50th Annual National Regatta Festival Kicks Off At Lake Hefner
OKLAHOMA CITY - The 50th annual Catalina 22 National Regatta Competition is now underway at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. The competition began Monday, July 29.
Dozens of sailors from across the country are in town for the event.
“We were supposed to hold (the event) at our club Tsa-La-Gi up on Lake Fort Gibson, but because of all of the flooding, we partnered with the Oklahoma City Boat Club to bring it down here,” said Duncan McBride from the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association.
Nineteen boats are taking part in the four-day competition. Three different groups will tackle a one-mile course on the lake.
Planning the event typically takes over a year, but Oklahoma City Boat Club organizers only had three weeks to prepare.
Points are added up following each morning and afternoon race. The team with the most, wins.
“It is a lot of different parts to the game, no one person can do it,” said Douglas Thome, who won Monday morning’s race. “It is definitely a team sport.”
Sailors get competitive when out on the water.
“I’m not thinking about anything else except where the next puff is, where the next velocity is and what we have to do,” said Thome. “It may sound funny, but to me that's relaxing, it really just shuts out the rest of the world.”
While sailing is a passion, so are kids. That is what keeps most of these men and women going.
“I think the most rewarding part in all of sailing is when we get the younger kids, the younger crowd in and get to teach them something new,” said McBride.
The Oklahoma City Boat Club is working on getting a few more national regattas scheduled at Lake Hefner for the future.