Contact 4LIYC

Welcome to, the web site of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club. We are one of the most active ice boat clubs in North America and have been building and racing ice boats for over 100 years.

4LIYC on Facebook



December 20-21, 2014

Jan 3-4, 2015
DN Forum

Jan 9-11, 2015

January 10-11, 2014
DN Forum

January 17-18, 2015

(DNs, Renegades, Skeeters, Stern Steerers)
Jan 16-18, 2015


Jan 24-31, 2015
Primary Site: East, Mountain, & Canada
DN Forum


February 16-21, 2015
DN Europe


Stern Steerers

March 1-6, 2015
DN Europe


Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia


Dec 13-14, 2014
Cancelled because of fog and poor ice conditions
DN Forum

Dec 5-7, 2014
Lake Kegonsa, WI
Completed. Gold fleet won by US44 Ron Sherry, Silver fleet won by US5508 Tim Sugar. Ice Opti fleet won by 113 Meta Simon.
Regatta page.

DN Western Challenge
December 6-8, 2013
Completed. Won by US 44 Ron Sherry in Gold, US 5486 Dave Elsmo Silver.

2013 DN Central Regionals
Dec 28-29, 2013
Completed. Won by US 4 Griffin Sherry in Gold, US 4974 Stan Jones in Silver.

DN North American Championship
January 19-25, 2014
Gold won by Ron Sherry US44. Silver won by Hal Bowman US1277.

DN Gold Cup & European Championship
Sailed March 1-8, 2014
in Happsalu, Estonia
Gold fleet won by
Karol Jablonski P36

(Stern Steerers, DNs, Renegades, & Skeeters)
Sailed March 14-16
Photos and results

Sailed March 15-16

DN Central Regionals
Sailed March 15-16
Won by Julie Richards DN 4868

Stern Steerers
Sailed March 22-23 for Green Lake


Lake Access Permits

A year-round permit required for designated launch sites in the City of Madison and Dane County Parks.

Locations include:

Warner Park Mendota County Park

Tonyawatha Tr. Park
Olin Park

Goodland Park

Lake Access Permit Brochure in pdf

Purchase Lake Access Permit Online

Web Cams

Canyon Ferry, Montana

Clear Lake, Iowa

Geneva Lake,
Williams Bay, WI

Geneva Lake, Gordy's Boat Sales, Fontana, WI
Look for webcam link upper right corner

Geneva Lake, Eleven Gables Inn, Lake Geneva, WI

Geneva Lake, downtown looking into the bay.

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI
(UW Soils)

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI
from somewhere on UW Campus

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI UW AOSS North Facing Camera

Lake Mendota at the UW Union

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI 3 UW AOSS Rooftop Cameras

Mallets Bay,
Lake Champlain, VT

Maumee Bay, Toledo, OH

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Westport, NY
Lake Champlain

Great Lakes MODIS
Not a webcam but daily views of the Midwest from space

Click for Madison, Wisconsin Forecast


Link to map

100% SAFE.

Our ice reports are geared towards 4LIYC members who race ice boats with the club. All others including recreational ice boaters, kite boarders, cross country skiers, and ice fishermen should not rely on these ice reports. We have safety equipment.
Do you?



November 5

November 19

December 3
Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items

December 17

SKIP December 31

January 7
Honor Roll Nominations

January 21
Deadline for
By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission

February 4

February 18
Business Meeting

March 11

March 25

Glass Nickel Pizza
2916 Atwood Ave
Madison, WI
Time: 6:30 PM alternate Weds.

We meet downstairs and all are welcome.

4LIYC By Laws & Racing Rules

By-Laws & Racing Rules

In pdf

Right of Way Rules Graphic

(Download Adobe Acrobat free.)

4LIYC Club Race Results & Points













National Ice Boat Authority

Constitution and Rules

2014 Renegade Championship Regatta Page

DN Regatta Page

December 21, 2014

George Gerhardt Wins IRIYA Championship

Short report and scores on the Renegade page.

December 19, 2014

December Runner Tracks

The DN publication, Runner Tracks, is online and ready to read on your PC or tablet. Flipbook or other options.

Weekend Racing

"Report is that Kegonsa has healed nicely. Team Madison DN'rs will be out both Saturday and Sunday racing. Sunday is looking to be the better day regarding the wind. Plan is to launch out of Pleasant Springs on Northeast side of the lake. Lake has not been sailed since last proceed with caution. People are planning on showing up 9a-ish... Later, Mike DN 5507"

December 17, 2014

2014 Renegade Championship
Called ON for Puckaway Lake

Photo credit: Peter Johanson
The 2014 International Renegade Association Championship has been called ON for December 20-21, 2014 on Puckaway Lake . The regatta will be a two day event. Renegade races will alternate with Green Lake Ice Yacht Club racing. George Gerhardt and Don Anderson rate the ice as an 8 out of 10. There's 7 inches plus of ice. Launch, racing, lodging, and banquet information on the Renegade page.
Map of Puckaway Lake.


Charlie Miller emailed this photo from a Wisconsin iceboaters get together held recently. He writes, "Charlie 80, Davey Nelson 75, Jack Ripp 86, Bill Mattison 86, and Burley Brellenthin 89. What one of these gentlemen is still sailing an iceboàt?"

December 16, 2014

And Now For Something
Completely Different

Watch Via DN Europe.
[Does it need to be said? Don't do this.]

What Would You Do?

Have you ever thought about what you would do if you fell through the ice? You should have a plan. Watch this video from a local ice fishing guide. Click here to watch and review the safety page.
Tip of the Helmet: Peter Fauerbach

December 15, 2014


Stumbled across a weather website, Windyty, a non-commercial project by an avid kite-skier and pilot in the Czech Republic. You can also click on specific locations on the map to get very interesting-looking local forecasts
Click here for Four Lakes page. Hit the play button to see the wind forecast animation out five days.

First Rule of Holes

Lake Kegonsa developed some interesting drain holes that kept iceboaters fascinated (some more than others as you can see) on Sunday. The lake will need to be thoroughly checked before we know it's safe for sailing again. We are hopeful that when the cold weather returns, the lake will heal.

December 14, 2014


Photo: David Frost
No official racing on Saturday for both the DN Western Regional Championship or the 4LIYC Renegade fleet. However, there was fun to be had. See the DN page for David Frost's photos and report. We shall see what today brings. Off to the lake.

December 12, 2014


Normally you'd find Dean Kitchen racing his Blokart in the desert. Dean drove from Detroit to join the fun last weekend on Kegonsa and put together this video. A great take on his first ever iceboat regatta.

December 11, 2014

The Card

Photo by Tim Stanton
4LIYC membership cards have been printed and mailed. Thanks for your patience but as you know, it's been an unusually busy early season. Your membership helps maintain the website and the safety equipment we use on the ice. If you'd like one of these cool cards with your name on it, join the club. Only $20.

More Better Weekend Sailing

Photo: Peter Johanson
Jim Nordhaus and Wes Wilcox sailed Kegonsa on Wednesday and reported the ice to be in better condition than last weekend. The 2014 DN Western Region Championship is scheduled for the coming weekend of December 13-14 on Lake Kegonsa. Official information on the DN Forum.
4LIYC Chief Judge Peter Fauerbach will be setting up a seperate course for Renegade club racing. (Haven't heard if any Nites will race.) Final confirmation of club racing will be by 5 PM Friday as per by-laws. Will be another big weekend on the ice. See you all at Springer's!

Very First Step to Ice Optimists

MN DNer Rob Evans and wife, Holly, brought their kids to the Western Challenge on Lake Kegonsa where they were able to get their first sail with Dad.

December 10, 2014

One-Design Class Profile: DN Iceboat

Photo: Peter Johanson
4LIYC member, Eric Tobias, started a new gig as a writer for Sail1Design. His first article is about the DN class and is an excellent read.
"Your sailing season doesn’t have to end just because it’s getting cold outside. In fact, for many racers, when December comes around the season is just getting started. We’ve all seen the AC 72s sail at over 40 knots. Now imagine the extreme exhilaration of sailing faster than that, laying on your back in a luge-style cockpit, tiller on your chest, mainsheet cranked in hard, wind screaming past your telltales, ice skimming by in a blur underneath you, and 30 other boats converging on the same leeward mark." Continue reading.

Final Western Challenge Results

Photo: DN Nederland
Gold and Silver click here.

Ice Opti results here.

December 9, 2014

4LIYC Results

Photo: Peter Johanson. Renegader Trey Sprinkman
4LIYC Scorer Tim McCormick has tabulated the scores from the weekend. See them here.

2014 DN Western Regionals Primary Site Announced

Photo credit: Peter Johanson
Lake Kegonsa has been announced as the primary site of the 2014 IDNIYRA Western Regionals by Western Region Commodore Mike Miller. Please see the DN Forum for official information. Please note that the ice needs to be sailed because it has changed. "This was used last weekend for the Great Western Challenge sailed on grade 10 ice. A minor sleet/rain mix fell on Monday with some spots of thin shell ice over 1/4' puddles reported Tuesday. The cold temps the next 2 nights could heal it. It will be sailed by noon on Wed." There are other sites under consideration.

December 8, 2014

Western Challenge Revised Results

Gold and Silver click here.
Ice Opti results here.


Nice shot of Paul McMillan in his Renegade by Peter Johanson. We should have Renegade scores from the weekend soon!

One Lap At the Great Western Challenge

Enjoy a DN ride with Geoff Sobering.

This Is Us

Photo Credit: James Stevenson
There are over 100 people from across North America and Europe who are probably as tired out as I am this morning from the exhilarating weekend of Western Challenge DN & Renegade iceboat racing on Lake Kegonsa. There were 100 DNs registered, 12 Renegades, and 5 Ice Optis. Congratulations to the 4LIYC Meta Simon for her first Ice Opti win on Sunday and to the other Ice Opti competitors.

We will have Ice Opti and full corrected results today. Keep checking back for photos, reports, etc. Sailors came from around the world, including North America, Canada including 5 from Kingston, Onatario, and Nova Scotia- Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Europe- Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Special thanks to the members of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, a group of doers. Jim Nordhaus, Wes Wilcox, and Jori Lenon, who sailed the ice on Tuesday, Jim for taking it upon himself to build the wooden bridge making it easier to haul boats on and off the ice, Peter Fauerbach, our Chief Judge, who was the first one on the ice and the last one to leave, Commodore Ken Norton who lent a hand where ever it was needed and got a fast education on the thrills of DN scoring (too many numbers to call and not enough time to call them!), Daniel Hearn for making sure the DN Western Region ATV and trailer was stocked and ready to go every morning, and Treasurer Jerry Simon who keeps a diligent eye on the club finances. I hope I didn't miss anybody. I never have to ask for any of this to be done. Our club members just step in and make things happen. And final thanks to JD and Jim McDonaugh and the whole MN Ice Sailing Association for letting Lake Kegonsa be Minnesota's honorary ten thousandth and one lake for the weekend.
Keep checking back for more reports and videos today.
Western Challenge page.

December 3, 2014

Stern Steerer News

Photo by
The 2015 Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association Newsletter is out. Read it here.

December 2, 2014

1530 Western Challenge Update:
Yes! It's Kegonsa!

UPDATE #2: Jim Nordhaus, Wes Wilcox, and Jori Lenon sailed the lake and report excellent conditions.They have been drilling all over the lake and haven't found anything less than 4". Jim rates the ice a 9.99999. There's a manageable heave in front of Springer's parallel to the shore, and some "ice rubble" in front of Springers for about 100-200'.
Their thumbs are UP
UPDATE: The lake was walked and drilled. It's black ice and the report was very positive. The checkers saw nothing unusual. DNs will commence sailing at 1400 CST (2PM). Appointments and life got in the way of an early sail.

Lake Kegonsa in Madison, WI is currently the primary site of the Western Challenge. The Minnesota Ice Sailing Association and Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club are joining forces for the Western Challenge this year. Kegonsa is glass smooth and building ice. There were reports of 3.5-4" yesterday. The lake will sailed this morning by Jim Nordhaus so that we can give you the best ice report possible today. If you'd like to join in, please get in touch with me. Stand by for lodging and other details. I should have word by 1200 CST. The plan so far is that the 4LIYC Renegade fleet will rotate in with potentially 2 DN fleets.

December 1, 2014

DN Western Challenge Update: Head West...or East*

*if you are coming from MSP/SP

The announcement about the first fun regatta of the season has been made on "Primary site is La Crosse, Wi. Same as last years site. Secondary site is Green Lake, Spicer, Minnesota. Get your DN ready and let's do this! Lodging and the rest of the info to follow. We have multiple locations at this time."
Follow along here.

November 30, 2014

Winnebago Bay Sailing

UPDATE 12-1: Andy adds: The ice is 5" thick, the area is the bay in front of SSIYC, 10 blocks north to south, maybe 4 blocks to the east (where the usual heave is) before the edge of the world. Not large enough to have a decent race course on. The Green Lakers have been sailing at Puckaway Lake. I hear it is about 8" thick and the whole lake is frozen. Four-wheelers are running on it. I'm sure it was as smooth as our ice."
Via Lake Winnebago skipper Andy Gratton, "We sailed the last three days on the Bay in Oshkosh.  Today's ice was very nice."

The Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America

1951: Eastern Ice Yachting Association's Ray Ruge, second from left with Ed Rollberg of the Fox Lake IYC in Illinois, right. Rollberg was the first to win the pennant sailing a Skeeter.
First sailed in 1881 on the Hudson River, the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America remains one of the most prestigious trophies the history of American ice yachting. The IYCP reflects the development of American ice yachting. With its roots in the classic Hudson River Stern Steerer era, it has evolved in to a Skeeter class trophy. The Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club currently holds the pennant when Bill Dale and Peter Harken won it in 1991. The PIYC is accepting your club's challenge. Learn more about the IYCP and how to challenge on the new Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America website. Many thanks to Brian Reid of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club for sharing his historic photos.

November 28, 2014

Watch This-Now!

Skeeters - speed sailing on ice from Sail Racing on Vimeo. A short clip from the 2013 ISA on Lake Kegonsa produced by the Swedish clothing manufacturer, Sail Racing. The best Skeeter footage and editing I've ever seen. You can also watch it here and continue to scroll down for a few more photos.

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Sail

Astro joined Rich Eckstein on the south end of Lake Winnebago today for some DN sailing.

November 24, 2014

Spring Sailing

Madison's record cold last week was followed by spring like showers over the weekend which most likely turned Kegonsa back to its normal November liquid state. These late 1950s era 4LIYC Skeeter fleet photos on wet ice are the same conditions that the Minnesota and Thunder Bay DN sailors experienced over the weekend. Cold is back in the forecast.

More Montana

Pat Dillon updates: "The ice we sailed Friday disappeared by Saturday (ghost ice). Packed up and moved to lower Rey Creek and it was like butter."

November 22, 2014

This Week at Canyon Ferry

Via Pat Dillon: "Sailed Canyon Ferry on Friday. Four to five inches of ice with plenty of land mines. Dave and Vicki Gluek along with Lance Hoshsack pack up after an all day sail and skate."

November 21, 2014

Christmas in November

[UPDATE 11-24: Christmas in November was shortly followed by April in November when rain showers hung around the Madison are all weekend which probably sunk the ice.] Geoff Sobering sends along this picture from Jim Campbell of Lake Kegonsa just south of Madison which froze over last night. The earliest recorded Kegonsa freeze date that I could find online is November 27 in 1996. The club may need to have some sort of Thanksgiving fun regatta if the ice holds.

First Iceboat Ride

" As the production coordinator for Hagerty Classic Cars, I never thought that coming up with the idea for an experiential story would require me to actually be the one to experience it. I’m not a writer, nor do I typically seek “adventure.” But there I was, crawling into the tiny cockpit of an ice boat on Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay on a brisk, 20-degree day in late March, and I was scared." Continue reading. Tip of the Helmet: Harry Allen

November 20, 2014

More Skeeter

A few days ago, Gary Buyeske emailed to have the ad for his Skeeter removed from the Buy & Sell page. (Gary will be joining the Renegade fleet.) Winter Wind has found a new home at the Cabbage Patch in Racine, WI. Will be great to see the boat back on the line and supplementing the growing Skeeter fleet.

4LIYC News

Photo Credit: John Winegarden
Elections were held last night and above is the 4LIYC new Commodore, Ken Norton R462. Greg Whitehorse R500 is Vice Commodore. Jerry Simon R113 is treasurer, and Deb Whitehorse is club secretary.

November 16, 2014

NIYA & ISA Updates

Photo by Gretchan Dorian
Regatta notices for the 2015 Northwest Ice Yachting Association and International Skeeter Association are posted on their respective pages and the Regatta page.
(Did you know that regatta dates are also listed on the left sidebar of this front page?)
NIYA page
ISA page
DUES NOTICE: Download the 2015 Northwest Ice Yachting Assocation Dues notice here.

November 15, 2014


"...and the winner is...."
First runners in North America to hit the ice in for the 2014-2015 season though there may be competition from Montana and near Thunder Bay today as well.
UPDATE: Not so fast, Mike Madge up in Thunder Bay, Canada has been sailing on an inland lake since Wednesday, November 12. In fact he's been sailing so much the past three days, he had to take a break today to rest his arms.

Above is a screen grab from a one minute video from this weekend's All Saints Regatta being sailed in Finland. Watch it here.


Nice write up and stunning photo about one of Canada's best kept ice boating secrets, the Ghost Lake Ice Yacht Club in Alberta. See their Facebook page here.

November 14, 2014

In the News: Yachting World

"I watched the last America's Cup and thought that those crews could have been even better if they had trained on the ice, he [Karol Jablonski P36] maintains." Pick up the December 2014 Yachting World Magazine to read Matthew Sheahan's report on the 2014 DN Worlds and European Championship. Click here to purchase and download a digital issue on your computer or tablet.

1957 News & Views: April

Bill Perrigo
Here's the April edition of the 1957 ISA News & Views, edited by Jane Pegel. Topics include an ISA regatta report, organization of a committee on boat development, Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant report, more opinions on boat development, reports to Jane from the clubs, and a Bargain Counter, where you'l find the "cheapest advertising in the world for the world's greatest cheapSKATES". I have no photos from the 1957 ISA but have posted some Skeeter pictures taken by Carl Bernard from around that time.

Elmer Millenbach

Bill Mattison

November 13, 2014

Russian Nites

Another video of their second training day from Andrey Gilbert in Novosibirsk, Russia. This caught my eye because it appears to be a Nite class iceboat! (That found a soft spot on the way to the course.)

November 12, 2014

"If You Thought America's Cup Was Fast.."

"..take a look at this!" Here's a short video from the 2014 DN European Championship sailed in Estonia posted by Yachting World magazine. Yachting World racing and tech editor, Matthew Sheahan, was there following British sailor, David Howlett K13, former coach of Ben Ainslee, the tactician on the winning America's Cup boat, Oracle. The video was filmed by British DNer, Gareth Rowland K11. Watch it here.
From the same regatta, here's a video from Ron Sherry.

November 11, 2014

первый (First!)

Andrey Gilbert posted this video and photos today on his Facebook page of the opening of the Russian ice sailing season in Novosibirsk. Meanwhile in Finland, the Johnny Köhler Cup and All Saints regatta will be sailed this coming weekend in Painuanlahti.
Here in North America, word on the street is that the Minnesota sailors will be looking for sailable ice in the next few days. Alexandria, MN, the site of a few Western Challenges, has an extended stretch of ice making weather. Keep an eye on for the latest updates.

November 10, 2014

New C Skeeter Build in MN

"Evolution or De-evolution?? This is MN based Pat Heppert’s new C Skeeter. It’s an attempt at a lower cost, front cockpit Skeeter that is easy to transport in its small lightweight enclosed trailer, and easy to set up by one person. Will it be fast? Will it be the slowest anchor-like contraption in existence? Will the C Skeeter fleet start to build? Or will it remain the under-represented Skeeter class? More construction pictures are on the Minnesota web site under the "How To" section, Pat says that full size CAD drawn frame patterns are available."

November 9, 2014

Win This Arrow Iceboat!

The Long Branch Iceboat and Yacht Club of New Jersey is raffling a brand new Arrow class iceboat. The package includes a brand new fiberglass hull, 1 set of 440 stainless runners, high tech sail, 12 ft ash plank, top of the line chocks, aluminum mast, Harken blocks and hardware, full covers and cushions, and a custom trailer.Turn key ready to race and or cruise. If you are interested in a chance, raffle tickets are $25. The winning ticket will be drawn on January 10, 2015. For a chance to enter this raffle, call Keith 732 433 7376, or Bill 973 699 2525, or email

Lake Champlain Ice Boat History

"Winter's ice brought an end to recreational and commercial boating each year, and instead provided daring souls with opportunities for iceboating and skate sailing."
Continue reading (scroll down to chapter 8).

November 7, 2014

1957 ISA News & Views: December

"Your sail came down because the mast exploded!"
The December 1957 ISA News & Views covers a variety of topics including a discussion of the complications of ice boat racing rules in the years before the National Iceboat Authority was established. There were rules of the Northwest, the ISA, the DN60 fleet, and the North American Yacht Racing Union.
Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant: There are some historic photos from the 1952 Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant which was the second time it was sailed in the west after Ed Rollberg went out east and won it in 1952.
4LIYC News: "Our old member but new Skeeter skipper, Paul Krueger (17) has built himself a new Skeeter with a 23' rig." Read it all here.

November 4, 2014

1957 ISA News & Views: November

4LIYC photo featured in the 1957 ISA News & Views.
We've started a project to scan all the International Skeeter Association News and Views. Here's a the November 1957 issue which was edited by Jane Pegel. Interesting to note that discussions about Skeeter development from 57 years ago haven't changed all that much. Read it here.

November 3, 2014

Great Day for a Swap Meet

Jane helms the raffle
The sunny and cool weather brought out a good crowd for the Skeeter Ice Boat Club's annual Swap Meet. A great way to kick off the season.

Know Your Rights

Test your knowledge of the sailing rules with the interactive test from DN Europe. The test contains a pool of 16 questions with drawings. Three of the questions are randomly displayed and there are 2 answer options. Your results are immediatly displayed after the test on a scoreboard. All questions and the terms used in the test are in accordance with the ones used in the original NIA Rules. Take the test here. Want to study the rules first? Read the nine racing rules of the National Iceboat Authority on page ten of the NIA Constitution here. See the NEIYA racing rules graphic here.

October 23, 2014

Fancy Machines

"Gale puts thrills in Northwestern ice regatta
A 30 mile gale added thrills to the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association regatta on Lake Mendota at Madison, Wisc. January 30, 1938. Here two machines are "hiking", which is like "heeling" in a sailboat as H.V. Fitzcharles of Chicago, left, sailing High Voltage, and Harry Melges of Williams Bay, Wisc. at the helm of Fancy Flight put up a heated fight to head each other."
I came across this photo on ebay from a company that specializes in original press photos and snapped it up. NIYA records show Harry Nye as the winner of the 1938 Northwest Skeeter class. Skeeters first competed in the NIYA in 1936. Skeeters didn't have springboards at that time which must have made for quite an exciting ride in a 30 mph gale.

October 10, 2014

Life On Ice

Cabin Life magazine has an article (written by me) about recreational ice sailing in the current issue. You can pick it up at a retailer or download a digital version on Amazon.

October 8, 2014

Hot Off the Press

The Fall issue of IDNIYRA magazine, Runner Tracks, is available online. See it here.

September 23, 2014

An Appetizer for Iceboating Season

This video by photographer Gretchen Dorain will get you in the mood for the upcoming season.

Big Nite News!

Nite iceboat website targets first-time racer.
When it comes to racing the Nite iceboat, there’s an interesting problem. It’s too comfortable. It could be the two-person capacity or the semi-upright seating. Whatever the reason, there are hundreds of accomplished summer sailors seemingly content to spend their winters cruising around at high speeds on winter’s frozen ice instead of lining up to race around the buoys.

But a noticeable change is happening as more and more owners are beginning to race. And this has taught the class an important lesson – stop preaching to the choir.

“We’re just applying some basic marketing principles,” said Don Sanford, commodore of the International Nite Class Association. “We were so focused on our current members that we forgot how important it is to create a clear path of entry for new members. So we’ve redesigned our website ( with the new guy in mind.”

For starters, the site breaks down the notion that racing a Nite requires a highly specialized boat. Actually, the class by-laws follow a strict one-design philosophy. All those cruising boats are already race ready.

A second focus is to communicate some of iceboat racing’s oddities such as its unique set of rules, on-the-ice registration and the idea that the location of the regatta is never really known until just a few days prior to the first race. Basic stuff to a current racer, but not so for the newcomer. “Our new members frequently mentioned their decision to start racing was influenced by a friend or local sailor,” Sanford said. “This one-on-one relationship turns out to be a key conduit of information. So we’ve created a mentor program in which anyone can contact us through the website and we’ll connect them with a current member to help get them started. It’s the buddy system gone digital.”

The Nite National Championship trophy is engraved with some of sailing’s well-known names; Melges, Gluek, Burdick, Allen and Sweitzer among others. The hope is to expand this list in generations to come. The 2015 Nite Nationals are slated for January 17th and 18th, and of course, the location won’t be known until just a few days prior.

August 28, 2014

This is Ray Ruge

Out in Maine, an vintage Skeeter with some Buddy Melges provenance has been restored this summer. In his post, Chickawaukee ice boater Bill Buchholz wrote, "the boat was designed by Ray Ruge, about whom we’d like to know more."
It's difficult for me to write about him because there's so much to say. He was an Eastern iceboat sailor, builder, and designer who wrote exceptional articles for sailing magazines about the sport. His papers and research are archived in museums. He was a contemporary and friend of one of the 4LIYC's most celebrated members, Carl Bernard (who won a ton of regatta titles in the 1930s-50s.) During WW2, he even lived in Madison and sailed with the club for a season. Carl Bernard's scrapbooks are filled with letters and photos from Ray, including the above magazine advertisement.
Bill is sharing some of Ray's ice boating articles on the Chickawaukee site and will post more. Read the first from December 1939 here. If Ray Ruge were around today, he would have the best ice boating website on the internet.

January 13, 2014

ICEBOATs Volume 1

ICEBOATs volume l by g r e t c h e n d o r i a n |

Gretchen Dorian's book, ICEBOATs volume 1 has hit the press. "A Photographic Introduction to the various iceboats that Gretchen Dorian has photographed throughout the Great Lakes, Montana and on Lake Baikal, Siberia." Click here for more information.

October 18, 2013

A Great Opportunity

DNs on Lake Kegonsa at the 2013 DN Western Lakes Regional Regatta
"Potential DN'rs, (Please pass along to others that may be interested) Winter is around the corner, and that means ice boating season is upon us. For those that are interested in doing some sailing, but don't have the time, money or some other barrier to putting a program together, we have a great opportunity for you this season. Active DN'rs, spearheaded by Daniel Hearn, are putting together a few DN programs and Ice Optimist with some equipment that was donated to him (for this purpose), along with some of his own and others extra equipment. If you are interested in being actively involved in assisting putting together one of these development programs, it would be available for your use at various local and travel events this winter. We are going to begin assembling these programs later this month. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this program. You won't regret it!"
Thanks, Mike 4LIYC DN Fleet Captain
email: mike.s.barnett AT