First Gorge Sailing Team finds success at state

Hood River’s newly formed high school sailing team ended its season in thrilling fashion last weekend at the Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association’s Oregon State Championships, where the group of Gorge sailors finished third in the silver fleet and sixth and 10th in the gold fleet.

Conditions on the first day of the event, hosted by the Willamette Sailing Club, were tricky, with light winds, big gusts and strong currents presenting a range of challenges to the field of sailors from around the Northwest. The Gorge Sailing Team rose to the occasion, and with similarly challenging conditions in their home waters of Hood River providing valuable experience, the team placed well in the day’s 16 races.

Sailors were treated to a morning of steady 15 mph winds on Sunday, and again the experience of sailing in Hood River proved invaluable. While some Portland-area sailors ended capsized their 14-foot boats, the Gorge sailors were right at home; some even hit their top speeds of the year during the day’s eight races.

Representing the Gorge Sailing Team in the silver 1 division were Erin Sutherland, Ruby McDonald, Colson Zack, Emmett Becker and Pelle Bergstrom. The team was a mix of experienced and first-year sailors and finished an impressive third place in the fleet.

Sailing for the Hood River Valley High School Team 1 were Luke Serra, Marelie Vorster, Leif Bergstrom and Ashlynn Olmstead. Serra and Vorster had the highest Hood River result of the weekend, coming in third in one of their races; Bergstrom and Olmstead had consistent results between fourth and seventh places throughout the regatta and ended up sixth overall in the gold fleet.

Representing the HRVHS Team 2 were Oskar Anderson, Emily Burns, Joey Slover and Alec Mathews. All four on the team were new to sailboat racing at the beginning of the season, making their two fifth-place finishes and their 10th overall finish all the more impressive.

Team members Maya Rayle and Blake Winner also competed, but were only able to make it for one of the two days.

From donations to guest coaching, the Gorge Sailing Team was a successful community effort to get high school athletes out on the water. Anyone interested in joining next year’s spring high school sailing season is highly encouraged to take the Beginning 420” sailing class offered this summer by the Gorge Junior Sailing program (register through Hood River Community Education).

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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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