Photos & Reports

  • Current Season

    Photos and reports from the current iceboat season.

2014-2015 Season

TB Tuesday: 1991 Northwest Regatta Photos and Video

Time for some thrilling runner to runner Skeeter racing action for today's Throw Back Tuesday. This sequence of five photos from the 1991 Northwest regatta on Geneva Lake in Fontana, WI is a 15 second slice of time as the Skeeters rounded the weather mark. This rounding can also be seen on the video from the regatta at the 12:55 mark. The video is a long one and worth your attention, featuring Renegades, DNs, and Stern Steerers going through their paces.

Winners for that year:
  • A Stern Steerer: Buddy Melges
  • C Stern Steerer: Jeff Seeboth
  • D Stern Steerer: Norbert Salzieder
  • E Skeeter: Hans Melges
  • E Skeeter Free For All: Bill Mattison
  • B Skeeter: George Beukama
  • DN: Lou Loenneke
  • Renegade: Roger Derusha


Too interesting not to share, this photo was posted by Brian Champine on the 4LIYC Facebook page.

TB Tuesday: 1952- Northwest & Hearst Regattas

Back in February while I was on the road, Peter Fauerbach sent along these images he found on the Wisconsin State Historical Society website and they're too good not to share. Two are from the 1952 Northwest Regatta sailed on Lake Monona against the city skyline of Madison. In the photo of Elmer Millenbach in Renegade III, of special significance to Peter, is the Fauerbach Brewery in the background. In the second Northwest photo, we can see the Skeeter with the sail number IOU, Pewaukee's Bill Perrigo. The Hearst photo shows the May-bid, an Oshkosh stern-steerer capsized on Lake Monona. These photos were taken by local photographer Arthur Vinje.

Millions saved!

Iceboating: You Can't Afford NOT to Do It!

Via the New England Ice Yachting Association, Commodore T's take on how the cost of iceboating compares with other types of sail boats. "Lots of talk about sailing speed lately. No question soft-water boats are going faster and faster–foils, wings, lighter structures, and endless design innovations are getting normal boats up to some impressive speeds. And impressive budgets. Which got me thinking about the price of speed. Where is the value? Lloyd Roberts touched on this subject in the phenomenal book “THINK ICE!” and I’d like to elaborate a little…. Read on, this is brilliant."

Photo by Catherine E. Firmbach.
Poster from the 2015 DN World Championship featuring Jan Gougeon US1183 and Meade Gourgeon US882.

Jan & Meade Gougeon: Hall of Famers

The National Sailing Hall of Fame today announced their 2015 inductees. It's gratifying to see that the NSHOF has honored two revered iceboaters, DN sailors, brothers, and founders of Gougeon Brothers Epoxy , Meade and Jan Gougeon are among this year's chosen inductees.
Jan: "He dominated the DN ice boat fleet from 1971 to 2000, winning eleven national championships and four Worlds....Jane Pegel, who has sailed DNs beyond her 80th year, recalls the 1989 DN Worlds in Burlington, Vermont, when Jan broke his mast during a practice day. “He traveled in a small car,” Jane says. “He had no parts or repair kit with him. So we all gave him some `Gouge’ (West System), and he sat up all night in his room fixing the mast with tongue depressors. He said he worked stark naked so he wouldn’t have to wash his clothes. He got the mast fixed, and finished second in the Worlds that year.” Continue reading.
Meade: "In 1966, Jack Knights wrote this about Race 1 of Yachting magazine’s One-of-a-Kind regatta: “Meade Gougeon’s trimaran had pruned weight, aerodynamic drag, and hull resistance to a degree that it was slipping through the water, sails always close-hauled, tacking upwind and down like an ice boat while all others were becalmed. The A Scow took 3:55:20 to complete the eight mile course. Gougeon was home in 51 minutes less. It was enough to write a new chapter in the history of sail.” Continue reading.

TB Tuesday: Saturday Evening Post Goes Iceboating

In 1960, the Saturday Evening Post published this expansive article by columnist Ralph Knight. It covered all the basics of this sport (including the hyperbole). Knight gave some lively accounts from regattas he attended attended in the Midwest and East.
Winters Wildest Sport by Ralph Knight
"Iceboaters have trouble with the weather than most other people. They want ice, and they don't want snow. When a blizzard comes, they want an unseasonable thaw or a warm rain to melt the snow fast, but not to melt the ice...They want wind, but not big wind, and they certainly decry "no wind"...some Easterners drove out to a regatta near Chicago, that windy city; for two days, not a breathe of air blew and everybody went home." Continue reading.

Early Skeeter Video

In his search to learn more about a Ray Ruge built Skeeter he is restoring, Maine iceboater Bill Buchholz has inadvertently discovered some historic 16mm film in the archives of the Cohasset, MA Historical Society Francis Hagerty collection. The footage centers around the Fox Lake, Illinois Skeeters of the early 1940s. It's possible that the films are from the 1941 and 1942 International Skeeter Association regattas. Considering the ISA was first sailed in 1940, these are very early films that show the early development of the Skeeter class. Some things to look for in the video below:

  • The winners of the 1941 and 1942 ISA regattas from Fox Lake, Harry Salmon and JD Graff (the first JD!)
  • The A class stern steerer, Ferdinand the Bull, then owned and sailed by C.S. Jacobs of Detroit, MI
  • A really cool ice car that would make a fine RC vehicle.
  • Some very early DNs
  • Ted Mead, designer and builder of the famous Mead iceboats, many of which are on the ice today.
  • ISA trophies (with kittens!?)

TBT: Chain Reaction

Hard to believe it's been almost 20 years since Chain Reaction, an action film starring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman, was released. The movie is notable to iceboaters for some of the winter background scenes filmed on Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, WI. The full movie is on You Tube and I've grabbed some screen shots. Steve Schalk provides some background: "The blue Skeeter in the first two shots is a Bill Boehmke single seat boat owned by Joel Bikowski, who bought it from Bob Mereness. It was one of four round hull boats built around 1959. Sparky Lundberg (109) is in front Captain Carl Bergersen sailing the Skeeter he bought from Fritz Button (228) in several of the shots.That is the first Bob Pegel design B Skeeter Sparky that built. The filming was done during the 1995-1996 season. The white boat is an old Skeeter maybe a Kummerline or a Palmer. I remember being out on a Wednesday setting a windward mark with the ATV and wondering if our races would mess with the shots they were taking. Watching the helicopter with the camera fly sideways ahead of the chase helicopter was much more impressive than what you see in the movie." Also interesting to note that some of the scenes were shot in the Wisconsin capitol building here in Madison.

Iceboating: The Musical

Bill Buchholz posted this wonderful video out of Russia on the Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club site and it's a must-share. Gull Lake IYC's Pete Sarelis did a little investigating and figured out the song is "One Way Ticket to the Blues" originally performed by Neil Sedaka. (Neil's version here, but sadly, no iceboats.)

TBT: The Mary B and Pink Pink

In last week's TBT photo posted below, we see young Spike Boston holding a trophy with the rest of the NIYA regatta winners. Spike had a mini-Skeeter, Pink Pink, built by his father, Howard Boston of Mt. Clemens, MI. 4LIYC's Carl Bernard is also in the photo holding the trophies he won sailing O.T. Havey's Class A stern steerer, the Mary B
This week's TBT features two photos, one of the Boston mini Skeeter, Pink Pink, sitting next to the Mary B at an early 1950s regatta in Michigan; and another photo taken at that same regatta with Carl Bernard, O.T. Havey, and the namesake of the Mary B, Mrs. Mary B. Havey, enjoying a ride on the boat.

TBT: 1952 Northwest Regatta

Another favorite vintage photo from the archives with Carl Bernard's handwriting carefully noting each trophy winner. The Northwest was sailed on Lake Monona that year, with the launch site being practically under the shadow of Wisconsin's state capitol building. Here are a couple of newspaper articles with more names and information from the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times. Times change and newspapers no longer provide the extensive coverage they once used to for this sport leaving it up to us to write the stories.

The Essence of Iceboat Racing Captured in 29 Minutes

This video was worth the six month wait and worth your time. Thank you, Rejean Lemay of Kingston, Ontario. He shares his thoughts about spending three days on the ice with us at the DN Worlds:
"The DN ice boaters are nomads chasing the elusive perfect ice and wind conditions for their craft. They will travel long distances at a moment’s notice to meet venues that are dictated by sometime ephemeral ice and weather conditions to practice and compete in their winter sports....Over the past months, I compiled and edited the material to produce this video which I trust will rekindle the vibes and spirit of the Kingston DN championship in those who participated and volunteered as well as to contributing to making the sport known to a larger audience. In passing I also wanted to highlight Kingston as an attractive and welcoming venue for such events.
As an amateur videographer with limited technical means, I certainly was not fully prepared for snapping pictures and taping videos in the whipping wind and bitter cold offered by the vast expense of frozen Lake Ontario. I certainly did not expect the long waits in between races that were taken in stride by the participants which were the prelude to quick bursts of racing activities that left me little time and opportunities to collect video footage of quality. Video tracking of specific often distanced and fast moving ice boats with extended camera zoom was problematic as my weighed tripods and I could not always hold still in the wind sweeping the large expense of frozen water. So, I apologize for some of the shaking in the video that could not be corrected in post-production.
My extremities got cold from standing in the open and my fingers painfully frozen from operating the cameras bare hand even for short periods. I believe my metabolism slowed down from exposure, which was a good thing considering the number of hours I spent quite a distance off shore. Nonetheless, I was warmed by the convivial atmosphere enveloping the on-ice event. My experience was probably akin to that experienced by the race officials and volunteers who were instrumental in making the Kingston regatta not only possible but also the success it was.
The Video was Produced in HD - For best viewing, select 1080pHD and Full Screen modes from your player’s settings. Put on your headphones and enjoy."

Tom Lothian

Former Skeeter Ice Boat Club treasurer Tom Lothian of Williams Bay, Wisconsin has died at the age of 86. Mr. Lothian was also a former commodore of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. He is survived by sons Tom and Jack and their children. There will be a visitation on Friday May 22nd at Toynton's in Walworth from 3-8pm. There will also be a short visitation on Saturday from 10-11 at the UCC church in Williams Bay followed by a memorial service. Here's a tribute to his uncle from John Lothian.

New Runner Tracks Posted

Runner Tracks, the DN class publication, is now posted.
Great story about the Worlds and lots of great photos.
Take a look.

The Song Remains the Same

"In my opinion, there is nothing on an iceboat more important than perfect runner alignment." Jane Pegel shares this 1964 Lakeland Boating magazine article about the designer of the Renegade, Elmer Millenbach. Read it here.

Too Weird Not To Share
What do you do when waiting for the wind? In Latvia, this is what they do!
Tip Of The Helmet: Jerry Simon R113

Harken Lunch Club

Directly lifted from the Harken Facebook page:
"A reunion for the ages was held at Harken headquarters on Friday! Joining Peter and Olaf for lunch and their first tour of the new plant were: (Left to right)

  • Buddy Melges, sailing legend.
  • Charlie Miller: Former head of North Sails Midwest.
  • Bill Mattison, Ice boating legend.
  • Bob Gilson of Gilson Medical - where Peter Harken was first inspired to use plastic ball bearings in blocks for his ice boat!

The day was surely filled with more than a few good stories!"

MacGyvered Mast

Green Lake Ice yacht club member Drew Zaratsky shared some video and photos from yesterday's Fond du Lac Ice Yacht Club picnic where the owners of Spindler demonstrated an interesting new method of stepping and raising their stern steerer mast.

Joys: Your Iceboat Headquarters

Mel Jones from the Carl Bernard Scrapbook

UPDATE 4-26:Andy Gratton writes, "Since this is Joys Brothers week, I thought I better send in a photo of the emblem, with the Viking ship on it, so everyone can see what you get with the $100 sail. This is on the mainsail for Wisconsin."
The date on the label is quite old for any Wisconsin business to have been established considering the state achieved statehood four years later in 1848. The business was established as a ship chandlery and sail maker by G.D. Norris of Boston. Capt. Jon Joys, who began working there in 1856, later took over the business and changed the name. The Viking ship on the label is a reference to Capt. Joys' place of birth, Norway.
Via Jane Pegel: "This past winter Chris Goes (son of Cuppy), mailed to Bob Pegel these pages from the Joy Brothers (Milwaukee) iceboat catalog, vintage 1940’s. Mel Jones was then the sailmaker at Joy Brothers. Most of the hardware shown is for Mead built Skeeters, though I think the shock front end was invented by Tom Jones, brother of Mel Jones. We used to refer to that as the “Jones front end”. Tom worked at Starline in Harvard, IL and lived in Fontana. Both Tom and Mel were members of the Skeeter Ice Boat Club. In the summer they raced a class A scow. Intresting to note the deluxe Skeeter sail was $100.00."
Download catalog here.

A DN Nederland Production in Conjunction with his Iphone:
Baikal 2015

What do you do when you flying back home from Lake Baikal?

Posted by DN Nederland on Monday, April 13, 2015

This is Ray Ruge

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

Photo via Michael Kroll Facebook

Around the World:
Never Ending Season

Mike Derusha, Andy Gratton, and Michael Kroll took advantage of the remaining ice on Little Bay de Noc in Gladstone, Michigan and gave people rides.

Scott Young, Kyle Metzloff, and Jim Nordhaus

Iceboaters Heating Up the Desert

Congratulations to the top finishers at the North American Blokart championship sailed this week at the mecca of land sailing, Ivanpah dry lake on the California/Nevada border. Hard fought first place (performance class) went to last year's champion, Scott Young. 4LIYC had a good showing with Kyle Metloff second, Jim Nordhaus third, and Geoff Sobering third. We hope to see Scott Young try this stuff on ice next season!

<Mike (r) Rigging his Renegade 188 | LIttle Bay de Noc, MI


Gretchen Dorian has posted some more amazing photos from the 2015 ISA and Renegade Championship. Look into the distance, past Mike Derusha's Renegade, to see a typical sight when iceboating on the Great Lakes, a freighter heading to Escanaba. See the photos here.

Shoto courtesy of

Class C Skeeters at the ISA

By Pat Heppert "Drifter" I-29
"What a great racing weekend in the Upper Peninsula! Congratulations to all who raced as well as all who judged, helped and scouted. It takes a lot of dedication from all of us to pull this off in the middle of March, and I feel blessed to be among friends." Continue reading.

ISA Video Day

Several stern steerer skippers, including Joe Terry, joined us on the ice in Gladstone (aka "Happy Rock"). Here's Joe's video.

The ISA Videos Keep Coming

This one is the A Skeeter finish from Friday's "bonus race". Thanks Minnesota B Skeeter sailor, Jim McDonagh, who we normally see in a DN and placed third in the B fleet.

Bob Pegel Memorial & Obituary

Robert Edward Pegel, 87, of Williams Bay, Wisconsin died March 5, 2015. Bob was born on May 9, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Robert Emil Pegel and Eva Louise Mohler. Bob became interested in water activities while spending summers at Boy Scout camps in Michigan which were managed by his father. He graduated from Volta Elementary School, Lane Tech High School (Class of 1945) and Wright Junior College in Chicago.

Bob was a member of Columbia Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Club. He raced on big boats on Lake Michigan and also raced Lehman dinghies, Penguins, Stars and in other classes. Bob was a partner in Kenneth A. Nelson Sailmakers in Chicago. As a sailmaker Bob and Ken obtained a patent for “square-work”, having a pre-made luff and foot rope inside of a tape. This was the continuation of a technique originated by Harry Nye.
Bob began coming to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to go iceboating and was introduced to Jane Wiswell. On June 14, 1955, Bob and Jane were married at the home of the bride’s parents (Dr. Clifford and Beatrice Wiswell) in Williams Bay. Their only child Susie was born Sept. 13, 1956 at Lakeland Hospital in Elkhorn. Bob and Jane lived in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago from 1955 until 1971 when they moved to Williams Bay. They opened a business, Sailing Specialists, which also became the new home of Nelson sails. Sailing Specialists became dealers for Laser, Johnson scows, Sunfish, Sonar, O’Day and Prindle and Hobie catamarans. Later Bob also built cold-molded scows using WEST system epoxy. These boats won many championships. Sailing Specialists was closed in 2009 when Bob and Jane decided to retire.
The Pegels were instrumental in the establishment of the Williams Bay Sailing Club which held Laser races on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. The Williams Bay Sailing Club hosted the 1972 Laser North Americans and 1984 U.S. Laser Nationals.
During his iceboating career, Bob raced an A Skeeter and won the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association championship and finished as high as 2nd in the International Skeeter Association championship. He was a commodore of the NIYA and a president of the ISA. He was a life member of the Skeeter Ice Boat Club and a founding member of the National Iceboat Authority. He later raced a C Skeeter (winning the ISA championship) and then a Renegade. Bob was a member and former commodore of the Renegade class and member of the DN class. He served as the head race committee person at DN championship regattas.
Bob joined the Lake Geneva Yacht Club in 1955 and was member #2 at the time of his death. He raced a C scow and an E scow with the sail number I-11. The Pegels won the Inland Lake Yachting Association E Invitational regatta, E Blue Chip and finished as high as 2nd in the E Inland and E Nationals regattas. At the Lake Geneva Yacht Club Bob served on the race committee, trophy committee and supervised the race committee boats the Flagship and Flagship II. Four times he was awarded the Dr. and Mrs. Will Lyon race committee trophy. In 2014 he received the Marie Kramp Award for Outstanding Service. In 2015 he was bestowed with the title of Race Officer Emeritus.
Bob served for six years as president of the Geneva Lake Sailing School. He was a member of the ILYA Bilge Pullers and received the ILYA race committee award. He also served as a member of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation appeals committee. At the national level he was a member of the US Sailing Board of Directors, was active in Midwest area activities, chairman of the O’Day committee (national singlehanded sailing championship), and a certified race management officer and judge. He served as a judge for many national and North American sailing championships. In 2007 he was recognized with the title of Judge Emeritus. On a civic level, Bob served for many years as the Harbor Commissioner of Williams Bay.
Bob is survived by wife Jane and daughter Susie. A memorial service will be at Toynton’s Funeral Home in Walworth, Wisconsin at 11 a.m. March 28. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Memorials can be made to Lane Tech Alumni Association, 2501 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60618. Arrangements are being handled by Toynton’s Funeral Home.

Via Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

Double the Fun

"Sailing and iceboating on Lake Erie, on Presque Isle Bay in front of the Erie Yacht Club at Erie, PA.
Photos by Caitlin Niemic." See it all here.

Photo courtesy

ISA Picture of the Day

Photographer Gretchen Dorian is busy today back home in Michigan looking through the hundreds of pictures she shot this weekend for more great shots like this one from the ISA regatta. Here's Ken Kreider throwing the checkers for Nite skipper Grant Frautschi on Friday.

In The UP News

Photographer Gretchen Dorian is busy today back home in Michigan looking through the hundreds of pictures she shot this weekend for more great shots like this one from the ISA regatta. Here's Ken Kreider throwing the checkers for Nite skipper Grant Frautschi on Friday.


Not On Facebook?

I've been posting iceboat regatta photos, videos, score sheets, and information to Facebook for a few years during my travels. It's always bothered me that many iceboat racing fans are excluded from seeing these reports because they choose not to participate in social media.
Facebook makes it too easy to share the on-the-ice experience from my phone because it's a matter of pushing one button, an irresistible feature when struggling to keep hands warm in 10F/-12C temperatures. At the end of a long, tiring day on the ice, posting to often ranks low on the priority list. Eating, a hot shower, and sleeping leave little time for the effort that the regatta updates deserve on
The goal of the auxiliary website to is to share in real time the excitement of iceboat regattas across all platforms- including an easily accessible and mobile-friendly website, Facebook, and Twitter. Everything posted to it will automatically post to Facebook and Twitter. Those of you who aren't connected to Facebook will be able to see these updates and not miss anything.
The 2015 ISA and Renegade Championship regatta will be the first time that I'll use this method of posting. I hope it works for everyone. If it doesn't, please let me know.
Check out the website here.


St. Petersburg Day (UPDATED)

"S-8 open class ice yacht, Saint-Petersburg, Russia" from March 7, 2015. Tip of the helmet: Andrey Ivolgin
UPDATE 3-18:
Some background of the S-8.
Stern steerer skipper Andy Gratton found this video last March of the 1968 S-8 championship sailed in Estonia.

S-8 skipper Andrey Ivolgin added some more information: "It's an open class S-8 (S stands for Svobodnyi - means "open" in Russian). S-8A with sails and S-8B with wing. Class rules requlates general dimensions and sail area - up to 8 sq meters. The history comes from 70s when there were up to 100 boats in USSR (to be confirmed yet), now we are actively rebuilding them as a good alternative to Monotype XV.... Now this is the only wing (8 sqm) repaired. We also plan to repair more, but now mostly focused on reparing iceboats with sail to make the class more popular. There were separate classes of wing iceboats for 12 sqm and 20 sqm, but now it's only part of history of USSR. We have no class website yet, but you can find us here (site, similar to Facebook, but mostly in Russian)." Andy Gratton took a look at the site and noticed, "No trip wires, 3 wheels to control. The top one is for steering, the bottom pulls the sheet in, and I think the middle lets the sheet out from the drum." UPDATE #2: Andrey writes, "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 + pedal." Join their Facebook group here.

Bob Pegel Memorial Service

A memorial service for Bob will be held at Toynton’s in Walworth, WI on March 28th. MAP
10 a.m. visitation, 11 a.m. service.
There is a very nice piece about Bob on the Lake Geneva Yacht Club website.

THIS will not be happening...

Off to a Warmer Climate

While North America is in the deep freeze and our local lakes covered with snow, the webmaster is heading somewhere warmer, Europe, for the DN European Championship where the high temperatures are in the 30sF.
NEIYA DNer Oliver Moore said it best last year: "We don’t know where. We don’t know when... Heck we don’t know much." IDNIYRA Commodore Joerg Bohn's latest update narrows the possibility to two locations, either Sweden or Estonia. I'll be working with DN Nederland trying something new this year, expanded internet coverage for the regatta.
If all goes as planned and internet access is not a problem, look for updates, including score sheets, photos, interviews, and video on the following sites:
Dutch Ice Sailing website,
DN Nederland Facebook page,
DN Nederland Twitter feed.
We also hope to have drone footage as well.
Geoff Sobering will be in charge of this website for the next week or so. Many thanks, Geoff.

Junior DN & Ice Opti Worlds Photos

Photos from the regatta taken by Ron Rosten. See them here.

Short Track Stern Steerer

Via Andry Gratton: "Here is an unusual photo. The World Ice and Snow Sailing Assoc (WISSA) championships just occurred in Fond du Lac on Lake Winnebago this past week. We had about 50 competitors from 11 countries attending. We had an 800' diameter rink plowed off for the short track slalom event, so I used the rink to give rides in 'Wisconsin' during the party held Friday evening. I sailed four hours straight giving short rides the entire time. People were lined up like a carnival ride. Nothing like sailing 50 miles on 800 feet of ice. Top speed was 54.4 mph on skis with a kite on Saturday by Bob Cook from Madison."

Regatta Updates With Bonus Stern Steerer Kid

We remain on hold until the Great Zamboni chooses to arrive. In the meantime, enjoy Stern Steerer Kid, a perennial favorite.

Getting ready for the Ice Optimist and DN Junior Worlds on Lake Rekyva- Photo by Andrius Repsys from the Siauliai City Yachtsmen Club Facebook page

It's a Kid's Worlds

The 2015 Junior Ice Optimist and DN World Championship will begin on Tuesday, February 17 on Lake Rekyva in Siauliai, Lithuania. North America and the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club will be represented by my nephew, Thor Rosten. He and his father, Ron, flew to Europe this afternoon. Ron will try to keep in touch with photos and reports from Lithuania. If you are on Facebook, follow the event here: Šiauli? miesto buriuotoj? klubas - Siauliai City Yachtsmen Club

Runner Tracks Magazine

While North American iceboating country suffers in the snow doldrums, here's the February issue of the DN Class magazine, Runner Tracks to keep your mind on sharpening those runners.

While We Wait: 1996 NIYA

Another couple of Northwest regatta pictures sent by Susie Pegel. Here are the DN champions from the 1996 Northwest sailed on Geneva Lake. Lou Lonnecke won the class that year and has won the title six times. Lou won the E Skeeter title in 1970. From left, Todd Gamble, Jan Gougeon (two time DN NIYA champion), John Dennis (eight time DN NIYA champion), Lou Lonnecke, and Jane Pegel (eleven time DN NIYA champion).

Ron Sherry and Jane Pegel from the 1985 "Northwest That Wasn't". The regatta was cancelled on Saturday after a big rain on Friday night caused too many holes in the ice

Looking Back: The Northwest

UPDATE: Steve Schalk provides some clarification on these photos. "The photo of Bill and Spark are probably from the Northwest that did not get completed in 1985. It was at Geneva. It rained like crazy on I think Friday night and put holes in the ice. The wet dark looking ice and the age of the people look about right for that. The photos of Roger, Mike, and Bob are from much later. I would guess Green lake in 1995.... Roger won the Renegade NIYA at Green Lake that year."
Received a nice surprise in the mail yesterday from Susie Pegel, an envelope filled with pictures. Thank you, Susie! Above is Jack Ripp, Mike Derusha, and Roger Derusha from a Northwest.

Bob Pegel & Roger Derusha

Bill Mattison & Spark Lundberg

Skeeter Catch Up

Another shot from Super Cub photographer Jeff Russell of John Dennis sailing his Skeeter on Lake Mendota last weekend.

Photo from General Jeff Russell of the 4LIYC Air Force

Let's Catch Up

Back from Kingston, Ontario where a successful DN Gold Cup championship was sailed last week. Congratulations to Karol Jablonski P36 for winning his 9th championship.
In case you hadn't heard, the North Americans fell prey to snow. The Buy & Sell Page is updated. Stand by for more photos from last weekend's successfull Wisconsin Stern Steerers championship regatta that was sailed on Lake Mendota and more about the DN Worlds. Many thanks to Geoff Sobering for holding down the fort in my absence.

WSSA Final Results

See them here.

Scenes from the RC

C Here's a compilation of the Nite and DN race starts from the regattas on Green Lake this past weekend with video and photos from George Gerhardt.
Watch here on Youtube.

George Gerhardt Green Lake Photo Gallery

Renegader George Gerhardt found time in between race flagging and picking up the line in the safety zone to take some photos of this weekend's regatta.
See the photo gallery here.

Makin' Wake

Joe Terry, Andy Gratton, and Mike Kroll powering through the snow drifts as only stern steerers can do on Lake Petenwell in central Wisconsin on January 4.
Watch the video here.

"The Gods do not subtract from man's alloted time the hours spent sailing." Greg McCormick R210

Heaven on Earth

Video by Geoff Sobering racing his DN on Lake Kegonsa on New Year's Day. Today is the last day of snow-free ice on Kegonsa because a weather system is coming through on Saturday. Models are still fuzzy as to how much snow will fall upon that beautiful sheet. Best case scenario is less than 2". Here's hoping that the big winds arriving after the snow will scour the lake clean again. It's been an amazing, once in lifetime four weeks of ice on Lake Kegonsa.

DN next to Alexander Column. The monument was erected in 1834 as a tribute to Russian victory in the war with Napoleon's France

Winter Palaces

A group of Russian sailors put some wheels on a DN yesterday and rolled it to historic Palace Square of St. Petersburg. From the Facebook page of Yacht Charters of St. Petersburg.

FDR sailing Hawk (before he became president.)

Iceboating by Order of the President

Brian Reid of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club has a fascinating write up on the opening of the iceboat exhibit at the FDR library in Hyde Park. One of the stories shared was when President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened to keep the Coast Guard ice breakers out of the Hudson River.
"If we have the Coast Guard keep the Hudson open in the wintertime, there wouldn't be any ice-boating here in Hyde Park, would there? No, the federal government will not keep the shipping channel open during the wintertime," FDR said. "The reason is strictly off-the-record." From Cross, Robert. Sailor in the Whitehouse: The Seafaring Life of FDR

George Gerhardt Wins IRIYA Championship

Short report and scores on the Renegade page.

December Runner Tracks

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


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

And Now For Something Completely Different

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

First Rule of Holes

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


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

The Card

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


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

This Is Us

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

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

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

1951: Eastern Ice Yachting Association's Ray Ruge, second from left with Ed Rollberg of the Fox Lake IYC in Illinois, right. Rollberg was the first to win the pennant sailing a Skeeter.

The Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America

First sailed in 1881 on the Hudson River, the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America remains one of the most prestigious trophies the history of American ice yachting. The IYCP reflects the development of American ice yachting. With its roots in the classic Hudson River Stern Steerer era, it has evolved in to a Skeeter class trophy. The Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club currently holds the pennant when Bill Dale and Peter Harken won it in 1991. The PIYC is accepting your club's challenge. Learn more about the IYCP and how to challenge on the new Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America website. Many thanks to Brian Reid of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club for sharing his historic photos.

Watch This-Now!

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

Christmas in November

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


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

Know Your Rights

Test your knowledge of the sailing rules with the interactive test from DN Europe. The test contains a pool of 16 questions with drawings. Three of the questions are randomly displayed and there are 2 answer options. Your results are immediatly displayed after the test on a scoreboard. All questions and the terms used in the test are in accordance with the ones used in the original NIA Rules. Take the test here. Want to study the rules first? Read the nine racing rules of the National Iceboat Authority on page ten of the NIA Constitution here. See the 4LIYC racing rules graphic here.

A Great Opportunity

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