Monthly Archives: August 2011

:: VOTE for the 2011 Gorge Windsurfing Awards

The Nominations are in for the 2011 Gorge Windsurf Awards!  Read about the nominees below, and CLICK HERE TO VOTE. Voting closes on Monday, August 29th, and only one vote is allowed per computer.

Dale Cook Big Air Nominees

We all know Dale gets the biggest airs in the Gorge; that’s why we named this award after him. Now we want to know who else is going big and hucking huge.

Mike Van Sisseren
Because he throws huge front loops, working on backs and have no fear when it comes to windsurfing! Mike keeps learning new tricks every year and he looks very cool on the water! I don’t know anyone who stays out as long as him and with a big smile on his face the whole time.

Nathan Mershon
No one is going bigger this year then Nathan! He is currently ranked number 1 on the American Windsurfing Tour and is hucking massive airs at every stop.

Dave Brown
Not only does Dave Brown go big, but he does it on old-school gear in light wind or in super strong conditions. His sails are circa 1993 or so, and his harness lines must be 36″ long. He is a great guy and launches huge port airs all day long no matter what the wind speed.

Grom of the Year Nominees

Groms 18 years of age and under are a big part of the Gorge windsurfing community. This youth windsurfer is a good role model for his or her peers & enthusiastic about Gorge windsurfing.

Ben Grodner
Ben is a very good sailor and yet you’d never know it as he is very humble. I’ve seen him be very helpful to others at the beach. Additionally he is expanding with his SUP training – becoming quite the waterman! Ben competed at the AWT Pistol River Wave Bash and always does well at the Gorge race series. This was his first year doing the full Blowout…way to go Ben!

Fiona Wylde
The improvement in Fiona’s sailing has to say the least been incredible from last year to this, AND the amount of family issues the Wylde family has had to deal with this year has turned Fiona into the kind of daughter every family would love to have especially in this crazy world we all live in. Her non-stop smile is very inspiring no matter what she is doing.

Most Selfless Windsurfer Nominees

This may reflect a one-time rescue or rescue attempt, or several selfless acts of kindness to fellow Gorge windsurfers.

John and Sharon Chao
As volunteer Event Site Hosts, they’ve been extremely helpful and polite throughout this year’s issues at the Event site. Parking/dogs/kites, etc., they are there to help and they do it nicely. It has got to be a difficult job but they always have a smile on their faces and a great attitude.

Greg Crafts
Greg works tirelessly behind the scenes to support CGWA (where his daughter works). He gets called into action doing last minute, thankless jobs, and always is supportive to his family, the CGWA, and other windsurfers on the beach. He carries gear for people who are tired, and he helps rig gear for anyone who needs a hand. And he does it all happily and with a smile.

Brian Barrett
It was late-May at Rowena, and I was one of two kiteboarders out along with one windsurfer that afternoon. The water was about 55F, and it was blowing about 25mph, mostly sunny. Early in my session, I crashed my kite and popped the main bladder leading to an extremely challenging rescue with cold water, a ferocious current, whirlpools and crazy downward-sucking hydraulics. Myself and all my gear were saved after multiple stages of strenuous dragging and never giving up. This rescue was an extreme challenge for both of us. The conditions were cold, and the current was the fastest ever (especially through the straight). Who knows what might have happened had not Brian hung around to help and then refused to give up?

Casey Hauser
Casey is always talking up windsurfing, explaining his new gadgets, willing to lend free advice about windsurfing and is always eager to provide someone with a demo sail. He allows everyone else to have a better time.

Lars Bergstrom
Lars is a great ambassador for windsurfing, and a supportive family man. He is often on the water with his kids, and participates in King of the Hook with flair and a huge smile. He used to run the Pistol River Wave Bash years ago, and his hard work for the sport and his family is the epitome of selfless.

Most Stoked NomineesYou know these people- their smiles are contagious and adds to your stoke. His or her positive attitude inspires and adds joy to your sessions.

Sylvie Lussier
She is easily the most stoked person on the beach. She always has a great smile and is very excited about sailing no matter the conditions. I saw her on her last day in the Gorge this year and she had real tears because she was so sad to leaving until next summer. She easily gets more time on the water than anyone I know and I have never heard a negative comment from her. Please consider her for this award.
Thank you.

Tom Willson
When ever he comes off the water he has a big smile and says “today was the best day ever!”. Even though he said the same thing about the day before ….and the day before that. It is alway his best day!

Ben Jones
Ben’s always smiling, always excited to talk about all things windsurfing–from gear to weather. He loves to learn new tricks and loves to help others. Every time I see Ben he is so excited about windsurfing. He learned to loop for his 50th birthday; wow, what an inspiration. Every day he windsurfs is a great day for him, and he shares his joy whenever I see him at the beach.

Art Loh (posthumous award)
Art was an iconic and ageless weekend warrior until he died doing what he loved in June of this year. After a great session at Rowena, he came in and passed away on the shore on his 75th b’day and Father’s Day to boot. He never let his infirmities–or age–interfere with his devotion to windsurfing and even after a flushing at the Hatch early spring could be seen walking back through the parking lot with a huge grin on his face…unbelievable stoke and enthusiasm even when facing adversity. His loss touched many and he was recognized by many more even though they may not have known Art by name.

Greg Stiegel
Watched Greg attempted his first ever back loops. The session ended when he separated his shoulder going for his first forward but the stoke of his nearly landed back loops is keeping him going through his recovery.

Krzysztof Ukleja
Chris is always positive and has a smile on his face. He sails his ass off for as long as he can every time out there and keeps everyone around him positive and having a good time.

Larry Johnson
Sails more days than almost anyone I know (all winter even) and ALWAYS has a big smile on his face…. ALWAYS!!! Super friendy and very helpful. He is stoked!  If there’s one person that will be out at Rooster Rock sailing in the winter in 50 knot wind, when it’s 40 degrees, it’s Larry. Larry sails year round in the gorge, everywhere from Rooster Rock to 3 mile and probably has the most days on the water.

Rich Castenada
Rich sails all year… win the winter. He is always happy and friendly, and such a nice person adn willing to help out anyone who needs it. Plus he sails when almost no one else will go out… when it’s gusting over 50 mph. He’ll sail any conditions and love it. Whether it’s 5.5 or 3.2. Or 35 degreee water temp. He’s kinda crazy but actually he’e just super stoked to sail.

Royn Bartholdi
Besides always being stoked and hardly missing any windy day the past ten years, and besides organizing the FreeStyle Frenzy a few years ago, Royn is also attending every AWT event this year. I believe he is the only gorge sailing competing in every event.

Gorge Windsurfer of the Year NomineesThis person is a steward of the Gorge and of windsurfing. He or she is a positive influence within the community. Overall good spirit, friendly windsurfer, kind to comrades and strangers, embodies and/or respects the Gorge lifestyle, etc.

JP Bowles
JP rips, in the gorge and wavesailing, surfing and kiting too. He’s a super nice guy, not sure if if I’ve ever heard him say much negative about another person and he has pursued the “feral” windsurfing life like no other. He’s spent summers in the gorge since at least 95-96 and winters where there are wind and waves, eschewing the all pervasive conspicuous consumption for the stoke of a day on the water.

Tyson Poor
Tyson pushes the jumps and freestyle limits every windy day at The Hatch or other local spots. He kicked butt in the Gorge Cup Race Series, and really up’ed the competition level and provided some much more exciting close finishes which made for more interesting spectating for the beach crowd. He is the Big Winds Big Loop winner, and poster boy for Windfest 2011. He makes time to sail with the junior kids, and they come back super stoked and with developed skills after just one day on the water with Tyson. He’s really nice and fun and deserving candidate for Gorge Windsurfer of the Year.

Daryl Morrissey
Daryl from Big Winds is an excellent steward of the Gorge and of windsurfing. My friend Jill and I (Cecilia) met her this summer through staying at her house via an ad posted on iwindsurf classifieds. Daryl was extremely kind to us, promoting the awesome town of Hood River and its windsurfing sites by taking us out in town, taking us windsurfing, and introducing us to many folks in the wonderful community of Hood River. In addition to ripping on her 55L board and 2.5 with the best of them on 40knot days, Daryl was a great window into the Gorge lifestyle- her kindness, positivity, active and healthy lifestyle truly inspired me.

Ingrid Larouche
Ingrid is dedicated to pushing her skills and helping other women develop theirs through clinics and stops at the American Windsurfing Tour. She is a fierce competitor on the water, and trains hard to learn new moves and perfect others. She is quick to offer a hand to a fellow windsurfer, and is always supportive of people learning new moves at whatever skill level. She is a great role model for young girls, and a great person to have in the Gorge.

Nathan Mershon
Nathan is the number one competitor on the American Windsurfing Tour this year. He seems to learn a new move every time he hits the water, and in spite of this is one of the most humble men I’ve ever met. He’s a happy competitor, and a good friend and husband.

:: Nominate Now for the Gorge Windsurf Awards

Time to tell us who rocks your windsurfing world! We are now accepting nominations for the five award categories listed below.  Winners will be announced August 31st at the end of season party at The Ruins, next to Springhouse Cellars.

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to submit your nomination for the following awards:

  • Dale Cook Award: We all know Dale gets the biggest airs in the Gorge; that’s why we named this award after him.  Now we want to know who else is going big and hucking huge.  Be sure to send us a picture of the big air! 2010 Winner: Garth Pond.
  • Most Stoked: You know these people- their smiles are contagious and adds to your stoke.  His or her  positive attitude inspires and adds joy to your sessions. 2010 Winner: Sean Aiken.
  • Most Selfless Windsurfer: This may reflect a one-time rescue or rescue attempt, or several selfless acts of kindness to fellow Gorge windsurfers. 2010 Winner: Bruce Peterson.
  • Grom of the Year: Groms 18 years of age and under are a big part of the Gorge windsurfing community.  This youth windsurfer is a good role model for his or her peers & enthusiastic about Gorge windsurfing. 2010 Winner: Fiona Wylde.
  • Gorge Windsurfer of the Year: This person is a steward of the Gorge and of windsurfing.  He or she is a positive influence within the community.  Overall good spirit, friendly windsurfer, kind to comrades and strangers, embodies and/or respects the Gorge lifestyle, etc. 2010 Winner: Jim Oakes.

Nominations will be accepted until noon on Monday, August 22nd.  Submissions received after then will not be considered.  Awards will be announced and presented at the awards party on August 31st at The Ruins.  Hope you can join us!

All submissions (including pictures) are property of CGWA, and may be shared with our members and the public at CGWA’s discretion.

:: Memaloose River Access: Notice from Oregon State Parks

Notice from Oregon State Parks:

Dear Park Visitor,

Recently, a Union Pacific freight train was forced to execute emergency stopping procedures on the tracks near Memaloose Campground in order to avoid hitting two children.  Emergency breaking for a freight train would be similar to an RV and truck doing 70-75 miles an hour down the freeway and using the e-brake to affect a stop.  Risk of a catastrophic derailment increases with Emergency Breaking.  Severe impacts to the environment, transportation commerce, and lost revenue could result.

Memaloose State Park does not have legal or safe access to the river. Union Pacific treats access across or along their tracks as trespassing and has the authority to prosecute this class A misdemeanor with a fine of up to $6000 and one year in jail.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is dedicated to ensuring the safety of park visitors. Please help keep your family safe:  adhere to the park boundaries, obey all regulatory signs, do not enter any restricted access areas, and report any witnessed acts of vandalism to protective fences or signage.


Park Name Owner Distance from Memaloose Mile post Fees? Amenities
The Dalles Riverfront Park Port of The Dalles 4 miles West to Mosier; 16 miles East to the Dalles 85 NO Restrooms, Picnic Shelters, tables, parking,  water playground, biking, sandy beach
WEST Mayer State Park (Rowena) OPRD 4 miles West to Mosier; 7 miles East to Rowena 76 No Boat launch, fishing, Restrooms, parking, rocky and sandy beaches, water, picnic tables
EAST Mayer State Park (Rowena) OPRD 4 miles West to Mosier; 7 miles East to Rowena 76 Yes-$5.00

Free with Camp receipt

Windsurfing, Kite boarding, Restrooms, parking, rocky beaches,  picnic tables
Mosier Creek Recreation Site City of Mosier 4 miles West to Mosier;  Turn left on Rock Creek Road 69 Yes-$5.00 Windsurfing, Restrooms, picnic tables, Rocky beaches
Koberg Beach State Park OPRD 8 miles West 65 NO Restrooms, picnic tables, fishing, sandy beach
Hood River Waterfront Park Port of Hood River 9 miles West 64/63 YES-unknown Grassy lawns, restrooms, sandy and rocky beaches, tables, Windsurfing, kiting
Viento State Park OPRD 17 miles 56 Yes-$5.00

Free with Camp receipt

Windsurfing, rocky beaches, tables, restrooms, swing set

:: Help CGWA earn $750!

The Hood River Chamber of Commerce is looking for strong swimmers and paddlers to help out with the annual Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim on Monday, September 5th.

In exchange for a few hours of your time, the Chamber will donate $50 per volunteer to CGWA! If we can recruit 15 volunteers, that’s $750 to benefit Gorge Windsurfing. Help us out!

Here are the details:

  • Date: September 5th
  • Time: 6am to noon
  • Volunteer Reception: Wed, August 31st at 5:30pm.  Hear from the Sheriff about your volunteer duties and pick up your FREE t-shirt!

Please fill out the registration form at the bottom of this page.

    Volunteers must be able to assist a distressed swimmer (not a full on life-guard situation—more of a paddle over, and hold them with the board until a boat can pick them up).  The surfer/paddlers are also watching closely to make sure people are not in distress. Mostly, the surf/paddlers line-up in the swim lane and provide support to swimmers who will be taking breaks by holding onto the windsurfing boards and giving the swimmers moral support and encouragement.  This is a “fun” swim and people of all athletic abilities take part.  There will be a line of sail and power boats showing the course and many kayakers as well.

    :: Expect Daytime Bridge Delays Starting Monday

    Hood River, Oregon –  A $2.5 million Hood River Interstate Bridge painting project will begin Monday, August 8, causing some daytime traffic delays, according to the Port of Hood River. Motorists can expect up to 15-minute delays between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when traffic will be limited to a single lane.

    Traffic flaggers will direct motorists around the work area. Delays can be expected on weekdays throughout the painting project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. Emergency vehicle access will be maintained.

    Painting work is designed to enhance the bridge’s long-term viability. Painting will protect structural bridge components, like gusset plates, from pack-rust corrosion and other deterioration. The work will occur under the bridge’s traffic deck, but equipment will require one traffic lane. S&K Painting Inc. is the project contractor.

    Hood River Bridge :: Photo Blaine Franger,

    The project is weather-dependent. Delays may not occur every day, but motorists should be prepared for restricted traffic during project work hours.

    If the work schedule changes, the Port of Hood River will promptly post the information at Motorists who have registered with the BreezeBy electronic tolling system and who have provided email addresses will be automatically notified of any schedule changes. Area media also will be notified of any schedule changes.

    For information on the bridge schedule, visit or call the Port at (541) 386-1645.