Monthly Archives: June 2010

+ Support Stevenson Beach

What do you think of expanding waterfront access at Stevenson Beach?  See below for CGWA’s comments in support of improved river access at this site.

June 30, 2010

Dear Recreation and Conservation Funding Board,

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association would like to extend our full support to the Port of Skamania County in their effort to restore access to the Columbia River in downtown Stevenson, Washington.

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association is a member-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Hood River, Oregon, dedicated to enhancing the windsurfing experience throughout the Columbia River Gorge.  We represent 600 members from the Pacific Northwest, country, and world.

The Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the best windsurfing in the world.  The beauty of the surroundings coupled with unparallel water and wind conditions brings people from around the world to enjoy what no other place on earth can offer.  It is truly a top five windsurfing destination world wide.

However, due to poor river access conditions, the City of Stevenson has been unable to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.  Because the railroad tracks block river access throughout much of Skamania County, Stevenson presents one of the few potential launch areas that does not require dangerous (and illegal) crossing of the tracks.

The existing river access is small and treacherous.  A precarious and dangerously steep bank must be traversed in order to reach a small launch area; the situation is not only limited in user potential, but is also an accident waiting to happen.

Restoration of the riverbank with a safe and open launch area and an open, stable path would be a great attraction for everyone who uses the river.  We are happy to contribute to this goal by recruiting volunteers to help with work parties throughout the process when appropriate.

We fully commend and support the Port of Skamania for taking on this much needed task.

Thank you,

Katie Crafts

Executive Director

+ Hatchery Closures July 6th & 7th

News Release – from the Department of the Interior, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery began a pavement replacement project in early June which includes new asphalt along the entrance road, hatchery parking and housing areas. The roadway through the Spring Creek State Park windsurfing site will be resurfaced and the parking area will be leveled with gravel.

The existing pavement has been in place for more than 30 years and has deteriorated to the point that replacement is necessary.

Due to safety and traffic concerns there will be full closure to the State Park windsurfing site and the fish hatchery on Tuesday, July 6 and Wednesday, July 7, 2010.

For additional information contact Columbia Hills State Park at 509-767-1159. For technical project information contact Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery at 509-493-1730.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

+ Video & Pictures from Windfest 2010

Windfest 2010 was a sunny and windy good time!  Check out these smiling faces.

Huge thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, vendors, donors, as well as Full Sail/Taco del Mar for keeping us fed and hydrated, Vela for sending Jerryann to Brazil, Your Rental and Party Center for providing shade and wind protection, David Griffith and Bart Vervloet for an awesome live auction, and of course, Tony Smiley!!

Thanks to all for an excellent weekend.

+ Free LOOP clinic with Wyatt Miller at Windfest

Windfest clinics are FREE!  And what a value they provide.  Check out this lineup for Windfest on June 26 & 27, 2010 (LOOP clinic’s at the bottom):

11-12 :: Junior Clinic :: Zane Schweitzer

Junior shredders, bring your questions!  Pro junior from Maui, Zane rips at freestyle and speed sailing, as well as dirt biking, SUPing, and having fun.

12-1 :: Freestyle Clinic :: Wyatt Miller

Learn the fundamentals of freestyling with pro windsurfer Wyatt Miller.  Moves like vulcans, sail 360s, clew first riding and more will be discussed.  Bring your questions!

1-2 :: Tune Your Gear for Speed :: Kean Rogers

Join speed sailor Kean Rogers in a talk about precise gear tuning for your board and rig.  Whether you’re a seasoned racer or just want to beat your buddy back to the cooler, Kean will share tips for making your gear go faster.

2-3 :: Rigging & Sail Tuning :: Bruce Peterson

Bruce Peterson knows sails, and is here to help you tune your sail so it can perform to its max capacity.  Downhaul, outhaul, batten tension, you name it- these rigging tips will help your sail feel lighter and better tuned.

3-4 :: Women’s Freestyle :: Zoe Najim (Saturday) & Ingrid Larouch (Sunday)

Calling all ladies!  Get on the freestyle bandwagon or step your moves up a notch with renowned freestylers Zoe and Ingrid.  On Saturday, Zoe will walk you through the best way to get started on the move of your choice.  Sunday, Ingrid will answer questions about moves you’re working on and help you through the tricky parts.

4-5 :: Learn the LOOP (Saturday ONLY) :: Wyatt Miller

After Wyatt’s loop clinic, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it 5 years ago.

+ Hatchery Closures & Maintenance Schedule

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery Pavement Project

Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery is continuing work on a pavement replacement project that will include new asphalt along the entrance road, hatchery parking, and housing areas.  The roadway through the Spring Creek State Park windsurfing site will be resurfaced and the parking area will be leveled with gravel.

The existing pavement has been in place for more than 30 years and has deteriorated to the point that replacement is necessary.

The road paving work is scheduled to begin on Friday June 25th and will continue through Friday July 2nd and possibly into the weekend if necessary, though all reasonable efforts will be made to avoid this.  Paving will begin on the East end of the road and move West.  Once the paving work moves into the recreational access areas, the park will be closed to recreation.

For additional information contact Columbia Hills State Park at 509-767-1159.  For technical project information contact Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery at 509-493-1730.

+ Free SUPing for the ladies

Big Winds Ladies SUPer Club ScoopBig Winds SUPer club

Who? All ladies over 18 are invited.  No prior experience needed, just a good attitude.  Paddling is fun and easy, and for those who don’t have their sea legs yet you can try it inside the flat and mellow pond.

When? Every Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 7:00pm, June 1st – July 13th, weather permitting.

Where? Meet at the Big Winds Rental Sheds at the East end of the Hood River Event Site.  For those needing gear you will be required to fill out a waiver form before you can get out on the water.  Big Winds has wetsuits available if you need one.  If there is no wind paddling will take place off the Event Site.  If there is a light wind paddling will take place inside the pond.  In case of lots of wind, well, go windsurfing or kiting and check back next week!

What goes on? Big Winds offers free instruction and demos during a half hour paddle session.  The emphasis is on fun and camaraderie.  They have everything you need for gear, and will be available for tips and guidance.  Don’t worry, there is lots of help on hand!  Big Winds will have about 25 boards available, and ask that participants limit their water time to half an hour so that everyone can get a chance to try it out.

How much? FREE.  That’s right.  FREE.  Does it get any easier than that?  No charge for gear or instruction.

What if I have my own board? Great!  Come meet other gals who love SUP and do a lap down to Wells Island or up to the Marina.  It is really awesome to go river touring with friends, and the SUPer club is a great way to meet those friends.

How do I know if it is weather permitting? Check the Big Winds website by 4:30pm on Tuesdays.  If you’d like to get onto the email list, email  Or you can call the shop after 4:30 and they’ll have a weather update.

What about after SUPing? Christina who owns the Sandbar Cafe will host a happy hour for the SUPers (she has beer and wine, too)!  $5 for a beer and taco- what a deal!  And if you haven’t had her tacos yet, you are in for a treat.  They’re super good.

+ Sick Footage from Pistol by Kevin Pritchard

The 2010 Pistol River Wave Bash is off to an epic start, with lots of wind and sun and plenty of water time for men, women and juniors.  Way to go, competitors!  Here is some of the action, as filmed by Kevin Pritchard.

Pistol River Wave Bash Day 1 from Kevin Pritchard on Vimeo.

Pistol River Day 2 from Kevin Pritchard on Vimeo.

+ Big Brothers Big Sisters goes Windsurfing

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010

First time on a board and he makes it look easy

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010

Time for a breather

Big Brothers Big Sisters windsurfing clinic 2010


On June 13th, CGWA hosted 6 participants from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in a learn to windsurf clinic.  The clinic ran for three hours, and in that short amount of time the kids were already up and cruising!  Special thanks to Big Winds and their great instructor Samantha Taylor.  And extra special thanks to Beth McCullough, CGWA  board member and Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator, for making this clinic happen three years in a row!

+ Pistol River Wave Bash

Kudos to Sam Bittner of Trade Wind Events for bringing back the Pistol River Wave Bash for 2010!  Here is a press release from the event:

The first major windsurfing contest to be held on the Oregon coast in nearly a decade is coming to Gold Beach June 17th- 20th.  More than 60 competitors from all over the world are signed-up to compete.  The Gold Beach/Curry County  Fairgrounds will be hosting the contestants and the event parties.

The venue is to be the Pistol State Park at “The Rock” (9 miles south of Gold Beach on Hwy. 101).   The wave sailing portion of the event is to be held on the best two days of wind and waves of the four day waiting period.

There will be a skippers meeting held at 10:00 each day of the event to decide whether conditions will permit heats to be run.  Organizers hope to have announcements on the local radio stations (KGBR and KURY), between 10 and 10:30 on the status of the contest each day.   On any days of calm or lighter winds, there will be clinics, demonstrations, Stand Up Paddling events and possibly sandsailing on the minus tides those mornings.  There is already an impressive field of more then 60 men and women signed up with professional riders from Maui as well as quite a few serious amateurs sailors from Brookings, Gold Beach, Pistol River, the Gorge, and from as far as Canada and the East Coast.

If you can’t make it to the beach, a live webcast is planned.  Go to

Come meet the competitors at the opening dinner at the Fairgrounds 7 pm on the 16th.  Dinner is $10.  Friday night “Wave Train” from Maui will play music with a $5 cover.  Saturday night will feature the “the Pistol River Social Club”, also with a $5 cover.  Sunday night will be the closing party hosted by DJ King with no charge at the door.

More information about the 2010 ‘Gold Beach Wave Bash’ can be found at or or by calling the Gold Beach Visitor Center (541-247-7526).