SUP team turns heads at Battle of the Paddle

Hood River-based youth Stand Up Paddle team, Team Big Winds, capped a breakout summer season with the Battle of the Paddle last month at Dana Point, California’s Doheny Beach. The annual event consists of two big races — a course race on Saturday and a 10-mile distance race on Sunday. With well over 400 competitors, it is by far the largest SUP race in the world and attracts athletes from virtually all corners of the earth.

Team Big Winds coach Steve Gates gave the following report of the action, noting that the event “was a fitting close to an amazing season and was an incredible experience, especially for the kids. I was proud of the way they competed and the way they handled themselves in such an intense, pressure-packed environment. Watch out for these kids next year.

“After an amazing summer of training and racing, Team Big Winds was ready for some serious competition at the Battle of the Paddle. With 12 kids representing the Big Winds JET (Junior Elite Team) and four adults racing, we had one of the largest teams in the entire event. The kids had an incredible weekend, with the JET girls going 2-3-4-5 in the 18-and-under course race, led by Savannah Boersma and followed closely by Hanna Hill, Kelli Clarke and Sam Davies. The boys rocked as well, taking the top three spots in the boys 18-and-under category, with Ford Huntington taking home the win, followed closely by Sam Wiley and Tyler Tschritter.

“The following day’s distance race saw the JET kids continue to turn heads. Davies led the girls team with a fourth-place finish, followed by Boersma in fifth, Clarke in sixth, and Hill in seventh. Derek Fromm charged into a second-place podium finish for the boys, followed by Wiley in fifth, and Tschritter in sixth.

Veteran JET member Fiona Wylde (16), who has been having a breakout season on the SUP circuit, continued to establish herself as one of the top female paddlers on the planet, taking 11th in the Women’s Elite course race and fifth in the Elite distance race.”

Team Big Winds’ adults also did Hood River proud, with Jon Davies taking a fourth in the course race and seventh in the distance in his age group; Don Wiley finishing 16th in course and 11th in distance, MacRae Wylde finished 12st and 26th and, last but not least, Coach Gates taking fourth in the course and fifth in the distance in his age group.

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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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