Day -1 : Started wet in the morning with little wind.
We asked the lady at the hotel reception about things to do in the area. She explained we could go to the blue mounds national park to see the bisons. Since we'd never seen bisons before, this sounded like a good idea! The lady warned us though that the bisons could be in the middle of the range and we may only see them in the distance.
Off we went. It took us a few attempts at finding the entrance of the park but eventually we found it.
The lady at the ranger's office told us a similar story. We could see the bisons about 1/2 mile away but she said that was probably as close as we could get to them.
We went to the observation point where we could see the bisons with a pair of binoculars. We could see a big bull in the middle of the herd. It was huge! Much to our surprise, the herd was actually moving slowly but surely close to the fence about another 1/2 mile away. We drove there and a few minutes later the herd was yards from the fence. What a sight! The cows had some calves around them. The bisons were looking at me just on the other side of the fence. They were sniffing into the wind wondering what kind of stranger I was. That was quite an experience!
In the mean time, the rain had stopped. We headed back to Worthington and prepared the kit for the regatta. Josh, the Starboard importer had brought some SUPs, including an inflatable one. Lyrah tried it and found it great! We paddled to the 'Ice cream beach' and back. 

Day 0:  The wind was very light  so the day was spent doing all the little repairs to bring the kit in tip top condition.
I finished the day with an SUP session around the lake. Awesome!!

Day1 : We saw all the tents and trailers for the festival. Worthington is a small town and it was amazing to see the efforts the community had done to organize the event.
The briefing was a good opportunity for everyone to catch up.

 It didn't take long to get the course set up. A simple upwind downwind course leaving the marks to starboard. We like that. The simpler the better. 

The wind was quite gusty, strong at times with holes. It reminded me the years when I used to do the race events of the London Windsurfing Association in the UK. The wind was also gusty on the reservoirs in that region.
I did a reasonable job of avoiding the holes to win all four races. Christophe  got ahead of me in one race. The gusts made the racing interesting!
After four Formula races in between race board races, I remembered how physical it was to race inland. Lots of tacks and jibes!
The music festival was great in the evening. There was even a parade with drums and dancing kids! 

Day 2: The day started as per forecast, quite windy! It was decided to run slalom. I'd rigged up 10.0, 8.6 and 7.7. I went out with the 8.6 and the Isonic 110. The wind was cross onshore but the launching area was quite sheltered.  Once I'd made it towards the middle of the lake, the wind was there. The gusts were quite strong, enough to be well powered up on the 8.6. Once I'd made my way upwind to the start line, I was surprised to see how light the wind was up there. There were still some strong gusts but there were some big holes in between.
Luckily, I managed to get planning for all the starts.  There was always a little gust at the right time.  Once we were away, the wind was good. It was great slalom conditions! The 8.6 was a good compromise between the light wind at the start and the stronger wind in the middle of the lake. The package worked and it helped me to win all the heats. I had a good battle in one of the heats with Marc. The wind had shifted right in the afternoon so the port legs were tight. Those were the times when the 48 cm fin was needed.
It was a long day on the water but we managed to do two full rounds of slalom!

One of the great things about the Worthington event is the Music festival. The artists were really good. Especially for a European, it's quite an experience to listen to folk music by the water in the evening!

Day 3: The day started with light wind and great sunshine. Even the raceboards decided to wait before going out.  The Formula racers didn't want to do anymore light wind racing so they were happy to wait too. Around mid day the wind had picked up to about 8 knots so the raceboards went out. As it's often the case, some of the gusts were strong but there were some big holes.  The weather was gorgeous. My wife Lyrah decided to try the new Starboard inflatable board in windsurfing mode. She had tried a few days earlier as an SUP. The board worked really well! I was following Lyrah around on a raceboard. It was probably twelve years since I'd been riding one! After a while, I joined the race with the other raceboards.  I was more rusty than I thought I would be!

Half way through the second race, the race committee told me they were planning to run some Formula races so I dashed back to the shore and grabbed my Formula board which was ready to go. The forecast was really accurate. The wind had picked up as expected. I was nicely powered up with the 12.0 on the 167. The gusts had picked up too and some of them were pretty powerful. We had three good races. Some of the shifts were huge and made for interesting racing! Ron Kern got a good lift off the start line and he reached the windward mark in first place. We had a good battle in the following downwind leg and I managed to work my way back into the lead.

That night was the reggae night. We were too tired to listen to the music though. We went straight to dinner!

Day 4: Thunderstorms were announced. Indeed, the day started with torrential rain, thunder, lightening and 40 knot gusts! The race committee told us they were not scared of the rain, just the lightening. We were on an hourly pattern. I came back a few times to check. The rain, thunder, lightening and winds were as strong as ever. At noon, lunch was served in a local restaurant, Ben Lee.  The food was great! After lunch, the rain had stopped and the thunder was moving away.  The slalom course was set. The wind had gone light though so I rigged up the 10.0 on the Formula 167 and the 8.6 on the Isonic 110. The Formula proved to be the right choice in the first three heats. The fourth and last heat was windier but the wind was a bit light as usual near the start line. The 10.0 on the 167 was perfect to get off the line planning. Further downwind, the wind got quite strong but still manageable on Formula so I won that last heat too.
Let's see what happens tomorrow. At least, I'm in a strong position to win both the Formula and slalom disciplines!
Day 5: The day started with rain and strong winds. Soon, the rain cleared so it was nice to rig up. The wind had dropped a notch but not that much.
I rigged up 10.0 and 8.6.
Quite often when the wind is very gusty, you're better off with a smaller sail to gain during the transitions. Hence I decided to take the 8.6.
It proved to be a reasonable choice. I was very comfortable.
Christophe finished the first lap of the first race with me but he was on the wrong side of the leeward mark so that gave me an advantage. I won the first three races with a good lead. At the start of the last race, we got headed at the start but I carried on in the header. That was a basic mistake! Christophe tacked on port early and made it most of the way to the mark in an almighty lift. I rounded the top mark about 300 yards behind him. Christophe kept the lead until the second downwind. I stayed a bit more centered on a gust and squeezed ahead.

We managed to do 4 course races today and I had a great time in the 8.6!
Finally, after 5 days of competition, I'd won the US nationals in Formula and Slalom! That was my fifth US Nationals (2010 to 2014).

Thank you to the city of Worthington and the race committee for putting together such a great event.