Come Sail Away in Okoboji ~

If your looking for something to do this week you might want take a walk or boat ride along the shores of Okoboji. This week the Okoboji Yacht Club is hosting the 2021 Inland Lakes Annual Championships Regatta August 15-21 on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa.

Yep, that would be the beautiful Great Lakes in Northwest Iowa – called Okoboji. West Okoboji Lake is the location for the fun to take place for this well attended Regatta.

The 2021 Inland Lakes Yachting Association Annual Championships Regatta takes place August 15-21 on West Lake Okoboji. This premiere race welcomes racers from around the Midwest, and was last held on West Lake Okoboji in 2013.

Several classes of sailboats will compete for the coveted awards. The boats and owners will travel to the Iowa Great Lakes Area from the lakes of Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Clear Lake in Iowa. Classes A and MC will race August 16-18. Classes E and C Scow boats begin arriving Wednesday, Aug. 18. They will race Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 19-21. Over 400 sailors are expected to compete throughout the week of racing.

Some of the best Midwest skippers and their crew will skillfully navigate their boats over a mile-long course and back. Courses on West Lake Okoboji will be be determined prior to the race, based on wind direction. The first leg of the race is directly into the wind with a length of more than one mile. In most cases, the sailboats will go around the course twice and then make a final leg to windward and the finish line.

So, we decided to hop in the boat and go watch the fun. WOW – what a sight to see! This was absolutely beautiful as they spread their sails. The vibrant blue and silver colors shining off the beautiful blue water.

Ready for the line up and waiting for the whistle to blow. Anticipation, adrenaline and excitement by all! The well tailored crew get in place as the countdown begin.

Picture perfect sailboats formatting for the run. I’m sure each of them have a theory or game plan to do their best race. After all, these professional sailors have spent many a days on the water practicing and waiting for this day to come!

Not only did the sailors line up, the audience lined up as well perching in theirs boats with their cups of coffee in hand to get a glimpse of these beauties dancing on the blue Okoboji water.

How does one manipulate these large sails without running into each other? It looks easy from our seat but I’m sure Mother Nature does have a bit to contribute wouldn’t you say?

The whistle blows and they are off to the races! The wind was perfect with lots of thrust was taking place as they sailed off for the win ~

Turning the corner and wowza the colors pop!

It almost reminded me a beautiful peacock spreading their wings. Blue and silver colors glowed as the race began and on the reverse return they spread their vibrant colors on the back side. Ohhhhhh ~

We were so caught up in the moment with awe! Watching all around the lake as they danced through the waters. We looked out our front window and what a bonus sight we seen right in front of us! These gentleman were such gracious performers as they gave us a thumbs up. Sit back and watch this was the message ~ little did they know how proud they were making Okoboji with their kind manners.

We just couldn’t get enough of these breath taking sailboats. We were memorized with all its beauty and in awe with how well they sailed.

Whoever these two perched in the sky had a Birdseye view of the Regatta Race. Their prime seats were scored like a “Rock Stars” high above the blue water. Not only did they have the excitement of the boat ride they certainly had the pleasure of taking in a good show. Suppose they knew what fun they were in for with this sight to see?

We are all are privileged to watch these sailboats sail on Lake Okoboji realizing this takes a large crew to kick this Regatta making the success it is. These spotters spend many hours on the lake making sure safety is first and far most for all involved.

Okoboji businesses are thriving because of the addition tourists this event brings to town. Organizing food for the crews, arranging lodging, and putting our first foot forward to show off Okoboji is a huge undertaking. A shout out to my dear friend Brigid Wilkening who has spent many hours making sure this fun event would take place without hiccups. Brigid’s dedication to arrange all the special the details is supported by many. Thank you Brigid – you make us proud.

So for those of you that still might want a peek of these beauties, here is more of the line up for the Regatta. So grab your coffee, sit on the shore or perch in your boat out of the way and come see this once in a lifetime show.

The entire time while we watched this Regatta I had several tunes playing in my head. So I leave you with the famous Styx song that we all know ~ “Come sail away with Me”.

What a privilege to witness this beautiful site ~ Okoboji, you make us proud!