The 1958 Northwest Regatta

The 1958 Northwest Regatta


While we wait for Wednesday’s announcement about the 2022 Northwest Ice Yacht Association Regatta, this newspaper clipping posted by Chris Smith of Michigan on the Iceboating Facebook group, is a timely reminder of this historic regatta, first sailed in Menominee, Michigan in 1913. The video link below his comes by way of Shirley Cross Fortune, from her father, Detroit Ice Yacht Club’s Wally Cross. Jack Ripp is pictured next to Jane Pegel and represented the 4LIYC with his second place in the Free-For-All.
YOUTUBE VIDEO OF 1958 NORTHWEST REGATTA

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF JANE PEGEL DN805
1958 Northwest Regatta,
January 17, 18, 19
Gull Lake
From Kalamazoo Gazette

REACH CLIMAX TODAY IN GULL LAKE ICE REGATTA
Elmer Millenbach of Detroit, favorite in the Renegade class, won his third and fourth straight heats Saturday to practically assure himself of a Northwest Assn crown. Gull Lake’s Bob Smith has a good lead in Class B over three Gull Lake foes and is a heavy favorite to sew up his division title today in his speedy “Alcoholic” after winning his fourth straight heat Saturday. Remi DeBlaer of Detroit has a substantial lead in the DN 60 class with three firsts and a second. C. H. (Skip) Boston of Detroit dropped out of contention after a first and two seconds when he disqualified himself in the fourth heat race. Weather continued perfect for the event with fast ice and a fine following wind for the fast boats — they reach speeds of 100 miles an hour or more — to cover the 1.3 mile racing course. There are several boats that dunked in a pressure crack near the island on Gull Lake Saturday and several relatively minor mishaps. One boat was badly damage, but none of the pilots were injured.

YACHTS SET FOR ANNUAL FREE-FOR-ALL
Final class Races to Open Program
Fate will play a big hand in determining at least two championships in the annual Northwest Ice Yacht Assn. regatta which winds up today at Gull Lake. Although the final heat race and the championship free-for-all race, matching the two top finishers in each heat race of the six divisions, still remain on the agenda, much of the doubt about class titles has vanished.
The heat race is at 10, the free for all about 1:30. The title contenders suffered boat failures Saturday in heat races to drop from title consideration.
Gull Lake’s Phil Wunderlin, after winning the first two heats of the Class C division handily, saw a broken plank in his boat force him from the third heat race and drop far behind his Gull Lake opponent, veteran Jim LaRose. And Jack Ripp, of Madison, WI, a prime contender in the featured Class E race, fell from title contention in that class when his boat sustained a spar failure in the fourth heat race.

DROPS SPAR
Ripp, who entered the fourth heat race in a deadlock with Bill Perrigo of Pewaukee, WI, thus falls far behind his Wisconsin foe, who has a first, two seconds and a third entering the final day of competition. While Ripp and Wunderlin suffered sad blows from Lady Luck, three other favorites kept up their amazing regatta showing. Don Ward of Oshkosh, WI, who has won 10 straight Class D titles, stretched his heat victory string in the current regatta to four Saturday to take an ample edge of Gerry Sciott and Jack Smith of Gull Lake.

DIRECTOR OF ICE YACHT REGATTA DRAWS PRAISE (Notes on winter classic)
Busiest man at the Northwest Ice Yacht assn regatta at Gull Lake this weekend is genial Gerry Scott, Commodore of the Northwest Assn. Under Scott’s supervision the regatta has been run off in fine style, drawing praise from more than 90 entries from four Midwestern states.
But Scott probably would enjoy this year’s regatta more if he were able to compete himself.
Because of arthritis, Scott has been sideline from actual competition in this year’s regatta and has been forced to watch Jack Smith pilot his “Hiki-No” in a great battle for Class D division honors. Scott hopes to be back at the helm of “Hiki-No” in next year’s Northwest Assn. regatta.
Other notes from the regatta:
Next year Northwest Assn. regatta has been awarded to Oshkosh, WI…Chris Smith of Holland, an executive for Chris-Craft Co, commuted from Gull Lake to his office daily by plane, taking off and landing on the slick ice surfaces of the lake…
There’s a three-generation entry in this year’s regatta. Robert and Jean Zwicky of Pewaukee, WI, are entered individually in the E Class, while sons Henry and Bob are individual entries in the DN 60s. Kick Kidney, father of Mrs. Zwicky, serves as mechanic for the family ice yachts. He’s a former competitor….
Dave Rosten of Madison, WI lost his yacht “Trump” when it shattered after a collision with Chris Smith of Holland….A new point scoring system was approved by Northwest Assn. members at the annual business meeting. It awards first place finishers in each heat 1000 points, second place 910 points, third 834 and down the list comparatively.
The weather continued perfect at the regatta and many competitors found it hard to remember when the regatta was held on the first weekend scheduled in many years…Scott disclaims any credit for the conditions….Conrad Miller, Vice Commodore of local and Northwest units, was able to race in the regatta, but was out of contention entering the final day….His son, Mason, was another local entry….There were plenty of spectators on hand for Saturday’s races. The Gull Lake shoreline was dotted with fans and amateur photographers… The regatta attracted nationwide interest. It was covered by newspapers from most Midwestern cities plus at least one national magazine (Time) as ice yachting made its biggest hit here….The regatta probably won’t return to Gull Lake for at least five years. .

Iceboat in National Sailing Hall of Fame Museum

Iceboat in National Sailing Hall of Fame Museum

Visit the musem.

Ever since Buddy Melges’ induction in the first class of 2011, ice boaters have numbered among the elite sailors honored by the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF). Other hard water inductees include Peter Barrett, Olaf & Peter Harken, Jan & Meade Gougeon, Bill Bensten, Herbert Lawrence Stone (who authored books and articles), Bill Mattison, and Jane Pegel.

The sailing community’s full recognition of the sport of ice yachting has culminated with the inclusion of an iceboat in the new NSHOF museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

When visitors enter the impressive interactive exhibition hall, they will notice six boats hanging overhead from the exposed wooden rafters of the historic former  armory. One of those six is an iceboat representing our community and those who live to “Think Ice.”

The NSHOF asked Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Nite sailor Don Sanford (the driving force behind Bill Mattison’s induction), myself, and others for an iceboat. The museum had hoped to hang a Class A Skeeter, but the wide plank would have taken up too much space. They chose one that would fit – the most popular iceboat globally, a DN.

Peter Harken asked that the boat not be a “fixer-upper” but a fully fitted racing boat. The NSHOF accepted Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Doug Kolner’s offer to donate his complete modern DN.

The DNs natural wood hull and plank, built in a small garage in Monona, Wisconsin, are true to the roots of the DN’s humble beginnings at the Detroit News hobby shop in the 1930s. Doug built the boat using standard DN plans, and it symbolizes all the iceboat builders who enjoy kicking up some dust and mixing epoxy in their garage shops.

Current members of the NSHOF’s influence is evident in the fact that the boat was built using Gougeon brothers epoxy and Harken brothers fittings technology. Doug recognized NSHOF member Bill Mattison and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Joe Norton as the builders who had influenced his iceboat building know-how.

National Sailing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Jane Pegel

National Sailing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Jane Pegel

1996 Northwest Regatta. DN Class champions. From left, Todd Gamble, Jan Gougeon, John Dennis, Lou Loenneke, National Sailing Hall of Fame member Jane Pegel

Previous: Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame

The National Sailing Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held last weekend in Newport, RI. Watch the Hall of Fame Induction Facebook Video (Jane’s induction starts at 1:28.) Jane and Susie could not attend the ceremony but Jane’s remarks were read by another inductee and friend,  Lynn Jewell Shore. Congratulations, Jane.

I am pleased to be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame and disappointed at not being able to be in Newport this weekend. It’s a true honor to join the ranks of the nation’s top sailors.

 

Growing up on Lackey Drive in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, sailing was the neighborhood “thing.” As a first generation sailor, I learned how to sail by the trial-and-error method. Those in the know around Geneva Lake told my father Dr. Clifford Wiswell what sort of equipment I should have whether it be sailing equipment or iceboating equipment.

 

I learned many valuable lessons competing against great sailors and watching great sailors in action. Having a husband who was a master boatbuilder and sailmaker certainly helped my race results.

 

I consider Bill Buchan the ultimate role model for sailors seeking to become champions. He worked hard to perfect his equipment as well as his sailing technique. He always sought to be ahead of the curve and his results in the Star class reflect his dedication to the sport.

 

Iceboating was always #1 for me for more than 60 years. I raced in the Skeeter and DN classes, and served as an officer and committee member in many iceboat organizations.  For more than 40 years I served on the National Iceboat Authority, writing and analyzing the rules that govern iceboat racing. I am proud to say I mixed the epoxy when the stern-steerer iceboat “The Deuce” was rebuilt roughly a decade ago. (“The Deuce” is the world’s largest iceboat.)

 

I have watched many generations of sailors coming up through the ranks through my involvement with the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and Geneva Lake Sailing School. The tradition of champions coming from Lake Geneva is being carried on by Laser Radial sailor Chapman Petersen and others.

 

Thank you again for this honor. By the way, I’m not related to the Johnson Boat Works family in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Most of my relatives hail from Walworth County, Wisconsin or Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

P.S. Many thanks to Lynne Jewell for representing Jane at this ceremony. Jane and Susie enjoyed racing against Lynne in the Laser class over the years.

Jane Pegel

Jane Pegel Honored at LGYC

Jane Pegel Honored at LGYC

National Sailing Hall of Fame members and ice sailors- from Left: Peter Harken, Jane Pegel, and Buddy Melges “All kings and queens are not born of royal bloodlines. Some become royal because of what they do once they realize who they are.” Pharrell Williams

Previous: Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the NSHOF
A celebration to commemorate Jane Pegel’s induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame was held at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club on Sunday, August 27th.
Susie Pegel reports:

Those in attendance at Jane’s party August 29th at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club included folks from Lake Geneva, Delavan, Madison, Pewaukee and Green Lake. And there was a surprise guest appearance from former DN world champion Mike O’Brien who flew in from New Jersey to say “hi.” Flowers had previously been sent to Jane from former DN world champion Henry Bossett. Mauretta Mattison sent regrets that she and Bill would be unable to attend the party. Many thanks to all the iceboaters who sent messages to Jane wishing her well and congratulations.

Excerpt from email sent to Jane from Dan Heaney:
“I am honored to be invited to the celebration of Jane’s selection to the Sailing Hall of Fame. I will miss the opportunity to hear the wisdom expressed by Jane regarding sailing, both hard water and soft water. Jane’s comments, especially those directed to my attention were always welcome and a positive contribution to my efforts as a race manager for the IDNIYRA. I look forward to the opportunity to see Jane in the future and will make it a priority to contact her and yourself on the occasion I have to be in Lake Geneva….we raise a toast to Jane in congratulations for being recognized for all the contributions made to the sport of sailing and the influence she has had on the sailors who have been lucky enough to meet her.”
Dan Heaney, Neenah, WI

Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame

Jane Pegel To Be Inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame


The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced today nine sailors comprising its 11th anniversary class of inductees.
The Class of 2021 includes ice sailor, Jane Pegel of the Skeeter Iceboat Club in Williams Bay, WI. Jane began her ice sailing career in the Skeeter class and eventually switched over to the DN class where she won numerous regatta titles. More to come.
National Sailing Hall of Fame

Jane Pegel has owned a series of ice boats and speedy scows that have all been given colorful names. People notice boats with interesting names especially when the boats are at the front of the fleet. Jane Pegel has been a champion sailor from the Midwest since her earliest days. She has also taught thousands of aspiring young sailors to improve their skills. Her first ice boat was named “Holy Smoke”. Pegel’s C Scow was named “Calamity Jane” and her legendary E Scow was named “Frozen Asset”, a phrase every sailor can appreciate. Pegel started sailing early in life and was the descendant of a line of sailors. Her grandfather, John O. Johnson, started the Johnson Boat Works on White Bear Lake, Minnesota in 1896. He was the original builder of the A Scow, a 38-foot flyer that impressed all the participants racing for the Seawanhaka Cup.
Continue reading Jane’s biography on the National Sailing Hall of Fame website.

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