The 24th annual event went off with great weather but could have used more wind. There was enough wind to hold 5 races a day for a total of 10. Attendance was good with 40 racers from 4 mid-west states and Andy and Devon Anderson coming all the way from San Francisco. The light wind in the forecast deterred some from traveling to the event, sad to say. Regattas are a lifestyle where windsurfers get together with family and friends and have a great time wind or no wind. They also make the most use of the wind they have. We were happy we didn’t have to resort to Stand-up Paddle Boarding, a board toss, volley ball and more beer drinking to appease the sailors in No Wind conditions.
Sat. morning started with registration and then a skippers meeting for all fleets. The Workshop Fleet (beginner racers) had a special skippers meeting to meet the rest of their Fleet, study the race course, learn about the start sequence and answer all their questions. A gate course was chosen for the day with the A-Fleet doing 2 laps, the Sport Fleet (who started with the A-Fleet) did 1 lap and the Workshop Fleet starting second with 1 lap and the downwind leg shorter than the other Fleets. 3 races were held before a lunch break where the racers could treat themselves to the WAK (Winnebago Association of KiteBoarding, www.wakkiteboarding.com ) brat and hamburger fry. The winds were light to very light with 90 degree wind shifts so setting a square course to the wind was very difficult. A few races the wind shifted and the start was a reach with the course almost being a slalom race. 2 more races were held after lunch in a pretty steady SE breeze. The three Anderson brothers (Andy, Arden & Adam) were dominating the A-fleet, Adam (1st overall) worst finish was a 5th. Andy & Blaise Gratton, Tim Cleary, Don Altmeyer, Alex Monroe and Peter Hartwich all had top 5 finishes at some point. Gary Lovrine, Steve Willits, Kelly Johnson, Larry Reed & Dan Thornton were taking the top 5 finishes in the Sport Fleet. In the Workshop Fleet Neils Zaunmueller and Kylan Johnson were dominating on windsurfers but Austin Hamburger on an Open Bic was right in there with them. Mary Duester, Peggy Wing and Jennifer Wettstein from the Wind Power Academy Ladies night were also on the race course trying to beat the junior boys.
In the evening the racers along with friends and family were served a great meal at the Sunset Supper Club, next door to the event site. The 2009 MoWind year end awards were held there after supper. See the MoWind web site for the results, www.mowind.org/wp . After the awards the group crossed the street and headed to Wind Power’s back yard to participate in the annual Bonfire. As usual a boat was sacrificed with much celebration. It didn’t take long after that for someone to start the Bite the Bag game.
Kathy Leifer and Rodney Scholz were the finalist with many others including Leah Altmeyer showing impressive stretching skills. Does alcohol improve your stretch? At midnight the group sang Happy Birthday to me.
Sunday morning saw everybody getting their equipment set for the new day with the sun and warm wind. A short Skippers Meeting was held and then Ann Gratton presented the quilt she made to Mike Reed for his beautiful 15 year old daughter Elyse, who is undergoing Chemotherapy. Ann collected cloth squares that she handed out at earlier regattas, where the racers could write comments and sign them for Elyse. The quilt was beautiful with the center being purple, Elyse’s favorite color. It’s very impressive to see what a great family the members of MoWind are, supporting their fellow racers in tough times.
The wind was light with the race committee setting the gate course due to conditions. But they really wanted to challenge the racers with the famed M Course that has 5 jibes. As the late morning and early afternoon wore on the wind became stronger and more consistent from the SE. Sometimes they could even plane going down wind. 5 consecutive races were completed, with the final race starting at 2 pm.
In the A-Fleet again the Anderson brothers dominated with Andy Gratton (Oshkosh) and Tim Cleary (Pewaukee) right in the mix with them. In 5 races there were 4 different winners! In the Sport Fleet Gary Lovrine turned on the heat, winning 3 of the 5 races. Steve Willits (Barrington, IL.) was right on his tail with Mark Schmitz (Fond du Lac), Jim Magnuson (Beaver Dam) and Jack Sullivan (Mequon) following. Neils Zaunmueller (Beaver Dam) won 4 of the 5 races with Austin Hamburger (Brownsville) and Kylan Johnson (St. Paul, Mn) following closely. See Wind Power’s web site for the final race results and MORE! www.windpowerwindsurfing.com
After the final race, the racers all came to shore tired and hungry and were treated with foot long sub sandwiches. Final scores were tabulated followed by awards. Trophies were a plaque with a group picture and a picture of the award winner sailing. The MoWind raffle was then held with Larry Reed from Iowa the finalist for the Wind Power Champs. His name was added with the finalist from the other 2009 MoWind Regattas and the winners were drawn for the KA sail (Del Carpenter, Cedar Falls Iowa), GPS (Brad Woodworth, Dryden Canada) and Windmeter (Chris Barry, Toledo Ohio). Door prizes were drawn by all and everyone left with a smile on their face, a winner. Mike, Lois and Elyse Reed (Cary, Il.) would like to thank all those who have shown their support in the quit and participating in Elyse’s care pages web site. www.carepages.com/carepages/Elyse15/updates/2348917?client_code=default&ipc=mur
Last but not least I would like to thank all those who made this great event possible. My mother Joan, brothers David and Andrew, nephew Blaise, Jennifer my girl friend, Mary Davies who runs the shop, Greg Leifer, Holly Hamburger and Leah Altmeyer who helped have fun on the committee boat. I also want to thank all of you who participated and those who supported the event in any way plus the family, friends and others who sat on the beach or sailed and watched the races.
Updated 10-8-2009, Kevin added the ‘Winners Movie Montage’!
Enjoy the 5 Video compilations put together by Wind Power of the Event — Cheers, Kevin Gratton