Stern-Steerers are one of photographer Gretchen Dorian’s favorite subjects to point her camera
Stern-Steerers are one of photographer Gretchen Dorian’s favorite subjects to photograph. Gretchen came over the bridge from Northern Michigan to photograph the great gathering of iceboats in Menominee, Michigan, over the weekend. She’s editing all the images and will have the high-resolution versions available on her website for purchase. She uploaded fifty photos to Facebook and has allowed iceboat.org to post them for those of you who don’t use Facebook. Here’s the first batch, the Stern-Steerers from their 2021 Wisconsin Stern-Steerers Association Championship. Gretchen would also like to thank Mike Derusha for helping her get out two miles to the Stern-Steerer race course.
Around 1915, the Van Camp brothers of Oshkosh, WI wanted to compete for the most prestigious ice sailing trophies of the day. They looked to the east coast and commissioned a top-notch Class A stern steerer. The DEBUTANTE was built by Jacob Buckhout of Poughkeepsie, New York, the most renowned ice yacht builder of the Hudson River style during that time. An first class racing ice yacht needed a corresponding helmsman and the Van Camps called on Oshkosh’s John Buckstaff to take the tiller. The DEBUTANTE won the Stuart trophy in 1920 and 1939 with “Bucky” in the driver’s seat. (The “DEB” also won the 1960 Northwest Class A trophy with Bud Stroshine.)
In 1963, Roger Derusha of Menominee, MI bought the DEBUTANTE in from the Van Camps. Roger was an influential Renegade sailor and passed on in 1999. The “DEB” is still in Menominee, MI with Roger’s son, Renegader and DNer Mike Derusha.
This video combines two interviews from the 1980s. The first interview is Greg Siebold with Roger and Mike. The second interview takes us to a workshop at Marinette Marine where Mike Peters and Steve Buch interviewed Roger at length about the DEBUTANTE. Apologies for the quality and poor aspect ratio of the videos but we are lucky to have them.
The DEBUTANTE with Carl Bernard, Camp Van Dyke, John Buckstaff, and Andy Flom.
Stern-steerer fanatic Michael Kroll assembled his first video of the season from yesterday’s sailing highlights on White Potato Lake in northwestern Wisconsin.
Iceboating White Potato Lake with Andy Gratton, Dave Lallier, Mike Peters, Mike Derusha. Also Robbie and Bob Everhard from Oshkosh showed up with a Nite. We had DN’s, a Lockley Skimmer, and my small Stern Steerer. The wind came up quit nice and See if you can guess who was sailing the stern-steerer Sunshine when only 2 runners were on the ice. Fun time had by all. Great day of sailing!
Who knew that a 2 minute ice check drone video could be so hauntingly beautiful? Rick Elrod shot and edited the video March 28th on Little Bay de Noc in Gladstone, Michigan. Escanaba Nite sailor Terry Reynolds, Menekaunee sailors Mike Derusha and Ken Kreider, and a few others inspected the ice for International Skeeter Association regatta. The 2:13 minute mark shows exactly why the regatta was postponed but there’s plenty of ice. Many thanks to Terry Reynolds and friends from Escanaba and Gladstone who took the time to check the ice for the ISA.
Menekaunee Ice Sailor Ken Kreider at the 2018 Nite Nationals on Green Lake.
The Menekaunee Ice Yacht Club invites ice sailors to join them for a fun weekend of sailing on Green Bay in Menominee, Michigan March 24-26. Ken Kreider and Mike Derusha have been sailing all day. They report 20″ of ice,no cracks, no shell ice, and some patchy snow that they had no problem sailing through today. The sailable area north-south is 2.5 miles; east-west is 1 mile. In order to preserve the landing, they ask that once you drop your trailer on the ice, please park in the lot. Launch: Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park just south of the Menominee Marina.You can park your car in the lot there.