Team Big Winds showed up in force July 15th at the Willamette SUP Cup in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The eighteen member team made up almost a third of the entire fleet! The challenging course had a nice variety of tight turns, long straights, current, breeze, showers and sunshine. Something for everyone!
Team BW placed 4 in the top ten in the men’s Elite, with Ben Grodner in 5th, MacRae Wylde in 6th, Rob Dies in 9th and Steve Gates in 10th. Ford Huntington won the Rec Class in his first ever SUP race. Fiona Wylde just edged out teammate Alyson Fromm (a mere 5 seconds!) as the girls went 1-2 in the Women’s Elite. And, Team BW coach Steve Gates won the Men’s 50+ Class.
It was great fun for the whole team, with many participating in their first SUP race!
Now the training continues in preparation for the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, August 18 and 19, when Team Big Winds will try to defend its home turf as the best racers from all over world descend on Hood River for the spectacular paddling conditions of the Columbia Gorge.
Just returned from another wonderful week-end of SUP surfing on the Oregon Coast, this time with the 2012 Starboard Wide-Point 8’10” SUP
. Short and wide is a good thing! The under 9′ length allowed me to make bottom turns without having to trim the board off to the rail so aggressively and the tapered tail helps a ton too. For my first session out I was set up as a thruster configuration, allowing for a nice tracking, stable feel. Round two, I swapped out for the Gerry Lopez Quad (GL-1 Quad), which loosened everything up on the wave, and made the board much easier to carve.
The 8’10” Wide Point is offered in the silver construction (as seen in this photo), which would be a great windsurf board once the wind picks up, with mast base connection, and footstrap inserts added to the SUP.
Great board to build confidence up with, not too long, not too wide…Just right!
After a brief taste of summer back in March when we got to test some gear in Maui, it finally felt like summer in the Gorge last Sunday! Windy, warm, and a good crew of people sailing at the Hatchery. I couldn’t wait to take my new Naish Chopper for a spin. I rigged up the Small and headed out. For the next 90 minutes, I was pretty much smiling nonstop. My session was elevated even further when my dad joined me on the water (on a matching Chopper, of course). Despite the gusty conditions (with some pretty large lulls), we were planing nearly the entire time due to the Chopper’s wide range and stability. As I carried my rig up the rocks, I felt satisfied. Perhaps my satisfaction was due to the fact that I hadn’t sailed in over two weeks—but I have a sneaking suspicion it could be due to my new favorite sail: the Chopper.
Erin and Steve Gates take their new Naish Choppers to the Hatch. Thanks to Trudy Lary for the photo