Previous: Tales To Tell, the 2020 Hook Race
2021 Hook Race Results
Jay Yaeso assembled another crew of ice sailors for the July 24th, 2021 Hook Race, a challenging 189 nautical mile race on Lake Michigan from Racine, Wisconsin, to Menominee, Michigan. (Thankfully, their rig stayed up this year.) Between them, I count about ten stern-steerers, 5 Renegades, an A-Class Skeeter, and some vintage Skeeters. Other ice sailors who competed include Fred Stritt in HASTEN and Rick Hennig in THUNDERSTRUCK. Rick broke his time record from last year, completing the race in 20:20:46.
Previous: Tales To Tell, the 2020 Hook Race
As reported yesterday, squalls made for some wild rides during the Racine Yacht Club’s HOOK Race downwind from Racine to Door County on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. Apparently there were 5 boats that lost rigs, including Jay Yaeso’s SHAZAM, proving again that sailing on Lake Michigan can be more challenging than ocean racing in big “sleds” – something 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson who has sailed a few Transpacs related to me yesterday. SHAZAM’S mast “oil-canned” (compressed) Saturday afternoon during a 50 mph squall with 8 – 10′ waves. Thankfully, all crew were OK and they were able to pull into Sheboygan after 4 hours on the motor where they met up with Steve Orelebeke who had been sailing on PEERLESS. Steve and crew were forced to pull into Sheboygan because the waves pushed too much water into the hatch. I believe that race tracking did show that Fred Stritt and HASTEN made it to the end of the race. There were quite a few DNFs, possibly 18.
However, there was one group of ice sailors who made HOOK history and “absolutely shattered a Hook race record” by 3 hours, Rick Hennig (owner of DEUCE) and the crew of THUNDERSTRUCK. From crew member Eric Tobias’ Facebook feed:
20 hours, 20 kts of boatspeed, 47 knot peak wind speed, hurricane rain, lightning sky, one exploded spinnaker, one exploded jib, several wipe outs, one absolutely shattered Hook race record, a passage through Death’s Door and one incredibly wild ride. We made it to the finish safe with minimal damage and injuries. Thankfully we didn’t find a new meaning for our boat name (we didn’t get struck by lightning). Go Thunderstruck.
Expect to hear some stories about the HOOK race of 2020 during those times when we are standing on the ice waiting for wind.
There are a thousand little stories that happen at a Northwest regatta. Watching the magnificent stern-steerers take to the stage brings us back to the roots of this sport. Here are a few random stories from the regatta. And hey, you should plan on going next year!
I’ll post more photos and commentary tomorrow.
Regatta like the Northwest do not happen without the time and work from volunteers like the following:
NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk
NIYA Regatta Chair Tim McCormick
NIYA Race Committee members Jay Yaeso, Andy Gratton, George Gerhardt, Chip Sawyer, and John Davenport.
PRO Joe Norton
Assistant to the PRO Scott Goetz (who also brought the 4LIYC ATV)
Tabulating from the Fontana Home Office: Mary Jane Schalk
Lake City Mayor Mark Nichols
The Residents of Lake City
The support that iceboaters receive from the entire town of Lake City is phenomenal. Mayor Mark Nichols has made sure that a porta-potty has been at the landing for the last 3 weekends. He attended our banquet. Saturday night and gave out 3 keys to Lake City (Steve Schalk, Joe Norton, and myself) that recognized our efforts as regatta volunteers. Not only that, but he sailed out to the course on Saturday in his DN and raced! Think about that, how many mayors do you know of that sail iceboats?
There are 4 of us who have attended all 3 regattas in Lake City this January (the DN Western Regions, the ISA, and the NIYA) : John Dennis, Jim McDonagh, Steve Orlebeke, and myself. JD & Jim McDonagh have spent more than half of January on Lake Pepin checking ice and sailing.
The Davis stern-steerer family never miss a Northwest regatta. John was thrilled to only have a 3 hour drive this year, the closest the regatta has ever been held to his home in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Daniel Hearn not only raced and did pretty well in the DN (1st) and Renegade (2nd) classes, he took up Fred Stritt’s offer to race Fred’s D Stern Steerer. Daniel was also seen test driving Pat Heppert’s fast C Skeeter earlier in the day.
Stern Steerer fanatic Mike Kroll gave soft water Minnesota sailor Gretchen Wilibrandt a ride in his D Stern Steerer. He handed the tiller over to Gretchen and she drove it like she owned it. Could there be a new stern-steerer sailor at the next WSSA?