Tag Archives: hood river

End of the Year Awards Party and Movie Premiere

The Gorge Windsurfing Awards &  Movie Premiere

End of the Year Party at Springhouse Cellar

Coming up this FRIDAY, September 6th, 6-10pm.

Food from Leah’s Lunch and beer and wine for purchase

FREE admission

Vote for your favorite Gorge Windsurfer NOW:

http://gorgewindsurfing.org/2013/08/2013-gorge-windsurfing-awards-vote-now/

Voting ends Thursday, 9/5 at noon.

Board Member Notes Vol. III

CGWA Board Member Notes

Vol. III by Julia Norman

Ahhhhh, windy summer weekends in the Gorge – there’s nothing like it! My Monday morning ritual as I get up, get a cup of coffee, and sit down at my computer to catch up on things sounds like: “Ow, ouch, ow.”  Time to go back to work so I can rest my body, that is, until the next after-work session.

Windfest is coming up soon. Mark your calendars for June 29-30. Have you always wanted to sail the Blowout? Well, it’s back on Windfest weekend! And if you’re available that weekend to volunteer a bit of your time to help make Windfest happen, register here or contact Greg at cgwa@gorge.net.

Yesterday continued a trend of windy Sundays this year; I started on my brand new 4.0 cranked down tight and ended on my 3.5, sailing with friends at the Hood River Waterfront Park. Here are some pics I took of yesterday’s sailing while I enjoyed a post-session beer:

Roo!
Playing together upwind of the WS bridge
Tom powered up on a 4.2 greeting SUPers finishing a downwinder from Viento
Our very own Mike Schock having fun

Truth be told, sometimes I prefer the mellower days of more relaxed sailing on bigger gear, like on my 5.0 and 100 L board a week ago:

Plenty of days like this in the summer, especially late afternoons if you’re part of the 9-5 crowd like I am.

To follow up on Mike’s post from last week: we’re beginning our 13th summer in Hood River and it’s been 13 years of living in heaven. When the wind arrives, the water warms, and the sun shines, we can’t believe our luck. And then when it cools down in the fall and you sail that final easterly of the season from Blackberry Beach, it’s all good because it’s time for the slow down of winter with snowstorms and the peaceful side of Hood River. We are so thankful for our good fortune to make this our home.

:: Boujmaa Guilloul, Stoked for Windfest

Boujmaa GuilloulBOUJMAA GUILLOUL :: Hometown Essaouira, Morocco :: Sail Number M3

How did you hear about the American Windsurfing Tour, and what made you decide to sign up for it?
I heard lot about it since Sam working on it to bring it back to life with more events and, and since then I always wanted to take part in all events, but I will do sometime soon.

Boujmaa GuilloulAfter the AWT stop in Pistol you’re coming to Hood River for Windfest, which will be your first time windsurfing in the Gorge. What have you heard about windsurfing in the Gorge?
I saw so many clips of this place, and the wind looks strong and the jumps go really high, I ve seen some amazing airtime, and I cant wait to get there cause its my favourite conditions, hopefully we get the right forecast.

What are you anticipating for your trip here?
Not sure, I believe its gonna be cold I am bringing some warm stuff, I am excited to be in the water in some fun conditions like the ones I like so much,, it’s gonna be hell of a fun, I just cant wait to get there.

You had a close call this winter when you hit the water hard during a triple forward attempt at Ho’okipa. Looking back on it, what your thoughts about how that day went down?
I dunno, I dont think that much about it, I was lucky good people were around, and it is a great experience for me, I cant wait to try an other crazy thing, and I believe I wont stop there.

What made you want to go for that move, knowing it could end badly?
I never knew how bad can it get in windsurfing in general, but It didnt end bad, because an end is and end and this was not, but more like a beginning for me to a different windsurfing dimension, I want to try more crazy stuff, because I know the worse and I also know it can get worst, but this is the way I get my pleasure from windsurfing, and I will stop only when I will really have to,

And will you go for the triple forward again?
I just cant wait to get the perfect set up for it. Yes I will.

Who are your heroes?
My Mum.

You are a decorated competitor- is there one sport-related accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being one of the windsurf hardcore jumpers in the world.

Apart from your life in wind and water sports, what else are you up to?
It’s all related to windsurfing, surfing, Sup.. water sport in general, I also have a windsurf center with a friend back home in Morocco, and it takes some of my time,, apart from that, I love mountains, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding.. and much more.

What other goals or dreams do you have?
Develop windsurfing in Morocco. But also sport in General.

Anything else you want to share with us?
I just got back from the highest summit in North Africa, Jbel Toubkal in the Atlas mountain here in Morocco, and so proud of myself doing such thing.

Sponsors: Starboard, Severne sails, Mystic and Aeron.

:: 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

:: Zane Schweitzer, Stoked for Windfest

Zane SchweitzerAre you ready to defend your Junior Champion title from last year’s Pistol River event? Any secret moves up your sleeve?

I am stoked to come back to Pistol River and defend my junior champ title, and will for sure charge some big flips and surf some fun waves especially if we get as lucky as we did last year with conditions!

After your competition at Pistol you’re coming to Hood River for Windfest, which you did last year as well. What are you looking forward to at Windfest this year?

The Gorge has been a annual thing for me for the last three years enjoying everything the area has to offer from high flying windsurf sessions, mountain biking, summer snow boarding, River rapids, fun stand up down winders and hanging with the hood crew every year! Windfest is a super fun time for fun expression sessions and kids clinics for groms who are stoked on windsurfing and stand up paddling! Also enjoying good music, and helping out in the Starboard booth to let people demo great boards and equipment. I can’t wait to get back to the gorge to do the kids clinics and share the aloha and fun times of windsurfing and SUP.

Kids clinic with Zane Schweitzer at Windfest 2010

Kids clinic with Zane Schweitzer at Windfest 2010

Where are your favorite places to windsurf in the Gorge?

I love sailing at the hatchery to throw big jumps and flips on each tack and watch guys like Brian Metcalf-Perez and Wyatt Miller do some crazy loops and freestyle moves all day.

What other activities do you do while you’re in the Gorge?

I stay with Jay Watermayer and his family every year in the gorge and we try to get up to as much fun things as possible every day. Last year I remember going snowboarding at mount hood in the morning then windsurfing at the hatch in the afternoon, and then finishing the day off with a sick sunset mountain bike ride at Post Canyon! I am deffinitly stoked to see Jay and our Hood river buddies to do the same things and have some more unreal sessions!!

Zane charging Post Canyon in Hood River

Zane charging Post Canyon in Hood River

Who are your heroes?

My biggest heros in life are my mom and dad, and my whole ohana because they have done so many amazing things for me and many others, they have been so loving and caring for everything I have passions for and encourage me to do what I love everyday and to share the aloha of life with everyone and to always go big!

You are a decorated competitor- is there one sport-related accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I cant chose a favorite sport but what ever the conditions offer I know that I can find the perfect conditions for what ever im doing weather its windsurfing, surfing, stand up paddling, diving, or dirt biking. Some of my favorite 1st place accomplishments were the grueling 11 city tour stand up paddle race 150 miles through Holland, The Handsome Buggaz Honolua Bay surfing Classic at my stomping grounds of Honolua Maui, and making the finals of the Sunset Beach Pro Stand Up World Tour.

Sponsors: Starbaord, North Sails, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Alpinestars, Dakine, GenR8, Power Balance.

Zane going big at Pistol River, 2010

Zane going big at Pistol River, 2010

:: Port approves temporary kiteboard access from Event Site, Marina

**Changes expire June 10 for Event Site, June 30 for Marina**

By ADAM LAPIERRE
Hood River News

The Port of Hood River board of commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve two proposals aimed at alleviating waterfront access and safety issues created by this spring’s unusually high water on the Columbia River. The actions, which took effect essentially immediately, allow for temporary kiteboard landing and launching from the east end of the Event Site and the west end of the Marina swim beach; both of which are normally closed to kiteboarding this time of year.

[click image to view in larger window]

Event Site Usage Plan through June 10th

Due to above average snowpack in the entire Columbia Basin and a colder than average spring, forecasters estimate high water in the Columbia into July. River levels are expected to remain similar to what they are now for the next few weeks before declining slowly back toward normal in mid-summer.

Following discussion with Pepi Gerald, president of the Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association and Steve Gates, president of the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association, the board approved two addendums to Port Ordinance 23, which regulates conduct at the Hood River waterfront.

The first, addressing the Marina swim beach just east of the mouth of the Hood River, allows for kitebarding at the location until June 30. Limitations written into the agreement state: “Kiteboard activities shall cease on any portion of the Marina Swim Beach where users engaged in other activities (picnicking, swimming, etc.) are present; The use of trainer kites is not allowed; Allowed Kiteboard activities are provisional and may be suspended temporarily or revoked at any time at the direction of the Port Commission or Executive Director.”

The second and more significant change is at the Event Site where, until June 10, kiteboard landing and launching will be allowed from the eastern half of the beach/grass.

Although a similar proposal has been discussed by the kiteboarding community in the past, a proposal spearheaded by the CGWA made the temporary change a reality.

“Though this (high water) condition impacts windsurfing to varying degrees, it has a profoundly negative impact on kiteboarding in the central Gorge,” Gates said before Tuesday’s meeting. “The CGWA discussed this situation in depth at its May 19 Board meeting and decided to take a proactive, good-neighbor stance by recommending to the Port to temporarily re-open the Event Site to kite launch and landing.”

Following the board’s decision, Gates, Gerald and Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee all expressed their appreciation for the cooperation between user groups, and the proactive stance the CGWA took in creating the proposal.

The Event Site decision came with the following limitations: “Kiteboard launching and landing on the beach will be allowed only on the eastern half of the Event Site Beach; Windsurfers shall store board and rigging only on the west half of the Event Site lawn or beach area; During lower water levels, Kiteboarders shall use the Sandbar for launching and landing to the maximum extent possible; Launching and landing shall cease if other users, especially children, are present on the east half of the Event Site beach; Kiteboarders and windsurfers are encouraged to show maximum cooperation during the time period that additional kiteboard activities are allowed; The CGKA, CGWA and Port shall use utilize best efforts to inform all users of these allowed uses and limitations.”

For kiteboarders, the Event Site pump and dry area, which is allowed through the summer, will remain the same and will not be extended west during the temporary period.

“This decision represents a proactive and constructive response to the challenging high water conditions,” McElwee said. “It’s important for people to remember that both the swim beach and the Event site are utilized by a variety of users. It’s not exclusive for any one use. Safety of the public will continue to be our first priority.”

In addition to being presidents of their respective associations, Gerald and Gates are both longtime downtown business owners (Gerald of 2nd Wind Sports and Gates of Big Winds). Both acknowledged the economic importance of focusing recreation as close to Hood River as possible.

“Kiteboarding continues to grow in the Gorge, and that growth has an impact on the community and the local economy,” Gerald noted. “We want people to feel welcome and encouraged to come to Hood River, even when the conditions aren’t ideal. This is not a perfect solution, but I think it’s an important step in the right direction.”

Gates, who owns and operates one of the longest-standing and most successful windsurfing shops in the country, has a similar outlook. “This should provide an adequate space for both kiteboarding and windsurfing for the next few weeks until the summer crowd arrives in force in mid-June,” he said. “The recreation community is a significant component of our economy and it’s important to ensure that our visitors feel welcome and accommodated.”