Le Roux wins Gorge Cup

Jac Le Roux

Submitted photo
Jac Le Roux

Persistence finally paid off for Jac Le Roux.

After chasing the title for the last decade, the 59-year-old South African finished first overall in the 2013 Gorge Cup windsurfing series. Le Roux, who lives the “endless summer” by spliting his time between the Gorge and South Africa, beat out Bruce Peterson, Fiona Wylde, MacRae Wylde and Sam Bauer for the top five out of 53 in the six-race series that started in mid-May and ended with the season finale last weekend.

“I’ve been chasing Bruce for 10 years,” he said this week. “He has always beaten me handily. Part of it is that I just got lucky because he (and Fiona) missed some races. I also managed to beat him a few times in light wind races.”

Le Roux held a decent lead going into the final day of racing on Sunday, but any of the top five finishers could have won the overall if he didn’t perform reasonably well. Tyson Poor was the man to beat Sunday as he won five of eight heats and was second in two others in what were prime conditions for the season finale. Peterson was fast on his tail in second, with three wins and four second-place finishes.

This is the first Gorge Cup Peterson hasn’t won since 2006, when he finished second to Dale Cook.

“It has always been a dream to finally beat Bruce,” Le Roux said. “He’s an inspiration to sail with for a lot of people around here. Considering my age, this was probably the last chance I had to win. My window of opportunity is shrinking, so winning this year was particularly sweet.”

Behind Peterson was Fiona Wylde, who, at 16 years old, left even the most veteran Gorge Cup competitors in her wake throughout the series. Her father, MacRae, finished fourth by a third of a point. Adding a shake of salt in the wound of losing to his teenage daughter, MacRae received the deprecatory “Ponytail” award, named the last few years to whoever finished behind Fiona in the standings.

Sam Bauer finished a close fifth with one point separating him from the Wyldes.

“Fiona is so consistent; she’s going to be very hard to beat in the coming years,” Le Roux said. “She will raise the game for everyone.”

This year’s series continued the small increase in participants over the last few years; a detail that event director Scotia Bauer is excited about.

“We had at least 10 new members join the fleet this year,” she said. “And five of those were junior racers, which is an area we are really trying to build on since they are the future of our sport.”

Bauer said this year’s six race days saw a good mix of conditions, which is ideal for bringing out the best all-around racers. “We had one of the top three windiest race days ever, and some light days. That makes a great test for sailors to perform in all conditions.”

Gorge Cup 2013:

Overall top ten

1st: Jac Le Roux, 21.7

2nd: Bruce Peterson, 26.4

3rd: Fiona Wylde, 29.7

4th: MacRae Wylde, 30

5th: Sam Bauer, 31

6th: Jay Salzman, 40

7th: Alex Nielsen, 51

8th: Andreas Macke, 55

9th: Toshi Kato, 56

10th: Jorge Arzola, 56

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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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