Previous: Drawing Blade Runner
Lifetime 4LIYC member Greg Whitehorse has followed in his father, artist Harry Whitehorse, footsteps. Greg’s been honing his artistic talents in the past couple of years by sketching open-wheel midget race cars, another Whitehorse family tradition. Last year, Greg shared his first sketch of his Renegade, BLADE RUNNER. The cold weather must have inspired him to have another go at it; here’s his second sketch.
Previous: Drawing Blade Runner
Dejope (Four Lakes) is the territory of the Ho-Chunk Nation, the indigenous people who always have and continue to live here. The Whitehorses are Ho-Chunk Nation tribal members and long-time Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club members, including my late husband, Harry Whitehorse. I’ve always thought Native people had the technology to make iceboats. Harry told me that his uncle George Seymour built traditional snow sleds using deer antlers for the runners. Indigenous people could have made an iceboat using deer antlers for insert runners, woven rush mats for a sail, and a dugout canoe for the hull.
Yesterday, November 2, 2021, archeologists carefully removed an ancient dugout canoe from the bottom of Lake Mendota, where it had been resting for 1200 years. Looking closely, one could imagine a mast step and a steering chock hole.
Via Tom Kneubuehl posted on the Historic Madison, WI Photo Facebook page:
“This dugout canoe was pulled out of Lake Mendota around 1:00 p.m. today. It could be the oldest known sunken boat/shipwreck in Wisconsin. It is about 1200 years old and was discovered by a diver in June when it happened to catch their attention. Apparently the diver contacted the State Historical Society and a chain of events happened which led to today. A cache of fishing weights were found in the canoe so apparently it was used by the inhabitants of that time to fish with weighted net. Note how small the canoe looks. They must have had great balance and were obviously smaller. The canoe is undergoing a lengthy preservation process to make sure it survives. I live close to the lake location where it was brought ashore so this information is from conversations with people at the scene. The number of people involved is long. City and state had a lot of archeologists and other key personnel there to direct and help the extraction. The Mayor was there along with other key city department leaders. Divers did the underwater work and brought the canoe to shore including from the Sheriffs Department. Anyone else who knows more details can add to the story in the comments but in summary it was a pretty amazing sight.”
Greg Whitehorse grew up racing iceboats and, along with his brother, Gary, joined their father, Harry, campaigning open-wheel sprint car and midgets on the Midwest dirt-track racing circuit. Greg also watched his father create stunning oil paintings of race cars and iceboats. A few months ago, Greg picked up colored pencils and began sketching his favorite classic race cars. He posted them on the Badger Midget Facebook page, where they have been well received.
Greg has turned his attention to iceboats with the first sketch of his boat, the Renegade BLADE RUNNER, and posted it on the 4LIYC Facebook page. Let’s hope this is the first iceboat sketch of more to come!
For our final installment of Bill Mattison Week, we go back to the 1992 Harken catalog where another National Sailing Hall of Famer, Peter Harken, talks about Bill, Paul Krueger, winning the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant, and building MILLENIUM FACTOR QUATRO in the Willy St. Boat Shop.
In normal times, the 4LIYC would have thrown a party for tonight’s National Sailing Hall of Fame induction ceremony. There will be much to celebrate when we can gather off-ice again including Bill’s induction and Greg Whitehorse’s 4LIYC Honor Roll induction. In the meantime, follow Bill’s example and get busy in the shop making dust and preparing equipment for the upcoming season.
Previous: Bill’s Circus Life
“The Icing On The Lake”
“Fast Forward Since Birth”
“The Hard-Water Gang” with Bill Mattison at the 2001 ISA
Shooting the Breeze with Bill Mattison
Bill Mattison Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Gary Whitehorse recently came across this previously unknown photo in his collection. “Came across this negative looking for something completely different. My Dad, Harry’s, front seat “A” Skeeter, Dad in foreground , 1976ish. Not many pictures of it, so I was happy when I found it.”
He posted it on the 4LIYC Facebook page and it solicited a lot of questions and comments. ENTERPRISE III was an aluminum-hull front-cockpit Class A Skeeter designed and built by Harry Whitehorse in the mid 1970s. Gary’s brother, Greg Whitehorse, remembers that it was heavy and “…even today’s front-seaters are on the heavy side. Could have used a wider plank and a less drafty sail. It did ‘kink’ the aluminum skin on its initial cruise (which if I remember, was on rough, snow covered ice, and a windy day), but the kink didn’t get worse. Another interesting thing about this boat was the sheeting system. My Dad wanted to steer it like a race car, with a steering wheel. So he made a cleat on a traveler and track that he could operate with his legs and feet. It really was kinda neat. He said it worked good.”