CGWA announces 2011 Windsurf awards

Sept. 2, 2011

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association announced its annual Gorge Windsurf Awards at an end-of-season party Wednesday night at the Ruins in Hood River.

Nominations for the five categories were submitted by and voted on by the Gorge windsurfing community. Winners were Nathan Mershon -- Gorge Windsurfer of the Year; Art Loh -- Most Stoked (awarded posthumously); Greg Crafts -- Most Selfless Windsurfer; Fiona Wylde -- Grom of the Year and Mike Van Sisseren -- Dale Cook Big Air Award.

The Gorge Windsurfer of the Year winner, Nathan Mershon, is known in the Gorge and Maui for his extremely high and technical aerial maneuvers. This year he surprised many by taking the lead in the renowned American Windsurfing Tour, above the likes of Kevin Pritchard and Josh Stone, Professional Windsurfing Association World Champions.

Art Loh's posthumous award was accepted by Tom Eshbaugh, a friend of Loh's, who helped arrange a local memorial for Loh after he passed away after windsurfing at Rowena earlier in the season.

"His family will be honored by this award and will really appreciate it," Eshbaugh said at the ceremony.

Fiona Wylde, a young and skilled athlete who won her division in this year's Gorge Cup Race Series and competes in the American Windsurfing Tour, graciously accepted her award while acknowledging her fellow nominee Ben Grodner.

"Ben is equally deserving of this award, and I'll be sure to share it with him," Wylde said.

In recognition of a lifetime of dedication to the Gorge and windsurfing, the CGWA Board of Directors awarded the Golden Shovel award to Fred Noble. This award is given to a person who willingly "digs in" and gets his or her hands dirty to support the Gorge. Last year's winner was Vel Budworth for her work hosting the CGWA Swap Meets, which have grown to be a main fundraising mechanism for the organization.

Noble was a founding member of CGWA in the early 1980s, and since then has been a critical driver for public beach development at Rowena and Viento, among others. He built the changing rooms at the Hook, and leads an inspired life of philanthropy.

Noble was diagnosed with terminal ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and is pouring his energy into the inaugural Ski to Defeat ALS event at Meadows in April 2012. The award was presented by longtime CGWA board member Patrick Quigley, a close friend of Noble.

Steve Gates, CGWA president, wrapped up the ceremony with a group toast to another great Gorge season.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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