Congratulations to all who participated in the 2022 International Skeeter Association regatta and Renegade Championship on Lake Monona, February 18 – 20. On Sunday morning, the Race Committee decided that strong winds (just like on Friday) would have been too much to safely race and called the regatta complete. We took advantage of every minute of Saturday to get the regatta in.
The Skeeter group toasts JD for winning the “Bottle Trophy.” From left, Jay Yaeso, Steve Orlebeke, Mark Isabell, Ken Whitehorse, Paul Krueger, John Dennis (JD), Eric Hyslop, Tom Hyslop, Leon Lebeau.
As told to the Editor by Ken Whitehorse
The Madison-based Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Skeeter Fleet of Paul Krueger M165 and Ken Whitehorse M197 relentless search for ice finally paid off this past weekend at Menominee, Michigan, where they enjoyed 3 days of racing and camaraderie.
Earlier in the week, they set up on the west end of Lake Mendota on Tuesday in 40 mph winds and a 20f temperature. They checked ice with the 4LIYC ATV, and Ken sent out the word to the other Skeeter guys that “all systems go, ice looks great” in anticipation of Wednesday racing.
Tom Hyslop V738 arrived Wednesday morning to find the launch quickly disintegrating. The lake ice was still holding, and Ken proposed that they take turns at the wheel in his boat. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson arrived with the orange marks and the club’s Nebulous flotation device. The Dane County Lakes Patrol warden visited the landing, and Ken said, “a long talk ensued.”
Ready to leave for Oconto and adventure.
Rather than trying to sail, Ken and Paul decided to pull off the trailer. Tom Hyslop and son Eric Hyslop assisted with boat disassembly and loading. When Ken hauled the trailer off the lake with his Mule ATV, the 8000# Bulldog trailer jack was damaged and bent. Ken remarked that “seven sets of Skeeter runners in the trailer might have been a bit much.” That afternoon, word came from Iceboat Central U311 Jay Yaeso about ice on Lake Michigan near Oconto, Wisconsin.
Bright and early Thursday morning, Ken went to the Past Champions Iceboat Shop and fired up his blowtorch to heat the trailer-crank cherry-red and fixed the roller wheel. Paul and Ken shoved off for Oconto to rendezvous with Tom Hyslop. Oconto’s ice was tremendous, but ice fishermen blocked access to the lake because the fish were hitting there.
Thankfully, Mike Derusha R188 called Paul and reported that Menominee, Michigan had plenty of ice and told them to “come on up.” The three ice seekers didn’t waste time making the 30-minute drive to Menominee. Mike met them at the landing with a big smile and welcoming arms. They thanked Mike for taking care of the Skeeter fleet. Ken said Mike’s response was, “M fleet helps us; we help you.” Ken texted Jay, informing him to spread the word that Menominee was the place to be. Tom ended the evening by holding up a PBR nightcap and uttered, “we ride tomorrow.”
The conditions at Menominee were perfect for three days of Skeeter racing. The Skeeters are grateful for Eric Hyslop’s help setting up the marks and helping the fleet. Thanks to Mike Derusha for providing trees. JD and Tom were instrumental in setting our racing courses. Thanks to Steve and Mary Jane Schalk in Fontana, WI for tabulating the scores.
The week started with just three Skeeter sailors getting together on Lake Mendota to sail before the ice went terrible. We chased ice, and we were lucky to find it in Menominee, where we experienced a club-racing-like atmosphere. We just happened to have a bunch of trophies to make it more fun. No one is in charge of the Wisconsin Skeeter Association. If there’s ice, the Wisconsin Skeeter Association racers will be there.
The Class A Skeeters raced on the first day of their Wisconsin Skeeter Association Championship at Menominee, Michigan on Friday, March 5th. As winner of the 4th race, John Dennis won the “Bottle Trophy.” Steve Orlebeke arrived last night and will be joining the Skeeter fleet racing today. At breakfast, the Skeeter guys said they had an excellent day of racing yesterday and were getting ready for another one. Skeeter Scores
Pat Heppert, his C class Skeeter DRIFTER, and the Wisconsin Skeeter Assoc. Bottle Trophy
It took a while, but the Wisconsin Skeeter Association Bottle Trophy finally found its way to last season’s recipient Pat Heppert. Looks like Pat had the perfect bottle waiting for it! Pat writes:
It is a great honor to be a part of the legacy of this trophy, and I am eternally grateful to be the caretaker of this for 2019. The artistry and imagination of every one of Harry Whitehorse’s creations are truly impressive. In the background you will also see the new expanded headquarters of the Heppert boat works!
ACE OF SPADES, Mike Peter’s C Class Stern Steerer at the 2019 Northwest on Lake Pepin. Photo: Pat Heppert
Mike Peters (with crew Terry Reynolds) won the C Stern Steerer division at last weekend’s Northwest regatta. Mike is asking if those who attended could check to see if they mistakenly took the C Stern Steerer keeper trophy last Sunday. He saw it on the trailer before the awards ceremony but then it was gone. Please get in touch with Mike or myself.