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Having Fun at the Snow and Ice Worlds

I am meeting many, very nice sailors from other countries.  It is fun communicating with them and learning what they do in their countries.  Learning what equipment they use what the conditions are and how popular Winter sailing and kiting is in Europe.  There are Russians, Swedes, Finlanders, Latvia and many from Canada here competing.

Yesterday there was windsurf and kitewing racing in the morning, I believe 4 races.  In the afternoon they had 4 Kite races.  The wind was good yesterday I would say 20 mph tapering down as the day wore on.  I was on a 10.5 Kite.  There is a mix of foil and inflatable kites as well as skis and snowboards.  More foils and than skis.   The fast people have very long skis 238cm and very long snowboards.  The first place boarder is on an inflatable kite.

I have meet the Hiberna Ice Board builder (Richard) and a very good Hiberna rider Janis.  I am learning a lot from them about the tuning and sailing the boards.  I will try to get pictures of them.  I am excited to start a racing circuit for those types of iceboards.

Well it is time to go race,  More to come later.

Kevin USA 8


The Walleye Wagatta is this Weekend

The Annual Walleye Wagatta is this weekend May 14th and 15th.  This is the first spring regatta of the 2011 MoWind racing season.  See the MoWind website for information on the upcoming Regattas.  www.mowind.org Arden Anderson is the Principle Race Officer, PRO.  With the help of his family he will run the regatta out of Wind Power and Roosevelt County Park.  Wind Power supplies the boats and buoys along with free camping in their spacious back yard.  After dark on Saturday the bonfire will be lite and tales will be told, there might even be a game of Bite the Bag.  Remember a Regatta is a Party!  Don’t let the weather dictate whether you participate or not.  Party first, sailing is a bonus.

There will be a Workshop Fleet for beginner and less experienced racers.  Arden and other racers will assist those in the Workshop fleet so they understand the course and feel comfortable sailing with others.  The Workshop Fleet race course is shorter and will be easy for them to get around.  MOWind goal is to promote Windsurfing in the Mid-West and Racing is one of the best ways to learn and improveEvery race is a lesson and your sailing with some of the best in the Mid-West.

The Sport Fleet is for graduates of the Workshop Fleet, but who choose start with the A-Fleet, but not to sail the longer course of the A-Fleet.  There will be the new KONA One-Design Fleet along with the new 9.5 Raceboard Class.  Racing will consist of Course Slalom, and Long Distance racing, weather permitting.

Again this year Ted Schweitzer will be coming to the Walleye Wagatta and he is bringing a trailer with Original Windsurfers for racers and others to test drive.  If you want to reserve an Original Windsurfer or learn more about them got to Ted’s web site: http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/site/index.html In the 70’s and early 80’s the Original Windsurfer had One-Design regattas all over the World with attendance up to 450 racers.  It’s a great board for lightwind sailing and for freestyle.  The Rig is very light and the board manuvers really fast.  Come and meet Ted (his father is the co-inventor of Windsurfing) and try an Original Windsurfer.

Ted on the Original Windsurfer

2010 Walleye Wagatta Windsurfing Regatta Event – Wind Power / Lake Winnebago

Race Results –A Fleet | Sport Fleet

Walleye Wagatta Photo Gallery

The Walleye Wagatta has been around since 1987. Originally it was run in conjunction with Fond du Lac’s Walleye Weekend (hence the name).  Walleye Weekend is a fun Family festival tied in with Mercury’s National walleye tournament held at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac.  Since 1997 the Walleye Wagatta has been held at Roosevelt County Park across the street from Wind Power.  Back in the Walleye Weekend days there were up to 100 racers with 3 race courses.  Olympic members from the US and Canada competed along with the US Olympic Windsurfing Coach Major Hall.

This year we were happy to have 27 competitors from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and of course Wisconsin.  We were also blessed with the appearance of Tara and Ted Schweitzer, the children of Hoyle Schweitzer the co-inventor of windsurfing.

Ted was ripping the course up on a vintage original Windsurfer.  Andy and Kevin Gratton joined him on the Waylers they learned how to sail on in the early 80’s.

Check out Ted’s web site the original windsurfer. Thanks to Ted you can now buy a brand new original windsurfer! Check out his really cool Original Windsurfer website: http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/  there are some really nice pictures and stories about the birth and growth of our great sport.

Front row: Kevin Gratton, Jennifer Wettstein, Tara Schweitzer, Andy Gratton, Phil Sage (MoWind President)
Back row: Ted Schweitzer, Tim Cleary

Arden Anderson E-11 the Race Director of the 2010 Walleye Wagatta hasa synopsis of the race from his perspective posted on the MoWind site. Arden Anderson took over as Race Director the last 2 years and has done a great job. 

Look for his race by race commentary on the MoWind web site: http://www.mowind.org/wp/?p=864

He has also posted some pictures &amp videos which are also on youtube. Check them out!.  One of Arden’s goals is to make it a really affordable regatta and pass any profits to the MoWind Association.  I believe this year he donated $100 to Mowind!  I would like to thank Arden and his family for running the great event, making everyone feel comfortable including those whom it’s their first time. He raced everyone hard yet maintained the huge fun factor. I’m looking forward to working with them next year!

Arden - Race DirectorThere was also a MoWind raffle which brought another $63 to MoWind.  Tom Stokes from Indiana is the raffle winner and he will be a finalist for the Final Raffle in Sept. at the Wind Power Champs held again in Fond du Lac, WI.

The forecast was for light winds Sat. & Sun. but the wind Gods looked in our favor.  We had decent wind for the 3 course races before lunch at which time the wind died to a vacuum.  After lunch the wind picked up enough to do some figure 8 slalom in front of the beach. I finally was caught up with my shop duties and had a chance to get out myself.  My brother Andy had rigged up a Wayler One-Design (the board we both learned on in the early 80’s) for me and himself.  It was the first time on the race course for me in several years after having shoulder problems.  Last Dec. I finally bit the bullet and had shoulder replacement surgery.  So after months of great therapy at Back-In-Action I was ready to test my new shoulder out.  I have to say it works much better and I really enjoyed getting back on the race course.  Now sailing on ancient equipment was a relearning experience.  The sails don’t pump the same, but needless to say I still had a blast.  Ted, Andy and I had a great time in the Vintage Class.  For the Slalom races a Bald Eagle sat in a near by tree and watched intently.  What an awesome sight for the Eagle and us.

Saturday night after supper (many went across the street to the Sunset Supper Club) everyone enjoyed the typical bonfire.  Due to late night partying the night before, most packed it in earlier than usual.   Fires are important to keep the Wind Gods happy!

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Adding Fuel to the Fire - See more images in the photo gallery

Sunday racing started around 11:00 am with 10 -12 from the southeast.  Arden ran 4 races with the wind building through all 4 races.  After starting the 3rd race I was struggling with the Wayler 6.8 sail on 9 foot booms.  The gust were getting stronger and more pronounced.  Once I got to the upwind buoy the beach was right in front of me and calling.  So in I went to rest my shoulder and get out of the starfish stance I perfected when I first learned how to windsurf.  (I didn’t want to starfish stance to develop into a habit).  In the last 2 races I saw the guys on the bigger sails planning through most of the slalom type course Arden wisely set as an option.  So the moral of Sunday was we had great wind from the bonfire, and don’t pay attention to the forecast when a regatta is being held. 


Weather:7 mph WNW   32 °F   
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