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This past weekend we headed over to Fond du Lac for the WISSA Championship Races. We arrived about noon, checked into our motel and then started looking for the races.

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We found what looked like the race area out on the ice but my wife was reluctant to drive onto the ice. I pointed out that the ice was safe and it was a long walk if she didn’t drive out onto the ice. We noticed a shuttle bus driving by so we followed it out onto the ice.

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When we arrived there wasn’t much going on. It was cool out. the air temperature was around 21 but there was a strong wind blowing down the lake. If you had any exposed skin you got cold quickly.

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I finally stopped and asked someone what events were going to take place. As it turned out he spoke very little English but I finally figured out that they would be doing a slalom race although it wasn’t clear when it would start. There were participants from about a dozen countries participating in the event. This was quite the coup for Fond du Lac. Last year the races were held in Russia. There were a few folks out on the ice practicing.

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Soon more racers started coming out to gear-up. There was a wide variety of gear. Some racers were wearing skates, some of the skates were a foot high. The skaters just held the boards and maneuvered them with their hands. Others were using boards with a sail mounted on the board.

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They seemed to have a block of ice to help at the start so they didn’t blow around. A the drop of a flag they were off.

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I watched them race for a while and then noticed the kite surfers were starting to gear-up so I watched them while they started to get their gear ready.They had an area right by the parking lot that they used to inflate their kits and hook them up. It was windy so it took a couple of people to get the kite up and running.

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It turned out they were doing speed trials. The racers gathered out on the ice and then one of them would take off for the finish line. It looked like they were using a timing gun to check their speed at the finish line.

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I watched them for a while but they were too far out onto the ice to get any close-up photos.

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After the races my wife and I drove back to the motel and inquired about good places for Friday night fish fries. It turned out that Wendt’s on the Lake was highly recommended. This was also the location for one of the weigh in stations for the Sturgeon fishing that would take place the following day. On the drive to Wendt’s we could see hundreds of ice fishing shacks out on Lake Winnebago.

Wendt’s was packed but we only had a short wait because most of the fisherman were at the bar getting fueled up for the start of Sturgeon fishing early the next morning.

When we returned to our hotel we decided to cancel our reservations for the following night. The weather report for the following day was zero degrees and 35 mph winds coming from the north We didn’t think we would stand being out on the ice all day.

More photos from the day can be found on my website.

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