Background - what's "EL" stand for?

I've always raced as sail # EL11. Why?

My earliest experiences sailing were on Elkhart Lake in southeastern Wisconsin. I first sailed with my Dad in a small sailboat similar to a Sunfish, called a Snark. He soon upgraded to a 16-foot Hobie Cat that my brothers and I eventually learned to sail on our own.
Our Hobie 16 on Elkhart Lake

After gaining proficiency sailing boats, my older brother decided to try windsurfing around 1990. I followed suit a few years later, soon followed by my younger brother as well. While looking for another board for all of us to share, my Dad found Windpower Windsurfing in nearby Fond du Lac. The owner, Kevin Gratton, encouraged us to come to racing events in order to practice our skills, and we were soon hooked. I then spent my high school years trying to catch Kevin and the established racers at these events, along with my brothers, Dad, and some friends from school (all of us had sail numbers that started with "EL" for Elkhart Lake). We eventually got good enough to spar with the top guys in the Midwest and attend National and International events in the IMCO Olympic class.
Some vagabonds on their first trip to The Gorge
1996 Olympic Trials
At home on Elkhart Lake

Sometime in the early 90's the local racers (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Canada, eh) formed a group called MOWIND for the Midwest Organizers of Windsurfing. After 15+ years attending their events, I am now an officer for the MOWIND group and frequently post to their website at I also run the Walleye Wagatta event held on Lake Winnebago in Fond du Lac each spring.

Finally, I am the Director for the Great Lakes region of US Windsurfing. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about windsurfing, especially in the Midwest.

See you on the water.
Arden, EL-11