Ice Boats on Little Bay de Noc

This past weekend if you had a chance to come within view of Little Bay de Noc, you would have seen almost 45 iceboats zipping across the ice-covered bay. Both Friday and Saturday, the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club held an International Skeeter Association Regatta (or Renegade Championship) on Little Bay de Noc. This was their first visit to our area and were welcomed warmly by the community.

Iceboat racing is head to head on an upwind/downwind course. Buoys are set at least one mile apart upwind and downwind and the boats race for either three or four laps.

ice boat escanaba michigan 2Deb Whitehorse, a Race Committee Member with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club was very happy with the weekend’s event. “We were all extremely pleased with the warm welcome we received from the local residents who were all extremely helpful and couldn’t do enough for us. We chose the area because it was the only suitable ice sailing site in a three state area, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. She also adds that “Local residents, like Jim Walsh of Gladstone, knew that the ice was perfect for us and was in contact one of our Menominee sailors, Mike Derusha. Terry Reynolds was also helpful with providing information about areas that we should avoid.”

ice boat escanaba michigan 1“We felt very welcomed in this area, kind of like rock stars! It was exciting to see the local residents come to the beach and either walk out on the ice or watch from the shore. The accommodations and food were excellent. If there are suitable conditions (no snow on the ice) on Little Bay de Noc and the timing is right, we will definitely be back! It was a great central location for our sailors in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.”

For those who missed this unique sport in action this weekend, and want to learn more about ice sailing, check out To see more great photos from this weekend’s event check out