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State Games ready to take to the water

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 6, 2003
Fred Smith will be paying a little closer attention to the weather radar readings this weekend.
The commissioner of the sailing competition at the State Games of Mississippi will be hoping the thunderstorms predicted for Saturday and Sunday are greatly exaggerated, as the games begin this weekend with five events.
Sailing unlike the other four events (martial arts, biathlon, fencing and mule and donkey) that kick off the Olympic style competition in the Magnolia State will need a lot of help from mother nature to go off without a hitch.
The boating event will be held at Okatibbee Lake starting with a skipper's meeting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the races will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Competitors will race in divisions of either Cruising Class (boats with cabins) or Centerboard Class (open boats) at the two-day event.
Smith said the plan is to hold four races on Saturday and two races on Sunday.
But how the races play out will mainly be dictated by what mother nature offers the sailors.
Along with looking for good weather, sailing is also a time to look for old friends.
Smith said six to eight boats will be a good draw for the races, and the competition gives sailing enthusiast a time to catch up with friends.
While the racing times for each heat vary, depending on the strength of the wind, Smith said each race will last for about an hour and a half.
If the wind is not very strong, the course length will be shortened to get in all the races.
In cases of rain outs or just not having wind to hold a race, times for competitions can be switched around over the weekend.
But whether sailors are navigating choppy or smooth waters, the main focus will be the camaraderie of the water.

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