Photos & Reports

  • Current Season

    Photos and reports from the current iceboat season.

2015-2016 Season


Triple Crown Winner Steve Orlebeke in Peter Harken's Skeeter on Lake Monona, January 2016.

Olympian

Wisconsin doesn't usually come to mind when the talk turns to the highest levels of sailing. But interspersed between our cow pastures, corn fields, and beer brewers,(and cheese, don't forget the cheese)Peter and Olaf Harken have created a company that has changed sailing history. Tip of the Helmet to Carol Miller for sharing this article on Facebook.
"Harken, Inc. has been interchangeable with sailing at any level, but the Pewaukee-based company's breakthrough came on one of sailing's biggest stages: the Olympics. In 1967, Peter Harken built sailing training dinghy boats for colleges and also focused on using plastic for a boat's hardware." Continue reading.

A Real Circus at the Mattisons

The Mary B group paid a visit to 4LIYC Skeeter guru Bill and Mauretta Mattison this week. Peter Fauerbach documented the evening in this video. Here's a great peek into Bill's basement workshop.

Asking the Important Questions

Chicago blogger, Glenn McCarthy (Live Your Dream; Sail Lake Michigan), asked his readers to come up with questions for an America's Cup press conference held last week. Nite skipper Brett Larson asked the most important question of the event. Glenn writes, "One of my regular readers, Brett Larson, asked me to ask, 'Have any of the skippers sailed an iceboat?'" Find out the answer here on Glenn's blog.

Book 'Em

If you are hunting for the perfect bookshelves, consider repurposing an old DN like this guy did for his cottage in Russia. Lifted from the Facebook page of Виктор Ехменин (translates to Victor Ehmenin)

TBT: Mid Century Moderns

We'll take a break from the Northwest today and feature a photo of some Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club members sent by Bill & Mauretta Mattison's daughter, Lynn Raley. We believe these are L to R Johnny Bluel, Pa Bluel, Herb Krogman, Dave Rosten, Bill Mattison. Jerry Simon found out from Mauretta Mattison that "the house in the background is John Bluel Sr. located at the corner of Evergreen and Willard, very close to Yahara Park where we used to sail out of. Jack Ripp grew up a short block away. Mauretta said they drove by and Bill remembered John built a Renegade in the attic. It was likely sailed by John Sr. and later given to Jim as John built another Renegade and a Skeeter. I think it was named "Snow Shoe" with sail #97. John Jr. Renegade "Shadow" was #103. John Sr. skeeter "Phantom" M 135."


Jim Hadley sails his DN on Lake Monona at the 2016 North American championship. Photo by Joe Stanton.

May Runner Tracks

Hooray hooray, the it's almost the end of May and that means the big end-of-season Runner Tracks issue has hit the news stand. Lot's to read including regatta reports, results, and a look back at a survey the DN class did in 1987. Click here to receive your own personal copy of this online magazine.

Arlyn LaFortune

Obituary
Visitation at Thielen Funeral Home in Marinette, WI on Friday, May 20th from 1-3pm.
It's with great sadness that we say goodbye to another skipper in our iceboating family, Arlyn LaFortune. Fellow Renegader Jerry Simon remembers Arlyn:
"Air Conditioned" was always in the thick of hot competition in the Renegade Regattas. He showed great sportsmanship while on and off the course. He enjoyed resailing the race over a cocktail and cigarette. While sailing in tight quarters you knew he always chose the right option, safety first. In 1986 Aryln won the Northwest Regatta. If Aryln was nearby on the course you knew you were near the leaders.
One funny story - back in 2007, we were on the interstate on our way to Toledo for the Renegade Championship. Somewhere around Gary, Indian with two Renegades in tow in very heavy semi truck traffic, we see and old car barely pulled off the road with smoke coming from the hood. There was some old fart out alongside the car with his door open and 70 mile per hour traffic passing within feet of him. Recognizing the car and Aryln, we stopped to help. Aryln didn't seem concerned about his safety but was upset that he didn't have enough bottled water to put in the overheated radiator. We were able to get him to a service garage in town and arrange for a tow. His major concern was that he would miss being the Chief Judge for the Renegade Regatta.
His heart was on ice most of the time."


  • Charlie helped with Race Committee when he retired from sailing. Here he is at the 2002 Northwest on Lake Kegonsa with Mary Jane Schalk and Dave Lallier.
Charlie Miller: One of the Greats

Charlie Miller passed on last Sunday, May 8th. Iceboaters have lost a best friend, good competitor, kind gentleman, and valuable historical resource. Charlie grew up on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin sailing with stern steerer legends and his knowledge of the sport and the people was encyclopedic.
Visitation will take place on Saturday, May 14 from 1 - 3 PM at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jefferson, Wisconsin with the service to follow at 3 PM. Click here for map.More information here.
If you have any memories of Charlie you'd like to share, please send an email or give a call.

CHARLES “CHARLIE” F. MILLER age 82 of Jefferson passed away at the Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center in Johnson Creek on Sunday May 8, 2016.
Charlie was born to Frederick and Johanna (Pilian) Miller on February 23, 1934 in Oshkosh. He started ice-boat sailing at the age of 14 and his love for all types of sailing continued for the rest of his life.
Charlie enlisted and served in the Naval Reserves from 1952-1954, he then served in the United States Air Force as an Aviation Cadet from 1954-1955. In the Air Force he was a 1st Lieutenant and specialized as a Radar Intercept Officer on the Northrup F89J-Scorpian Interceptor, serving until his honorable discharge in August of 1960.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1962 with his degree in Fine Arts. While there, he was involved with the Hoofers Sailing Club, and the UW Intercollegiate Sailing Team.
Some highlights from his sailing career include winning the 1962 US Mallory National Championship, finishing runner up in the 1962 US Singled-Handed Sailing Championship as well as the FINN Pre-Olympic Regatta in 1967. As long as there was a breeze, Charlie was sailing whether it was on ice, water, or in the desert.
Charlie’s love of sailing led him to become the manager and major partner of North Sails, Inc of Pewaukee. While at North Sails he designed the first computerized sail cutting machine, and in 1994 started Inland Sails, before retiring in 2000. Charlie was an active member and past commodore of the Pewaukee Yacht Club, the Inland Lake Yachting Association, Bilge Pullers, and the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.
Charlie will be dearly missed by his wife of 27 years, Carole Miller of Jefferson; Daughters Debbie (Scott) Buth of Helenville, Dawn (Paul) Scarce of Oak Creek and, Denise (Jim) Reser of Columbus; Grandchildren Billy and Greg Buth, Amanda Blehovde, and Nichole and Crystal Sweda; Sister Karla (Ron) Grabner of Oshkosh; Niece Karlene (Chris) Leitch and their children Anika and Audrik, and Nephew Ronnie (Cheryl) Grabner and their children Chelsea, Mindy, and Zachary.
He is preceded in death by his parents and Sister Rosemary Streicher.
Services will held on Saturday May 14, 2016 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Jefferson with a visitation from 1 to 3 pm, followed by a 3 pm memorial service with Rev. David Zandt officiating. Military honors will follow the service outside of the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Charlie’s memory to the Pewaukee Lake Sailing School, P.O. Box 457, Pewaukee, WI 53072 or to Rainbow Hospice, 147 Rockwell Street, Jefferson, WI 53549.
Schneider- Michaelis Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements Visit www.schneidermichaelisfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or light a candle in his memory.

Iceboat The Broads!

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!


Madars Alvikis DN O31, Latvia

Tech-ing Out

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?"

How Iceboats Start A Race

A great explanation of how iceboats begin a race from Waterlust on Lake Baikal.

Baikal Waterlust

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.

Runner Tracks

Latest edition of the DN Class newsletter, Runner Tracks, is now available. Read it here.

In The News

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.

Hollywood Nites

Very well done video by Matt Parker from the 2016 Nite Nationals on Pewaukee.


Ken Whitehorse in A Skeeter WARRIOR - Photo: Gretchen Dorian

More Gretchen Dorian Photos from the Northwest

Photographer Gretchen Dorian has been able to get back to editing more photos shot on the cold Saturday, February 13, of the Northwest and they are a must see. Take a look here.


Photo: Gretchen Dorian

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.

News from the National Iceboat Authority

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:
Tim McCormick
5833 Persimmon Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711
H 608-278-8830
M 608-234-1950
Tim.mccormick@ge.com

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club: Meeting Tonight

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.

Ice Sailing Around the World 2: Ice Optimist Worlds

Thor Rosten (who happens to be my nephew!) is competing in the DN & Ice Optimist World Championships on Lake Võrtsijärv in Estonia.

UPDATE: First Day of Sailing Complete!




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."

Ice Sailing Around the World 1: Wings on Ice

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.

Northwest Photos

Photographer Gretchen Dorian was taking photos today at the Northwest on the Stern Steerer/DN race course. Here are just a few.


Courtesty of the Nite Facebook Page. Winner of the last Nite Silver fleet race Maureen Krueger Bohleber and Will Perrigo.

Nite Nats News

Congratulations to Nite National regatta champions Scott Brown in the Gold fleet and to Dick Grota for winning the Silver fleet. The regatta was sailed on Pewaukee Lake on February 6-7.


4LIYC member Andy McCormick contemplates how he is going to sail this boat.

Family Reunion

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.

Kegonsa From a Cub

Thanks to Jeff Russell for uploading these photos of Saturday's Lake Kegonsa racing action.

Kegonsa & Cub

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.

From Wisconsin Public Radio: "Winter Doesn't Stop Ice Boaters From Taking To Wisconsin Lakes"

"DN, Renegade, Nite, Skeeter, Stern Steerer, runner plank, tiller, light air, heavy air. Those words were not part of my regular vocabulary. Then I went ice boating. Ice boating requires many levels of patience. Just as surfers seek out the best waves and skiers love perfect powder, ice boaters crave decent wind and smooth, black, thick ice clear of snow. That's not always easy to find, especially during snowy winters. So ice boaters always have to be ready to go at a moment's notice to a sweet ice spot - a location that might be hours away." Click here to read rest of story or listen to audio.

History of the Darling Mark

Thanks to Long Island iceboater Mike Acebo for sharing his club's newsletter with a story written by Warren R Darress Jr who witnessed the inception of the Darling Mark firsthand. He also writes about why it's a very bad idea to mix Skeeters and DNs on a race course. Read it here.

DN Western Regional Regatta Called on for Spicer, MN

"The 2016 Western Region Championship Regatta is called on for Green Lake at Spicer, MN." More information on the DN Forum. Watch for photos and reports on the DN Regatta page and live updates directly from the ice on iceboat.org On The Road.

Essence of Iceboating

What you see in this 1960s era film is directly related to why this website exists. It was a rare time and I was lucky to be there to take it all in. These guys, Bill Mattison, Paul Krueger,and Dave Rosten (my father), spent a lot of time together building Skeeters in the basements of our house and Bill's house. Bob Clemens sailed an A class Skeeter, Betty B., with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club in the 1960s. We are fortunate that he brought his 8mm camera with him to the lake.

Runner Tracks

Latest edition of the DN Class newsletter, Runner Tracks, is now available. Read it here.

"Think Ice Safely and Rules of the Road"

Go over and read this essay now by Lloyd Roberts on the Maine Iceboaters website about safety for racers and cruisers. This is the most comprehensive iceboating safety article ever written.

Follow the Surf

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Vice Commodore, Greg Whitehorse, was interviewed on one of the local TV stations over the weekend about how iceboaters patiently wait for ice. Check it out here.

  • <
Montana First First!

Pat Dillon, reports that some Montana sailors were able to get on the ice November 23. He didn't get any photos from that day but "tossed in a couple of photos of a runner box my pal Lance Hoschek gave me. There is a rubber postage stamp on it that looks like, 1958. The other photo is of the Canyon Ferry Rocket a landsailer to ice conversion."

Christina Brings First Runners On the Ice in NA

Lake Christina near Ashby, MN came through for Black Ice Friday once again. The Minnesota ice sailors are the first to sail in North America. Watch for Western Challenge information on Minnesota iceboating.net
Tip of the Helmet: Jim McDonagh US 5214

UPDATE: First Ice Sailing in Canada Today

Mike Madge was able to sail today at his camp on Barnum Lake near Thunder Bay, Ontario. "Sailed for 4 hours and skated for a couple hours. 4" of nice hard black ice with scattered small snow patches."

4LIYC First Meeting Tonight

Please join us at Angelo's Italian Restaurant (downstairs again) for the first meeting of the season on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM. Angelo's is located on Monona Drive, just minutes from the Beltline. The entire list of meeting dates is on the right hand column of this webpage.
This year's membership card features the mighty Deuce on Lake Mendota at last season's WSSA regatta. If you'd like to get one, join the 4LIYC!

van Acker Archives: Iceboating in America 1967

More from the Wim van Acker film archives. Be sure to look at this one for nostalgic shots of DNs, Skeeters, and Stern Steerers ice sailing on the east coast in 1967. Watch here.

Лед! Лед! Лед! First Runners On The Ice?

Grabbed this from Russian DNer Andrey Gilbert's Facebook page and if Google translate is correct, Andrey is one of the first in the world to set up a boat on the ice. He's on the Berd River in Novosibersk.

Iceboats in Advertising: Couch En Fuego

At Sunday's SIBC Swap Meet John Davenport US4961 handed over a thumbdrive with the files from a commercial for a major cig brand that he was involved with back in August of 2000 on Lago Yehuin (Lake Yehuin) in Argentina. DNs were leased from John, Steve Orlebeke, Mark Isabell, Jeff Kent, and Mike O'Brien. John still races the same DN that he sailed in Argentina. The DNs were containerized, and shipped by air to Buenos Aires. They were trucked to Ushuaia from there. The shoot lasted six days

John and the boats traveled 13 hours by air from Chicago to Buenos Aires and then 3.5 hours by air to Ushuaia. They drove on Hwy 3 north of Ushuaia to the lake which is west of Tolhuin
John remembers, "The conditions were poor because of snow, but it was windy every afternoon, so we were able to get the shots they were looking for. The story board was this: A young man discovered a beautiful winter place. He sent a signal to announce his discovery to all his adventure friends. It was to be a big red balloon, but with the cold, it would not rise, so they skipped that. His friends came from different directions in all forms of winter machines and craft and they had their winter games. We stayed at a lodge on a nearby lake with great food and wine every night. One night, all the young models, men and women danced the Argentine Tango. Interesting that all the youth knew how to dance the Tango. There were a lot of areas with dead trees. Apparently, many years ago, they were looking for a new source of fur. Some knucklehead imported Beaver. There are no real predators there and the beaver have flourished. The local flooding kills the trees. It is a beautiful area at the south end of the Andes. It is also an anglers destination for large trout. Great people and food. The night sky was also spectacular as the seeing was excellent with very little light from towns."

Big Turnout at SIBC Swap Meet

The Skeeter Ice Boat Club hosted their annual iceboat swap meet on Sunday. The weather was made to order and the street was lined with stern steerers, Nites, DNs, Skeeters, and a Renegade all for sale.

The van Acker Project: First European DN Championship

Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 inherited a treasure trove of 16mm films and photos from the 60s and 70s from the late Dutch sailor, Wim van Acker. van Acker who "initiated the DN relationship between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and North America."
Fifty years ago in 1966, the first European DN Championship was sailed on the Neusiedler See, a lake between Austria and Hungary. There were 42 entries from Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, and America (Frank Kreutzer of New York and Bill Connnell from Shrewbury, New Jersey.) From the DN Newsletter: "It was plagued with several inches of new snow. While the wind blew the two USA entries did pretty well (Frank Kruetzer won the first two heats), but when it let up, it became a dog-sled operation. Bill ended up 18th and Bill was 16th. The regatta was won by C. Kortenoever of Holland, followed by Jan Dick Wevers, Holland, Hans Bergkvist, Sweden, Konrad Gloeden, Germany, and RC Hoefhamer, Holland. In fact, Holland won 9 of the first 12 places." The 2016 DN Gold Cup and European Championship is being hosted by Austria in January and it is hoped that the Neusiedler See will see another regatta.

The van Acker Project: Vintage 16 Films & Photos

Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 inherited a treasure trove of 16mm films and photos from the 60s and 70s from the late Dutch sailor, Wim van Acker. van Acker started iceboating in the early 60s and he helped to introduce DN sailing to eastern Europe. He brought equipment to the Poles and Estonians and gave it away to them, telling them to "do something with it". (And have they ever.) van Acker served as European DN Commodore and also traveled to North America with his 16mm camera and watch for those films to be posted in the coming weeks. Here's the first film that's been posted.
UPDATE: Jane Pegel shares that "Wim VanAcker was a 'one of a kind' leader who initiated the DN relationship between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and North America."

Wim van Acker, the guy in front, at the first European DN championship 1966.


  • 4LIYC members Jerry Simon, Don Sanford, and Dave Nelson welcome back Jack and Bill at the Dane County Airport

  • Bill Mattison returns to Madison. Wife Mauretta and granddaughter, Abbey, in the background.

  • Jack Ripp returns from Washington D.C.

  • Jack and Bill in Washington D.C.
Bill Mattison & Jack Ripp Honored

Our two most esteemed Four Lakes Ice Yacht club members and Korean War veterans, Bill Mattison and Jack Ripp, were honored for their service on Saturday as they participated in the Badger Honor Flight to Washington DC where they took the opportunity to see the memorials. Bill and Jack attended East High School in Madison together, both served in Korea, raised their families in Madison, and both pursued their passion for building, racing, and sailing iceboats. Both amassed an impressive record of regatta wins as well. So many, that I don't have time to count them up and will update later.

16 Out of 17 Regattas Agree: El Nino Years Aren't That Bad

There’s been a lot of hype in the weather news about an upcoming El Nino that’s supposed to be the strongest ever. More precipitation and warmer temperatures are typically seen in El Nino winters. I wondered what the historical iceboat regatta records tell us about other El Nino years. (I obviously have too much time on my hands.)
I picked five years, 3 strong El Ninos (1958, 1966, 1973) and 2 very strong El Ninos (1983 and 1998). There were 17 major North American regattas scheduled for those years including DN Gold, DN North American, ISA, and Northwest. The results were suprising. Only one regatta out of 17 was not sailed during those years, the 1983 ISA.
So here comes another El Nino year. Here's what we can promise: There will be sailable ice somewhere at some time during the season. We can say that with confidence every year. (The late comedian Chris Farley, born and raised in Madison, had this to say about El Nino.)

Runner Tracks Magazine

Another sign that the iceboating season is kicking off, here's the September issue of Runner Tracks, the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association's online newsletter. Click here.to read it and see the latest DN Ranking list.

Going Green

Here's "Another Green Boat" from the Yaeso Suamico Attic Skeeter Factory. Nice to see a fresh coat of paint on the winning boat of last season's International Skeeter Association Regatta. It's time to get ready for the season.

Getting a Sailor Back on the Water

UPDATE: Here's Hero In Heronemus Part 2 released this week.
DNer and Skeeter sailor Steve Orlebeke has been involved with in inspiring and interesting project to get Steve Heronemus, a sailor with ALS, back into a sailboat. "As many of you know, Steve has had ALS for over 10 years. Prior to contracting ALS, Steve sailed with his father Richard Heronemus who was a very active member of the Sheboygan Yacht Club. He is an accomplished sailor. Despite his disease he continues follow sail boat racing worldwide. It is his passion, which makes this particular journey quite meaningful. As Steve's ALS has progressed, Steve may have lost nearly all of the ability to use his arms and legs, but certainly not his will to sail. He has a slight use of his middle left finger and has enough shoulder movement in his right shoulder to activate switches to steer the boat. He also has the use of his jaw, which will enable him to activate bite switches to trim and ease his sails. Both the steerage and trim systems were inspired by Steve Heronemus, and collaboratively developed by Steve Orlebeke at Harken and Nick/Rich/Matt at Windway. " Watch the video here.

On The Fourth Lake

Madison's local newspaper, the Isthmus, interviews Don Sanford about his soon to be published book about Lake Mendota. Read it here. Great to see that the designer selected a photo of the late Jim Payton and his stern steerer as the cover.


  • Photos: Jori Lenon
Nordhaus Boatwerks Mead Restore: Meet the Cheese Slicer

It was glue night at the Nordhaus Boatwerks on Tuesday when they put a deck on an old Mead two-seater Skeeter that Geoff Sobering and Dean Lima picked up 20 years ago in the area. Jim says they've removed 25 lbs. of excess wood and 2 lbs. of fasteners from the boat. (Yes, he weighed it all.) The new name was inspired by some unusual rigging that was on the boat in its former life. The boat will receive a coat of yellow paint to go with the new name. Interestingly the name of the paint picked out from the auto parts store is "Mac and Cheese".


Tim Woodhouse and Ain Vild

Tim Woodhouse

UPDATE: Link to obituary.
The iceboating community sends our condolences to the family of Tim Woodhouse who passed away Monday, August 31 after a long illness. He was highly regarded and had an impressive regatta record. Tim won the DN Worlds in 1974 in Zergrze, Poland, was third in 1975 in Saginaw, Michigan, and 4th in 1981 in Hamilton Bay, Ontario. He won the DN North American championship in 1970 on Lake St. Clair in Michigan, 1973 in Sodus Bay, New York, 1974 in Hamilton Harbor, Canada, and placed 3rd in 1977. He was the highest scoring junior in the DN North Americans in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
Jane Pegel remembers, "Tim owned Hood Sail makers This is an international sail making firm. He bought the company several years ago. Tim was only 16 years of age when he won the DN North Americans in 1970 and went on to win more championships.
Tim was a big help when we were writing the DN sail measuring procedure (about three years ago) and he felt strongly that it was important for the DN sail to remain a dacron cross-cut sail so to keep it economical to build. "
UPDATE: Ron Sherry remembers Tim, " Tim was one of the most competitive people ever born. He graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1971 where he held swim team records forever. Tim won the DN Iceboat North American Championships for the first time in 1970 on Lake St. Clair at the age of 16. He challenged my son Griffin to do the same." Continue reading.