:: Hood River Waterfront FAQ

July 15, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

This post is meant to answer recent questions about the Hood River waterfront beaches.  Please contact cgwa@gorge.net if you have more questions, and make your voice heard at the Port’s upcoming Waterfront Recreation meeting:

Port Waterfront Recreation Committee Meeting

  • Date: July 18th
  • Time: 3:30 – 4:45pm
  • Location: Port building by the bridge here

What is going on with windsurfing and kiteboarding usage along the Hood River beaches this year?

As you likely know, the high water levels flooded the spit in the springtime and have yet to recede to usable levels.  As such, as temporary mitigation for the kite community, temporary access was allowed from both the Marina and Event Site.

It has been a long time since waterfront designation has been discussed at the Port Commission level, and since then the environment has changed a lot (the spit grew in 2007, kiting was born and stuck around, and the Waterfront Park was built and is great).  This year has been a bit of an experiment for user groups along the waterfront, at the Marina, (flooded) Spit, and Event Site.

There is a Port subcommittee meeting on Monday, July 18th, that will address site access along the Hood River waterfront, and you are encouraged to attend.

Is it true that the Event Site is going to be a permanent kite beach?

This has never been discussed by the powers-that-be; however it is on the agenda for the Port’s Waterfront Rec Committee meeting on Monday, July 18th.

Will the decision be made at that meeting?

No.  That is a subcommittee of the Port Commission, and is not able to make decisions like this.  They will discuss it, and potentially bring a group consensus to the Port Commission at the next Commission meeting.  This is a big decision and would require input from the public and user groups; it will not be made in haste.

What else is on the agenda for that meeting?

The Waterfront Rec meeting agenda is posted online here.

How can I make my voice heard?

All Port meetings are public meetings and you are welcome to attend and give a brief testimony.  Written comments are also very effective, and should be addressed to all of the following: Michael McElwee, Port Director (mmcelwee@portofhoodriver.com), Laure Borton, Operations Manager (lborton@portofhoodriver.com), Jon Davies, Commission President (jon@columbiariverins.com), and CGWA (cgwa@gorge.net).

How can I make my written or spoken testimony effective?

Be brief and to the point.  Share a story that you personally were a part of or witnessed; testimony is much more effective when it’s told first hand.  Do not get into “us” vs. “them”, and instead focus on your personal experiences and observations.  Creative and effective solutions are always encouraged.

What is CGWA’s role in all this?

CGWA is in constant communication with our membership, the CGKA, and the Port of Hood River.  We are strong stakeholders in this decision and in other waterfront rec issues, and we make sure the voice of the windsurfers is heard at public meetings and in ongoing communications.  We will continue to be very involved with this decision and will be representative of our membership and the wind sport community in the Gorge.

We want to hear from you!  Please send your experiences- good and bad- to cgwa@gorge.net.  Your feedback is crucial to help us make decisions that are representative of the windsurfing community.


Comments

65 Responses to “:: Hood River Waterfront FAQ”

  1. Eric and Holly Cohn on July 17th, 2011 1:31 am

    The Event Site is not windsurfers vs kiters. The windsport–wind sailing–has branched into a long flexible mast, kites, and a short rigid mast, sail. It’s all the same thing–windsailing. Baseball coaches have lost a lot of players to lacrosse. 10 years from now lacrosse players will find another sport, and some may migrate back to baseball.

    My family does both branches of windsaling. We park at the Event Site, for which we bought a pass, tumble out of the van and some of us kite, some sail. My wife was pissed when they were talking about closing the Event Site to kiters–she sails, but wants to be with her kids who kite. Increasingly, we have folks entering the water with no sails–SUP. The Event Site is the access point when the sand is under water.

    Watch Hard Winds A’Blowin from the late 80′s find the segment where Bruce Peterson says something like, “15 years from now windsurfing will not look anything like it does today. The boards will be much smaller and we will be getting 25′ of air in 15 miles per hour of wind…” It’s something like that.

    Here we are

    Everyone just wants to get out onto the water and have fun. Change happens. Crowded is good. Hood River NEEDS crowded. The shops, businesses, gas stations, and general vibe of “Hood River is THE Wind Capitol of North America” needs it.

    As for who buys passes. I think you are MUCH more likely to find a correlation between AGE, and who buys, rather than sport, and who buys. In general the kiting crowd is younger–high school/college age–and the $50 is a bit harder to come by, particularly when kiters have been on pins and needles about Event Site access, high water, etc.

    Respectfully,
    Eric Cohn
    Hood River Resident and Long Time Event Site Pass Holder

  2. John Ingebritsen on July 17th, 2011 11:59 am

    most kiters have good skills. most are respectful of others. the lowest common denominator offer neither. seen too many incidents where kiters and windsurfers do not mix well. these cases have often been from either party not appreciating the limits and traps involved with the others’ sports. inexperience is the major problem. sometimes though, it’s just plain mean spirited minds. seen that far too often here in florida.

    would like to see the return of the sand bar. would also like to see everyone pay their fair share of fees when applicable. also, would like to see the kiters make bingen work for them. seems nearly ideal as some open beaches. confines of the event site are sometimes tight when lots of people are just windsurfing.

  3. Morsie on July 19th, 2011 4:12 pm

    I’m all for sharing sites to be fair to everyone. However, I think we’ve overdone it here. Something has to give… kiters, windsurfers and lessons all at same spot; it’s too much. 4th of July, I could hardly find space to get off the beach. Beginners were floating down under the kite’s being launched. Not good situation.

    Suggest we go back to kiters launching at sandbar, beach for lessons and windsurfing, kiters can dry sails on east end of event site.

    Bingen is great comment. Swell could be found to east on good days.

    And yes, I know meeting was yesterday. Just putting in my two cents.

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