Regatta Causes Lake Geneva Traffic Jam

Evron Kline, Battle Creek Ice Yacht Club,  photos

PREVIOUS: Evron Kline’s 1947 NIYA Photos
Northwest Regatta Page

Here’s a scrapbook page filled with 1948 Northwest photos from Lori Klein-Clossen’s grandfather, Evron Kline. Evron was a member of the Battle Creek, Michigan Ice Yacht Club.

The 1948 NIYA was likely the first time an iceboat regatta caused traffic jams as spectators hunted for parking spots between Fontana, Williams Bay, and Lake Geneva. The FRITZ, a 4LIYC Class A Stern Steerer, was the boat to beat. A young Bill Mattison crewed on 18-year-old Jim Lunder’s FRITZ to win the A-Class title. New Jersey’s Art Siebke won a tie-break with Elmer Millenbach to take the Skeeter championship. Menominee, Michigan’s Dick Sawyer, and Sam Wells took Class B honors in RITA. Class C championship went to Bud Stroshine of Oshkosh, WI, sailing SUSAN JO, and Don Ward’s ROSEMARY won Class D.

Andy’s Iceboat Board Game

Lake Winnebago ice sailor Andy Gratton checks in with his version of an iceboat board game:

I was doing some catching up tonight and saw the nice iceboat game from Michael Young. That reminded me of the game my two kids and I used to play way back when they were in grade school. I dug it out and included some pictures. We used markers and a spinner from another game. I would have made 3D-printed stern steerers for markers, but 3D printing was barely known. Everything on the game happened in the 1992 regatta at Oshkosh – Rosemary capsized, Todd Haines was thrown from Mary B, Country Woman broke the halyard, I think John Davis got stuck in a snowdrift, there was an ice shanty on the course, and more than one boat spun out. This isn’t nearly as fancy as the new game, but it’s fun for small kids. Print it off and play it if you want. Three laps!

Read Andy Gratton’s classic story, The Day The ROSEMARY Tipped Over.” 

Who Did It Better?

The iceboating community has been paying attention to the America’s Cup racing in New Zealand. We know that this year’s crop of foiling AC boats sometimes behaves like Stern-Steerers, and yesterday’s dramatic capsize is fodder for the commentariat around the planet. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson called me this morning. He suggested a comparison graphic between AMERICAN MAGIC and a Stern-Steerer, both about to capsize, which brought to mind the famous video and story about “The Day the Rosemary Tipped Over.” Thankfully, AMERICAN MAGIC’S crew safely survived the capsize though the boat sustained damage.  (Maybe they ought to think about a front-steering AC boat?)
Here’s the video embedded below, along with a link to Andy Gratton’s story. It’s also an excellent time to revisit when the Baker company tested foiling boats on Lake Mendota in the 1950s. Reread Foiled Again, initially posted in 2017.

Read Andy Gratton’s story, The Day The ROSEMARY Tipped Over.” Somewhere, Don Ward must be smiling.


The High Miles Club

Andy Gratton Mike Kroll with the stern steerers ROSEMARY II and WISCONSIN at Menominee, Michigan

Not only was maximum fun achieved by all who responded to the invitation to sail at Menominee on Saturday, stern-steerer addicts Andy Gratton and Mike Kroll marked 1000 miles of sailing this season. That’s the equivalent of sailing to Toronto and back.or a one-way trip to Augusta, Maine! Nine Nites and Illinois DNer Tim Dixon joined the fun on the bay.
Nite sailor John Hayashi reports from Facebook: “It was an old time club sailing weekend at its finest. It brought out the crowds to the downtown, cars were parked everywhere, the grill was going what more could you ask for. There are a lot of people talking about iceboating again in that town. I will not be amazed if some more boats show up sailing up there next season.”
Photos: John Hayashi

Throw Back Thursday: The Day ROSEMARY Tipped Over

Many thanks to stern-steerer skipper Michael Kroll for posting a link to Andy Gratton’s story from this website on his Facebook page. Andy’s story about the legendary Oshkosh stern-steerer skipper, Don Ward, gets better with every reading. Michael writes, “I have read it many times, and when I see it, I can’t help but read it again because I’ve been in the back cockpit of this iceboat.”

The Day Rosemary Tipped Over.
© 2009 Andy Gratton
The 1992 NWIYA race was called on for Oshkosh. We had beautiful hard ice, except for
the typical crack in the bay. Nubs Salzsieder and I were discussing the upcoming
weekend, who was coming, etc. The usual plan for hard ice was that I would sail the
Timber Boat and he would sail Rosemary IV. We talked more about the boats, how Don
Ward had built so many, including the Rosemary boats, and how Don was always
interested in what was going on in Oshkosh, his home town. So Nubs called Don Ward
and told him to get on a plane and get back here from Washington State so he can sail on
his home ice. We didn’t really expect Don to do that, but a day or two later Nubs
informed me that Don would be sailing his old boat, Rosemary IV, and Nubs would be
sailing the Timber Boat. I was bummed because I had no other boat to race, so instead I
would help wherever needed.