England isn't the first place that comes to mind when talking about ice sailing but there's a museum in Stalham, England (in Norfolk, on the Broads) with an old stern steerer on permanent exhibit. DN European Secretary Chris Williams, his wife Jenny, and I had a look at it yesterday. The other exhibits focus on the historical boating culture of the area and is definitely worth a visit if you get to England. Tip of the helmet to New England DNer Oliver Moore for emailing a photo of this boat a few months ago. Never thought I'd actually get to see it!
The iceboat and soft-water sailing family has lost a longtime supporter and enthusiast.
Deonna Haines, mother of long-time Mary-B owner and A-Scow Association Executive Director Todd Haines, passed away on Sunday April 17 after a brief illness.
There is a wonderful tribute to her on the NCASA web-site.
More information can be found at:
Watch this cleverly edited video from from Scott Valentine and the guys from the Lake Ronkonkoma Ice Boat And Yacht Club who made the long drive to Madison for the DN North American championship in February. Watch it here. Tip of the Helmet: Commodore T on the NEIYA website.
Some 4LIYC members including Kyle Metzloff, Jim Nordhaus, and Geoff Sobering along with myself just returned from the land sailing Blokart North American and World Championships at the sometimes not-so-dry lake bed on the California and Nevada border. During the DN North Americans in February on Lake Monona, Jim Nordhaus helped to save the Olin landing by showing up with plywood so that trailers could bridge the cracks.
Fast forward to last week, and there was Jim again helping to make a bridge with plastic and cardboard so that the Blokarts could be rescued from the muddy playa after the North Americans concluded. When it does rain in the desert (this particular rainstorm broke a 73 year old record), the playa reverts to its lake bed state followed by mud. It's important to keep the area flat because any ruts left in the desert may last for years. The rescue was a success and an alternate site for the Worlds was found across Interstate I-15.
Here's a short video from the Worlds that shows a classic leeward rounding situation, one boat (or cart) coming in hot, squeezing in, and hitting the mark. The cart to leeward is Jim Nordhaus. Results for North Americans are here and Worlds here. Kyle Metzloff had the best 4LIYC finish in the Worlds, placing 3rd in his division.
Sunday, May 15th, 10:00-2:00PM, 2016
Brittingham Park Shelter
829 W. Washington Ave. – Madison
Come eat, drink, and learn about the all the wind, row, paddle, ski, scuba and many water sport clubs in the Madison area.
See one design racing sailboats, log rolling, kiteboarding, a water ski demonstration. Get on a rowing scull, sail a model sailboat, and sample water for the Clean Lakes Alliance. More information.
Saw this on Facebook written by Edgars Dzenis of Latvia who traveled to Baikal for the DN regatta. It's one of the best explanations of iceboat racing I've read.
"I knew absolutely nothing about the DN (Detroit News) iceboat class before getting here. To say these guys tech out would be a massive understatement. I thought foilers were bad, but they’ve got nothing on the ice crew. But that’s the nature of high performance sailing, the faster you go the more important tuning your kit becomes. Mental toughness plays a big role in this game because of the speed. Imagine missing a shift in your local one design fleet. Your buddies might pull 10 seconds ahead but they still seem within reach. Battling on to grind them down isn’t too hard to manage mentally. Now imagine what that 10 second gap looks like when you’re ripping around the buoys at a mile per minute! It’s over 800 feet, nearly 3 football fields! It takes a special kind of tenacity to keep your head in the game with those kind of distances lost and gained every moment.
This is one reason why ice sailors, like foilers and other high performance racers, are always sniffing out an edge in their gear. Similar to the moth fleet, teching out and being social seem to go hand in hand. Beers in the tent and post regatta karate (you know that thing we all do when we use our hands to show how two boats were coming together) are accompanied with discussions on composite flex, steel metallurgy, and the all important concept of apparent wind. So far my experience with this fleet has been inspiring and humbling. I used to think 30 knots was quick and 40 knots was balls to the wall. These guys don’t even budge off their resting heart rate until then. Am I ruined forever? Will foiling now feel like slogging in a laser? Perhaps….but at the same time, I just discovered yet another epically fun aspect of our sport that I know nothing about, and that is what keeps me coming back for more! DN Worlds is in America next winter….perhaps just enough time to learn how to get around the course without killing myself?"
Winter hasn't given up yet. April showers have arrived in the form of snow in the Midwest. The Maine iceboaters are reporting possible sailing for the weekend on Lac St. Francois in Canada. They also held a 100 mile race a few days ago. Read all about it on the Chickawaukie website.
The iceboaters on Lake Baikal have finished their regatta. Photo from Waterlust.
Please join us on Saturday, April 23 at Angelo's Italian Restaurant for our annual Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club trophy banquet. Download the order form, print it out, and mail it to the address provided. Please make your reservation by April 15. We are getting close to banquet time and know more folks are coming than we have heard from and that if anyone has raffle items please contact Peter Fauerbach.
SIBC sailor Jane Pegel came across a club yearbook for the 1948-49 season while updating the club files in preperation for their banquet (which was last Saturday. Jane writes, "Sort of fun to see some of the old names and read the sailing rules." Read it here.
Baikal ice sailing week began today. The folks from Waterlust, a "a purpose-driven brand that creates: 1) media to inspire scientific curiosity and an adventurous spirit, and 2) sustainable products to support marine science research and education" made the trip and are sharing photos to their Facebook page.
The season appears to be slowly winding down in North America despite the late arrival of a Polar Vortex. The Maine iceboaters tried their best to get one more weekend but have given the Fat Lady a "warm welcome". (Watch her here.) Canada's ice is snow covered as far as I know. But there's still one more place in the world where there's an ice sheet waiting for 50 or so DNs to arrive this week for a regatta.
The season is not over yet for our Canadian friends. Jamie Smith sends along these photos and writes, "We are still sailing in Saskatchewan, at least we were up until last Sunday March the 20th. Unfortunately we had a snow storm hit on Monday night taking away our sailable ice for what I am guessing could be the season, but hopefully not. El Nino was good to us this year giving us plenty of sailable ice for the last month or so. All the pictures were taken on Long Lake (Last Mountain Lake) near Regina Beach Saskatchewan." Saskatchewan wasn't the only sailable ice in Canada over the weekend. DN Canadian Commodore, Warren Nethercote, checked in about sailing in Prince Edward Island on the New England Ice Yacht Association website.
Today's Wisconsin State Journal published an opinion column that ran 100 years ago in response to a horrific tragedy involving an iceboat that claimed the lives of three young Madison men, Olaf Mathewson, Rudolph Wesselle, and Walter Throl. (Their photos here.) According to a report published on March 22, 1916, they borrowed a stern steerer the night of March 21. The wind was blowing 30 mph from the northeast and they sailed into the open water where the Yahara River (then known as Catfish River) flows into Lake Monona. (It must be stated that the lake is generally unsafe at any time in that area.)
These young men were in their early 20s; Throl and Mathewson worked for the Gisholt Machine Company and Wesselle worked with his father at Fauerbach Brewery. Nearby residents could hear their cries for help for 30 minutes. A rescue was attempted in a rowboat but the young men were not reached in time and they succumbed to hypothermia and drowning. Here's a partial newspaper clipping about what happened that fateful night.
This story is a grim reminder that iceboating can be risky if common sense rules are not followed. Safe sailing includes respecting the lake at river and creek outlets, properly equipping yourself for self rescue, and keeping a close eye on the weather. The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club would not recommend that anyone sail at night but ultimately, you are responsible for yourself. Take the time to review the Safe Sailing page on this website.
The ice sailing season is still going strong, just not the United States. Yesterday a container of DNs left Germany for the journey to Irkutsk on the Trans Siberian railroad. The boats will arrive around March 28. A truck will pick up the container and deliver the boats to the Uyuga resort on Lake Baikal for the regatta which begins on April 2, 2016.
DN European Commodore Joerg Bohn is looking forward to the regatta and writes, "As for the ice at the lake the picture is from today taken from the Island Olchon,
I think our race course is looking great." See more about Baikal's ice sailing week on their website. Meanwhile, an 89 hour drive from Baikal, the 2016 Finnish Championships will be sailed this weekend on Lake Pyhäjärvi, Säkylä.
More international coverage from the recent DN North American championship sailed on Lake Monona in Madison. The reporter and film crew came early in the week when there was no wind. They were able to use footage from the 2015 Gold Cup sailed in Kingston, Ontario and some other footage from New York. Watch video here.
It appears that the ice sailing season is over in the the United States but that's not the case for our northern neighbors. Mike Madge sailed Squaw Bay on Thunder Bay in Canada yesterday. There's sailable ice in Sweden at Västerås where the Swedish DN championships are being held this weekend.(Swedish championship provisional results here.) Also some Monotypes on the ice.
"A Queensland man is about to embark on a record-setting mission to “snow sail” across Antarctica. Adventurer Charles Werb’s unique sail is designed to glide across the ice and is powered only by the wind. The journey will take him from the Novo base to as close as possible to the South Pole – and all the way back.....If successful, he will become the first person to snow sail the Antarctic plateau.
He is also trying to break a world record for the most wind-assisted distance covered in 24 hours. Mr Werb’s sails were designed and built in Brisbane by a local fabricator who has only seen the snow once. He will go from 30 degree temperatures in Australia to minus 30 degree temperatures on the ice. He will also have to fit all his supplies to last three weeks, including all of his food and camping gear, inside the vessel." News video here. Outer Edge Polar Challenge website here.
Cut and pasted from the Harken Facebook Page: "This winter I have been sailing Peter Harken’s E-skeeter called Honeybucket XIV. The E-skeeter class is the fastest class of iceboats and arguably the fastest sailing craft in the world. These boats can hit speeds over 100mph powered only by the wind. I put a lot of practice time in this winter leading up to two major skeeter regattas. The first of these regattas is called the Northwestern Ice Yacht Association Championship. This year was the 102nd annual Northwest regatta. The E-skeeter class has been racing in this event since 1936. This year it was sailed February 12th through the 14th on Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. After a great battle I won this regatta by one point over Jay Yaseo from Green Bay. The second major regatta is called the ISA (International Skeeter Association) championship. The ISA was first sailed in 1940 and is the championship for all of the skeeter classes. This year it was held on Green Bay. With some good fortune I also won this trophy. A third major trophy was awarded to me for winning both regattas in the same year called the triple crown. In total I sailed the Honeybucket in 21 races and sailed her 10 days this winter."
-Steve Orlebeke, Director of Engineering, Harken USA
The world knows that Madison has great ice sailing. "It is -15 ° C and the wind is blowing at 50 km / h. During the winter on the frozen lakes of Wisconsin, lovers of skiing and sailing are found to go faster...they perpetuate the tradition of Dutch immigrants who sailed on the Hudson River." Watch video here.
In The News: "Historic Madison iceboat Mary B may race again"
Wisconsin State Journal Barry Adams TOWN OF WESTPORT — When the Mary B skimmed across the ice of lakes Monona and Mendota in the early 1950s, she shared her exploits in the Wisconsin State Journal sports pages with the University of Wisconsin boxing team, three-time NCAA champion Don Gehrmann’s ability to run the mile for the Badgers and basketball games at Central High School." Continue reading. Photographer Gretchen Dorian has posted some of her photos of the Mary B under sail for the first time in many years on Lake Monona at the recent Northwest regatta. See them here.
Not Much Work Accomplished In Area Offices Last Week
14 seconds of racing action from last week's DN North American championship. These two clips were downloaded from Instagram and shot from skyline of Madison over looking Lake Monona. Toledo Ice Yacht Club DNer, Rich Potcova, noted that "we lowered productivity" in Madison office buildings last week.
Jane Pegel has decided to retire from the Board of Directors of the National Iceboat Authority. We’d like to thank Jane for over 50 years of service regarding the management of our racing rules and ensuring safety and fairness is maximized in iceboating. Jane was one of the founding members of the NIA along with Elmer Millenbach, Wally Cross, Homer Seider, and Bob Pegel. Prior to the NIA racing rules, the various sailing clubs around the country had different racing rules which created confusion and hazardous situations on the race course. Jane played a key role as this group worked together to develop the NIA Racing Rules which have successfully served as the basis for iceboat racing since the early 1960’s. Please join us in thanking Jane for her many contributions to our sport!
We’re happy to announce that Steve Schalk has accepted the open position on the NIA Board of Directors. Steve is an experienced B-Skeeter sailor with many years of service on local and regatta race committees. Those of you who know Steve would agree that he is a reasonable and patient person who communicates well and always considers the needs of every class of iceboat participating in an event. Welcome Steve!
With Jane’s retirement, Tim McCormick has accepted the role of Secretary/Treasurer of the NIA. Please route NIA correspondence to Tim at:
5833 Persimmon Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711
M 608-234-1950 Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a close look at this photo that the Clean Lakes Alliance is using for its newsletter header. Hoping we can hear from the aerial photographer who was out on Lake Monona last week during the DN North American regatta and that there are more photos to share.
Please join us tonight at Angelo's Italian Restaurant for our meeting. Should be a good fun one with lots to talk about including the DN North American championship and the ISA.
I'd like to personally thank the members of this club for their outstanding efforts to help make the competitors of DN North American championship feel welcomed to Madison. Commodore Ken Norton came to the landing every day to help make sure boats were getting on and everything was running smoothly. Daniel Hearn,among other things, organized an opening ceremony party in a few hours that played out against the beautiful skyline of our city. Jori Lenon, Mike Barnett, and Dave Elsmo pitched in where ever they could. Don Sanford was also a great help with some behind the scenes activities. And I will never forget the sight of Don Sanford on the club ATV pulling up loaded with a catered lunch put together by Don Anderson the Mary B Foundation including Lou Reed and Bob Stoehr. (Take a look here to learn more about that project.) I'm not sure if Scott Goetz or Peter Fauerbach ever left the ice the entire week because they were there all the time willing to lend a hand with anything and to help drive the ATVs. Paul McMillan and Jerry Simon were also there. Jim Nordhaus- we didn't see him much, but his presence was huge as an ice checker and then taking time from his busy morning preparing for the ISA to drop off some planking so that we could continue to use the launch. I hope I'm not missing anybody. Thank you, club members, for making everything look so effortless.
Big wind for Wednesday's Gold fleet DN North American race made for some of the most thrilling racing I've seen as a scorer. The talk of the day was James "T" Theiler's dramatic finish with Ron Sherry just ahead of him. Photographer Joe Stanton, who was also at last week's Northwest, caught it on film. Heading out for Day 4 today. T wrote about the race here. There is no skipper's meeting and the Gold fleet starts racing at 9:30 AM.
Check out this photo set from the Wisconsin State Journal from the first day of sailing at the DN North Americans. The first race is scheduled for 10 AM this morning if the wind cooperates. If there is not enough wind, the race committee will likely postpone and give updates every few hours as yesterday. Wednesday there will be wind. A good place to watch the races would be from Monona Terrace Convention Center. More information about the DN regatta here.
Mayor of Monona, Bob Miller, welcomed the participants to the regatta. Mayor Bob, we thank you for making us feel welcome to Lake Monona.
Welcome to Monona!
Madison's skyline at dusk provided a beautiful backdrop to the opening ceremonies of the DN North American Championships which are being sailed on Lake Monona. Seven flags were raised representing Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United States, and Torsten Siems from Germany who raised the DN flag. Happy birthday Torsten! More information about the regatta here.
UPDATE: Lake Monona is the site with primary launch at Olin. The DN North American championship has been called on for Madison, Wisconsin. You can find all official information on the DN website. The regatta starts on Monday,February 22, 2016. Look for iceboat.org updates about the regatta on the DN Regatta page.
Via Ron Rosten: "Thor at the start of race 1 of the 2016 Ice Optimist Championships. We chose sail number 11 in honor of Madison's multi ISA, Northwest, & Renegade champion Jack Ripp. Thor happens to be distantly related to the Ripp's through his mother."
From our friend Andrey Ivolgin in St. Petersburg, Russia, a local TV report on S-8 iceboats (in Russian) where you can see the process of rigging the wing iceboat.
Andrey writes, "The three-wheel boat is a kind of experimental one (there are no class rules restrictions for that). One wheel is used for forestay control and drum is controlled by pedal.
Generally we have two wheels - one for steering and one for sail control and pedal"
Here's a link to another well produced Youtube video with the S-8s racing on the Gulf of Finland.
Renegades rounding the weather mark. Photo by Joe Stanton
Northwest regatta Photo of the Day
Just as the flag dropped for the start of final Renegade race of the regatta, the snow and wind intensified. The Race Committee conferred during the Renegade race and decided to call the regatta completed because visibility was going to be an issue. To see all of Joe Stanton's photos from yesterday, go to the Northwest page.
"At 97, sailor goes ice boating on Michigan’s Wolf Lake"
"Grass Lake — For decades, Mel Nichols traveled across the country to sail competitively.
From frozen lakes in Michigan and Minnesota, to bodies of water in Tennessee and near Tampa Bay — he filled a shelf with trophies and was once a nationally ranked competitor.
Heading into his 80s, however, Nichols retired — though at 97, he has never stopped thinking like a sailor." Continue reading.
Excellent write up about the Nite Nationals posted on Sailing Scuttlebutt.
"Ice boat racing is about flexibility. When the Notice of Race says the event dates are TBD, and the location could be anywhere within three states, you know Mother Nature is in charge. But sometimes it works out as it did last weekend for the one design Nice class. Here is the report" Continue reading.
Jordan Glaser purchased Jay Yaeso's winning skeeter in the off-season. Roger Baker prepping her as "Instigator." Henry Bossett made some new sails.
Mark Hancik will be campaigning Jordan's prior skeeter with his new mast.
BY Michael Mentzer
"A cluster of iceboating enthusiasts gathered in chairs in a square formed by several tables inside the Fond du Lac Yacht Club on a snowy, windswept January night a few weeks ago along the Lake Winnebago shoreline near the harbor lighthouse." Continue reading.
4LIYC member Andy McCormick contemplates how he is going to sail this boat.
The A Class Stern Steerer, Mary B, was the hit of the party over the weekend at the Frozen Assets Festival on Lake Mendota. Her namesake's daughter, Mary A., made a special trip out to the ice to visit the boat named after her mother and commissioned by her father, OT Havey back in 1947.
The grandchildren of the Mary B.'s builder, Frank Tetzlaff, were also on hand to be a part of the special day. That's Byron Tetzlaff on the right.
Quite a few DNs, 3 Skeeters, and some Renegades inauguarated the 4LIYC racing season today on Lake Kegonsa. The DNs and Renegades noted that the ice was rougher than it looked but the Skeeters didn't feel the rough vibes. Renegader Jeff Russell brought the yellow Cub today and we took her up for some picture taking. Stand by for those. Also, Renegaders, check out the photo of George Gerhardt's experimental runner attachment method. (He did put them on the right way and won a race today as did Tim McCormick.) With a forecast high of MINUS 2F tomorrow,4LIYC racing has been canceled.
The MARY B is a Class A Stern Steerer built by Frank Tetzlaff and Carl Bernard in 1947 for Madison electrical contractor, O.T. Havey. She won fifteen major regatta titles with Carl Bernard and then Jim Payton as skippers. She is an important part of Madison's history. A group of 4LIYC members have formed a corporation (a separate entity from the 4LIYC for legal reasons) to raise funds to purchase her. Read more about the history of the MARY B and the efforts to bring her back to Madison here. If there's enough ice, the MARY B will be exhibited at the Frozen Assets Festival at the Edgewater on Mendota the weekend of Friday, February 5th through Sunday February 7th, 2016.
Another addition is Right-of-Way rule 8.a which states: “When yachts sailing ON-THE-WIND on
opposite tacks are approaching a MARK, the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear of the
STARBOARD TACK yacht.” Click here to see all 9 animations.
Animated: Start, Darling Mark Course & New Weather Mark ROW Guide
4LIYC DNer Dave Elsmo (who is the Sailing Program Manager and Head Coach
of the UW Hoofer Sailing Club) created 9 animations to help illustrate the recent changes made by the National Iceboat Authority. These animations cover properly starting, approaching marks on a darling mark course, finishing a darling mark course, and Right-of-Way rule 8.a. See Dave's informative work here.
National Iceboat Authority: Change Summary to 2015 Racing Rules
Last week, the National Iceboat Authority released a new version of the NIA Constitution & Racing Rules which includes two new race course configurations, the DARLING COURSE and INLINE COURSE which may be used as alternatives to the STANDARD COURSE we’ve been using for many years. (Click here to see last week's post.)Today, NIA board member, Tim McCormick has released a summary which briefly describes the changes which have been made to the NIA 2015 Racing Rules. Click here to read the summary.
National Iceboat Authority: Important Announcement
The National Iceboat Authority is happy to announce the release of a new version of the NIA Constitution & Racing Rules. (Click here to see new version.) This new version includes two new race course configurations called DARLING COURSE and INLINE COURSE which may be used as alternatives to the STANDARD COURSE we’ve been using for many years. This allows race committees to select a course which is most appropriate for their ice sailing event. The new racing rules also contain:
Updated definitions and clauses to support the use of the DARLING COURSE or INLINE COURSE.
Clarification on yachts which must keep clear while approaching the windward MARK on opposite TACKS.
Updated restrictions on propulsion.
A new rule which prohibits sailing between the LEEWARD MARK and the starting line immediately after the start.
Please feel free to contact any of the NIA Directors with questions or comments. UPDATE 11-13-2015:NIA board member, Tim McCormick, has created a summary which briefly describes the changes which have been made to the NIA 2015 Racing Rules. Read his report here.