|Xenia, the ILYA's first 17-foot champion
On August 24, 1897, ten northwestern yacht clubs met at Rameley Pavilion, the home of the White Bear Yacht Club, and formed the Inland Lake Yachting Association. At that meeting, they decided on classifications for two classes of racing boats, and at their next meeting, January 18, 1898, they selected White Bear Lake as the site of the 1st Annual Regatta, scheduled for August, 1898
Dr. Thomas A. Hodgson
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Copyright 1997 Thomas A. Hodgson
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|Plans for the first ILYA regatta proceeded on two fronts—one social, one competitive. An entertainment committee met on August 18, 1898, to plan a reception and a ball at Ramaley Pavilion, the temporary clubhouse of the White Bear Yacht Club. A subcommittee of no fewer than seven men took charge of the regatta entertainment, successfully securing Seibert's Orchestra, a local favorite.
Frank M. Douglass, who sailed a 17-foot sloop on White Bear, announced to the Pioneer Press that he would give special attention to the visitors, since he knew many of them already. The newspaper speculated that "his affability well represents the courtesy of the yacht club." WBYC commodore Harry T. Drake and his wife would lead a committee of ladies to receive the guests. To the schedule of special trains running from Minneapolis and St. Paul to White Bear on each afternoon of the regatta, another train was added specifically for the ball Tuesday night. The fare: 25 cents.
The steamer Maud was engaged for the use of visiting yachtsmen and for transporting guests to Manitou Island, where views of the course would be best.
Racing would be held in the 20- and 17-foot classes. A challenge race between two larger boats, the Hoodlum and either the Aurelia or the Akela, also was scheduled as part of the regatta, as provided by ILYA rules. In each class, the winner of three races would be the ILYA champion.
Boats would be measured Saturday morning, August 20, and that afternoon, White Bear sailors would lead a cruise to familiarize visitors with the lake and the yacht club's six-knot course, laid out between four buoys set one mile apart. Racing would start at the Clark Street buoy, proceed to center, then to Dellwood and back to center. Then boats would head to Wildwood, back to center, and back to Clark Street. Races would be either once or twice around, depending upon the wind and weather conditions.
Elaborate plans for the cruise provided that Commodore Drake's Xenia would lead the procession, followed by the competing ILYA yachts, then Aurelia, Hoodlum, and Akela, and finally all of the White Bear fleet. Although the cruise was intended as a parade rather than a tune-up race, captains were notified that any crew that felt they were not assigned their "proper place" could change their position after the cruise began.
By August 18, the Monoquet of the Indiana Yacht Club on Wawasee Lake arrived at White Bear. The trim cedar boat was sailing her first races away from home, where she had campaigned undefeated. At the helm was Harry Hicks, and among her crew were J. G. Van Winkle of Indianapolis and Major Elliott Durand of Chicago. Also on that day, WBYC secretary W. S. Morton received the entry of the Pistakee, Commodore Henry L. Hertz's 20-footer from Pistakee Yacht Club of Illinois, thus completing the list of entries for the first ILYA championship:
Hazard, Minnetonka (Minnesota) Yacht Club, Captain Alfred Pillsbury, Ariel, Oconomowoc (Wisconsin) Yacht Club, Captain Walter Dupee Iota, Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Yacht Club, Captain William Love Monoquet, Indiana Yacht Club, Captain Harry Hicks
Gad Fly, Fox Lake (Illinois) Yacht Club, Captain W. H. Lyford
Pistakee, Pistakee (Illinois) Yacht Club, Captain Nick Morris
Mahto, White Bear (Minnesota) Yacht Club, Captain Lucius Ordway
The following day, two Minnetonka boats, Hazard and We're Here, arrived. Under the watchful eye of Hopkins, We're Here was launched that evening. Light and graceful, We're Here, with her low freeboard, had the look of a fast racer.
On Saturday, August 20, Charles Reed finished measuring all boats except El Comancho of Fox Lake. Exhausted, Reed limped into Ramaley Pavilion and collapsed onto a divan in the smokers' corner. He had spent the day measuring, superintending the docking, explaining the rules, answering innumerable questions, and, finally, after much debate by White Bear's selection committee, announcing that Akela would represent White Bear Lake in the Hoodlum challenge. At least the lake had been calm, making his job of measuring waterline lengths a little easier. For the same reason, however, the elaborate cruise of the lake planned by the entertainment committee had to be canceled.
The buzz on shore was that Ariel, John Dupee's Oconomowoc boat, would not attend due to her owner's illness. This news caused some disappointment among the spectators, because Ariel was a Gus Amundson boat, the sister ship to Lucius Ordway's Mahto. Both were known to be very fast.
Mahto was built for J. H. Skinner especially for the ILYA regatta. When a series of trial races was held to determine the White Bear representative in the regatta, Mahto proved to be faster than Ordway's Yankee. Skinner graciously offered Mahto to Ordway to sail in the championship regatta, willing to defer to Ordway's prowess for the honor of the club.
Love spent Saturday getting the Oshkosh challenger ready. His Iota was a new boat, designed by James Welch for Edgar and Phil Sawyer, and had been selected over Gates's Gleaner as the Oshkosh challenger.
Monoquet spent her Saturday in dry dock at Gene Ramaley's boat yard, where she had been for several days, getting an application of pot lead applied to her bottom.
The Minnetonka boats, Hazard and We're Here, were out on the lake, sailing over the six-knot (six nautical mile) course. The sailors had only to wait through the sabbath, and the regatta would begin.
2018 Regattas - send your confirmed dates
- 25- ILYA Board Meeting - White Bear, MN
17-18 - Adv. RC Course - Geneva
- 6 Rules discussion - Harken
- 7 Judges Course - Bruce Martinson - Harken
- 28-29 Basic Race Committee Course - John Strassman
- 5-6 Cedar, IN Icebreaker
- 18 - Bilge Puller South Meeting
- Bilge Puller North Meeting
- 19-20 E Spring Regatta - Lake Geneva YC
- 9-10 Wawasee E Scow Regatta - Wawasee, IN
- 22-24 US Sailing JOs - Okoboji
- 23-24 MC Wisconsin Championship - Pine Lake
- 25 - LBSS Opti - Beulah
- 26-27 - TRAP X - Pine Lake
- 29-July 1 - US Sailing JOs - Lake Forest
- 5-6 Quad Lakes - Beulah
- 9-12 GLSS Dinghyfest
- 14-15 ILYA MC Invitational - Nagawicka
- 14-15 ILYA E Invitational - Geneva
- 16-17 XTreme X Regatta - Oshkosh
- 16-19 Area K Jr. Championships - Sheboygan
- 21-22 ILYA C Invitational - Beulah
- 21-22 WYA X - Cedar
- 23 - ILYA No Tears - Beulah
- 25-28 ILYA X Champs - Pewaukee
- 29-31 ILYA Opti Champs - Pewaukee
- 3-5 WYA C - Okauchee
- 12-19 ILYA Championships - Minnetonka
- 12-15 A/MC Scows
- 15 Bilge Pullers Dinner
- 16-19 E/C Scows
- 21-22 National MCSA Junior Championship -
- 23-26 MC Nationals - Pewaukee Yacht Club
8-9 George Dorn MC - Beulah
22-23 NNN Beulah C Challenge - Beulah
- 29-30 Polar Bear Regatta - Lake Davenport Sailing Club