CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The Clear Lake Yacht Club is hosting the 2020 MC Masters Championship Regatta. 46 sailors will be out on the water this weekend, testing their skill against the whims of mother nature.
"We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to host this...this event," said Charlie MacNider, principal race master for the regatta. He says folks from across the country will be converging on Clear Lake's open waters.
"This is essentially pretty much a national event. We have people from Texas and New Jersey and I believe Florida," said MacNider.
All the competitors are 50 and older and they will have their hands full raising and lowering sails, trying to harness the breeze.
"The wind changes, where your competitors are changes, the waves change. It's a very fluid and very challenging environment."
Mariner Stuart Oltrogge is one of the locals in the race. He says his love for sailing began at an early age.
"My parents who knew nothing about sailing bought a sailboat and that was the beginning of my sailing experience, when I was 11 years old and I'm currently 58 years old and I've been sailing ever since," said Oltrogge.
Organizers of the event are taking extra COVID-19 precautions to make sure everyone on land is kept safe. Oltrogge says out on the water, it's not much of a concern.
"Sailing by nature is a socially distanced sport. Especially if you're talking about people that are out on the sailboat by themselves," he said.
Many of the sailors this weekend are making a big sacrifice in order to compete.
"There are people that have come from states where Iowa is on the list of quarantine. So, when they go home they are going to have to quarantine for fourteen days."