From left: Elmer Millenbach, Steve Arnold, Harvey Witte, Paul Krueger, Ken Whitehorse
It’s time for iceboat.org’s summer vacation series where we take a look back in our sport through old photos. Barb Arnold donated some of late husband Steve’s photos and scrapbooks dating from the late 1970s and 80s to the 4LIYC. Watch for more of these in the coming weeks and if the pictures remind you of any good stories, let me know!
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.
Elmer Millenbach rounds the weather mark in RENEGADE I on Geneva Lake. Note the film crew standing bravely at the mark.
Elmer Millenbach was one of the most influential iceboat builders in North America. Hamilton, Ontario ice sailor, Rob Intini, went so far as to stencil “We All Plays Elmer’s Tune” on his Class-A Skeeter boom as a reminder of Elmer’s iceboat innovations. Elmer designed the bow-steering Renegade and along with his wife, Cora Lee, created a successful one-design class. Cora Lee also served for many years on Race Committees and spent hours on the ice handling scoring duties.
Elmer designed the Renegade because the newly created DN Class couldn’t make up their minds on specifications.
From Renegade Reflections, an interview with Elmer Millenbach:
…. We no sooner got comfortably started when the Detroit Ice Yacht Club rescinded the allowable changes and reverted to the originally modified plans. That was it, as far as I was concerned! The three of us were stuck with sails and material for 3 boats, but I just couldn’t bring myself to build to the original plans. I told my two companions in the project that I was going to design my own boat and left it to their choice to do as they chose. Read the entire article here.
NOTE: There are two steps to view photos at full size. 1.Click on photo, another page will open. 2. Click on the photo again and you will be able to see the full sized version. Pegel Slide Collection Series Webpage
Two legends, Bill Perrigo IOU and Elmer Millenbach RENEGADE III
Our club had an unexpected visitor at last week’s meeting who brought us some classic photos. Long time Madisonian Dick Brandt shot these on Lake Monona back in the 1950s. Many thanks to Dick and to Peter Fauerbach for taking the time to scan these important historic photographs. My guess is that many of these were from the 1952 Northwest Regatta which was sailed on Lake Monona.
UPDATE: Skeeter Iceboat Club’s Jane Pegel has helpfully identified some of the boats. The skipper sitting in the MICKEY FINN Skeeter is in question. Jane writes, “I think Mickey Finn may be Buddy because his sail number is I-180 (Harry C. Melges, Jr.) but perhaps his father was sailing the regatta in Mickey Finn.”
Harry Melges at the 1952 Northwest on Lake Monona.
A Surprise in the Mail: Part 3
Renegader Jerry Simon had a look through the scrapbook that I recently received and spent a few enjoyable hours identifying boats and putting the photos in context. We’ve concluded that the scrapbook did indeed belong to Herb Krogman who sailed Renegades and Skeeters with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club in the 1950s. There are quite a few pictures from the 1952 Northwest which was sailed on Lake Monona. History records that Bill “Curley” Perrigo won the Skeeter title that year in THUNDERJET. The 1950s were a time of rapid technological development in the Skeeter class and a transition from Skeeter to what would become the Renegade class.