Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest

13th-annual event draws top competition, will follow with amateur contest this weekend

— The annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest proceeded Saturday afternoon with an action-packed showdown that will be remembered as one of the best rounds the freestyle kiteboarding competition has seen in its 13-year history.

With sunny skies, near-perfect wind and a full lawn of spectators watching the Stevenson event, the pro men’s division was narrowed down in preliminary rounds to the top five riders, who faced off in a 15-minute final that ended with Best Kiteboarding team rider Chris Bobryk atop the podium. Starkites pro rider Nicholas Suriel, in the Gorge from the Dominican Republic for the event, finished a close second, followed by Liquid Force team rider Brandon Scheid in third, Jeff Andrade in fourth and John Perry in fifth.

The women’s division saw Stevenson local Shannon Gormley finish in first thanks largely to a few massive airs that were among the biggest of the day out of any competitor. Colleen Carrol, Rachel Callahan and Hood River’s Laura Maher rounded out the top four in the final heat.

The Blowout

Saturday’s event was followed Sunday by a blowout kite race from Stevenson to Hood River. With a points format that awarded not only fastest times but finishing together in teams, the four-man group of Brandon Shied, Kip Wylie, Mark Barnes and Jon Boersman came out on top with 60 points.

Individually, seasoned blowout veteran Cory Roeseler took the top honor as first to the finish, followed by Slingshot Kiteboarding team rider Eric Rienstra in second and Shied in third.

n Individual Blowout highlights are as follows:

1st Cory Roeseler

2nd Eric Rienstra

3rd Brandon Schied

4th Reo Stevens

5th Jake Buzianis

6th Matt Elsasser

7th Jason Slezak

8th Alex German

9th Paul Porter

10th Tony Bolstad

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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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