Tag Archives: american windsurfing tour

CGWA Board Member, Andy Crafts, on the AWT Santa Cruz Event

CGWA Board Member Notes

A weekly column from CGWA board members to you.

Hey all,

This is the first of a series of blog posts coming to you from the CGWA board members. We’re hoping to get a post uploaded each week, so be sure to check back for next week’s edition! Topics will vary week to week. This week we’ll be traveling down to California to share some information with you about the American Windsurfing Tour (http://americanwindsurfingtour.com).

Gorge local, Ingrid Larouche, throwing down! (photo courtesy of AWT)

The AWT hit the beaches of Santa Cruz for their first competition of 2013. At the time of writing, no winners have been posted, but local windsurfer Brian Metcalf-Perez had progressed into the round three semi-finals! Pictures from the first day can be seen on AWT’s facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/AmericanWindsurfing).

I had a chance to ask some of the competitors a few questions:

What was your favorite part of the event?

Fiona Wylde: My favorite part about at this AWT event, or any AWT event, is the excited vibe that envelopes the competition. Everybody who is here is stoked to be here and wants everybody else to succeed. For me, it is really cool to get tips from the pro riders, which I can try to put into my own wave riding and improve on my skill set. I have learned so much about timing and wave selection since I’ve been here. Every event is a learning experience for me; that’s my favorite part about the AWT.

Best trick? Done by who?

Fiona Wylde: Definitely the double forwards that Brawzinho (Marcilio Browne) has been landing!

Brian Metcalf-Perez: Marcilio Browne was doing some pretty epic double forwards especially considering the light wind.

CGWA board member, Fiona Wylde, sailing her way to 2nd place. (photo courtesy of AWT)

What next event are you most looking forward to?

Fiona Wylde: I am really excited to head down to Pistol River in Southern Oregon as well as Punta San Carlos for the next two AWT stops!

Tyson Poor: I’m looking forward to getting back to the Gorge for the summer. Also the freestyle contest in the gorge. It’s been wayyy too long!

AWT Double Elimination Final Results (photo courtesy of AWT).

Bringing things closer to home, we had great wind all through the gorge on Sunday. If you were on the water and saw a photographer with a blue flag you may be able to find some action shots of you at http://meadowsactionphotos.smugmug.com/Hoodriverwind2013. Temira is forecasting the best wind at the coast this week, but for those of us ‘stuck’ in Hood River we should be able to get on the water as well. For those of you who haven’t seen her forecast and event listing, I highly recommend you check it out at http://thegorgeismygym.com/forecast.

I hope you’ll come back to read next week’s posting “My first trip to the Gorge was in 1983…” by Michael Schock.

:: Sam Bittner, Stoked for Windfest


Sam Bittner, Organizer of the American Windsurfing Tour

Sam Bittner, Organizer of the American Windsurfing Tour

Say Hi to Sam at the AWT booth at Windfest, or before then at the second Pistol River Wave Bash!  Here’s what she thinks of the AWT and Gorge Windfest:

“My whole idea for organizing the American Windsurfing Tour is to provide people an opportunity to show off their windsurfing skills and to inspire the future of the sport. That is just what the CGWA is doing with Windfest and I am happy to promote the event and encourage all who are coming to Pistol River to head on up to the Gorge for the festival the following weekend.”

You are recently coming off the successful kickoff event for the 2011 American Windsurfing Tour in Santa Cruz.  What are your thoughts on how that weekend went?

Well, the Santa Cruz Classic was the first time I had ever competed in a windsurfing contest ever. It was a big deal for me personally and I was very happy with the way I performed, plus, I had a lot of fun!  The positive energy was flowing! It was awesome to have Francisco Goya and Josh Stone in attendance.  There were loads of great sailors there and everyone had a good time!

Sam in the waves

That was the first time a windsurf event has been in Santa Cruz since in many years.  What did you think of the location as a stop for the tour?  Do you think the tour will go back again next year?

It has been debated when the last contest was held at Waddell Creek in Santa Cruz. Some people say 10 and some say 15 years ago. Either way, it has been a while.  It was a great location for the AWT, being closest to a metropolitan area and therefore bringing in lots of spectators.  Sparking interest in the sport to outsiders is always a good thing.  That is hard to do that when you are running in a remote location like Pistol River or Baja.  We also got wind and waves, which is also a bonus! I would love to hold the Santa Cruz Classic again in 2012.

Are you ready for Pistol?  What are your hopes and expectations?

I am currently packing things up on Maui to go to the mainland for two months for the Pistol River Wave Bash and the San Carlos Cactus Cup.   I am excited for the second year of the Pistol River Wave Bash. I feel a lot more prepared and have more of an idea of what I am getting into this year. I am happy about how many people are traveling to the contest from Maui and the Gorge.   I am really excited to see Robby and the Naish Family pull up in their RV.

Sam Bittner windsurfing

After Pistol you’re headed to the Gorge for Windfest.  Have you been to Windfest before?  If so, tell us about your experience:

I have been to Windfest the last 3 years in a row. My first year was the most memorable because it was the first time I saw someone land a loop. I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” Then I attended Wyatt Miller’s loop clinic and really believed I could.  Windfest is also where I met Russ Faurot and decided to move to Maui.  The festival is a great way to get inspired about our sport and meet people in the windsurfing community.

Where are your favorite places to windsurf in the Gorge?

I am usually traveling with experienced sailors, so most of my Gorge sailing has been at the Hatchery.   I have also had a very memorable day in Arlington where I completed my first jibe in front of a bunch of people watching. I was so excited!

What else are you looking forward to doing while you’re in town?

Hanging with my best friend Katie Crafts! And trying out some biking, hiking, kayaking, floating the river, BBQs with friends, . . it’s going to be a busy summer!

Sam Bittner Santa Cruz Classic

Anything else you want to share with us?

Looking forward to a great Windfest!  Excited for all the live music, especially Current Swell.  Make sure to stop by the AWT tent and say Hi!

Sponsors: New Naish rider!! Dakine, Second Wind