An Event of Uncommon Merit!
By Bill Keitel, VP Emeritus, US Windsurfing
So ends the 2023 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival. It was the most pleasant weekend to be found in any upper Midwest community. The newly purchased sound stage took a full day to assemble and was up and running for a spectacular evening performance. Hats off to the City of Worthington for making this investment that will be meaningfully used for years to come.
Friday night the crowd was standing room only for a hundred yards in front of the well-lit and nicely-appointed sound stage. It was a perfect christening for this new investment that the city had made. Windows rattled with rhythmic enjoyment for blocks in every direction. Not a toe left untapped!
On Saturday a dozen of the most skilled windsurfers in all of the Midwest showed up on Sailboard Beach to eventually battle it out on the water. The winds were quite light but consistent and the racing appeared to be in slow motion as Mother Nature decided the course and speed of the wind.
A dedication was made for a new bronze bench and statue of Amelia Earhart on Sailboard Beach. She spent her summers in Worthington and learned to swim in Lake Okabena. Her gaze is directed toward Earhart Point which is a half mile distant.
Saturday evening a sailors banquet sated the appetites of hungry windsurfers from as far away as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Chicago, Des Moines and Minneapolis. A slight rainfall dampened a few spirits for a brief time but it also kept down the dust! The bands selected for the evening’s entertainment drew a dedicated and diehard crowd of enthusiastic fans. The food trucks were feeding a hungry crowd for the entire weekend with above average food, it was a culinary delight.
Sunday morning the winds picked up to 17 knots with gusts to 25 and the windsurfers recognized that this is what Worthington has always promised: “The Best Wind in the Midwest” or “The Fastest Lake in the Nation?” You decide! Racing was over by one o’clock and yet sailors were reluctant to leave, the wind continued to blow, the temperature was seventy degrees, the sun was shining and it was a perfect weekend.
The reluctance to leave was created by friendships borne of the wind and the recognition that they were once again being scattered. We all said our goodbyes and expressed gratitude to a community that worked unerringly to create “An Event of Uncommon Merit!”
WELL DONE WORTHINGTON!