Letter: Another excellent Regatta, thanks to many
By Bill Keitel, U.S. Windsurfing, Worthington
A big note of thanks (and high five!) goes out to the city of Worthington, the Chamber of Commerce, Worthington Okabena Windsurfers Board of Directors, Daily Globe and all the people that contributed time, effort and money.
The five-day event was considered a roaring success by the sailors that came from all points of the nation and beyond. Even the days that we had some rain that dampened the spectatorship, it didn’t stop the racing — sailors sailed on! Understand that sailors get wet and once in the water, you can only get so wet. During the lightning and thunder events, racing was temporarily canceled.
The windward shore of Sail-board Beach creates a perfect launch site for sailors to gain access to the race course. This windward shore is also appropriately located to create the best vantage point for the community. Jeff Hegwer and MoWind (MidWest Organizers of Windsurfing) did a great job of race direction. They spent numerous days in sun, rain, wind and drizzle. They are to be commended.
Few people remember the expense that the city of Worthington/Worthington Public Utilities generously incurred to provide permanent electricity to the event site. It has been utilized and appreciated by many, and has proven to be a great benefit to the food vendors and sound stage.
Reflecting on 15 years: We had one year when we felt becalmed, yet even with low winds we had enough races to make the event official. In the ensuing years we have made windsurfing history. We have had some of the best wind speed averages that U.S. Windsurfing has seen, including a tornado warning. Yes, we still raced that day — even with some objections by some sailors ... saying it was to windy to race!
As the vice president of United States Windsurfing, I am exceedingly proud of my community and the way in which we accommodated these world-class sailors. Sailors came from all regions of the U.S., and we had representatives from Belgium, Canada, Australia and many far-flung places. A couple of sailors came in under the radar. Boris from Croatia holds his nation’s speed record and is within 5 knots of being the fastest speed sailor in the world. Steve Gottlieb recently won the Miami Pro Am and is an icon in the windsurfing world. They attended this event without appearance fees. They had heard the good things that this event had to offer and came on their on volition.
To the many unnamed people that made donations & contributions, we are beholden. The citizens of Worthington have every reason to stand tall and be proud.
Thanks for your efforts!