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Sturgeon Stampede

The 27th annual Sturgeon Stampede will kick off Friday Feb 12 at noon with snowkiting and sailing until dark off the shores of Roosevelt Park. Friday afternoon the Winnebago Association of Kiteboarders (WAK) will be sponsoring LIVE music from 5pm to 10pm just off the shores of Sunset Grill and Bar, featuring the Josh Schneider Band, and returning entertainment from D’Willy and the Souvenirs. WAK will also be providing refreshments and food, and the lake’s LARGEST bonfire to keep the crowd warm and lively. Organizers will also host the annual Sturgeon Queen Contest and crown the winner prior to the “on-ice” Fireworks show to be held at 9:30 pm.

On Saturday the Stampede will host the Midwest’s best Kiteboarders and Ice Sailors in a competition of Racing, Freestyle, and “Big Air” jumping. Kiting events are scheduled from 11am to 5pm wind permitting. Complimentary kites will be given away to the first arriving spectators to join in on the kite flying. Racing will be held approx. 1/2 mile off shore of Roosevelt Park. Shelters, food and refreshments will be available. Awards will be presented at the Fishing Has No Boundaries Tent Saturday evening.

Sunday will bring more kite and sailing activities with many of the area riders enjoying and sharing the ‘free ride’ experience of winter winds as they play, soar, and sail on the frozen lake. Sunday is also the official alternate competition day if there is no wind on Saturday. Shelters, food and refreshments will be available.

Stampede poster 2016

Photo Galleries from Summer and Fall

Check out some of the action shots taken this summer and fall of local kiters riding the shores of Winnebago.

Summer Gallery

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Fall Gallery

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Winnebago Lake Crossing

WAK members Kevin, Ben, and Dan geared up and kited across Lake Winnebago on October 27. The 28 mile crossing took the boys roughly 3 hours starting from Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac, and finishing at Waverly Beach in Menasha. Winds were out of the East at 18 gusting to 30 and the guys put on nearly 40 miles on the water. The route followed the east shore of the lake with everyone boosting and thrashing as mush as possible. It was a perfect direction that lead the riders to Miller’s Bay just north of Oshkosh where they discovered a 1/4 mile flat water slick. After a few passes in the butter water, they pulled out and found that the wind was clocking to the NE and they had a 13 mile upwind pinch to make their landing. An hour later with exhausted arms and legs, all three sailors greeted their welcoming party Mary, Mike, and Mike at Waverly for a couple beers. Nice Crossing Guys.fIMG_3192IMG_3207IMG_3196

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WAK Member’s Video Kite Shoot

A group of WAK Kiters  helped the Fond du Lac Area Visitors and Convention Bureau with a video shoot on Wed August 19 off Deadwood Point. Jeff, Mark, Kevin, Ben, Scott, Jason, and Dan were more than happy to throw down some moves and slash some waves for the two videographers hired by the CVB.  Kevin graciously offered the use of his pontoon boat to shuttle the video crew out to the wave area off Deadwood Point. Winds were huge out of the SW gusting to near 30MPH, making for some great boosts and speed runs past the boat.  The CVB plans to compile the material  into a series of videos on their website depicting activity in the FDL area.  The CVB has been a great advocate for WAK and our members were more than happy to Kite and crash for the Bureau.

 

DeadWood Memorial Day Kick-Off

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A great time was had on Monday May 24, “Memorial Day” In Memory of the pioneers of wind sports, WAK members gathered at one of our favorite Winnebago launches, “DeadWood Point”.  The day brought morning rains that  lead to sunny skies and BIG winds. It was a great South wind around 25 gusting to 30. Over a dozen riders honored our predecessors with lots of big boosts, big crashes, and big drinking. Great start to the summer season!

View a gallery of some Spring pics.

WISSA VILLAGE 2015

Check out WISSA Village captured by Casey with his drone.

WISSA 2015 from Casey VanSanten on Vimeo.

Welcome to the WISSA 2015 Race Site

The WISSA 2015 race site has been selected, and is being developed, improved and most importantly, TESTED ! Last weekend a few of the local kiters and sailors made the best of 12-15mph SW winds and tested the conditions at the selected site for the 2015 World Championships.  The ice is firm and smooth on the 600+ ft diameter STS track and surrounding snow was great for setting an edge and carving a line with a snowboard or skis.  all around, the conditions are very good. Mother nature just added a few more inches of snow tonight and temperatures are forecasted to be below freezing for the next 10 days.

 

Lake Winnebago Conditions

The mighty Lake Winnebago has already seen several changes in its conditions since its first freeze in mid November. It was a worrisome time in Mid December when temperatures were in the mid 40′s and open water was appearing everywhere…. except at the WISSA/Stampede site. The ice in the South East corner of the lake has held up well. Last week a crack opened up about a half mile out, and is still open today, but there is plenty of smooth, firm ice for the sportsmen.  There has been a lot of sailing action off the shores of Roosevelt Park. Ice boats, Windsurfers, Wing Sailors, Ice skaters, fishermen, and beer drinkers all on the lake enjoying what mother nature has provided. This week is bringing a good freeze and should lock the ice back up and set it on its way for vehicle traffic.

So sharpen your blades, and tighten your bindings, because the winter playground is open !

Sturgeon Stampede Update

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Only 60 days until we celebrate the 26th annual Sturgeon Stampede. This year has the vibe of becoming an epic year. Not only are we hosting the 35th annual World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships, but we have extended the Stampede to 4 days and added some new events including a kite fly-in, “Spear the Fatty” bike race, and “The Booty Run” Adventure Obstacle Run. To support all these awesome activities, We will have 2 heated shelters (WAK Shacks) and a huge heated tent for food, drink, music, and sponsor and vendor booths. Other activities will include tether ball, ice bowling, bag toss and a “Sturgeon Queen” contest. There will also be kite, wing and windsurf demos, and ice fishing and sturgeon spearing demos. On Friday we will light the  ceremonial bonfire at dusk, and follow that with live music, fireworks, and lots of beer drinking.  Saturday afternoon we will hold the Stampede “Big Air” Contest (Sunday alternate no wind day). Saturday night there will be an included awards dinner and program at the Retlaw Hotel. There are three ways to register for kite and sailing events at the Stampede. First You can register for 5 days of WISSA competition for $175 (thru Jan 1) by clicking here. This includes racing, bib, t-shirt, goody bag, daily lunches, awards dinner, and nightly activities.  The second option is to register for the Stampede 3 day event for $70 by clicking here. This includes 3 days of  ‘free riding’, ‘Big Air’ competition, t-shirt, daily lunches, Saturday awards dinner, and nightly activities. Then there is the Stampede 1 day event Registration is here. It includes 1 day of ‘free riding’, ‘Big Air’ competition, t-shirt and lunch.

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