Locals shine at kiteboard festival

Kiteboarders from all over North America set sail for Stevenÿson, Wash. last weekend to compete for more than $2,500 in prize money at the second annual Bridge of the Gods Kiteboarding Festival.

Despite the international apÿpeal, it was the locals who stole the show, as the top three men and two of the top three women hailed from the valley.

David Tyburski of Hood River won the men's freestyle division, followed by Ken Winner of White Salmon and Kor Harrison, also of White Salmon. Karen Bureker (Hood River) won the women's competition, with Stacey Boggs (Hood River) finishing second and Renee Hanks (Arcata, Calif.) takÿing third.

"We had kiters from Puerto Rico, Hawaii and British Columÿbia, but when it came down to it, the locals really shined," event coordinator Floyd Wilkes said.

Conditions were favorable and the competition was spectacular as many of the world's top kiteÿboarders -- some who competed in the 2001 Gorge Games -- showed how far this sport has come in the past year.

"The level of ability has douÿbled since last year," said 2000 Bridge of the Gods winner Adam Koch, who helped judge this year's event.

"Last year everyone was learnÿing how to catch air, but they were jumping out of the water three times higher this year," he said.

Wilkes said organizers and sponsors are already preparing for next year. They hope to exÿpand the competition to include both pro and amateur divisions so people who aren't able to devote all their time to kiteboarding can still compete.

He explained that the main reaÿson for the event's success the past two years has been the help of the many volunteers. Two notÿable volunteers were race director Mike McHugh, who organized the judges panel and heat structures, and Kat Betz, who handled regisÿtration, updating the heat board and more.

"We were really pleased with all the support from our sponsors and volunteers," Wilkes said. "They were willing to do whatevÿer needed to be done for the event to succeed."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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