Wind forecast looks ideal for approaching Regatta weekendWORTHINGTON — Blow, wind, blow — just not too much. The weather forecast for this weekend’s Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival is shaping up to be close to perfect, with significant winds that won’t knock the windsurfers off their boards.
WORTHINGTON — Blow, wind, blow — just not too much.
The weather forecast for this weekend’s Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival is shaping up to be close to perfect, with significant winds that won’t knock the windsurfers off their boards.
“The winds will be approximately 15 mph on Friday, and 15 to 25 mph on Saturday and Sunday,” explained Craig Bergh, a local windbsurfer who heads up the Midwest Speed Quest events throughout the sailing season on Lake Okabena. “I think the racers will be excited with the ideal windsurfing conditions.”
That’s music to the ears of the Regatta’s race director, Jeff Hegwer, who counts founding the event and taking the reins of the race committee among his proudest moments.
“Our race committee has now been asked to help out with other events,” said Hegwer. “We’ve been recognized as being credible and professional. We used to be a bunch of weekend sailors who weren’t particularly good at racing, and now the leading organization in the nation has taken notice and has an interest in what we’ve been doing.”
Arden Anderson, the Great Lakes regional director for U.S. Windsurfing, agreed that the Worthington Race Committee has proven to be credible and professional.
“I’ve participated in very successful Worthington Regattas for the last eight years or so,” said Anderson. “Worthington has hosted the U.S. National Championships twice; 2008 was one of the best events I’ve attended in 21 years.”
Like many sports, windsurfing has experienced ups and downs, and events like Worthington’s Regatta help to initiate new enthusiasts to its ranks.
“We’ve done more teaching, more promoting, and we’ve given windsurfing a platform to give it some visibility,” explained Hegwer. “We have actually produced new sailors, new racers . . . and now we’ve produced race committee members. We are making things happen.”
Anderson won at the Worthington Regatta five consecutive years. His streak ended last year.
“The Regatta has always been one of the windiest events,” said Anderson. “There tends to be very good competition there, with people from Minnesota, Iowa, Canada, Illinois. . . and there’s just a great race organization structure.”
Anderson is also the president of a regional organization called Mowind, which helps schedule a series of windsurfing events throughout the Midwest Region.
“Worthington is the best-attended windsurfing event in the region,” Anderson noted. “Even if there isn’t good wind, we still have a good time. We haven’t had typical Okabena winds for the past few years, but Jeff still came up with other events to make it fun.”
One of these events included the Ducky Drop, where rubber ducks were placed on the race course. Each duck had a number on it that corresponded with a prize.
“Creative ideas are one of the hallmarks of Jeff’s capabilities,” said Anderson. “He does a good job as a race director in both the typical and the atypical sense — he thinks ouside the box.”
Anderson also noted that the trophies at the Worthington Regatta are “top-notch.”
“The trophies Jeff gives out are the best trophies I’ve ever seen at any windsurfing event. I’m looking forward to being there this weekend,” he said.
Racing will take place on both Saturday and Sunday, with the racing and courses dependent on the wind. Registration will begin at noon Friday. Roger Jackson will also return to offer windsurfing lessons to those who want to give the sport a try.
“Once more we’re looking forward to the opportunity to dance on the wind,” said Hegwer.