Sailors fly high at Freestyle Frenzy

Freestyle Frenzy champion Bryan Metcalf-Perez in the middle of a flat-water freestyle trick.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Freestyle Frenzy champion Bryan Metcalf-Perez in the middle of a flat-water freestyle trick.

Summer sunshine: check. Strong wind: check. Classic Gorge swell: check. Large audience: check. Lineup of competitors excited to huck, flip, jump and jibe around the river for bragging rights and prize money: check.

Gorge Freestyle Frenzy a success: check.

With less-than-ideal wind forecast earlier this week, organizers and competitors of the Gorge Freestyle Frenzy windsurfing contest were pleasantly surprised Wednesday morning by classic Gorge conditions that peaked in the 35 mph range and lasted through most of the afternoon.

The event, recently revived by the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association/American Windsurfing Tour after a five-year hiatus, brought 50 competitors from six countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia and England) and several dozen spectators to the Hatchery for a full day of freestyle and big-air windsurfing.

Event highlights

Super Freestyle top five:

1: Bryan Metcalf-Perez; 2: Wyatt Miller; 3: Tyson Poor; 4: Rob Warwick; 5: Mitch Gingrich/Nick Allen

Gorge Style Top five:

1: Mitch Gingrich; 2: Jake Miller; 3: JP Bowles; 4: Nathan Mershon; 5: Scott Hazenboom/Sean Aiken

Women Freestyle:

1: Ingrid Larouche; 2: Roxanne Christensen; 3: Laura Miller; 4: Tanya Ferguson

Jump-off top five:

1: Dale Cook, 2: Sean Aiken, 3: Bryan Metcalf-Perez, 4: Jake Miller, 5: Steven Max

With an early morning start and the goal of getting every round of three different contests done in one day, things went quickly and with little break in the action. In the Super Frenzy division, Bryan Metcalf-Perez beat out fellow resident pros Wyatt Miller, Tyson Poor and Rob Warwick to finish on top of the 16-man field. The Gorge Style category — judged for the classic big-air and swell riding moves Gorge sailors are known for — saw Mitch Gingrich rise to the top over Jake Miller in second, JP Bowles in third and a field of 18 total. Women’s freestyle competitors finished with Ingrid Larouche in first, followed by Roxanne Christensen, Laura Miller and Tanya Ferguson.

“We’re stoked,” says Greg Stiegel, CGWA executive director. “The forecast wasn’t looking great, but it nuked all day and we had a really good turnout. By the time the Jump Off came around in the afternoon the wind had backed off and the swell was coming down, which was a bit of a bummer.”

Using arm-mounted Xensr devices to take precise measurements, the Jump Off was a simple highest-jump-wins format. No surprise to anyone who knows the Gorge scene, the event favorite and renowned huckster Dale Cook edged out the competition with a jump of 18.81 feet. Sean Aiken was second at 14.12, Metcalf-Perez was third with 14.0 and Miller was fourth with 12.55.

“The numbers were okay, but definitely not as high as those guys can go,” Stiegel said.

In addition to providing sensors and helping run the event, Xensor donated $1,500 in prize money to help attract competitors.

Next up for the local windsurfing scene is the fourth race in the annual summer Gorge Cup racing series at the Hood River Event Site. The series continues with Race 5 Aug. 3 and the season finale race Aug. 31.

The CGWA is also gearing up for its annual King of the Hook event, which will be Aug. 11 at the Hook. The whimsical event dates back to 2001 and is more of a fun-focused gathering than a contest.

Finally, final two swap meets of the season are set for Aug. 4 and Sept. 1 in the Luhr Jensen parking lot. Set-up for sellers starts at 7 a.m. and the meet opens for buyers at 8 a.m.

See gorgewinsurfing.org for details.

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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



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