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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.