The promoters of a nationally-televised professional wakeboarding tour have taken what is considered the final step toward holding one of its events on Lake Norman this year.Chris Bischoff, the tournament director of the Pro Wakeboard Tour and its associated King Of Wake series, confirmed that a letter was sent the last week of January to Duke Energy to get the necessary approvals and permits for the June 1 event.“Joe Kluttz (of Duke Energy’s lake services division) sent me an email last week letting me know they needed this letter,” Bischoff said in an email Jan. 22. “Plan on knocking that off the list this week.”Duke Energy, which manages Lake Norman and the other lakes in the Catawba-Wateree River system under license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requires such approvals for events that can have an effect on either the lake’s environment or navigational safety – and in the case of the Pro Wakeboard Tour event, both.For example, tournament organizers have a plan in place where boaters wishing to view the final day of the three-day event can anchor along the side of the course. That plan has been approved by the Lake Norman Marine Commission, which approved the rafting permit during its Jan. 14 meeting.In addition, the organizers also have to get Duke Energy’s approval to install the “wake rails” that are a mainstay of the Pro Wakeboard Tour and King Of Wake events. The rails, which the competitors use to perform certain tricks, will be installed the day before the event begins, then left in place through the three days of competition, which begins May 30.“Our primary interest with events of this nature is ensuring environmental and navigational safety,” Duke Energy spokesman Erin Culbert said in a Jan. 22 email. “Duke Energy needs to issue a permit for that type of activity to take place within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission project boundary. We are receptive to reviewing a written request from the organizers when we receive it.” Nature programA local expert on birds will be the guest speaker at the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists’ free nature program at 6 p.m. Feb. 7 in Mooresville. Taylor Piephoff, a member of the Mecklenburg County chapter of the Audubon Society and a columnist on birding for the Observer, will talk about how to participate in the upcoming “Great Backyard Birdcount.”The bird count is held during Presidents Day weekend each year, with this year’s event scheduled Feb. 15-18. It is being co-sponsored by the national Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.The nature program is free and open to the public, and will be held in the Youth Services Room at the Mooresville Public Library, 304 S. Main St. For information, visit www.lakenormanwildlife.org or call 704-877-4788.Boating safety classesThe Lake Norman flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has set the dates for the group’s annual boating safety classes for 2013. The classes – each one-day events – are scheduled for April 27, May 11, June 8 and July 27. All four will be held at the Kings Point Marina in Cornelius.The classes are $45 per person. Successful passage of the class will certify a person to operate a powerboat on Lake Norman and other North Carolina lakes. For information or to register for a class, call 704-663-5733 or 828-478-2507.Boater education classesThe Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron has scheduled five boater education classes for the coming year.The one-day classes are $45 per person (with an additional $25 for each family member also taking the course), and are required in order to obtain a N.C. boating certificate to legally operate a power boat in the state.The classes will be held March 9 at Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road, Huntersville; April 27 at the Duke Energy Environmental Center, McGuire Nuclear Station Road, Huntersville; June 1 at Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 N.C. 16 North, Denver; July 13 at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., Cornelius; and Aug. 17 at Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department, 1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville.Those successfully completing the boater education course can take a free navigation seminar on Sept. 14 at Mt. Mourne Volunteer Fire Department, 1577 Mecklenburg Highway, Mooresville.Advance registration is required. For information or to register, visit www.usps.org/lakenorman or call 704-895-4994 or 704-846-2865.Youth skiing, wakeboarding classesThe Lake Norman Ski Club is holding registration for a series of youth water skiing and wakeboarding classes.The Learn2Ski and Learn2Wakeboard classes are open to students age 15 and younger, and are tentatively scheduled for June and July. All classes will be held in the cove at Vinnie’s Raw Bar and Restaurant on Williamson’s Road in Mooresville, and will run 8-11:30 a.m.The registration fee is $20 per person, and all participants must have a signed waiver-release form from their parent or guardian. For information, to obtain waiver forms or to keep posted on exact dates, visit www.lakenormanskiclub.8m.com.Sailing Scene• The Lake Norman Yacht Club will hold a rules seminar at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 at the LNYC’s race management center. The seminar will go over current and new race rules for the 2013 season. For information, visit www.lnyc.org.• The LNYC will host a seminar1-4 p.m. Feb. 16 on “How To Run A Regatta” at the LNYC’s race management center. The seminar is open to volunteers serving as race officials for upcoming events. www.lnyc.org.• New members of the LNYC will have an orientation session 5 p.m. Feb. 16 at the LNYC clubhouse. All new and second-year members are encouraged to take part in the meeting, which will outline the benefits of club membership. www.lnyc.org.• The LNYC will hold its Winter Social dinner 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at the clubhouse. This year’s social will have a Mardi Gras theme. www.lnyc.org.• The Lake Norman flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will hold a boating safety course for sailboat operators 8 a.m.-5 p.m. March 2 at the Lake Norman Yacht Club clubhouse. The class costs $45 per person (coffee and water will be provided, but participants must bring their own lunch and snacks). Advance registration is required. For information or to register, call 704-663-5733 or 828-478-2507.