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And we’re off, to an epic start

Suffice to say, the 2014 Gorge wind season has been nothing to scoff at so far. May and June have performed more like July and August, and were highlighted by the now famous “Big Tuesday” (June 3). Locals who have been windsurfing in the Gorge for 20+ years agree, it was one of the biggest days they have ever seen.

With so much wind in the spring, it is exciting to realize July and August are still ahead of us.

The spring also kicked off with the usual Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association swap meets to get everyone kitted-out for the season. The CGWA was also able to bring back the Pray For Wind Party last week, with the generous support of Stonehedge Gardens. This season the kickoff party had a delicious dinner, drinks, music from Jamba, tons of raffle prizes, and auction items. The event brought in over $5,000 to support the CGWA and its kids’ program, Gorge Groms. A huge thanks goes out to Stonehedge, all the generous sponsors and everyone who attended for making it a success.

Coming up next, we have Gorge Windfest 2014, a kick-off to summer windsurfing and SUP event at the Hood River Event Site. It runs this weekend, June 28-29, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We’ll have unlimited demos from the top windsurfing and SUP brands, free clinics from the pros, free beginner lessons, local food, beer and music. This year there will also be free outdoor yoga classes provided by Root Down and some free acupuncture provided on site by Columbia River Acupuncture, plus lawn games to keep the whole family entertained.

The next all-sports swap meet is coming up this weekend as well, Sunday, June 29 at the Luhr Jensen Parking Lot next to the Waterfront Park. Sellers show up at 7 a.m. ($10 seller’s fee) and buyers show up at 8 a.m. (free). Come down early to get rid of the extra windsurf, kite, bike, SUP, or even winter gear that is clogging up your garage.

In other waterfront news, we have the annual Kiteboard-4-Cancer event July 11-13 at the Event Site. Hopefully the Waterfront Park will be open in full force by then; much of it has been closed this year for development. The park will look a bit different when this phase is completed, with the addition of the amphitheater on the western edge.

See you on the water.

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