Thursday, November 3, 2005
September 17, 2005
The 2005 Gorge Cup started racing this season on May 14 in the cold, grey waters off the Hood River Event Site. During the heat of action in July and August, racers discarded their wetsuits, broke out the sunscreen and dipped in the water to keep cool. In all, 54 windsurfers competed in a total of eight days of racing over the summer. After the final day of racing earlier this month, local ripper Bruce Peterson walked away with the overall Cup title.
“We had a great year,” Peterson commented. “It was the best season of racing in the Gorge that I can remember. Having the U.S. Nationals and the Formula Experience here was the highlight of the summer.”
The Gorge Cup was run this year by a local organization called VMG Events. Lead by Scotia Bauer, VMG Events also helped bring to town and successfully run two world-class sailing events: The U.S. Windsurfing Nationals and the Formula Experience World Championships.
“It was so much fun watching the racers compete,” Bauer said. “They are amazing athletes, and all-around great people to work with. We’ve got a world-class racing venue, and were able to showcase that this summer to people from all over the world. Because of the successful season this year, we’re hoping to host another international event next summer, which will help re-establish the Gorge to premier status in the racing world.”
Last year’s Gorge Cup overall champion was local racer Dale Cook.
“I missed part of this season due a forearm injury,” Cook said. “But it was fun to come back for the last half and chase Bruce around. The level of competition increased so much over the season. I’m looking forward to racing with the crew again next summer.”
For the most part, the wind cooperated on race days. Except, of course, for the day ESPN SportsCenter broadcast live from the Hood River Event Site during the U.S. Nationals. The water was a mirror that day.
“We had plenty of wind, and really only missed a couple of days of racing,” said Principal Race Officer Darren Rogers. “For the first time in many years we had a group of junior racers on the water, which was great to see. We’re hoping to grow the program next year and get more kids involved with racing.”
“The series would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors,” said Bauer. “Many of the sponsors have been supporting the Gorge Cup for years, and we look forward to a continued partnership next season. We’re also hoping to attract more sailors next year, with plans to promote a “Free Ride” class, in which the equipment will be open so anyone who windsurfs can race.”
For more information about the series and other windsurfing events in the Gorge, please visit www.vmgevents.com.
This year’s Gorge Cup sponsors were:
DaKine, US Bank, Copper Salmon Pub, Full Sail, Summit Projects, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Sailworks, Hood River Chrysler, Jeep & Dodge, Hood River Ford/Mercury, G Sport, Irrinet Soil Moisture Management, Windermer Glenn Taylor, High Gear, Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association, Hood River County Visitors Association, Safeway and iWindsurf.
Final Cup results
Racer Place overall
Bruce Peterson 1
Doug Beaman 2
Jac le Roux 3
Dale Cook 4
MacRae Wylde 5
Jay Salazman 6
Andreas Macke 7
Travis Perez 8
Stefan Lidington 9
Alex Loanide 10
Jim Tracy 1
Sam Bauer 2
Bob Schroeder 3
Dave Gutierrez 4
Derek Nielsen 5
Jay Watermeyer 1
Aaron Cardwell 2
Alex Nielsen 3
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The band Planet Fly plays at Pfriem in an outdoor concert. Enlarge