Windy weather docks boat festival

Saturday, June 7th 2008, 11:51 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

Each year, the Oklahoma Riverfest at Regatta Park grows in size, and as the festivities continued this year, the weather took center stage.

"That's just part of outdoor events," rower Mike McAuliffe said. "You just take it an hour at a time or a day at a time."

When it comes to the safety of participants, decisions have to be made quickly. Rowers were able to take in the early morning competitions.

"We got a practice run in and actually had one of our final races in so that hard work paid off," rower Todd Little said.

When the afternoon winds picked up, organizers had to cancel the popular dragon boat racing much to the disappointment of competitors.

"It's pretty choppy, but I think it's important that we're safe more than getting to participate," rower Alesha Leemast said.

Rowing in windy conditions can be dangerous for the inexperienced as well as professional rowers.

"Thiers's definitely a chance we could tip the boat and fall out, but we're all wearing life jackets and all that so we should be good to go," professional rower Jeremy Kuhlam said.

While some of the water events were cancelled, the public took part in plenty of land activities.