CGRA sails through busy summer

The Columbia Gorge Racing Association is gearing up for a busy next few weeks of sailing in Cascade Locks.

Up first is CGRA’s signature regatta, the Columbia Gorge One-Design Regatta, running Aug. 1-3 based from race headquarters at the Cascade Locks Marina. The CGOD brings together a variety of different fleets and races them on two courses (one for keel boats and one for dinghies) over the course of the weekend. This race attracts quite a few Gorge-area residents to race amongst and against sailors from around the country, and beyond. Currently registered to represent the Hood River Yacht Club are skippers Doug Archbald, Leif Bergstrom, Andrew Estcourt, Julio Paredes, Brian Pedros and their respective crews, all entering in the Moore 24 category.

Activities start Friday with Fireball Nationals, with the two-keel fleets (including Moore 24) and other high-performance dinghy fleets racing the following day.

CGRA organizers get little rest before the next event – the 2014 Hobie North American Championships, which run Aug. 4-8. This is the fourth of five stops on the HNAC tour, with prior races held in Michigan, Canada and New Jersey. The regatta will have five days of racing, with the objective of three to five races per day – starting mid-morning and ending early afternoon when possible — and overall points from the event contributing to the national championship series.

On Aug. 9, CGRA hosts the annual Double Damned downwind race from Cascade Locks to The Dalles. Often unpredictable and always challenging, this race has become famous, and infamous, in sailing circles as one to add to the summer schedule only if you’re up to the task. As of this week, five of the 14 boats registered represent HRYC.

The final three days of CGRA’s season, Aug. 14-16, are occupied by O’pen Bic sailing. A two-day camp runs Aug. 14-15 and will help sailors improve boat handling and racing skills in preparation for Saturday’s O’pen Bic UnRegatta. The UnRegatta is strictly a fun event for Bic sailors of all ages and skill levels and will take place on a very non-traditional course, with the focused objective of having fun and getting wet. This event will be of particular interest for participants of the popular learn-to-sail programs in Hood River, run through Hood River Community Education.

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