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White Bear Lake sailing club visits Green Lake in Spicer, Minn.

Sailboats sit on Saulsbury Beach July 9 at Green Lake in Spicer. The Bald Eagle Yacht Club from White Bear Lake held its weekly race on Green Lake last weekend. It's a way to get out of town and try out different lakes, say organizers. The boat races brought in 20 sailboats to compete on a mile-long course. (Tribune photo by TJ Jerke)

While on the lake, some boaters welcome a strong wind, especially if it's their only way to get back to shore.

With winds around 20 mph and gusts up to 30 mph on Green Lake, last weekend was the perfect weekend to hold the 8th annual Bald Eagle Regatta.

Twenty teams racing Hobie Catamaran sailboats took to Green Lake July 9 and 10 racing up and down a mile-long course battling the waves, wind and each other.

A majority of the teams belong to the Regatta sponsor, the Bald Eagle Yacht Club from White Bear Lake, which sponsors a weekly race series on Bald Eagle Lake.

Sue Mortenson, vice commodore of the Bald Eagle Yacht Club, said the races are a good way to compete, see the Spicer-area and have fun.

"We get to meet a lot of people and we all have something in common," she said.

The sailors raced three separate times Saturday morning and afternoon, and again Sunday morning.

Racing with her husband, Dave Mortenson, the two sailed into Saulsbury Beach Saturday afternoon a little tired, and a little wet.

"The races are a blast," Sue Mortenson said. "It is a little tiring but we enjoy it too much to care."

Bill Snellman of Buffalo and his father, Lenny, of Stillwater, were taking Bill Snellman's boat out for their first race Saturday morning.

With heavy winds and some inexperience, the two decided to stay on shore during the first set of races.

Snellman said he picked up sailing the 400-pound boats when he was a teenager and now only hopes he can get his two children to pick it up when they get older.

"I thought it would be a fun family thing" he said. "The boats are pretty reasonable and there is no gas involved, you just need a place to store it."

A former National Guard member, Snellman purchased his Hobie sailboat while serving in Iraq in 2007. He said he found a deal on the Internet and picked it up when he returned home from active duty.

Annette Jagger of White Bear Lake also took up sailing at a young age. Having participated in the Green Lake races every year, Jagger floated in with boat-mate Leon Hansen from Denmark.

Jagger said the races on Green Lake help the yacht club members get out of the Twin Cities area and enjoy another body of water.

"It's like a paradise," Jagger said referring to Spicer. "Everything is here for you and the people are great."

Mortenson said the Spicer Marina was very helpful last weekend, providing a pontoon for the race officials, and lake residents volunteered their time to help in patrol boats.

With many years sailing experience, Jagger still found refuge in the patrol boats after taking a dip into the lake after the wind blew her sailboat over before the Saturday morning race began.

"The sailboats are fun," Jagger said. "Even if the boat tips over, it's pretty hilarious."