Doyle sails past Vari for kite title

Gorge Games freestyle kiteboarding -- men's

Mark Doyle’s fans were on high Tuesday as the 19-year-old local favorite surprised an elite field to win the Ford Gorge Games kiteboarding competition at the Hood River Event Site.

Employing a series of high-flying, body-cavorting maneuvers to impress the hometown crowd, the 2001 Trout Lake High School graduate oscillated his way past former world champion Martin Vari of Argentina in the finals.

“A lot of it is just going big,” said Doyle, who took second in the 2001 event. “That’s what impresses the judges. And it also helps if you can land everything.”

Doyle and Vari were the last two kites on the water after a scintillating day-long battle between world-class kiters such as Jeff Tobias (third), Ben Wilson (fourth), another former world champ, Julien Sadrat of France, and local standout David Tyburski.

2001 Gorge Games champion Adam Koch of Mokowao, Hawaii, was controversially ousted in the round of 16.

“People may not realize how deep this year’s field was,” said Tyburski, owner of New Wind Kiteboarding School and recent winner of the Cabarete World Cup title.

“Coming off a big win, I felt some of the hometown pressure. But I’ve been spending so much time with the school that I didn’t feel super solid. Either way, I’m happy with top eight.”

Also joining Tyburski in the quarterfinals were Sky Solbach, Jaime Herraiz and Sudrat, but few onlookers could look past the performance of Doyle, who is sponsored by local kite manufacturer, Slingshot.

“There were so many good guys this year that it ended up coming down to who had the best variety,” he said.

Doyle took home $5,000 for his breakout performance, while Vari netted $3,000, Tobias $1,500 and Wilson $500.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners