A Big Thanks to NIYA & ISA Ice Checkers

A message from NIYA & ISA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The Race Committees for the Northwest and ISA regattas, would like to acknowledge all the efforts of our ice checkers who have been scouting and sailing potential regatta sites. Pat Heppert and Chris Wiberg spent an entire weekend driving the width of Minnesota setting up their boats and test sailing multiple lakes. Terry Reynolds and Mike Peters sailed Little Bay De Noc, and Jim McDonagh drove up to Lake Osakis on Wednesday at dawn sailed his DN all over the lake, then drove back in a whiteout. We all owe them a big thank you for the huge efforts made to find a place for us to have an event. Many thanks to you guys.

Steve Schalk



Four Lakes Aerial Ice Checking

Lake Monona froze over in the early morning hours of January 15, 2024. Photo: Ethan Brodsky

On Monday, January 15, Ethan Brodsky, one of our favorite pilots, toured the lakes in Madison. Lake Monona appeared to be completely locked and covered in white frost, which is not snow. We have been blessed with ice due to the brutally cold temperatures. However, we are waiting for the ice to thicken and for the temperatures to be a bit warmer before we start scouting. This is sure to be a topic of discussion during our Wednesday night 4LIYC Zoom meeting.  As always, respect the ice and be safe. 

There’s still plenty of open water near Middleton, but by the “rowboat” definition, Lake Mendota froze last night. Monona is frozen solid – it was was wide open yesterday (January 14.). Lake Wingra is also frozen solid – it had a small open patch in the middle yesterday. I have to laugh at all the people who were predicting the lakes wouldn’t freeze this year. – Ethan Brodsky

Got Ice

“My work here is done…”

One week ago today, the high temperature was -2F. Contrast that to yesterday’s high of 55F. That’s almost a 60-degree swing in the Zamboni direction. Ice sailors have been taking advantage of the thaw on Pewaukee and Delavan this week.

4LIYC members will check Mendota, Monona, and Kegonsa today to learn what we have. A concern for us is the thickness and drain holes. We will report back tonight with more information.

Other Possibilities:
Via the Nite Facebook Page:
“Pewaukee is shaping up with a freeze predicted Friday night/Sat Morning. The PIYC is planning a 10am start Saturday and possibly Sunday. 4lakes, Green Lake, etc… all are welcome to get your 1st laps in of the season! Launch at Gina’s Sports Dock. Do not drive your car on. Walk trailers on and park across the road.”

Via the Puckaway Ice Sailing Squadron Facebook Page:
“We are calling on a NEW YEARS Regatta for Sunday. For lack of a better name and with consultation with Donny we are going to call it the Grand Slam for January 1st. The final call will be Saturday afternoon.”

State of the Lakes

After a week of below-zero temperatures, high winds, and snow, let’s review what Mother Nature left us. The good news is the big lakes were (mostly – see, Mendota) open and missed the snow. The east of Mendota froze on Friday, but as you can see, a large area remained open, at least as of December 24. Monona has an inconsistent freeze with numerous open areas. In other good news, Green Lake and Geneva were liquid as of December 24 and missed the snow.
After a week of bitter cold, the pendulum is swinging back to unseasonable warmth, with possible rain. Will the heat and rain bring the other lakes back online? Stay tuned!
Ice Check Webcams
Mendota Today
MODIS Satellite View
AOS Rooftop Lake Mendota
Lake Geneva Yacht Club
Lake Geneva from Gordy’s