The media team at Harken tells the story of the 2023 DN World Championship in this widely shared video. Many thanks to the members of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club who helped make this regatta happen behind the scenes. Link.
Bill Mattison Obituary Celebration of Life & Time of Sharing
2 PM – 4 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Gunderson Funeral Home
5203 Monona Drive
Monona, WI Map
Don Sanford assembled this video with photos, film, and voice over of Bill Mattison. Listen closely for one of his famous sayings, “nothing fickler than the wind.”
Youtube Video Link: https://youtu.be/8VH3cIK2zZc
Bill Mattison, a legend in hard and soft water sailing, died April 25, 2022 in Madison, WI. He was 93 years of age.
When superstar sailor Buddy Melges needed help with his America’s Cup challenge in 1986, he asked his long-time friend, sailing rival and Korean War veteran, Bill Mattison for some help.
Bill had a lifetime of experience making boats like scows and ice boats sail faster and faster, and Melges’ Heart of America” 12 Metre was off the pace, but week after week his boat got faster as a direct result of Bill’s hands-on work.
He was a product of the Inland Lake region where Scows skate over the water at 25 knots and when the lakes freeze the sailors sharpen their blades and attain speeds of 100 mph on a variety of ice boats. As a perpetual champion in both scows and ice boats, he quickly adapted his impressive skills to the world of the America’s Cup.
“Whatever needed to be repaired, designed, or improved, Bill would quickly come with the solution and get it done,” said Melges.
Bill’s win list included being 14-time International Skeeter Class Champion, three-time Gar Wood Invitational Champion, 12-time Triple Crown Trophy winner, and winner of over 80 local regattas in A, E and C Scows. Most of his sailing was out of the Mendota Yacht Club in Madison, Wisconsin.
Peter Harken also noted Bill’s endless generosity. “H was always using his expertise and labor to help others get out on the ice or water. If a boat had a breakdown you could bet Bill would be there to help.”
Bill was recognized in the 2020 Induction Class of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, but his craftsmanship was not limited to sailing. He fell in love with the circus as a kid in the 1930s, and began building models of circus wagons.
Then, when he was 12 or 13, he ran away from home to join the circus. Though a career in the circus wasn’t for him, his model making earned him a spot in 2015 in the Circus Model Builders Association’s Hall of Fame.
A Celebration of Life is planned for May 7, 2022 at Gunderson Funeral Home, 5203 Monona Drive, Monona, WI.
Mother Nature came through for us this year on Lake Monona. Videographers Sam Li and Ian Tunney were there to help change minds about winter by including the sport in his latest production. Watch it here.
To all the people who love winter, here’s the film for you. To all the people who hate winter, I hope this changes your mind.
Iceboats of all types were out in force over the weekend, using up every hour they could before a winter storm lashed the east coast. Here’s a classic Long Island South Bay Scooter sailing Bantam Lake in Connecticut. Henry Bossett was also there with his drone. See his video here. Tip of the Helmet: Mike Acebo