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Friday, January 21, 2005

Wind sailors cheer lake ice

Wind sailors cheer lake ice
Skiers, snowboarders coming to town for Lake Simcoe Wind Sports Festival



Jan 20, 2005
John Slykhuis, Staff Writer - More from this author

With frigid temperatures finally thickening the ice on Cook's Bay, anglers and snowmobilers will be joined by another group of ice enthusiasts: wind sailers.

The third annual Lake Simcoe Wind Sports Festival Saturday and Sunday will see a wide variety of skiers, surfers and snowboarders, all propelled by various types of colourful chutes, sails and kites.

Along with good ice conditions, participants are praying for the strong winds they need to get up to speeds as fast as an automobile, organizer Grant Fitz of Canadian Wind Rider said.

Cook's Bay was chosen because it's generally the windiest part of the lake, Mr. Fitz said.

"Although many of the ice and snow sailing sports have been around since the early 1980s, popularity of the summer equivalent wind sailing on water has brought more visibility to kite-powered winter activities," he said.

More than 100 wind worshippers from all over Ontario and Quebec are expected to descend on the south end of Cook's Bay, off Glenwoods Avenue.

People watching from shore can have a good view of the action, with activities starting both days at 11 a.m.

If skies are clear, many will be back on the ice after sunset to sail under the near full moon Saturday.

Its light, enhanced by the reflective snow and ice, will mean excellent visibility, Mr. Fitz said.

Cook's Bay offers more total sailable terrain than the huge Whistler resort in B.C., he added. The event includes demonstrations and equipment displays for those considering taking up the sport.

Wind sailers have been cautioned about parking and asked to respect all signage, Mr. Fitz said.

"We're asking everyone to do their best to respect the community on their day at the lake," he said.

For more information, log onto canadianwindrider.com


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STAFF FILE PHOTO/SUSIE KOCKERSCHEIDT

Wind and ice enthusiasts will glide on Cook's Bay this weekend for their annual get-together as they did in this scene from last year.



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