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Though the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Blade Runner Newsletter has been on haitus for several years, here is the collection of most of the entire run of the newsletter where you will find the finest writing about ice boating anywhere.


The 4LIYC concluded its 2003-2004 sailing season on March 13th, on Lake Mendota. Although official Club races were only held over six days, we were able to score 69 races in the Renegade, Skeeter, DN’s and Nite fleets.

Rain and warm temperatures moved into the area late in February. Though the lakes had 18-24 inches of ice at one time the rain and run-off made short work of the shorelines.

Although this season couldn’t match the over 150 races the Club scored last year it was nonetheless a fairly successful year of ice boating in the 4LIYC area. The season started slowly with only one weekend of un-official races on Lake Waubesa contested before the first of the year. An attempt to hold our Tune-up Series races on Lake Kegonsa, the weekend after Christmas, failed to materialize when thin ice and holes kept us off the lake.

The first official races of the season were held on Lake Monona on January 10th. Sailing out of Tonyawatha Trail, four races in each class were held.

In the Skeeter fleet Bob Kau captured two races while Pewaukee’s Tom Hyslop and Bill Dale took the others. There was a good turn-out of Skeeters with up to nine yachts making it to the line before the day ended. Besides the race winners others on the ice included; Paul Krueger, Green Bay’s Gary Buyeske, Pewaukee’s David Koch, along with John Hudak, Gary Whitehorse, and making his first appearance in several years, Ken Whitehorse.

The wind ranged from light to light-medium, on fairly decent ice.

In the Renegades 15 boats took part in the day’s races. Tim McCormick, Don Anderson, Greg Simon, Mike Ripp, Gary Sternberg, Jack Ripp, Paul Exner, Jeff Russell, Daniel Hearn, Ken Norton, Jerry Simon, Jerry Ebert, Tim Stanton, Bill Korsgard, and Doug Kolner all made it to the starting line for at least one of the day’s races. Wins went to Don Anderson, Greg Simon and Tim McCormick, who took two victories.

Wins in the Nite fleet went to Emory Sanford, who won the first two races of the day, with Paul McMillan and Jeff Monson taking the others. Don Sanford, Mike Burns, Bret Larson, Jim Niece, Dustin Whitehorse and Dennis Kennedy were the other Nites racing this day.

Six DNs saw action with Tyler Sternberg recording his first two race wins. Byron Tetzlaff and Geoff Sobering also notched victories.

Sunday, January 11th was another successful day of racing with four races in the Renegade, Nite and DN fleets and two races for the Skeeters. Conditions remained about the same from Saturday.

Bob Kau, sailing his beautiful class E Skeeter, Lost Kau’s, wrapped up a very good weekend with two more race wins, both over Tom Hyslop. Paul Krueger and David Koch swapped third place finishes. The same boats from the day before, less Gary Whitehorse, were on the line.

Of the four DN races Geoff Sobering emerged the victor in three of them while Travis Berggren captured the other event. Tyler Sternberg recorded three second place finishes along with a third place, while Berggren and newcomer Emily Danielczyk also notched third place finishes. As many as seven DNs saw race action.

The Nites saw five boats take to the line for their first three races before being joined by one addition for the final race. Paul McMillan found the conditions very much to his liking as he sailed to three wins over Don Sanford. In the second Nite race those two swapped positions with Sanford beating McMillan to the line. Paul Bates and Mike Burns exchanged third places throughout the day.

It was another good turn-out for the Renegades with all of the yachts which saw action Saturday making it to the line for Sunday. In addition the fleet picked up Greg Whitehorse as its 16th boat. Don Anderson, and his black metal-flake boat Easyrider, took three wins while Greg Simon aced the field in the second morning race. Other top three boats were; Tim McCormick, Gary Sternberg and Jack Ripp.

The following weekend saw the Club move to Mendota County Park on Lake Mendota’s west end in hopes of finding better ice conditions.

On Saturday January 17th, four Renegade, three DN, three Nite and two Skeeter races were contested in foggy, drizzly, light air conditions.

In the DN class Chris Croasdale handily won two races while Jori Lenon recorded her first ever race win in the day’s first event. Geoff Sobering, Tyler Sternberg and Kyle Metzlaff all scored top three finishes. Others on the ice were; Emily Danielczyk, Byron Tetzlaff and Joye Kuehn.

Bob Kau and Tom Hyslop traded firsts and seconds in the Skeeter races, while Paul Krueger and Gary Buyeske each recorded third place finishes.

The Nites saw three different winners in the three races. Don Sanford, Mike Bloom and Paul McMillan all notched victories with Ken Wruk being the only other skipper to break into the top three. Others to take part in the day’s racing activities were; Bruce Wenwick, Hugh Sugar, Dennis Kennedy and Don Ermer.The Renegades made 4LIYC history on this day when twenty boats made the starting line for the second and third races of the day. On the line for those races were; Tim McCormick, Don Anderson, Greg Simon, Mike Ripp, Gary Sternberg, Jack Ripp, Paul Exner, Jeff Russell Daniel Hearn, Ken Norton, Jerry Simon, Jerry Ebert, Tim Stanton, Bill Korsgard, Doug Kolner, Andy McCormick, George Gerhardt, Clay Georgeson, Jim Nordhaus, and Mike Redmond. When you consider that Jack Ripp raced the area’s only Renegade (lining up and competing against the Skeeters) back in the sixties, this was truly a remarkable achievement for our club.

Daniel Hearn and Don Anderson won the two races contested with twenty boats. Anderson also won another race on the day and Mike Ripp sailed to his first 4LIYC race win ever. Other top three yachts included; Tim McCormick and newcomer Paul Exner. Exner had a great day with a second, two thirds, and a fourth place to his credit.

Sunday January 18th, proved to be a no-go and there were no races sailed.

One week later the 4LIYC hosted the Northwestern Regatta on Lake Monona. There were no races sailed on Friday, the first scheduled day of the regatta, as snow whipped through the area. The first races were held on Saturday and as per Club rules 4LIYC boats are scored for Club series as well as the regatta.

The conditions for the day were light to light-medium winds on a partially snow covered lake.

Club results in the DNs saw one race that counted toward Saturday Series points. Jim Gluek bettered Geoff Sobering and Tyler Sternberg to score the win. Jori Lenon and Joye Kuehn were the other 4LIYC boats in the race.

In the Skeeter fleet race winners were Dan Clapp (who hails from New Jersey but is a 4LIYC member), and Bob Kau. Top three boats included Tom Hyslop and Buddy Melges. Other Club boats on the line were; Paul Krueger, Bill Dale, Gary Buyeske, David Koch, Bill Mattison, Ken Whitehorse, John Hudak and Jay Yaeso.

Eighteen 4LIYC Renegades saw action in three races held this day. Tim McCormick won all three (regatta and Club), while Ken Norton, Greg McCormick, Gary Sternberg and Jeff Russell recorded top three (Club race) finishes.

The Nites do not sail in the Northwest regatta and held no races this weekend.On Sunday January 25th, the only races held for the regatta were one Skeeter race and one Stern-Steerer race.

Club results from the Skeeter race were Dan Clapp, Tom Hyslop and Bob Kau running one-two-three.

Tim McCormick and Bob Kau were over-all regatta class champions in the Renegade and Skeeter fleets. [See The Blade Runner Vol. 8 No. 2 for more complete Northwestern Regatta coverage and results.]

After the Northwestern Regatta snow moved into the southern Wisconsin area ultimately covering our lakes with about ten inches of the white stuff. Our next (and last) sailing for the season was on February 28th when the Club found itself back at Mendota County Park on Lake Mendota for a series of Saturday races.

In light, fluky conditions, on increasingly softening ice, Daniel Hearn recorded his second race win of the season in the first event of the day. Paul Exner held off Don Anderson for second. Thirteen boats started the race and three failed to finish in the difficult conditions. The second race saw veteran Jerry Simon master the conditions with his son, Greg, cross the line second. Exner placed third. The third race brought Jack Ripp back to the front of the pack bettering Jerry Simon and Greg Simon. The final Renegade race saw Jack and Mike Ripp score the second father-son, one-two finish of the day, with Ripp the elder emerging victorious. Jerry Simon finished third. Greg Whitehorse, Bill Korsgard, Jerry Ebert, Jim Nordhaus, Tim McCormick, Gary Sternberg and Doug Kolner were the other boats out for the day.

In the Skeeter fleet three boats lined up for two races. Bob Kau, Paul Krueger and Bill Mattison ran one-two-three in both races. Mattison was sailing a new boat on its first day on the ice.

Paul McMillan capped a great season by winning three of the four Nite races. Carl Rozmarek scored one win and three second place finishes. Don Sanford, Mike Burns and Bret Larson also recorded third place finishes on the day. Bruce Renwick was the other Nite competing.

Six DNs made it to the starting line at one point or another during the day, with Geoff Sobering sweeping all four races in that class. Emily Danielczyk recorded three second place finishes while Jori Lenon notched one runner-up result. Byron Tetzlaff had two third place efforts.

The Race Committee ran all the races back-to-back on the ever softening ice as temperatures climbed into the fifties. A well attended picnic on the ice was held at the conclusion of the racing activities.

The Club made every effort to go, on Sunday the 29th, Leap Day, but the wind refused to cooperate and forced a cancellation of the day’s planned racing.

All-in-all it was a fairly decent year of sailing, although everyone had hoped a longer season than what we got. Whether the ISA, the Nite Nationals, or the Renegade regattas are held yet this season remain to be seen at the time of this writing.

Regatta News, Idle Gossip, & Ugly Rumors
Unless things change quick there may not be any regatta news to report this year in this column. Warm weather and rain have moved into southern Wisconsin and the ice is going fast… Bill Mattison debuted his latest A Skeeter on February 28th during Club races on Lake Mendota. A few minor glitches surfaced involving sheeting and the hand steering, but the boat looked good (technically speaking) on the ice. A paint job, lettering and the canopy will complete the latest HoneybucketAlso on February 28th the Club hosted a well received picnic on the ice at the conclusion of the racing activities. The three “B”s food group (Brats, Burgers & Beer) was the featured fare. Thanks go out to Chef Jim Nordhaus along with Jerry & Greg Simon for organizational effortsAt the February 25th business meeting of the 4LIYC the assembled membership voted that our Club adopt the sailing and racing rules of the National Iceboat Authority, (something we’ve pretty much been in compliance with anyways). The late Charlie Johnson, 1950’s thru early 1970’s 4LIYC Skeeter sailor, and Club Honor Roll member, probably looked down upon the proceedings with disdain. Charlie argued against the N.I.A. with the same vigor that Joe McCarthy argued against communists… Congratulations to the Stanton’s (Renegader Tim & wife Jo Ann) on the February 25th arrival of their little bundle of joy, Tia Julia… Rumor has it (and this is a column that boldly deals with rumors), that a prominent Renegade skipper has raised the bar for bad excuses after not making it to recent Club races. It seems he was flying someone down to Indiana searching for some special aquarium moss (?)… I find it interesting and somewhat ironic that the stern-steerer guys, you know the guys that sail the supposed prehistoric behemoths, have best adapted to the benefits of the information super-highway. Following their exploits on our message board makes for most entertaining and informative reading… World’s Fastest Ice Boater, Harry Whitehorse, has been busy making refinements to his wind powered ice missle, Das Boot (aka the Crippler) this past year. Harry has borrowed from the hi-tech world of Formula One racing to introduce his latest go-fast secret… traction control… I doubt if we’ll get back to Lake Monona this year, but even so, was it necessary for the group responsible for the Polar Bear Plunge to cut the hole in the ice right in front of the boat ramp?A couple of well known Gold Cup DN sailors from Lake Geneva were seen checking out Renegade ice boats this past Leap Day, hmmmAlthough it was only one day of sailing the events of February 28th produced some pretty interesting stories. Jack Ripp won the 3rd & 4th races of the day after recording DNF’s in the first two, and that was in a 14 boat fleet!. The second Renegade race of the day saw veteran Jerry Simon sail to the win with son Greg finishing 2nd. Greg later stated that was the first time for that. In the fourth Renegade race Mike Ripp chased his dad, Jack, across the finish line to record the second father-son one-two finish of the dayRumor has it that the Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club is very willing to put the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America up for grabs this year. It’ll be nice if that happens but I think we may run out of ice first… The Blade Runner always tends to worry about the state of our Club DN fleet. It’s great to see some new sailors on the line for those races.

By Randy Rogoski
© January 2004

Editors note: One hundred years have passed since the inaugural Hearst and Stuart Trophy Regattas were sailed on Gull Lake near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The Inaugural Hearst and Stuart Trophy Regattas of 1904

One hundred years have passed since the Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club hosted the first regattas to compete for the Stuart and Hearst trophies on Gull Lake in southwestern Michigan. D.C. Olin, one of the club’s founders and its commodore, was a principal organizer of the 1904 regattas. He later earned the nickname, "The grand old man of ice boating" because of his prominent role in the local ice boating community. Olin worked as one of the proprietors of a jewelry store in downtown Kalamazoo. By 1902 under Olin’s leadership, Gull Lake was one of the foremost ice yachting centers in the country.

The Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club boasted a clubhouse, a hanger for storing boats, and facilities for other sports. In those days, some boats were owned by the club and others by members individually. The club built the huge ice yacht Wolverine that carried 850 square feet of sail and was the second largest ice yacht in North America after the Jack Frost of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. Because the KIYC was an outgrowth of a card playing club, boats were named after cards in veiled terms. Thus the club had the Storm King, Ice Queen, Joker, Cracker Jack and more.

Emil Fauerbach of Madison, Wisconsin was the other principal personality in the inaugural Hearst and Stuart regattas. His father owned the Fauerbach Brewery, located on Lake Monona. Fauerbach worked there along with his brothers. He devoted considerable time and resources to the sport and was a driving force in ice yachting in the area. Before leaving home a number of loyal young ladies each presented him with a lucky rabbit’s foot and their best wishes for the success of his yacht, the Princess.

At the time, ice yachts were the fastest moving objects on the face of the earth. There was more excitement found in ten minutes of ice sailing than found in many a long lifetime. Ice yachting photographs of the period show huge crowds around the boats by today’s standards. Public interest was large, and newspaper and magazine reports were extensive. We can thank the publishers of the time for making possible this detailed report on the inaugural regattas in the colorful and dramatic language of the day.

The Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper devoted considerable coverage to the local ice yacht club and the races it organized 100 years ago. Newspapers in Muskegon, Michigan and Madison also reported on the doings of their sailors at the events on Gull Lake. The thoroughness of the coverage is remarkable in comparison to the relatively scant ice boating coverage provided by the news media today.

In 1903, the owner of a company that sold patent medicine, F.A. Stuart, of Marshall, Michigan, about 25 miles east of Kalamazoo, gave a trophy for international competition in ice yacht racing. Gull Lake was the site for the event. Two boats came from the North Shrewsbury Ice Yacht Club in New Jersey, the Scud and the Dreadnaught. The Zero came from Muskegon, the North Wind from Toledo, Ohio and the Princess from Madison. Local boats Crackerjack, Georgie, Greenland and Speeder were also out.

On Friday January 30th there was a terrific gale blowing. It was decided to sail a side attraction race for a world record time for iceboat sailing, but the visitors from New Jersey and Wisconsin would not venture out. The Arctic and Georgie, smaller locally owned boats, raced over a six mile course with reefed sails and three and four men aboard respectively. Arctic covered the distance in four minutes and 50 seconds. Two other boats sailing that day met with accidents, one lost its mast. The time keeper for the race was E.M. Thompson, the sporting editor of the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Unfavorable weather over the weekend prevented the organizers of the Stuart regatta from completing it, and it was called off until the next winter. The ice had weakened and because of thinness, the large boats carrying up to 850 square feet of sail had to be removed from the ice. The yachtsmen from the east also had to return home to attend to their work. Both the Scud and Dreadnought were left at Gull Lake for the next season.

Monday afternoon a sweepstakes race was run for the smaller boats. The Zero of Muskegon won the 20 mile race in a time of 35 minutes. The Princess lost a runner, and did not finish. She was described as one of the smoothest sailing boats on the lake, but the amount of canvass she carried was said to be too small to compete with the monster boats entered in the big races.

Tuesday morning February 3, 1903 a consolation race was held which the Princess won, covering the 20 miles in 35 minutes, the same time as Zero did the previous day. The ice was described as being in poor condition with seven boats competing.

Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club commodore D.C. Olin received a telegram December 3, 1903. It was sent from Washington, D.C. by the Honorable William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper publisher serving as a congressman from New York. In his telegram, he formalized his offer of a trophy. Mr. Hearst gave the club the option to define the series of races the trophy would be competed for. Already, the club had planned a regatta for January 19-23, 1904. The trophy was considered to make the upcoming regatta and the club of national importance. The club rejoiced at the news, and proceeded with their elaborate plans to host the event. Yachts from Canada, the East, elsewhere in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin were invited.

The Hearst trophy would be offered for international competition to ice yachts carrying not more than 450 square feet of sail. The races would be 20 miles over a two-point windward leeward course, time limit not to exceed one hour and 30 minutes, best three in five heats. The official program was published in the Gazette the next day listing the schedule. The first race would be for the Hearst trophy. The second race for the Stuart trophy, same course but a one hour 15 minute time limit. The third race for the Michigan State Championship, open to Michigan Yachts only. The fourth race would be a sweepstakes handicap race for prize money, and the fifth race would be a consolation prize money "free for all" for yachts that had not won any prize.

On December 10, 1903 the host club commissioned O.M. Hepburn of Toledo to build a new yacht of the 450 foot class expressly for the regatta. This craft would be named the HiLo, after their card playing tradition. Hepburn, a builder of racing ice yachts with a national reputation, was instructed to spare no expense in its construction.

The December, 1903 issue of Rudder magazine, featured an article by H. Percy Ashley, one of the best know ice yachting writers in the country. He devoted a third of the article to the Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club, D.C. Olin, the Stuart trophy, and the Wolverine. "D.C. Olin has done more to promote ice yacht racing and to bring the crack boats together to settle their relative speed question than any ice yachtsman in the west. To his indefatigable and untiring efforts was the big meet arranged at Gull Lake last winter … you can be rest assured that a hearty welcome will be extended to ice yachtsmen throughout the world by the Kalamazoo club for their international races this winter."

And so with their plans all made, the press properly worked, and the community behind them, they waited for it to get cold. By Christmas day the big boats Wolverine and Joker were set up. The smaller yachts went for a sail on the fine early season ice. Arrangements were in progress for the entertainment of the many sportsmen who would attend the regatta. Club races right before New Year’s Day were postponed because of snow. On January 2, 1904 they sailed three fast and exciting races with many out of town yachts. The Dreadnaught easily won. The Zero of Muskegon was also there. Kalamazoo boats sailing were the Cracker Jack, Reindeer, Blizzard, and Snowbird. The Gazette encouraged the locals to come out and watch because the plan was to sail every day possible from now until the big regatta.

The organizers expected the New Jersey boats that summered over to compete in the regattas. These were the Scud, and James C. Doughty’s Dreadnaught. They also received an entry from George J. Gillig and J. Siegel for the Wizard, a boat built by Robert D. Chandler of Fair Haven. However, a later report would indicate that early in the season the Dreadnaught had been sold to the Kalamazoo club.

They received entries for a number of new boats built for the 1904 regattas. These were the Arctic from Muskegon, owned by John Foalk and Peter and John Drake. N.B. Cook of Chicago built a boat on an all new plan, it had four runners and was light, only 741 pounds. The Kalamazoo club also built the Pedro in addition to the HiLo.

Other out of town entries included the Tormentor and Zero from Muskegon; the Witch and North Wind from Toledo; Pocahontas from Detroit; and Emil Fauerbach’s Princess.

Local area boats also entering were the Ice Queen, Storm King, Cracker Jack, Demon, Donna Marie, Georgie, Surprise, Reindeer, Mercury, Ivah E., Snow Bird, Wing, and Cyclone. There were two local boats of more than 450 square feet of sail area entered just for the Stuart International trophy regatta, the Wolverine and the Joker.

In the second week of January it began to snow heavily. On the 14th Commodore Olin announced that the regattas would be postponed one full week, now scheduled to run from Tuesday the 26th through Saturday the 30th. The storm got worse. Drifting snow made the roads impassable for the horse teams pulling wagons and clogged the railway lines. Trains were delayed for hours and required two steam engines to get through. As soon as the storm ended, the thaw set in and by the Sunday before the regattas were scheduled to resume, a cold wave was wanted to firm up the ice. The Arctic arrived by rail car at Gull Lake on the 21st. The HiLo was expected to arrive on the 25th, and telegrams were received from the yachtsmen of Red Bank saying they would arrive tomorrow. The Hearst Trophy was still missing but a telegram announced that its photograph was on the way until the engravers could ship it. All were jubilant that the ice was in excellent condition and better than looked for. All the club’s preparations were made, and large crowds were expected to witness the events.

Tuesday January 26th arrived with the announcement that the regatta would be postponed one day. N.B. Cook’s new yacht had not yet arrived from Chicago, and the Gull Lake branch of the Michigan Traction Company interurban railroad was so congested that traffic was almost impossible. The railway superintendent promised that the six foot drifts closing the line would be cleared in time, even if necessary to keep a track gang at work over night. Emil Fauerbach arrived from Madison with the Princess and two assistants, A.F. Oakley and William Bernard, who built the yacht.

Headquarters for the regatta were established at the La Belle resort hotel. The resort was on the south east side of the lake just up the road from the Yorkville train station, and just south of Island Park. The races were set to start promptly at two o’clock Wednesday afternoon. The ice on the lake was said to be rough in places, but would not materially interfere with the races if there was sufficient breeze.

Wednesday morning the Drakes’ Arctic, Fauerbach’s Princess, the Witch from Toledo and D.C. Olin’s Wolverine were out for some trial spins. The Arctic was thought to be one of the prettiest boats on the lake. During the afternoon the breeze was so light that all the boats were compelled to stop sailing, except the Princess. D.C. Olin was so enthusiastic that he ventured to the extreme upper end of the lake and became mixed up with a snowdrift. The genial commodore had a four mile walk back to the hotel, arriving just in time for dinner. It was a jolly bunch of sportsmen who assembled to witness and participate in the regatta and there were no dull moments to mar the pleasure of the occasion. When not busily engaged in tuning up their yachts or taking trial spins around the lake, the yachtsmen spent their time absorbing the heat from the hotel coal stove or indulging in the variety of good cheer which comes in quart sizes. No races were completed on Wednesday. They decided to attempt to start racing the next morning at ten o’clock.

Again they did not have enough wind to start a race on Thursday. In spite of the weather disappointments, the sportsmen planned all manner of entertainments to occupy the hours which otherwise would become monotonous. During the afternoon the yachts were trimmed up in their gayest colors on a day ideal for the operation of a camera, and individual pictures of the boats and their crews were taken by the official photographer, F. W. Nicholson of Jackson, Michigan. Emil Fauerbach entertained the bunch gathered around the coal stove that afternoon with a number of startling feats of magic. Everyone participated in songs, dances and music galore. They amused one another with various antics and tall tales. There was talk of a "steam ice tug" for hauling back yachts stranded when the wind went calm. Commodore Olin stated that a good breeze was all that was necessary to start the first race of the international regatta.

Friday there was still nothing doing with the wind. They measured the yachts. A barbershop was set up at the hotel and everyone’s whiskers were trimmed to the required quarter inch length. The Stuart trophy arrived and was put on display in the hotel lobby.

The Red Bank, New Jersey crowd, the Chicago yacht, and the Hearst trophy still numbered among the missing. A press dispatch arrived saying the Red Bank crowd was participating in a regatta on the old Shrewsbury River, explaining their absence. To fend off discouragement, practical jokes were played. It turned out that the "steam ice tug" was just Commodore Olin pulling the leg of Mr. Flint, the newspaper reporter covering the regatta. The nearest approach to a steam ice tug was a team of horses which pulled the Wolverine, Pedro, and Witch back to the club anchorage after being stranded at the upper end of the lake earlier in the week. Olin congratulated himself on the smooth manner in which he worked the newspapermen.

The top half of the front page of the Saturday Morning Kalamazoo Gazette for January 30, 1904 featured a cartoon drawing. The mythical long sleeping character Rip Van Winkle was looking at a sign that read, "January 1924, The Ice Yacht Races are Postponed. No wind. Too much snow. Boats not here." In the caption, old Rip says, "Well, here’s one thing that hasn’t changed."

Meanwhile out at old Gull, Saturday morning dawned with the stiff breeze all had been waiting for. A snowfall during the last evening slowed the ice, but after a trial spin before the start, it was decided not to change the time limit. The starting gun of the first Hearst International Challenge Cup race was fired at 11:08. The race was over a 20-mile, two point course of four laps, and was easily won by Emil Fauerbach’s trim and speedy little yacht, the Princess, which covered the course in 52 minutes and 25 seconds. The Hilo was second in 56:19, or nearly four minutes behind the winner. The Arctic of Muskegon was third in 58:15. The Pedro, Zero, and North Wind followed. The Dreadnaught did not finish.

The Princess led the other yachts from the starting line and outsailed her opponents at every point of the course. The Princess was sailed by Wm. Bernard, and A.F. Oakley. Commodore Olin handled the Hilo, and the Arctic was sailed by the Drake brothers.

The Pedro was considered the faster of the two new Kalamazoo yachts, and because of her fourth place finish, her backers were not so numerous after the race as they were at the first of the week.

The first heat was finished just before noon and after the yachtsmen received numerous congratulations and the usual jollies, the whole bunch adjourned to the hotel where a big dinner awaited them. To say that they cleaned up everything in site would be putting it mildly, for there is no sport which creates such a ferocious appetite as ice-boating.

After dinner it was decided that the first heat of the Stuart championship race would be sailed and the yachts entered for this race left the club anchorage at 1:30 in the afternoon and sailed to the upper end of the lake. When the boats finally got ready to line up for the contest it was discovered that the necessary breeze to sail the race was lacking and at three o’clock the contest was declared off to a breezier day.

The Princess clearly demonstrated her claim to be the representative western yacht and her list of admirers greatly increased since the race of the morning. There were many sportsmen willing to wager that both the Stuart and Hearst trophies would be carried back to Madison by Emil Fauerbach.

On Sunday there was snow and enough breeze to sail the yachts but no races were held. Many of the boats were out for pleasure spins, but the snow was so deep that the sailing was not enjoyed. It is estimated that nearly 500 persons from Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and other towns surrounding the lake were out to take a look at the big fleet of ice yachts. Everyone seemed pleased with the Princess, the winner of Saturday’s race. Emil Fauerbach was kept busy during the afternoon giving the yacht’s admirers an opportunity to test her sailing qualities. The new boats of the local club received many favorable comments and they made a good showing Sunday as they circled around the lake.

By Monday, February 1st there was three inches of snow on the ice and badly drifted in places. The sportsmen and newspapermen deserted the La Belle resort, and the sailors of the two principal out of town boats, the Princess and the Arctic, took the train home. All announced their intention of returning as soon as notified that the ice was in condition for racing. Nothing but the skeleton frames and bare masts and spars of boats lying at the club anchorage remained to remind any lonely observers of the hustle and excitement of a few days before.

Midweek, discouragement set in and the outlook became dismal. By Wednesday there was a foot of snow on the ice. While the visiting yachtsmen spoke very highly of the treatment accorded them by the Gull Lake club, it was reported that they did not like to annually incur the expense of shipping their boats to the lake without having an opportunity to sail. They were concerned about the prospects of a successful regatta being pulled off. The local club was concerned that for the past two seasons the weather prevented successful regattas at Gull Lake, and they would lose their reputation as an ice yachting center.

But Friday the 5th of February it started to rain, and by the beginning of the new week, the ice was declared to be in the best condition it had ever been for iceboating. The races were set to resume Wednesday February 10th with the first heat for the Stuart trophy. It was decided to sail the heats for the Hearst and Stuart trophies alternately until both were finished. Emil Fauerbach and William Bernard were notified of the good condition of the ice and were on their way to Kalamazoo. Also expected Tuesday evening were the Drake brothers and J.A. Foalk from Muskegon, and F.W. Nicholson, the official photographer from Jackson. The Gazette helped to boost the event, reporting that the lines of the Michigan Traction Company were in good condition to handle the crowds wanting to witness the speedy contests. The hotel at La Belle resort was prepared to care for the largest crowd ever assembled at Gull Lake at regatta time.

Some of the missing started showing up. The unchristened yacht of N.B. Cook of Chicago arrived two weeks after it was shipped on January 22nd. The day before the regatta was set to resume she was out for a trial spin, but the boat was too light for the strong wind that swept across the lake. She attained such a speed that she became unmanageable, and her "wishbones" were broken. The yacht was laid up for repairs and was not able to enter any of the races. Although Mr. Cook’s boat was put out of commission, he was too much of an enthusiast to become discouraged and announced his intention to remain until the last race was sailed.

Poor wind prevented the sailing of the first heat of the Stuart trophy race that Wednesday.

Seven boats started with a good breeze just before noon, but it went down before 15 miles had been covered. Wolverine was in the lead of its nearest competitor, Princess, when the wind failed. The next days’ hopes were also dashed by insufficient breeze.

Friday there was nothing doing to relieve the monotony and attempts to sail were met with having to push back. Talk around the coal stove at La Belle turned to sailing stories from other lakes, and about changing from a two-point course to three. The Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club, in sailing the trophy races over a two-point course, had been following a rule observed by the ice yacht clubs in the east, where it is impossible to sail any other kind of course. The visiting yachtsmen preferred the three-point course, and to please all parties concerned it was asked that the remaining heats of the two trophy races be sailed alternately over the two different courses. Some of the locals revealed their plans in the works for the last month to form a new ice yacht club on Gull Lake. They were endeavoring to make arrangements with William Bernard of Madison to build several yachts on the same style as the Princess.

The regatta was moving at the pace of one completed race every two weeks. Saturday the 13th of February the second heat of the Hearst trophy race was concluded. Dispatches were sent to out of town newspapers to publicize the results. HiLo was first in a time of 58:53. Pedro was second in 61:16, closely followed by the Princess in third in 61:50. The Arctic broke down and did not finish. Also sailing and not finishing were Reindeer, North Wind, and Georgie.

Like the Sunday two weeks before when many in the crowd of 500 spectators were treated to pleasure rides, there was another large delegation of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek people out to witness the white-winged flyers spin around the lake. Rather than race on Sunday, the yachtsmen kept busy nearly all day treating the uninitiated visitors to rides in their boats.

Monday the 15th, Commodore D.C. Olin and his gallant band of sportsmen claimed the honor of discovering the North Pole. The discovery was made that morning when an expedition was fitted out to investigate the conditions for the proposed course to sail the third heat of the Hearst International championship race. They had no sooner ventured to leave the protecting warmth of the hotel coal stove than it was discovered there was something doing in the weather line. The balmy breezes which swept across the snow-covered surface of old Gull caused their teeth to chatter like the patter of hail stones on a tin roof, and large-size shivers played tag up and down their spinal columns. When they reached the first point of the race course the mercury in the thermometer fell with such rapidity that it broke the glass bulb of the instrument, dropped through the ice, and disappeared beneath the beautiful blue water. The sportsmen came to the conclusion that this must be where the North Pole should be located. A flag was hoisted and a feeble cheer broke the silence of frozen solitude as the band of heroes hastened back to the hotel to relate their discovery, tell cold weather tales and drink to the success of the expedition.

Needless to say it was decided that it was too cold and the wind too strong to continue the regatta that day. The next day it was also too cold to venture onto the lake without taking the chance of freezing. O.M. Hepburn of Toledo badly froze one side of his face. Another yachtsman froze his nose and several others had frozen hands and feet. The races would continue when the weather moderated.

The next day it did. No attempt was made to sail the race in the morning, owing to the extreme coldness, but on that Wednesday afternoon it was decided to start the third heat of the Hearst trophy race. The wind was not very strong, but it was thought the race could be finished within the limit, and it probably would have had the breeze not died down shortly after the race started. The crowd of spectators was very small, as many doubtless believed the weather too severe to permit the sailing of any race. There were five starters that day: Princess, HiLo, Pedro, Arctic and Dreadnaught. At 3:05 the starting signal was given and the boats quickly got under way, the Princess taking the lead from the first and being nearly three minutes ahead of the HiLo when the race was called off on the third lap.

Thursday the races were again postponed. While there was snow on the lake, it was not sufficient to prevent the sailing of the yachts if only the wind were strong enough.

Friday the long expected Hearst trophy finally arrived. It was placed on exhibition at the commodore’s jewelry store, Olin, White & Olin. The trophy was a pretty silver loving cup with a gold lining. On one side the cup was engraved, "Hearst International Challenge Cup for the 450-foot class." On the other side, "Presented to the Ice Yachtsmen of America by William Randolph Hearst, 1904." A number of pretty designs of ice yachts also appeared on the cup. The trophy was to be taken out to Gull Lake that afternoon and placed on the shelf already arranged for it at the La Belle resort.

By Sunday, there was six and a half inches of snow on the ice, and by Tuesday, February 23rd, it was wet and heavy. The Princess and the Arctic were taken down and packed on rail cars for shipment home. The paper said the Princess would be shipped that day, the Arctic would follow in a few days if conditions were not favorable for racing at the end of the week. It was reported that the Princess and Arctic withdrew from the regatta, but Fauerbach was not expected to leave for Madison until the end of the week. The paper speculated that the Princess would probably have won the Hearst and Stuart trophies because she had won a heat in each and had been in the lead in several races called for the time limit.

As of Friday the 26th there was still four inches of snow on the lake, and the postponement continued while waiting for a thaw which began in earnest. By Wednesday the second of March the snow was all gone, replaced by four inches of water. There was serious talk about sailing all of the races on a three-point course. It was believed then a race could be run in almost any kind of wind, and that the racing would be more interesting to spectators. They wanted to draw bigger crowds. At no time that winter had a crowd of more than 100 persons gathered at the lake to witness the ice races. Larger crowds had visited the lake on Sundays, but no races had been sailed on that day. It was the club’s plan to race the next week, and to pull off the regatta as rapidly as the weather conditions would permit.

Then it was announced the races would resume on Friday February 4th. The Michigan Championship races were to be sailed first if the weather was favorable, because the club was waiting for the outside yachtsmen to return. The Hearst and Stuart trophy races would not be sailed until Monday. The paper reported that Emil Fauerbach had been notified, and was expected to arrive in the city that night.

There was a change in the weather Thursday that placed the surface of old Gull in ideal condition for sailing and making fast times possible. The Arctic of Muskegon was out for a trial spin and made a good showing.

Owing to the absence of Emil Fauerbach, the local club decided to sail the Michigan Championship race before resuming the Hearst and Stuart trophy races. It was reported that this was done in order to give him and his skippers a chance to set up the Princess and tune her up in time to compete in the international races. The sails of the Princess were sent to Chicago to be re-cut, and probably would not be returned to Gull Lake until Sunday.

But Friday and Saturday there wasn’t enough wind, and they did not race on Sundays. It started to thaw, and then it rained. The ice was getting better and better, and by Monday was as smooth as glass. But by Tuesday, the ice was so mushy they could not sail. The yachtsmen gathered were really disappointed. If a cold wave did not make an appearance before the week closed, they would be compelled to pack their boats and store them until the next season.

Then the weather turned and Thursday morning March 10, 1904 the Hearst trophy races were completed. There was a strong and steady breeze; one of the finest ever experienced at Gull Lake. Two inches of snow ice lay atop the solid ice. At 8:25 in the morning, three yachts got underway. The HiLo, Pedro and Arctic rounded the home buoy and sped down the lake. The Arctic was obliged to reef her sails on account of the stiff wind, but she dug into the snow ice so badly that she dropped out of the race. The HiLo gained steadily on Pedro every lap and crossed the finish lines with flying colors one minute ahead in a time of 54:30. Shortly after the first heat was finished the second one was called. The Hilo won the heat and the Hearst cup with a time of 55 minutes flat. The Pedro finished second with a time of 55:30. Arctic did not finish.

The HiLo was sailed by Frank Folsom of Marine City, just north of Lake St. Clair and Detroit. Commodore D.C. Olin was in charge of the Pedro. Both of these yachts were owned by the Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club.

Emil Fauerbach was not present, although the papers reported he had been notified that the regatta would resume. He said he would be on hand Monday. He did not appear, and sent no word.

The races that day were sailed over a 20-mile two-point windward leeward course. The course was measured by O.M. Hepburn and Clayton Sabin. J.A. Pitkin, chairman of the regatta committee, Lawrence Corey and E. McGolbirth acted as judges.

The next day five boats were on the line to sail the sweepstakes race on a three-point course. The Arctic, HiLo, Pedro, Zero and Ice King prepared for what promised to be an exciting event. When all was ready for the starting gun it was all off. It would be hard to find a more melancholy bunch that side of Sing Sing. The yachtsmen were compelled to get industrious and push their boats back to the anchorage to try another day.

Saturday March 12, 1904 turned out to be the day all had been waiting for. The ice was in excellent condition with a northeast breeze freshening throughout the day. The spider-bodied flyers at Gull Lake displayed their supremacy of the world and shattered the fastest records ever boasted by an Erie, Hudson River, or New Jersey club. In world record-breaking time, Wolverine, the boss boat of the Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club carried away the Stuart trophy. She completed the circuit of 20 miles over a difficult two-point course in the unparalleled time of 42 minutes. Joker finished second in 46 minutes flat. Dreadnaught finished six minutes behind Wolverine.

The day’s racing opened with five entries in the sweepstakes race for prize money. The order of finish was HiLo, Dreadnaught, Arctic, Zero, and the North Wind did not finish. Frank Folsom of Marine City sailed the HiLo, and won $60.

After the Stuart trophy heat they sailed for the Michigan Championship pennant. Two out of three heats were required for the victory, and only two were necessary, the Dreadnaught laying out all opponents in the two heats. Also entered were the Arctic, Zero, Pedro, Joker, Wing, Reindeer and the North Wind.

The sensational close of the ice yachting season covered a multitude of windless days at deceiving Gull. With the world record smashing spin of the great A-class Wolverine, the name and fame of Gull Lake as an ice yachting center was secured. The season closed with two international trophy cups resting in the hands of the Kalamazoo Ice Yacht Club. The winning of the cups cinched another season of magnificent sport at Gull.

Meanwhile back in Madison, the Princess crew was most unhappy. The Madison Democrat newspaper ran a story the day after the Hearst trophy regatta concluded with the headline, "Princess Cheated Out Of Trophy." The story alleged the yacht races were held without notifying the Madison men. That paper reported Fauerbach was misled by the letter stating that the races would be held for the Michigan Championship. It was reported the Kalamazoo club feared the Madison yacht.

The Wisconsin State Journal stated that the "Easterners are Poor Sports." Mr. Bernard, the builder of the Princess, was quoted as saying that the easterners had taken advantage of them. To many in Wisconsin, it appeared to be a game of "freeze out," the eastern yachtsmen realizing the only way to retain their prestige was to keep the Princess out of the race. "The very fact that he came to Madison and left his boat at Gull Lake proved that he intended to return east as soon as he was notified the races were on again."

So while they were rejoicing in Kalamazoo, those in Madison considered themselves victims of a scandal. It is clear from the race reports that the Princess was fast, especially in light air. She won the first Hearst race, and was in the lead in two races abandoned in progress for failing to meet the time limit. The Kalamazoo Gazette projected the Princess to win both the Hearst and Stuart trophies. This must have concerned the enthusiasts at Gull Lake who clearly wanted to win the races and secure the two magnificent trophies for their club. Yet the Gazette reported March 3rd that Fauerbach had been notified the races were set to resume.

Now that 100 years have passed since the first Hearst and Stuart trophy regattas were completed, we will never know why Emil Fauerbach did not return to Gull Lake that March. He did return to Gull Lake for the third Hearst regatta in 1914 with the Princess II, and won the event. He died the next year at the age of 45.

These early ice yachtsmen went to great effort to organize an event that attracted national attention. When they had ice, they lost 12 days to there being too little wind to sail or too much cold. From when the event was originally scheduled, they endured seven weeks of postponements and much frustration and disappointment to finish the regattas . As a reward for their persistence on that Saturday they had the kind of big time sailing day that has kept ice yachtsmen coming back to their frozen sailing grounds year after year.

Winter 2004: Racing News, Idle Gossip& Ugly Rumors
As the snow piles up on our area lakes we present the Winter 2004 Racing News, Idle Gossip & Ugly Rumors… A cold start to November teased the 4LIYC with hopes of some early December sailing. But warmer weather moved in again by Thanksgiving forcing our Club to wait until December 20th for our first sailing of the season. After never having held races on Lake Waubesa in the first 75 years of our Club’s existence, we found ourselves on Waubesa for the second time in the past three years. A handful of DN’s, Nites & Renegades held a weekends worth of unofficial races on about four inches of glass hard ice. The usual suspects, Greg Simon, Don Anderson, Geoff Sobering & Don Sanford were the boats to beatDon Sanford & Jerry Ebert both put their names in contention for the prestigious Spar-Dropper Trophy. Sanford’s Nite exploded a mast pole while a broken shackle was responsible for Ebert dropping his spar… Joining us on the ice for the first time in nearly 20 years was DNer Jori Lenon. She hopes to get back in the sport after last competing back in the early 80’sSeveral Renegades made their initial shakedown cruises that weekend on Waubesa. Doug Kolner, Jerry Ebert, Paul Exner & Grant Frautschi all took their first rides in their own Renegades with varing degrees of success. Ebert, as noted, dropped his mast, Kolner was deep into tuning his brand new boat, Frautschi found a number of areas where his recently purchased boat needed improvement, and Exner was running near the front of the pack by the end of the weekend… Jeff Russell, who joined our Renegade fleet two years ago, was also making his first appearance in his recently purchased yacht… An attempt to hold 4LIYC Tune-Up series races on Lake Kegonsa the weekend following Christmas failed to pan out when rain and warm weather opened up numerous holes on the lake. While several ice-fishermen & their ATV’s punched through the thin ice none of our Club activities were underway when the decision to cancel was reached… Paul Krueger traveled to Shawano Lake to shakedown his new front-seater Skeeter. He was joined by Pewaukee based Club members Tom Hyslop & Bill Dale, along with Green Bay’s Jay Yaeso & Gary Buyeske for a number of Skeeter tune-up races. Yaeso & Hyslop were the two boats setting the pace… Note to Bill Dale; welcome back… Both the Renegade Association & the ISA annual meetings are shaping up to be real interesting. The Renegaders will debate issues ranging from allowing two sails at their regattas to extra blocks for older skippers. Meanwhile, the Skeeter guys will argue the merits of allowing more mature skippers to sit in their boats at the start and be pushed by a boat boy, and whether keeper trophies should now be engraved to reflect recent front-seater technologies... In mid-December the Renegade Association launched their very own website, It will be used to convey Renegade ice yacht information to members, and any other interested parties, around the world at the click of a mouseSome really cold weather finally found its way to Wisconsin in early January. Club races were held on Lakes Monona & Mendota then back to Monona for the Northwest… Well, that’s it for now. Look for more in the next issue of The Blade Runner.

Alphabet Soup… Or Just What the Hell’s a “D” Skeeter?

Okay, you’ve been around iceboating for a couple of years now. You know the difference between a DN and a Renegade, but from there it all gets a little fuzzy.

Bright white sails with letters and numbers on them, all of which you’re reasonably certain must mean something… but what?

Once again The Blade Runner is here to (hopefully) provide the answers.

Ice boats, like there soft water cousins are divided into various classes. A, B, C, D, E, DN and other sail letters and symbols for the most part denote which class that particular yacht competes in.

In 1912 the Northwestern Ice Yacht Association (N.I.Y.A.) was established in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It’s task was to provide a bit of structure to the chaos that was ice yacht racing of the time. Yachts were put into classes based on their sail size. The largest yachts, those which were the “kings of the ice” at the era, became Class A with (eventually) 251 square feet, or more, of sail area.

Class B was limited to 176 to 250 sq. ft., Class C hoisted between 126 to 175 sq. ft. of canvas, and Class D which sailed under 76 to 125 sq. ft. of sail.These classes, A, B, C and D all carried those letters on their sails and all was well within the ice yachting fraternity.

Around 1936 down in Williams Bay on Lake Geneva, Walter Beauvais developed his little bow-steering ice boat, the Beau Skeeter. It was from this boat that the Skeeter, Renegade, DN and other bow-steering designs would evolve.

The impact of the Beau Skeeter was felt almost immediately. Why bother, many reasoned, with the monster size, stern-steering behemoths when in many conditions the little skeeter was faster and in all conditions less expensive (at least in those early days), far easier to build, maintain, transport, store, set-up and sail.

In 1939 the International Skeeter Association (ISA) was founded. It was this organization that over-saw the rapid development of the Skeeter class. Within the structure of the ISA it wasn’t long before different classes of the Skeeter evolved. Boats which allowed two riders, sitting next to each other became known as Side-by-Sides. These boats, of which the Bill Boehmke designed Boe-craft Skeeters and the east coast equivalent, the Yankee are examples of, became Class B Skeeters. Down the road a bit Class C was added for those Skeeters which had masts of 20 feet or less. Originally Class C was created to allow a class for the older Meade and Palmer Skeeters that were built in the forties and fifties but later it included the Nites. More recently, the C-rig converted Renegades joined Class C.

Meanwhile the Northwestern Ice Yacht Association had added Class E for boats with 75 sq. ft. or less of sail area.

So where were we? Oh yeah… the ISA recognized Skeeters as classes A, B and C. The N.I.Y.A. recognized all three of those classes as Class E.

But why, you ask don’t the Class E Skeeters sail with an “E” on their sails? Within the rules of the ISA Skeeters have their fleet location letter on their sail. A “M” on the sail denotes the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, “V” represents the Pewaukee club, “I” is for Lake Geneva’s Skeeter Ice Boat Club, and of course other club’s have their own sail letters. For a while there was even a mosquito silhouette on the sail. That practice ended for the most part in the early sixties.

At the N.I.Y.A.’s annual regatta, commonly referred to as “the Northwest”, class A, B and C Skeeters (as defined by the ISA), could sail in the same race, as the N.I.Y.A. recognized them only as Class E. In actual practice, because of safety concerns with the Class A Skeeters being quite a bit faster, the Class B (side-by-sides) usually run in the same race as the Stern-Steerers while the Class C yachts, such as the converted Renegades, generally opt not to attend the Northwest regatta.

Perhaps the most confusing (and mythical) ice boat of all is the yacht known as a “D Skeeter”. Even people who have been involved in ice boating for decades sometimes get this wrong. In the early sixties Pewaukee’s Dick Slates, who later designed the popular Nite class ice boat, built a few bow-steering, N.I.Y.A. defined Class D (76-125 sq. ft. of sail area) boats. There was, after all, no rule saying any of their classes had to be stern-steerers. Slates must have reasoned that while bow-steering designs weren’t practical with the bigger N.I.Y.A. classes, the smaller Class D sail would work in that configuration. These boats did enjoy considerable success against the more traditional stern-steering designs. The Slates D boats did look like big Skeeters, or at least how the Skeeters of that time looked, and were often mistakenly referred to as “D Skeeters”.

Interestingly, one year when the owner of one of the “D Skeeters” showed up to race at the Wisconsin Stern Steerer Association regatta he was informed that as the name implied, it was open to stern-steering yachts only. By the next year the ingenious owner had reconfigured his bow-steering boat into a stern-steerer by mounting the runner plank under the mast, relocating the springboard and the bow runner to the rear of the fuselage and changing the steering to suit. The somewhat odd looking D boat actually works pretty good.

So there you have it, ice boat classes explained, with minimal confusion I hope, and the myth of the “D Skeeter” debunked.

Fall 2003
Volume 8, Number 1
Simon to Lead 4LIYC
Tune Up News, Idle Gossip, & Ugly Rumors
The First Hearst And Stuart Trophy Races by Randy Rogoski
Nobody Ever Asked Me, But.....Opinion Column by Greg Whitehorse

The first two meetings of the 4LIYC, for the 2003-2004 season, have been held before standing room only crowds at the club’s meeting place, The Bar Next Door.

At the November 5th meeting Commodore Jim Nordhaus led the club through a relatively short forty-five minute session. Although the meeting had the feel of a 4LIYC social event some notes of interest were brought up.

Bill Mattison reported on the progress of his and Paul Krueger’s new fast back Skeeters down at his Willy St. shop. Bill said that Paul’s boat was closer to being ready than his and that Krueger would be ready by first ice.

Several Renegade skippers reported on the latest news in that fleet. The possibility of twenty or more Renegades on the line for our club races was mentioned.

Others reported on new Nite sailors in the club and of the boats brought down to the S.I.B.C. swap meet in Williams Bay. With several of our DNers taking up the sheet rope in the Renegade fleet this year some wondered about the current status of DN fleet.

Ron Rosten was directed by the membership to issue a challenge to the Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America. Ron was instructed not to let Pewaukee weasel out of it this year. The most important issue brought before the club was Bill Mattison notifying the membership that the aluminum sail track that Paul Krueger made available to us was all gone. A minimum order of $3000.00 was needed to insure a new shipment. Krueger, along with other area boat builders would be willing to commit to $2000.00 of that amount. After some discussion it was voted by the members to recommend to the 4LIYC Executive Committee to OK the expenditure of $1000.00 of club funds to make up the balance so that a shipment could be ordered. The vote to recommend expenditure was unanimous.

Gary Whitehorse mentioned before the group that in his position as City of Madison sign maker he had been approached by Dane County Parks in regards to the area lakes boat launch fee. It seems the required fee will now be a year round expense. Previously the boat ramp fee was applied only between May 1st and October 31st.

November 19th marked the elections for the 4LIYC. Another large crowd packed The Bar Next Door for the meeting.

Long time member Jerry Simon was elected Commodore of the 4LIYC by the gathered membership. Simon, who had previously served in that position a number of years ago, ran unopposed and was an unanimous choice in a voice vote.

Doug Kolner was elected Vice-Commodore on an evening which saw Treasurer Hope Simon and Secretary Deb Whitehorse agree to stay on in those positions.

Newly elected Commodore Simon immediately took over the reigns of power, leading the club through the remainder of the meeting.

Out-going Commodore, Jim Nordhaus, who choose not to seek reelection, gave a short speech in which he thanked all those who had help make the club successful during his term.

One of Simon’s first orders of business was to have the various fleet members meet after the meeting and select their fleet captains. While the Renegade fleet tapped Mike Ripp as its fleet captain, the Skeeters, the Nites and the DN’s choose to gather input from more members before making their choices. It is the fleet captains duty to check ice conditions, select our race site, and help run our racing events.

As the meeting drew to a close the feeling was one of high expectations for another successful season for the 4LIYC, all that’s needed now is a little cooperation from Mother Nature.

A very busy off season indeed for area ice boaters with the highlight being new Skeeters under construction at the Willy St. boat shop. Bill Mattison and Paul Krueger will debut two new yachts this year with designs that borrow heavily from Dan Clapp’s regatta winning speedster. The always busy Nordhaus Boat Works, over on Seybold Rd., has seen weekly ice boat work since the end of last season. Besides Doug Kolner’s spanking new Renegade, repairs and up-dates have been performed on Jerry Ebert’s, Geoff Sobering’s, and Paul Exner’s new additions to the Renegade fleet. Other work being squeezed in at NBW includes a new spar for Tim Stanton, repairs to Dan Hearn’s boat, some C rig sticks being glued up, a new Nite mast under construction, and a wooden duck boat nearing completion. The Blade Runner would like to officially  welcome Bill Korsgard to the Renegade fleet. It seems as though Bill’s boat was about six inches too long in the hull measurement. How does that old adage go? A foot for a barn, a inch for a house, and six inches for a Renegade? The suspect fuselage, which was not built in the 4LIYC area, was brought back into proper dimensions by loping four inches off the bow and two off the stern. When Paul Exner bought the Renegade of Jeff Russell in the off season it sent Jeff on a quest to obtain a new ride for this year. Early reports had Russell perhaps acquiring Greg Simon’s Simonized , with Greg then building a new boat, but in the end it will be Jim Nordhaus’ Renegade, Green Eyes, that will find its way into Russell’s garage. In a surprise move Nite racer Grant Frautschi picked up a Renegade, Big Chill I, from Don and Larry Chambers. It took only a few seasons for Grant to dominate the local Nite scene, I suspect that within a couple years Grant will be extremely competitive with the Renegade. There’s a new member on the National Iceboat Authority, and he’s 4LIYC sailor Tim McCormick. This has to be one of the best gigs in all of ice yachting, fellow Authoritarian, Jack Ripp, recalls only being called upon a couple of times while serving over 20 years on the N.I.A.. We’re sure Tim will serve our sport well. Long time club member Gary Sternberg and his better half, Linda, have moved to a horse ranch near Oshkosh. They broke in their new digs with a huge party on October 11th. There was food, drink and live music, featuring fellow Renegader Mike Ripp’s band, Hell On Heels. Gary plans on sailing with our club on weekends when we race. With a couple of our more active DN sailors, (Kolner, Ebert, & Sobering), moving into the Renegade ranks it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, will jump into those boats. The new Renegade racers all plan on keeping their DN’s. Thanks go out to Don and Beth Anderson for again hosting our Fall picnic at the No Name Farm in Waunakee. Great food, cold beer, iceboating video’s, and plenty of smart talk highlighted the well attended event. Any truth to the rumors that former Club member and past Northwest Skeeter champ Ken Whitehorse is looking to rejoin the Skeeter wars? Has the arms race  mentality of the Skeeter fleet trickled down the Renegade guys? New sails every year are getting to be more common place among sailors in that fleet. Last year at least five new Quantum sails from Pewaukee’s Jim Gluek were run up 4LIYC Renegades in the weeks following the Northwest regatta. This year five new North sails, from New Jersey’s Henry Bossett, will be hoisted up various mast poles. That’s it for now, the staff of The Blade Runner hopes to see you on the ice soon.

By Greg Whitehorse

I think the coolest high speed design I’ve ever seen (and that includes race cars, boats or airplanes,) is Dan Clapp’s ISA regatta winning Skeeter, Insanity. The DN’s that were around when I was a kid, (that was about 35 years ago,) were pretty crappy ice boats. Modern DN’s are real neat, high-tech racers that can go fast in nearly any condition.

Those old DN’s however, were cheap, easy to build, and probably easier and safer for a kid to learn about ice boating in.

Even though I currently sail a Renegade, to me the ice boating world championship will always be settled at the ISA regatta among the Class A Skeeter guys.

Has anybody in this sport ever worked harder at it than Bill Mattison?

While many fondly reminisce of the by-gone days of forty or fifty boat Skeeter fleets, I think if forty modern Skeeters ever took to the starting line today, especially in windy conditions, well… let’s just say I shudder to think of the results.

Does any knowledgeable ice boater actually even care how fast a supposed world’s fastest ice boat can go?

My favorite regatta sailing venue has to be Lake Winnebago out of Oshkosh’s South Side Ice Yacht Club. It just feels like ice boating to be there.

Honorable mention for sailing sites are; out of Chuck’s at Fontana on Lake Geneva and The Sunnyside Resort on Lake Kegonsa.

Next time you see Paul Krueger, or Mary Jane Schalk, or Deb Whitehorse on the ice, take a couple of seconds and thank them for all the work, year in and year out, they do for our sport.

Is there a more enthusiastic ambassador for ice boating than Greg Simon?

Why don’t the Nites and Side-by-Skeeters race with two people in them?

Even though I think that the modern Skeeter is ultra-cool looking, aesthetically speaking I think the Renegade is the best looking design.

Does anybody really think that there is no disadvantage to starting on the left side of the starting line? I don’t know about you but if the course is correct, I’ll take one tack and right-a-way over two tacks and no rights every time.

I think the renaissance of the big boats, especially the big A Boats, is one of the best stories in our sport in recent years.

I don’t know about you, but when the wind is howling and the Skeeters or the big stern-steerers are racing, I usually stand back a few more paces than when watching the Renegades, Nites, or DN’s.

What percentage, do you suppose, of the skippers in any given race actually know, understand, and abide by the racing rules?

We’ve had a lot of people help out on the ice in running our races the past few years but we’ve never really replaced Jim Payton.

Do you still flinch when the ice makes those loud cracking and rumbling noises?

I think it’s downright embarrassing for the City of Madison that there are no places to sail up to in a ice boat for lunch and a beer.

And no, I don’t consider the Edgewater, with it’s $5.00 beer and its $9.00 chicken salad sandwich a viable lunch destination when on Lake Mendota.

Although I’ve never competed in them, I’ve always felt that the Challenge Pennant is a great ice boating event. They always produce exciting races with high drama and surprising twists.