Monthly Archives: April 2016

CGWA Business Partner Highlight: Director’s Mortgage

The CGWA is proud and honored to have so many business partners throughout the Gorge.  In a new web series, we are taking time to highlight and thank our local business members that support us.


The mighty Columbia River flows very near everyone 24/7-  but only a few dare to take on the challenge of harnessing  the power of the wind and swell with a sail and board-  somehow  our physical body, mind and soul occupies the area between the board and the sail – and we then become “one”  with the wind and the water. 

Director Mortgage's Steve Wolf is a Swell City regular

Director Mortgage’s Steve Wolf is a Swell City regular

Once this epic sensation is achieved – many realize that a life change is in order which oftentimes involves  a relocation to the Gorge and yes for some…. a home loan.

Directors Mortgage has been a  local Oregon based company since 1998 and for many years has been a supporter of CGWA. Directors Mortgage specializes in residential mortgage loans, purchases, refinances, constructions loans, reverse mortgages and debt consolidation. 

Directors Mortgage is an area lender well respected in the area because of its Team Members including Steve Wolf – a regular Swell City rider with 25 years of experience as a mortgage lender in the Gorge and as a Swell City user.  Steve is a CGWA member himself and has served on the Swell City Planning Committee in the more recent past and many may agree he is an approachable swell guy. 

On behalf of CGWA, I’d like to thank Directors Mortgage for its ongoing support of CGWA.

Steve Gibson

CGWA Board Member 

Board Member Notes: The Magnetic Gorge By John Heeren

Feb 18 2016The Gorge is a paradise to most windsurfers. It’s an exotic destination with breathtaking views, scenic launch sites, and ideal wind and conditions for every type of sailor. We travel from all over the world to create a chance to relax and push the stress out of our lives. El ScorchoWe escape the large cites, the traffic, and constant work responsibilities; busting our behinds to chase yet another euphoric summer trip to the Gorge. We love sailing the Gorge, but back home most find not so exotic sailing and a small tribe of sailors scouting wind and driving to their local mudhole (in my case) to get their sailing fix. Let’s face it, the sport is simply not growing in many areas, but these small clans across the nation are as dedicated as they ever were.

Jibe BouyI’m from Memphis and believe me when I tell you we have a micro scene in our area. We’re grateful to have anyone to sail with some days. At most, there are 6 sailors in Memphis who can get in the straps and harness. All are accomplished sailors and we’ve all spent time in the Gorge. During our IMG_3778sailing season, primarily from October to May, we’re tuned into local weather and water conditions like undercover operatives on a mission. It’s not unusual to see group texts start flying 3-4 days ahead of a projected wind event. Alarms are set and gear loaded for any potential 20 knot wind. When we get it, it’s pure gold and this El Nino winter has been the equivalent of the Comstock Lode. We sailed every month since September. Sometimes solo, at best, two to three other sailors on the water, with numerous 30-40 mph blows.
The fall typically brings warm, punchy southerlies across the south ahead of the rains. The north winds fill in behind the rains as the mercury plummets, but these canJH Big Sunday 2 be some of our strongest and most steady winds. We pull out the thick suits and go out with the wild ones, the pelicans and ducks. Its duck weather, after all. You know you want it bad when your fingers lose the strength to turn the key in the door lock when you get back to the car. You just want to warm your feet and hands so you can derig, only to find your hands won’t cooperate. We’d have kept sailing, but our feet felt like two dead fish on the deck. In times like these we’re so thankful for our fellow sailors. The best bros in our lives, huddling in the van hoping our feet thaw out, all the time wondering if we’ve sustained permanent damage this time. This is a scene playing out all winter across the nation. I’ve seen guys at Lake Champlain hiking their gear through snow to get to the water. Now that’s dedication!

Chocalate Ice Cream SundaeThere are dozens, if not hundreds of small windsurfing communities of die-hard sailors across the country. Summer in the Gorge is like a calling of the clans. JH Big Sunday 2It’s like someone throws the Electro-Magnetic switch to summon the vast, like-minded hearty souls spread across the world. If you’ve ever wondered where we all come from to fill the rental houses, restaurants, and parking lots of Gorge launch sites, it’s from hundreds of small localized tribes. We need it and live for it. We hone our skills during frosty weather and grey winter skies, and you can bet we’re hitting the gym in between, focused solely on ripping those magic Gorge waves. We want it and we are coming to get it again this summer.

Are you, too, from a microscopic sailing scene? We’d love to hear your local story!

Board Member Notes: Baja 2015/16 Report by Roxanne McClure

What a treat to spend the winter months in Baja!  What is there not to love about living on the beach, enjoying wind, occasional waves, good people, a fun music scene and fresh squeezed margaritas? Some might consider spotty cell service and SLOW internet a downside, but personally, I consider those things an advantage!  Complete focus and enjoyment of the here and now is a rare treat in this day and age.

Rox baja

Wind report….   When I arrived December 1st, the word in the campground was how incredible November was.  The ole “you just missed it” scenario. December wasn’t epic but it didn’t leave me high and dry on the mountain biking trails.  I managed to squeak out over 20 days on the water, most were on a 4.7 sail and an 85 liter board. Some days I had to suffer through on my 11 and 14 meter kites but, time on the water is always better than pacing the beach! January rang in the New Year and I was on the water almost everyday. Again, 4.7 was usually the sail du jour, however, many days were on a 72 liter or glass board.  Happily, my 4.2 got wet, as well as the 3.7, which some years never even gets rigged!  February began with a blast that kept blowing and blowing with a short mid-month lull.  I sailed the majority of days on my 4.2, with some 3.7 and 4.7 days sprinkled in and the 85 liter board rarely got any love. We drove out of the campground on March 5th after a few hot, calm days, that word has it, began a spell that was only good for foil kiting.

rox baja 2Living reality…  The campground was more crowded than ever which translates into mucho traffic on the water.  Thankfully, there were few accidents and confrontations. I am always surprised at how well everyone accommodates one another in tight living quarters. The people in the campground come from around the world and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise on a plethora of subjects.  On any given day you can hear English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Canadian ; ) and even Spanglish!  The La Ventana/El Sargento area is experiencing a new growth spurt with new houses, condos, restaurants and markets popping up weekly. With this growth comes all of the questions and challenges we face here in Gorge. (STR’s, vacant homes, seasonal jobs)  My hope is that the local Mexican people as well as the residents of the Gorge will bravely guard their culture and values and not succumb to the mega-pace of progress and lure of “gold.”

To wrap it up, the wind was excellent, the water was warm and eating outside almost every night indicates moderate air temperatures, as well.  El Niño provided all that was predicted and more!