Elmer’s Tune” as a reminder.
Greg Whitehorse recently dropped off an interview with Elmer on a cassette tape recorded in 1989 by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. Over an hour-long, I edited the interview into different parts for the listener’s convenience and added a slide show.
In part one, Elmer recalls the beginning days of the DN and his frustration that he “…couldn’t find out what a DN was,” inspiring him to develop new ways of designing iceboat components such as runners. He knew there would soon be competition from the new front steering boats to see who could go the fastest. “You get enough kiddie cars together, and pretty soon, there’s a race.”
Here’s Part 1 of the interview.
Photo by Gary Whitehorse. That’s a lot of horsepower! Stern steerer iceboats start on race at the Northwest regatta which took place on February 2-4, 1973 on Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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