Thursday, December 9, 2004
CASCADE LOCKS — For the past 10 days, Cascade Locks has been the center of the college sailing universe, hosting the 2004 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association North American Championships at Port Marina Park.
Teams from 25 schools competed in three separate divisions, each hoping to catch the perfect Gorge wind gust to victory. But in the end, only three winners could be crowned.
Yale University won the May 26-28 women’s dinghy championship, St. Mary’s College took the May 30-June 1 layline team title, and the University of Hawaii claimed the June 2-4 co-ed dinghy championship.
Each of the participating colleges fielded a separate A and B division team for both the women’s and co-ed dinghy events. After the district eliminations, 18 teams competed for the women’s title, 14 qualified for the team race, and 16 qualified for the co-ed race.
“There is no better place for wind and water than the Columbia River Gorge,” said Craig McBurney, whose company, Windtopia, is producing the event for College Sports Television (CSTV). “That’s what brought us here, and that’s what is going to bring us back during the Gorge Games.”
McBurney said he expects to see many of the same sailors in the Gorge during the week of July 10-18, when the 2004 Gorge Games will unfold on the banks of the Columbia River.
During that time, Windtopia will be helping to launch a new professional skif racing league, which will also be broadcast on CSTV.
A growing number of sailing spectators and participants are popping up on both coasts, and McBurney wants to take advantage.
“The purpose of all this is to put more wind sports programming on television,” he said. “We are just getting started with this idea, but one of the reasons we chose this event for our beta launch is that it has a natural distribution on CSTV.”
A variety of international “mega-brands” such as Coca-Cola, Ford, Dell, Lee Jeans and Motorola have already bought into the concept, giving McBurney and others plenty of optimism for this summer and beyond.
“We are integrating several mega-brand products into our presentation of events like the North American Sailing Championships,” he said. “When businesses of that magnitude appear in our broadcasts, it helps validate us in the eyes of our viewers. And in this case, it helps raise the profile for the Gorge.”
McBurney said he has enjoyed his time in the Gorge so much that he plans to move his corporate headquarters from Annapolis, Md., to Hood River in the next year.
He expects that the wind sports television market will continue to grow. And by starting in the “wind capital” with an event like the ICSA North American Sailing Championships, it will evolve that much faster.
“The college sailors are the market we are trying to reach, so we figured why not drive cross-country and start selling the idea first-hand,” McBurney said. “The entire media concept was developed over the past three weeks, and I would say it has been worth it. You have to go where the people are.”
In all, more than 200 of the nation’s best collegiate sailors competed in Cascade Locks over the past two weeks. The event also drew a variety of spectators from Hood River, Portland and southwest Washington.
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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