SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even though the summer is winding down, some boaters at Lake Poinsett don’t seem to mind, because they’re sailing into fall and encouraging others to follow their lead.

9-year-old Genevieve Perkins of Sioux Falls was at the helm of her own sailboat this past weekend.

She was one of several sailors who participated in the annual Lake Poinsett Academy and Regatta.

“I’ve been going out on a boat with my dad and uncle for a long time,” Genevieve said.

Tom Henry, who spent 50 years in the men’s clothing business, says sailing suits him just fine.

“And I got to know some of the sailors and they just encouraged me to give it a shot and I went out with them a couple of times and kind of got hooked on it,” Henry said.

Henry says learning to sail was pretty easy, mainly because others showed him the ropes.

“When everything is correct the red ribbons are all horizontal, it shows your boat and sail are trimmed properly,” Henry said.

The annual Lake Poinsett Academy and Regatta was started by Joanie Holm’s late husband, Rick.

“He was a lover of people and a lover of sailing and you put the two together and he was a happy person,” Holm said.

Clark Perkins is a mental health counselor in Brookings. He says sailing is good for his mental health.

“You can just go out and forget about all the troubles you have and you’re playing with the wind sometimes going really fast and sometimes tipping over,” Clark said.

During the annual regatta, they have to navigate their sailboats on a course marked by buoys, easier said than done.

“It’s the thrill of knowing how to work the wind, you can go anywhere, you have to do a lot of zig-zagging back n forth, it’s fun to learn how the wind blows and how you can guide yourself through it,” Clark said.

Genevieve did more than just get through it, she won.

“It feels pretty good,” Genevieve said. “I like going fast and I like being out on the water in general with my family.”

But out here everyone seems like family.

Joanie Holm says her late husband would be proud knowing that the Lake Poinsett Academy and Regatta, that he started years ago, is still sailing along smoothly.

“He would love it, he would love it,” Holm said.

If you’re interested in learning how to sail, contact the Lake Poinsett Academy and Regatta. They’d be glad to show you the ropes.