Old Historic Site

2016-2017 Season:

  • DN Regattas
  • Northwest Regatta
  • International Skeeter Association and Renegade Championship


Via Don Sanford: On Wednesday evening, June 7, Madison iceboater Bill Mattison will be inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club at its annual awards event to be held at Monona Terrace in Madison.
During his 72-year career as an iceboater, Bill has won countless local, national and international championships in what he describes as the most fickle of sports. You’ll also find Bill’s name engraved on Mendota Yacht Club’s trophies for championships won in class C, E and A Scows. It’s safe to say that no one in the history of MYC has won more trophies in more classes than Bill Mattison.

Bill’s skills as a builder earned him a place as head of the shore crew on three America’s Cup challenges: Heart of America in 1986, America3 in 1992 and Mighty Mary in 1995.
Profiled in Madison Magazine, Isthmus, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times and on Wisconsin Public Television, Bill is a true sportsman who has gone out of his way to advance the sports of iceboating and sailing, helping others both on and off the racecourse. Whether it was for help splicing a broken mast, repairing a boat, building a fast (aren’t they all?) iceboat or making a new shroud, for more than a half-century Madison iceboaters and summer sailors turned to Bill for help and advice. Even though he’s retired from iceboating, sailors still seek him out for his knowledge on everything iceboat. Perhaps that’s why he was recognized as one of the “Three Kings of Iceboating” at Chicago’s Strictly Sail in 2009.
Bill joins Carl Bernard and Peter Barrett as the third sailor in the 54-year history of the Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club to be inducted.
Tickets for the Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club dinner and induction ceremony on June 7 (5:30 pm social; 7 pm dinner) at Monona Terrace are $50. To reserve your seat, please call Peg Mueller at 608-238-5907. Because we are expecting iceboaters and summer sailors from near and far to show up, call for your tickets right away. Be sure to tell Peg that you want to be seated at the Mattison guest tables. With so many sailors in town, there’s bound to be an after-party, too.

Carl Bernard accepts congratulations from Mary B at a regatta(Photo added to certificate by Deb)

MARY B Recognized by the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation

In the grand setting of the reading room of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the MARY B group was awarded for their efforts to return, restore, and maintain Madison's most winning stern steerer. Special guest at the event was Marianne Hobbins, who was there to honor the iceboat that her father, OT Havey, dreamed about, commissioned Frank Teztlaff to build, and named after her mother, Mary Bernice Havey. Don Sanford accepted the award on behalf of the group with Bill Bauer, Peter Fauerbach, Jerry Simon, and Steve Holztman there as well. Kudos to the Madison Trust for Historical Preservation for having the vision to recognize that a community's stories are at the heart of historic preservation. This special award along with Bill Mattison's upcoming induction into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame, reminds Madisonians that ice sailing has always been an important part of what makes this area a special place.

  • Excellent chicken and roast beef dinner by the Springers staff! Thanks Paul McMillan and Peter Fauerbach for organizing the banquet.

  • Paul Krueger's A-Class Skeeter Ramblin' trophy by Harry Whitehorse awaits awarding.

  • Tim McCormick adds to his trophy empire.

  • Tim McCormick.

  • Skeeter Champion and Walter Haspell Memorial winner Ken Whitehorse; Skeeter Second Place Tom Hyslop; DN Tune-Up and Holiday Champ Daniel Hearn, tied with Peter Orlebeke for the Holiday series; Renegade Champ Tim McCormick; Oetking Boat of the Year winner Donny Anderson sailing Anderson/Gary Sternberg renegade.

  • Donny Anderson accepts the Oetking Boat of the Year Award from Jori Lenon.

  • Scott Goetz is the 2017 winner of the 4LIYC's James Payton Sportsmanship and Service Award.

  • The trophy chair takes a break.
2017 4LIYC Banquet Photos

The club had another successful banquet last April at Springer's to close out the season. Thanks to Jori Lenon for the photos and captions!

Eddie Klemets at the 2017 DN North American Championship on Green Bay, WI
Photo: Peter Johanson

DN Sailor Selected for Sweden's America's Cup Youth Racing Team

Sweden's Eddie Klemets has become the first ice sailor to make inroads in the America's Cup program. He has been selected for the Artemis Youth Racing Team. Eddie's most recent DN titles include winning the 2017 DN Junior Worlds and European championship. America's Cup Youth Racing's mission is "to provide an unprecedented career path by identifying the world’s top young sailors and helping to prepare them for the challenge of America’s Cup racing." Racing begins in June. Learn more on the America's Cup Youth Sailing website.

4LIYC Ice Optimist sailor, Thor Rosten, and Eddie Klemets at the 2017 DN & Ice Optimist Worlds in Poland.

May Runner Tracks Newsletter Posted

The DN Class newsletter's big end of season issue now online. Read all about it here.

Bill Mattison's Circus

Via Barb & Don Sanford:
"Hurry, Hurry, Hurry... Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages. The Mattison Brothers Circus just rolled into Madison.
Sailors and iceboaters probably know Bill Mattison as the designer, builder and champion skipper of some of the fastest iceboats on the planet. But there’s another side to this legendary sailor—the Circus. For more than 7 decades, Bill has been the ringmaster, impresario and builder of the Mattison Brothers Circus (MBC). Built on a scale of ½” to the foot, the rail cars, wagons and animals of Bill’s miniature circus not only line the walls of his basement workshop but spill out into display cases around the house.
A collection of Bill’s model circus wagons is currently on display at Madison Public Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St. (near 2nd floor reference desk) throughout the month of May.
On Monday night, May 22 at 7 pm, Bill will have a conversation about his model circus and his adventures running away with and working for the Barnum & Bailey Circus with author/historian Don Sanford in the 3rd floor Community Room (#301). The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (WASAL) and Madison Public Library.
You may read Barb's story about Bill’s circus in the current issue of the Academy’s magazine, Wisconsin People & Ideas.
Please share the posting with your friends so that we have a good turnout for Bill.
Coincidentally, May marks the final performances of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Hope to see you on May 22."

Photo: Gretchen Dorian

MARY B Wins Again!

The classic stern steerer, MARY B, and the folks working hard to restore her, have received a 2017 Preservation Award in the catagory of Preservation from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation.
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017
​ Location: Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State Street.
Time: Hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and social hour in the WHS lobby from 5:30-6:50 p.m. Awards ceremony begins in the WHS reading room at 7:00 p.m.
More information

The Fat Lady Sings

The Fat Lady belts us out of another ice sailing. All of the major regattas were sailed except for the Northwest which was the eighth year the NIYA wasn't sailed since it began in 1913.

In other miscellaneous news having to do with ice and boats, massive icebergs are visiting Newfoundland's Southern Shore.And finally, enjoy this sand yacht's beautiful design below.

Pit Walk

Revisit last season's DN Worlds with Pete Truesdell as he walks around the pits on Lake Kegonsa in front of Springers.

Welcome to

If you've made your way here because your interested was piqued by the international coverage of the Baikal ice sailing regatta, here's some information to get you started in iceboating. Learn about how to get involved, about the different classes of boats on the iceboating FAQ page. Buy a used boat or contact a vendor who can build you a boat on the Buy & Sell page. Find a club in your area from the list of club's on the right sidebar (on mobile, scroll to the bottom) or contact us for more information.

Photo: Evgeny Ryazhev
If you'd like to see some more photos from the Baikal regatta, go here to see professional photographer Evgeny Ryazhev's excellent work.

Iceboat Winnebago

From Mats Löfberg's Facebook page, a family iceboat camper in Finland with a cabin for 2. This homemade iceboat has a cabin for 2 persons and is able to "cross open water cracks."

In The News: Chris Berger on Baikal

Here's a very short vido screen grab, via David Salk's Facebook feed, of Chicago's Chris Berger US5166 being interviewed after winning the Baikal Cup on Friday, March 24, 2017. Will try to post results when they posted online.

Canadian Championship Update

Via Mike Madge KC5449: "Champagne sailing, sun, wind, nice ice, and close fast racing. The wind was a pretty steady 10-12 knots all day out of the east and slowly clocked southeast. The racing was fast as the ice stayed hard and the top 6 boats were finishing within a minute of each other. Mark Christensen US4824 and Mike Bloom US5432 were tied going into the final race. Mark made a few adjustments throughout the day and along with some great starts and smart sailing, that gave him the edge." Continue reading over on DN North America and see the results.

Photo: Dmitry Sharomov

Baikal Sailing Week Update

Results from the second regatta, the Russia Cup.
Via Yury Astashev's Facebook page.
Gold Fleet
Silver Fleet.
Ice Optimist

Photo: Leon Lebeau
Congratulations to Mike Hamrek for his Ice Optimist regatta win. Mike's father, Peter, won the Russian Cup. A great day for father and son and have a 4LIYC connection. Mike and Peter were guests of Daniel Hearn's this fall during the Western Challenge. He also spent a lot of time playing hockey with fellow Ice Optimist sailor Thor Rosten during his visit.

DNs on Lake Baikal - Photo Evgeny Ryazhev

Wide World of Ice

Baikal Ice Sailing Week consists of separate regattas, the Asia Cup, the Russian Cup, and the Baikal Cup.
Here are pictures of the preliminary scoring sheets, via Scorer Natali Burdukovskaya,for the Russian Cup after 7 races.
Gold Fleet
Silver Fleet
The first regatta, the Asia Cup, was sailed on Sunday. Click here for translated Asia Cup results.

Although the Midwest has been plagued by an unusually early ice-out, the ice sailing season is still going full force around the world. International ice sailors are on Lake Baikal in Siberia this week. Four Americans are competing; Chris Berger, Leon Leabeau, James "T" Thieler, and Eben Whitcomb. Chris and T placed second a third respectively in the Gold fleet Asia Cup which was sailed on Sunday while Eben placed third in Silver. Link to Gold results.

Eben Whitcomb represents the US at the opening ceremonies on Lake Baikal. Photo lifted from the NEIYA, see more over there from T

Nova Scotia - Photo Dave Collins
5,589 or so miles from Lake Baikal, Canadian DNer Warren Nethercote posted photos to Facebook from Sherbrooke Lake in Nova Scotia where "about a dozen different sailors turned out over Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

Iceboating takes a bit of effort sometimes.
And closer to the Midwest, Mike Madge continues his epic season of sailing on Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

March 2017 Runner Tracks

Runner Tracks, the newsletter of the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association, has been published. The 4LIYC's Dave Elsmo has a must read article about strategies to attract younger people to participate in DN sailing. The DN class is where many of our future Skeeter, Renegade, and Nite sailors will come from - just look at the recent growth of the A Skeeter fleet. Read it here.

Nat Nats Race 1

More video from last weekend's highly successful Nite Nationals, GoPro video from Brian Nies.

110 Seconds of Nite

Take less than two minutes out of your day to watch this video from Rick Elrod of last weekend's Nite Nationals on Little Bay de Noc in Gladstone, Michigan. What a great combination of drone and GoPro footage. View the still shots here.

Skeeter Selfie Stick

New Jersey Skeeter sailor Dan Clapp checks in tonight with a report from weekend sailing on Damariscotta Lake in Maine. He was joined by Tom Nichols, Bill Bucholz, Jim Gervoline, Tony Bosco, Dave Hoder, George Neyssen and about 45 others for a great day on the ice.
In the meantime, here's a quick video from Dan. How did he do this? Dan texted, "Holding my iPhone with my bare hand until I couldn't feel anything anymore. Plus, I was getting pummeled with ice chips. I thought my hand would've been bleeding, but no. iPhone takes great photos/video." And yes, that's his new plank on the boat which is " the ONLY reason I drove 8 hours to be the only "A" Skeeter guy on the lake. Needed to try it before ISA next year. Conditions were perfect for testing: 15-25mph winds."


"Weed Whacking on the Wisconsin" Video via Michael Kroll's Facebook page.

Not Done Yet

Drone footage from Little Bay de Noc at Gladstone, Michigan shot on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Tip of the Helmet: Mike Peters.


What a shot of Lake Mendota from Christopher Manzeck.

Sailing Safe: What To Do When Visiblity is Limited

Later Saturday afternoon at the ISA & Renegade championship in Battle Lake, MN, fog and snow descended upon the race course and limited visibility. The wind also shut down and several competitors were caught out on the lake pushing their boats to the launch which was a long 4.17 miles from the leeward mark with a half mile visibilty. As someone who spends time on unfamiliar ice around the world, knowing where the launch is an obsession of mine. After picking up the marks, the Race Committee vehicle was prepared to safely find the way to the launch in any condition thanks to planning ahead. All competitors were located and safely towed in thanks to the efforts of Steve Schalk, John Hayashi, Ken Kreider, and Mike Derusha. I wrote a short article about strategies to deal with planning for limited visibility on the ice. Read it on the Sailing Safe page.

ISA & Renegade Championship Day 3: Snow Falling On Skeeters

What was forecasted to be a dusting turned into 3" of fluffy white snow here in Battle Lake and the race committee has called the regatta complete. Awards ceremony will be held at the launch.
Standings posted on the ISA page. More later!

Picture via Jorden Glaser's FB page. "Sail and boom in cockpit and mast lashed to springboard and plank for tow back to pits."

ISA & Renegade Championship: Day 2

Standings posted on the ISA page.
Good day of racing until visibility was limited by snow, rain, and fog.
Racing beings at 9:30AM today on the west end of Battle Lake. Local residents have been very welcoming to the ice sailors. The best place to watch will be from the Shoreline or surrounding area. The goal is to have 5 rotations in per fleet and the A Skeeters start first. Two A Class Skeeters have had to drop out. Paul Krueger's boat suffered some damage while it was on the trailer as he drove on the launch Jordon Glaser's Skeeter had a front runner blow off. The building wind added to the excitement of taking the mast down so that the boat could be safely hauled back into shore.

Pat Heppert and Bill Buchholz

ISA & Renegade Championship: Day 1

As predicted, sustained 20 mph winds arrived and the first day of racing was postponed until tomorrow. Nite sailor, John Hayashi, put it best with this photo: "What a great day to fix the thingamabobber or the merkel jam."

Off to the annual meetings of the ISA and Renegade Association. Tomorrow's wind forecast of 8-10mph out of the southwest will make it a busy day with lots of racing.
AM UPDATE: We had a very easy drive to the regatta site (except for close to the lake when I tried a few shortcuts which resulted in really getting to know the dirt roads around Battle Lake). It was surprising to see the east coast contingent, Mark Hancik, Keith Kennedy, and Bill Bucholz, had won the race to Battle Lake; they were already set up and sailing! Longest distance traveled award goes to Bill Bucholz of Maine and it's a pleasure to finally get to meet him after all these years of email correspondence. Bill drove seven hours to New Jersey to catch the 24 hour a ride out here with Mark and Keith.
The town is very welcoming and the group is already regulars at the Shoreline, the combination bar, cafe, restaurant, and bowling alley next to the hotel. The wind is forecasted to be "blowing dogs off the chain" today so there's a chance of postponement. But, this is iceboating, and anything can happen! Will head down to the launch site soon for registration. Mary Jane Schalk is handling the shore office duties this weekend so she will have results to me very quickly. I'm most likely going to be on an ATV which means any photos or video during the day will be posted on my Facebook page.


Sailing Montana is on most every iceboater's itch list but they've so far had a quiet winter. Via Pat Dillon: "It's been a slow sailing winter for the Montana crew. However, we had a great couple of days on Meadow Lake near Ennis this weekend."

Ice Opti World Champion Has Talent

Via Ron Rosten: "Georg Paomees was already having himself a pretty good year. In January he made an appearance on national TV in his native Estonia, performing on the Estonian version of America's Got Talent. In February he won the Ice Optimist World Championship and the European Ice Optimist Championships in Znin, Poland. Congratulations Georg, most people can only dream of having the year you've had." Watch Georg's singing performance here.

The mighty DEUCE on Lake Mendota. Photo: Jeff Russell

Picture of the Week

Cold Play to Paradise

UPDATE: Ken asked me to relay his sincere thanks to all who attended the party and those who couldn't attend but sent their well wishes.
In case you didn't know, 4LIYC Commodore Ken Norton has actually gone and done what he's always said he was going to do; retired, sold his house, and bought a sail boat. He'll be leaving very soon for the warmer waters of Florida and the south east. He's been a tremendous Commodore these past three years. I personally can't thank him enough for the amount of work he put in for all the regattas this club has helped to host including the 2016 Northwest, 2016 DN North Americans, and 2017 DN Worlds. We all hope to see him at future regattas.

Thor Rosten, left, and Eddie Klemets, DN Junior World & European Champion

Junior Worlds

4LIYC Ice Optimist sailor, Thor Rosten, is on his way back from Poland today after competing in the World and European Championship. Thor's father, Ron, reports that they had a great time sailing and having fun with kids from all over Europe and Russia. Congratulations to Sweden's Eddie Klemets for his DN Junior World and European championship wins. Eddie was recently in Madison for the DN Worlds. He attended one of our 4LIYC meetings along with fellow Swedish DN sailor, Tomas Lindgren. Eddie is also part of the Artemis America's Cup Youth Development team and a name to watch in the ranks of professional sailing.
Prize Giving Gallery
World Championship Results
European Championship Results

World Sailing Show March trailer

Mark your calendars for this one. The upcoming World Sailing Show which will go live on Youtube on February 27. It will feature the fastest sailing on the planet, iceboating, and some slower boats, the AC race boats. Click here to watch the trailer.

Sailing Anarchy Podcast: Too Fast to Float

DN North American Champion, Ron Sherry, sits down with Sailing Anarchy's Clean and talks iceboating. "Then we sat down with a guy who sees 50 knots as the speed for the kids boat; it’s multiple iceboat world champion Ron Sherry, and on an icy day in Detroit, he talks with Mr. Clean for an hour about Obsessive Runner Disorder, raising your kids while racing, crazy rigs, and sailing in Siberia." Click here to listen.

Photo: Michael Kroll

Picture of the Week: Andy's Delight

Michael Kroll shares this picture of Andy Gratton's WISCONSIN in all her glory at sunset on Lake Winnebago.

Productivity Goals Met on Mendota

These 4LIYC members accomplished their goals today of scrub racing on the west end of Lake Mendota followed by a debriefing at the famous Rathskeller at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. These sailors took advantage of what could be the last day of sailing around here for a while because the Madison area is in for a spell of warm weather that will potentially weaken the shorelines and ice. Let's hope for winter's return in March.

"Bill Mattison's Miniature Circus"

Iceboaters are an ingenious lot and Bill Mattison is one of the best examples of someone who continues to express his creativity. Don Sanford is kind enough to share the following magazine article about Bill: "Most of us iceboaters know about Bill Mattison and his accomplishments on both hard and soft water. Here’s a story about our friend Bill and another of his passions, the Mattison Brothers Circus. It's featured in the winter issue of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letter’s magazine, Wisconsin People and ideas. Spoiler alert: my multi-talented wife, Barb, is the author and she even included one of my photos!"
Read it by clicking here.

4LIYC Annual Business Meeting Tonight: Racing Rules Proposals

UPDATE 2-18: All proposals passed. Stay tuned for updated Racing Rules
There were three proposals submitted at the 4LIYC meeting of January 18, 2017. They will be discussed and voted upon at tonight's meeting (Wednesday Feb 15). Click here to download them in pdf.

Way Back Weds: "An Ugly Assemblage"

47 years ago today, the Chicago Tribune published one of the most imaginative iceboating articles ever written, a lavishly illustrated feature by Tom Hall about the MARY B. He begins, " THE MARY B is not a feminine thing. It is named for a woman, but beyond that it pretends to no gender. It is only a thing. A machine. A rudimentary, awesome, preposterous machine." Thankfully, the Chicago Tribune shares its archives and you can see the whole story by clicking here.

Photo: Robert Hajduk

DN Junior & Ice Optimist Championship Album: Day 1

Nice to see a professional photographer on site at the DN & Ice Optimist Worlds. From - Robert Hajduk Sailing & SeaScape Photography's album: DN Junior and Ice-Optimist World and European Championships 2017. Click here to see pictures.

Ice Optimist & DN Junior Worlds

Video from today's opening ceremony in Znin, Poland. The ice looks hard and the breeze is fresh which is making for a great day of racing.

Buddy Melges & Thor Rosten talk strategy on Lake Kegonsa at the Grand Slam

Ice Optimist & DN Junior World Championship

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Ice Optimist skipper, Thor Rosten, and his father, Ron, arrived in Poland early Saturday for the 2017 Ice Optimist World and DN Junior World Championships. The regatta has been called on for Duże Żninskie Lake in Żnin, Poland which is also the site of Polish Championships that are being sailed this weekend. Competition for the juniors begins tomorrow, Monday February 13. If you are on Facebook, the local yacht club is posting updates. Click here to see their Facebook page.

Anja Feidler: Photo: Peter Johanson

Peter Johanson Worlds/NA Photo Gallery

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your photos. Please feel to download them here.
During the week of the Worlds and North Americans, Peter Johanson unintentionally completed the famous circle tour, driving totally around Lake Michigan. From his Facebook page dated January 27, 2017: "US 5633 has re-engaged. Less that 48 hours ago I quit the DN Worlds/NAs, turned my back on my circus friends, and headed home. Arrived safely, kissed and hugged wife, kids, dog. Had coffee with Mary , scouted local ice, had dinner with kids. Come to find out I missed nothing because the fleet could not find ice until someone sailed Green Bay. Regatta called ON! ....hmm yeah I can make it, so I get my head on straight -change my mind and hop back in the car. I saw Mackinac bridge lit up with colored lights and the weirdest snow storm I have ever seen! I literally felt like my car was going backwards. I see Green Bay lit up by local lights and arrive at the regatta HQ safely. I look at my clock and calculate that this adventure took me 33 hours to the minute........ "

Photo: Peter Johanson

2017 DN World Championship Report & Results

Sail 1Design
By Dave Elsmo
"On January 20th, 108 sailors from eleven different countries still had no idea where in the Western United states they would race the 2017 DN World Championship, set to begin in two days.
n unseasonably warm weather pattern overtook the Midwest and turned most of the frozen lakes in the region to mush a week before the event was set to begin. Most iceboaters pray for a late January rain, we call it the Great Zamboni, but nobody likes to see three days of rain and seven days of temperatures in the mid-forties before a big event. Warm rainwater creates huge holes in the ice and turns the surface into a slushy, wet mess. It’s the equivalent of racing F1 cars on sandy track littered with potholes big enough to pull off tires. DNs thrive in a frictionless environment, but when pushing through soft ice, things get real slow, real quick." Continue reading.

DN Worlds: The Fleet Returns to Port

Catching up on some posting this morning. Michaela Vatcheva set up a camera at Springer's at the end of the day and captured the return of the fleet after the first day of racing on Lake Kegonsa January 23.

Photo: Gretchen Dorian

Gretchen Dorian Worlds Photo Gallery

Photographer Gretchen Dorian has been busy editing and uploading photos from the Worlds. They are all available for purchase. See them here.

DN North American podium finishers

DN North Americans: We Did It

Congratulations to Ron Sherry for winning his 12th DN North American championship and to his son, Griffin, for winning the Silver fleet. It feels like we've been hunting ice, moving around, and racing for a month - though in truth it's only been a week (I think.) Will have more photos and video from George Gerhardt posted soon. Also, watch for Northwest and ISA regatta updates later tonight. DN website for NA results.

Ron Sherry spent a lot of time in the one block today

DN Worlds: Day 5 PM Update

Posting from an old familiar regatta hotel, the Best Western in Marinette, MI. Long day on the ice. 10 races, two fleets. Ron Sherry won a few and is likely in first, even after a hound failure in the first race. On my way to help Loretta tabulate. ...follow the drama on the DN website for the lastest updates.

Gretchen Dorian Photo

DN Worlds: Day 4 AM Update

The adventure continues. A few inches of heavy wet snow has put us on hold while scouts are looking for ice to hold the North American championship. Congratulations to Karol Jablonski for his 11th Gold Cup Dn title. The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club own Tim Sugar won the Silver fleet! Stand by to stand by...follow the drama on the DN website for the lastest updates. The DN race committee and governing board is doing everything they can to find ice.

the excitement that is iceboating

DN Worlds: Day 3 AM Update

On my way to the lake soon but time for a quick update on yesterday. The wind never made an appearance on Wednesday and it was one of those days when you catch up on your rest and catch up with your friends from around the world.
There is a couple of inches of wet, saturated snow on the ground this morning. We shall see what it has done to the lake. Off to Springer's! You can see the provisional results on the DN website. Facebook continues to be the place for updates from sailors all over the world. Friend me there if you want to see videos of the starts and score sheets. Today I will try to video some leeward mark roundings - if we are sailing.

Polish DNers, Karol Jablonski & Michal Burczynski confer before the start of a race.

DN Worlds: Day 2 AM Update

On my way to the lake soon but time for a quick update on yesterday. We ran a bunch of races and used the whole day. You can see the provisional results from yesterday on the DN website. Facebook continues to be the place for updates from sailors all over the world. Friend me there if you want to see videos of the starts and score sheets. Today I will try to video some leeward mark roundings.

DN Worlds Opening Ceremony

You missed the party last night at the opening of the DN Gold Cup championship. Here's a quick clip of the Polish team and their robust inrerpretation of the Polish national anthem. I will be posting updates to FAcebook all day. I wish could use the Weebly platform but it's too difficult when I'm on the ice and not scoring from a car. Facebook makes things too easy. So if you want to follow along, you will have to friend me on Facebook.
A very, very, bit thank you to Daniel Hearn who generously offered the use of his office facility for the ceremony.

Kegonsa for the Worlds

DN Worlds Called ON for Kegonsa

The first lake in the Madison area to freeze was Lake Kegonsa and it never received very much snow. It has held up surprisingly well during these past few days of warmer than average temperatures and rain. Ice scouts have been checking it thoroughly for the last several days. After days of heroic ice scouting efforts by iceboaters from every region in North America, Lake Kegonsa was chosen as the primary site of the DN Worlds and North American championships this morning. The first race begins at 10 AM Monday. The best spot to watch is Springer's on Lake Kegonsa. All information is posted on the DN North American website.

Boat Walk

..There'll Be Days Like This..

All the ingredients were ready, a sheet of solid ice and a sunny day, but the weather forecasters were right today and not enough breeze filled in for racing. Fritz and Meta Simon had their Ice Optimists out for some training in anticipation of next weekend's Ice Optimist North American regatta. Commodore Ken Norton fired up the grill and served brats for lunch.

However, it was a perfect day for new Skeeter sailor, Dave Elsmo, to set up his front seater for the first time and have the benefit of Paul Krueger and Ken Whitehorse share Skeeter tuning tips. About 1pm 3 Skeeters and 3 Renegades caught some wind and were able to sail around.
Rain in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday will change the surfaces of our lakes. The great Zamboni is firing up.

"A New Beginning"

You may have noticed a young woman filming while we were racing on Lake Kegonsa Saturday. That was Michaela Vatcheva and that day, she took another one of the first steps in a goal of hers, to create a documentary about Jane Pegel. The video embedded here above was posted on her Facebook page and along with it she wrote the following:
"Who's ready for a new beginning? This way, please!
I shot this video on the last day of 2016 and edited it in the wee hours of last night to share a little glimpse into the beautiful and harsh world of ice boating.
It is also a first peek into my passion project: I endeavor to make my first short film this year. It tells the story of legendary ice boat racer Jane Pegel, a strong woman, who dominated the ice and wind for 65 of her 83 years. Watch this space for updates on this journey. It's already taught me so much!
Thanks, Deb Whitehorse, David Elsmo, Don Sanford and everyone else who is supporting my project and has welcomed me into this amazing community. Here we go!"

Geoff's Drone

Our Vice Commodore Geoff Sobering finally aquired a drone. (What took you so long? - ed.) Here is his first drone video from Sunday's sailing on Lake Kegonsa.

Hold on tightly and take a ride on Steve Orlebeke's A Skeeter plank. Watch this video! Now!

Grand Slam Day 2: PM Update

UPDATE January 3: The A Skeeter scores were in error and have been corrected.
One of our 4LIYC traditions is to hold a ten lap race on New Years Day known as "The Bloody Mary". 4 A Skeeters and one Renegade sailed by TIYC's Glen Betzoldt pushed off to race in very light winds. The first five laps were agonizing to watch as the lack of wind had the skippers pushing their boats. Glen pushed his Renegade back in the pits but his effort deserves mention. Good things come to those who wait, and around the 5th lap, the breeze filled and stayed in for the rest of the day. Ken Whitehorse won this year's Bloody Mary race.
Results: Please let us know if there are any corrections that need to be made. Thanks to Mary Jane Schalk for staffing the shore office on this one. And one more thing, and be sure to watch the video from the photo above. Click here.

Drone shot by Geoff Sobering

Double Grand Slam Double

Take note of Renegade 507 in this picture and DN 5352. They are owned and sailed by Daniel Hearn. I just realized what an amazing feat he accomplished in iceboat racing. He sailed both his Renegade and DN this weekend. Not only that, he placed SECOND in BOTH classes!

New Year's Eve iceboating. America's Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Buddy Melges stopped by Lake Kegonsa and gave Thor Rosten some invaluable Ice Optimist coaching.

Grand Slam Day 1: PM Update

We had a great day of racing with five fleets. DNs, Renegades, Nites, and B Skeeters had four races while the A Skeeters had 3 races. Winds were gusty during the first few races but settled in. Thanks to everyone who came and raced with us today and those who came to watch.

Charlie Miller's Slides

Thank you Jerry Simon for editing and sharing Charlie's slides with us. Thank you Carole Miller for giving them to Jerry. Charlie started racing stern steerers on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh when he was 14. He was lucky enough to make a career out of his love for sailing. He ran the Pewaukee North Sails loft and remained involved in iceboating throughout his life. Thank you, Charlie Miller. Click here to view this as a slide show.

Bill Mattison Elected to 2017 Madison Sports Hall of Fame

While leaving last night's slide show, Madison Sports Hall of Fame (MSHOF) board member, Peter Williams, informed me that Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member, Bill Mattison, has been elected to the Madison Sports Hall of Fame. Bill's hardwater and softwater friends will want to attend his induction ceremony on June 7, 2017 at Monona Terrace Convention Center. By joining the MSHOF, your dues include two tickets to the Hall of Fame Club Induction Banquet. See their website here and join. Don Sanford deserves much credit for spearheading this effort to have Bill's accomplishments recognized by the Madison community. Peter said that Bill is being inducted under the category of "athlete" which is truly fitting. Congratulations Bill and Mauretta. I'm looking forward to attending the banquet to celebrate your achievements in iceboating and summer sailing.

Throw Back Thursday: 1963 Madison Sports Hall of Fame, Iceboating, and the Packers

What better way to celebrate TBT than to look back to the first group of Madison Sports Hall of Fame inductees. 4LIYC member, Carl Bernard, was elected to the MSHOF in that inaugural year. The featured speaker that evening was none other than the coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi.

Charlie Miller in his Nite

Meeting Update

The club extends a big thank you to all who attended last night's meeting and Charlie Miller slide show. It was standing room only and we were honored to have some long time members there including Dave & Nancy Nelson, Bill & Mauretta Mattison, and Jack Ripp. Carole Miller attended with her family and provided much of the commentary on the slides which covered the MARY B years, the America's Cup years in Perth, Australia, and ice sailing in the 1970s and 80s. Another highlight was hearing ice reports from area iceboaters including George Gerhardt who gave an Oshkosh report (snow covered) and John Hayashi who gave a Green Lake report (open). Of course Dave "Admiral" Nelson gave the first report about his home lake, Kegonsa (snow covered.) Thank you Jerry Simon for coming up with the slide show idea and executing it, to our long time members, our out of town guests, and to Angelo's who kept us all well fed and watered.

Radio Waves

UPDATE: If you missed the radio interview, it lives on the internet. Click here to listen.
Via 4LIYC Nite sailor, Don Sanford: "Fourth Lake Fans--If you happen to be listening to Wisconsin Public Radio this Friday morning, December 16 , 2016 and think you're hearing me--you are. Nope, I have not come down the chimney and parked myself in your kitchen. I'll be on Wisconsin Life talking about ice and ice harvesting. Listen to Wisconsin Life at 6:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. CST during Morning Edition. If you're not in Wisconsin, listen online at The story will also be on the Wisconsin Life website at:"

TBT: Oshkosh 1927

Go to the five minute mark in this Youtube video for some vintage footage of stern steerers sailing on Lake Winnebago. (The first five minutes show people shoveling snow in Oshkosh, something many of us here in the Midwest will be all too familiar with over the next two days.)Tip of the Helmet: Jay Davis

First Ice in French Alps

The only iceboater in France (that I know of) checks in with his annual report from the Comte region. Serge had some beautiful ice but no wind on Monday, December 12.

2013 ISA Revisited

The folks at Sail Racing have been posting pictures and video recently on social media from the 2013 International Skeeter Association regatta sailed on Lake Kegonsa near Madison. This video has been posted here before but it never gets old. Interesting to note that the Swedish clothing manufacturer is also a partner and supplier of ORACLE TEAM USA, defenders of the America's Cup.

Cover Photo by Gretchen Dorian

Runner Tracks: Jane Pegel Interview

The latest edition of Runner Tracks, the newsletter of DN North America, has been published on the DN website. This issue has one of the best articles that I've had the privilege to be involved with, an interview by Susie Pegel with her mother, Jane. See it here.

Bill Mattison sailing in HONEYBUCKET

Оглядываясь назад в прошлое/Throw Back Thursday: American Illustrated

"Frank Trost, Perrigo’s neighbor, describes a poetical a ride on his "Tuscarora": - Iceboat comes alive, he begins to talk to you. I was on Lake Delavan. Gusts crosswind reached 80 km/h.... It seemed to fly through the air; only the wind howled in the wires and whistled - people standing on the bank told us that the boat roared like a jet plane.."
NOVEMBER 1960: "One of Madison's wintertime claims to fame - iceboating- will be read by thousands of Russians in the next few weeks." This magazine was published as part of a cultural exchange program with Russia during the Soviet era and features some excellent photography of Skeeters and the MARY B stern steerer.
A friend in Russia, Natali Burdukovskaya, took the time to translate the article. Natali brings a unique understanding to the translation because she is a member of ice sailing regatta race committees and is the scorer for regattas, including the Lake Baikal regatta. Thank you Natali! Here's a pdf of the original article along with the translation and a clipping from the Wisconsin State Journal about the article that ran in 1960.

The Real Old School - Dutch Style

Lose yourself in this captivating film from 1940 featuring the world's orginal iceboats from Holland. This video has everything, dogs, skating kids, and beautiful black ice.


As seen on the 4LIYC Facebook page, Byron Tetzlaff sets up MISFIRE for the first time. Bill Hanson notes, "This boat was originally built as a copy of the A boat FRITZ by Carl Bernard. My family owned it since 1970 until when I bought my first renegade in early '80s. I named the boat MISFIRE because it did not have a name." Byron aquired the bost from the Tad Gedko family. Tad grew up on Lake Monona and collected old iceboats,their pieces, and parts for many years. In this video, "Byron demonstrates his single-handed system for loading his stern-steerer iceboat onto the trailer."


Looks like Mike Madge was the first sailor in North America to pull the sheet rope on the 2016-2017 ice sailing season on White Fish Lake near Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Watch a short video from the day here.

Palmer On The Prairie

Iceboats can turn up in the most unlikely places. This vintage Palmer Skeeter has been on display for at least 60 years at Pioneer Village Museum in Minden, Nebraska. The boat was originally owned by the museum's founder, Harold Warp.

The plaque reads "The ice boat is a single passenger ice boat made by the Palmer Boat Company of Fontana, Wisconsin, This was one of the first small single passenger ice boats made, with the steering runner out in front. Prior to this the steering runner was back of the open platform, with the runner plank in front of the rider's platform, that normally carried several people. It has a 20 foot mast, Wamsetta cotton sail with wood battens. It is 18 feet long and the runner plank has a 12 foot span. The ice boat cost $500.00 new in 1935 and the Palmer Company, who specialized in making sail boats, discontinued ice boats in 1938. This Palmer was owned by Harold Warp."
The museum's director says that, "To the best of my knowledge it was never sailed in Nebraska, Mr. Warp did use it on the lakes in Illinois. He donated it to the museum in the 1950's."

Throw Back Thursday: Ice Quilting

Back in the late 1970s, the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club challenged members to create quilt squares that were then assembled into a quilt and raffled off at the banquet. Marie Whitehorse won the quilt and it is now in possession of her son, Ken. Iceboating is a very creative sport. CORRECTION: There were two quilts made back in those days. Ken Whitehorse has one. Barb and Don Sanford won the second quilt. Photos shown above are of their quilt.

Black Ice Friday: Mad Men Edition

Enjoy this 28 minute slice of life from the 1960s iceboating scene filmed in 8mm by 4LIYC member, Bob Clements. YouTube apparently doesn't allow viewers to tag people like they used to, so I'll continue to add captions when possible. Many appearances by Paul Krueger, Bill Mattison (in his own lawn mowing scene!), Dave Rosten, and Sparky Lundberg. Interesting to see footage from what looks to be a Northwest banquet at the 10 minute mark. Thank you, Bob Clements!

Where It's Winter

While we've "enjoyed" an unusually warm November here in the Midwest, old man winter has made an early appearance on the other side of the world, camping out in northern Europe and Russia. This story came across the Facebook feed this morning about Kai Linde, an ice sailor in Norway. Read it here. Run it through Google translate for the English experience or just enjoy the stunning scenery of ice sailing near Valnesfjord, Norway.


Pat Heppert sends along more iceboating ephemera, this time from the 1990 Hammacher-Schlemmer Christmas catalog. Hammacher-Schlemmer is a high-end gift catalog for that person that has everything, "offering the best, the only, and the unexpected for 168 years." Does anyone know who the builder was that contracted to build DNs with HS? Let us know!
Of course I searched their website to learn if they were selling new Skeeter front seaters. Didn't find any of those, but take a look at this, The Buffalo Icecycle.

Here's video of the Buffalo Icecycle in action where it appears that perfectly zambonied ice is a requirement for a decent ride.

Dry Land Skeeter Training

Mark Isabell and Jim Gluek set up their Skeeters for some secret testing today in an undisclosed location near Pewaukee. Mark says they are "getting ready for the REAL season to begin."

Better Iceboating Through Chemistry?

A video about shoe technology has been getting some attention on Facebook. "Arctic Grip sole technology that grips slick wet ice, as well as thermochromatic lugs, which sense when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and change color in cold conditions. One of the greatest attributes of Vibram’s Arctic Grip is its durability and ability to maintain performance despite miles of wear." Read more about it on Vibram's website. The technology looks promising. From a race committee perspective, boots that grip the ice would be a big improvement over mountain climbing ice spikes that scratch and rip up the ATV seats and are a general pain to deal with. Saucony is offering the technology in a running shoe (pictured above). Would be interesting to find out how well the shoes would perform for iceboat racers.


More outstanding footage from the folks at Waterlust filmed during their visit to Lake Baikal in Siberia last April. If anyone ever asks you how iceboat racing works, show them this minute and half video. Bookmark it on your phone!

Twin Spin Thursday: Hardware - Harken's Innovations

Pat Heppert shared two vintage catalogs that his father had saved from the Milwaukee firms of Joys Brothers and Kuemmerlein Marine.
Joys Brother Catalog
Kuemmerlein Marine Catalog
Both catalogs feature iceboats and their components, including metal blocks which were prone to jamming, which was particularly not desirable in iceboat sailing. (During a late 1950s regatta, a Skeeter, sailed by Chris Smith of Chris Craft fame, collided with my dad's Skeeter because Chris Smith's sheet rope jammed in the blocks.)
A few years after these catalogs were published, Peter Harken innovated the use of plastic ball bearings in hardware. Read more about that history on the Harken website, "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".
Sailboat Hardware Before 1967: An Exercise in Friction Jammed blocks, kicked travelers, and grease to lubricate the steel ball bearings. Before 1967, that was sailing hardware—agricultural, heavy, hard to use, and a pain to maintain.
Sailboat Hardware After 1967: An Era of Innovation Like many good ideas, Peter Harken's decision to use plastic instead of steel ball bearings in his boat hardware was born of necessity. Little did he realize his invention would change the face of sailing."

THUNDERJET in Thunderbay

Mike Madge up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and a friend are restoring a Skeeter that migrated north from Pewaukee and has some serious history behind it. THUNDERJET was the Mead Skeeter that took legendary iceboater, Bill Perrigo, first over the finish line at many regattas. Greg Whitehorse wrote a stirring story about THUNDERJET and Bill Perrigo in one of the club's Blade Runner newsletters. Read it here.

FIRST! Первый

As seen on the Facebook page of Valentin Titarenko, what looks to be the first runners on the ice of the season! These DNs are set up near the Bratsk Hydroelectric Dam in Russia.

Jim Gluek, Ken Whitehorse, and Bill Mattison in front of Ken's A Class Skeeter. Note Dick Lichtfeld's collector car Delorean in the background.

A Perfect Day: 4LIYC Picnic & Iceboat Show

The fall weather could not have been more perfect for Saturday's iceboat show and 4LIYC picnic. With 11 12! iceboats on display from multiple classes, it well may have been the biggest off-the-ice gathering of iceboats in history. There were so many highlights of the day. First of all, the thanks yous. Thanks to Peter Fauerbach and Dick Lichtfeld for organizing this amazing event in just a few short weeks. Incredible! Thanks to the volunteers who took the time from their busy schedules to bring and set up boats. To Commodore Ken Norton, Vice Commodore Greg Whitehorse, and Renegader George Gerhardt for manning the grill. We went through 70 brats in an hour and a half and had to send out for more! Thanks to Peter Lundt for bringing the ham, a tradition that the late Jim Payton started over 30 years ago. Thanks to Dick Lichtfeld for cooking up a batch of award winning chili. Thanks to MaryAnn Lichtfeld for ordering the beautiful cake decorated with MISS MADISON. Thanks to Corey Anderson for bringing his tricked out Airstream camper with the big screen so that we could watch the UW Badgers win over Iowa. Other Wisconsin iceboat clubs were well represented. Oshkosh iceboaters were represented by Mike Kroll, Bobby Eckstein, and Marv Luck. (Thanks, Marv, for the copies of the scrapbook.) Other ice yacht club members there were Skeeter Ice Boat Club's Susie Pegel (who reminds us that the SIBC Swap Meet is next Sunday), Green Lake's Joe Norton and Maureen Bohleber, Oshkosh IYC Mike and Janet Peters (thanks for the yellow duckie), Carol Miller and Jim Gluek from Pewaukee IYC, and John Davis from Iowa. The beautiful weather brought out many past champions including Bill and Mauretta Mattison. Facebook is filled with great photos from the day. It's a privilege to be a member of this community of iceboaters.
UPDATE: A camera was found at the picnic. Please email to me and I'll help get it back to you.
ACE OF SPADES Stern Steerer, Mike Peters
BLACK PANTHER Vintage Skeeter, Don Anderson
COLD DRAFT Renegade, Peter Fauerbach
COLD PLAY Renegade, Ken Norton
CRAWFISH Vintage Skeeter, Dick Lichtfeld
DN Class, Peter Fauerbach
MARY B Stern Steerer, Iceboat Foundation
MENACE Stern Steerer, Richard Ela
MISS MADISON Stern Steerer, Richard Lichtfeld
NITE Class, Ken Johnson
ICE OPTIMIST Class, Thor Rosten
WARRIOR Skeeter Class, Ken Whitehorse

Twin Spin Thursday: Rise of the Skeeters

Regatta paperwork for the upcoming season provides this week's inspiration for Twin Spin Thursday, a visual comparison of Skeeter development into the 21st century. Notice of Race dccuments for the International Skeeter Association (ISA) and Northwest Regatta have been posted along with updated Sailing Instructions, Northwest By Laws, and ISA Rules.

More photos from the magazine spread that featured EVA III.

Hard Water - A Waterlust Film about Ice Sailing

From the good folks at Waterlust, video from their visit to Baikal Ice Sailing Week last April.

Back Home Again In Indiana

Rick Lemberg and Bob Fanning just picked up their latest acquisition, a classic rear seat A Skeeter, here in Madison today. The Skeeter, built by 4LIYC member Bob Kau and then owned by Gary Whitehorse is on its way to to a good and fast home on Lake Wawasee in Indiana. As they loaded the trailer, the temperature kept dropping - a good sign for the upcoming season.

Combustion vs Wind

This stern steerer iceboat vs motorcycle photo above from 1912 has been posted on many web sites. Iceboats were the fastest vehicles on the planet until the advent of motor vehicles (and perhaps some trains).

Iceboat vs motorcycle brings to mind the classic 1935 newsreel shot on Lake St. Clair of a Chevy racing another stern steerer. Watch it here.
UPDATE: The stern steerer racing the 1935 Chevy on Lake St. Clair is intriguing because it is similar to a Monotype, designed in 1932 by Erik von Holst of Estonia. I ran across a similar boat in YACHTING MAGAZINE identified as a "German 20 Square Meter while researching something else. I don't know the publication date but it's from an article written by Frederik Gardiner, author of Wings on Ice.

"Harken, Slingshot and the Sailing Speed Record"

"Our favorite, if not our most frustrating sport, is iceboating: a combination of race-car driving and sailing." - Olaf Harken. 'In an excerpt from his recently published memoir Fun Times in Boats, Blocks & Business, Harken Inc. co-founder Olaf Harken recalls the time his company helped try to break the world sailing speed record.' Continue reading, from SAIL magazine.
Tip of the Helmet: Loretta Rehe

Runner Tracks Magazine

The September issue of the online magazine of the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Associattion has been delivered to a virtual mailbox near you. See it here. Took that shot of 4LIYC DNer Dave Elsmo sailing on Lake Kegonsa last season from Jeff Russell's Cub plane.

Dancing Skates: Now Translated

UPDATE: Via Bill Buchholz: "..the [Monotype] class is still very active in Europe under the auspices of the International Monotype XV Ice Yacht Racing Association: Monotype-XV iceyacht. You never know, some one in this country might become smitten with the boat and actually build one! Can you imagine?"
Ed.: Yes, I can imagine because Bill was the first person to build one here in North America! I know that this vintage German newsreel about ice sailing has been posted here before but I'm not sure if I've ever seen it with English subtitles. Anyways, it never gets old.

  • Samorezov Victor Konstantinovich (1919-1993) "Buyeristy" 1959

  • Murniyek Laimdot Petrovich (1922-2011) "Buyery" 1956

  • Ozol Janums Augustovich (1929-2014) "Before the Start " 1963

  • Nisskii Grigorii Georgievich (1903-1987) "Pestovo" 1953
Like: Russian Impressionist Iceboat Paintings

Above are a few Russian impressionist paintings are from a Facebook post by Dmitry Romashov who tagged some of his fellow iceboating countrymen. These exquisite paintings, created by several artists, are beautifully rendered canvases that capture the light, ice, movement, and color familiar to all iceboaters around the world.

Say DA to Baikal!

Via New England Ice Yacht Association Commodore T:
"Anyone Want To Go To Siberia??? It may be more possible than you think! The Baikal Sailing Week is coming up fast (March 18-25, 2017) and is surely one of the more unique DN regattas anywhere in the world. It will be held this spring following the European Champs. I’ve heard amazing tales from this one, stories from both on the ice and off. The photos and videos look amazing. Lake Baikal is a fascinating body of water, even more so when you put a bunch of iceboats on it! Continue reading.

Sailing Siberia


Ice boating in Russia extends the thrill of high-speed sailing into the hard-water months.
By Patrick Rynne
"At over 5,000 feet deep, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest by volume, holding approximately 20 percent of Earth’s unfrozen fresh water, more than all the Great Lakes combined. The lake formed from a rift valley in the heart of Siberia 25 million years ago. Because of its isolation, life in Lake Baikal has evolved in amazing ways. Nearly 80 percent of the lake’s species are not found anywhere else on the planet, and perhaps that includes the hard-water sailors who travel great distances to race on the magical surface for Baikal Sailing Week." Continue reading.