Windsurfing in Minnesota!

12 Jun

I admit that I complain from time to time about the lack of salt water in Minnesota. I live in a land-locked state, and nothing can be done about that. Technicalities like the Eerie Canal, etc. just don’t count in my mind as making Minnesota NOT land-locked, though my children’s geography teachers may beg to differ. It certainly doesn’t put a salt-water beach within sight or reasonable driving distance!

However…I do live in the land of Ten Thousand Lakes, and I am thrilled that I do. This means I at least have some large bodies of water to enjoy (as well as many small ones) and that makes me happy indeed.

Sunset over Lake Okabena, Worthington, MN.

This weekend here in Worthington, Minnesota, we made the very best of the lake in the center of our town. This was the 12th annual Windsurfing Regatta and it was a blast as usual. Even though I wasn’t able to attend much of the festivities, I very much enjoyed the time I was able to hang out at Sailboard Beach to watch the surfers, listen to music, and chat with many friends.

The calm before the storm of people!

Believe it or not, Worthington has twice been host over the past 12 years to the National Windsurfing Championships – isn’t that an honor?


You see, it’s not the size of the town that matters, it’s the speed of the wind.

And here on the prairie, WE HAVE WIND!! The wind turbines across the lake give mute testimony to this fact, as do the waves kicked up by the surfers in some of these pictures.

One race on Saturday morning – I love their wings on the water – like delicate insects.

The Regatta is also host to the Unvarnished Music Festival – a chance for bands large and small – and not just local bands, either – to grace attendees with their tunes at decibels rarely heard along the waterfront. I used to live two long blocks away from Sailboard Beach, and we could hear it from out house, no problem. But it’s part of the atmosphere – part of the fun – and no one is complaining of noise.

One of the bands!

Kids could swim or play on the shore (note I refrain from calling it a “beach”) while parents browse along the many booths of arts and crafts or food venders, or visit the beer garden. In other words, there’s something for everyone.

Meep and Boo – enjoying the water.

There are races for surfers of all ages and skill levels – as well as lessons for those wanting to learn – and it’s a marvelous time here in land-locked Minnesota.

If you like to windsurf…come on over! The lake is always open for surfers, and the regatta is always the second weekend in June.

PS – if you want to read me philosophizing about the regatta, then check out my other blog: The View From my Window. It’s a more “me” post. Since most of the people who read that blog live locally, they didn’t need this report!

I took so many surfing pictures that it was hard to pick my favorites – so here’s a whole handful to help show the heart of the weekend!

Is he in the water on purpose? Not sure!

The race is on!

Who won, I wonder?

The sidewalk is lined with…boards!

The judges boat – complete with signal flags. Nautical signal flags have always fascinated me.


19 Responses to “Windsurfing in Minnesota!”

  1. Nancy Cook June 12, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Great report, Gretchen!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 12, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Thanks, Nancy! It’s such a fun time – my other blog is more my usual style of writing!

  2. treadlemusic June 12, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    We came through your area (returning from the Black Hills) last Thursday. Definitely breezy on the Prairie…..the last few days you have been so kind as to share those healthier breezes with us who live due East (Coulee Region/Houston,MN)!! 56F at the moment and delightful…….laundry and quilting await……….

  3. emily christensen June 12, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    So glad you came down to see us! Great Regatta pics! Love the one of the girls on the “shore.” 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 12, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you for using the correct term! Ha. It was very fun seeing you and I wish I could have sat down longer and just watched things happening. So fun. I hope you all had a great weekend!

  4. cravesadventure June 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Loving your post – great photos – makes me miss the lakes back there! Happy Tuesday:)

  5. gardenfreshtomatoes June 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Wonderful photos! Looks like it was a terrific weekend.
    (I grew up FAR from any salt water, but no one ever called the lake shores “beaches”!)

  6. hotlyspiced June 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I’ve always lived in cities on a coast, pretty much within walking distance to the water (salt water). It would be quite strange to be in a land-locked area so it’s great you have the lakes. Is the water cold? I’ve swum in Lake Taupo in NZ and that water is freezing. xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      The water gets warm because all lakes on the prairie are pretty shallow – no hills or depressions in the ground – just flat! Unfortunately, that also means that the lakes tend to develope algae in August and are not too nice bythe end of the summer. But…still lovely to look at!

  7. whatimeant2say June 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    That looks like so much fun!

  8. Minnesota Prairie Roots June 13, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Gretchen, I am duly impressed by this Windsurfing Regatta. You did a great job of capturing the event in images, enough so that Randy and I may just need to take this in next summer.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      It would truly be a blast to have you here! You and I can exchange blogging topics…

  9. prairiewisdom June 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Looks like such a great time!

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