Bruce Peterson takes fourth race of Gorge Cup, but annual windsurfing slalom series is still up for grabs

Perennial Gorge Cup winner Bruce Peterson took last weekend’s fourth race of the Gorge Cup, but unlike this time last season when Peterson’s lead was well-established, the frontrunners don’t have much space between them on the event leaderboard.

Currently sitting in first place after Saturday’s race of the annual windsurfing slalom series is MacRae Wylde, 2015 winner of the Gorge Cup, who competes with Peterson in the grand masters class. Wylde currently has nine points, jumping the rankings after the first round of throw-outs following the completion of Saturday’s competition (in the Gorge Cup, racers get to throw out their worst performance after four competitions, and a second race after seven competitions, so that the final standings are based on the aggregate score of five races).

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However, Wylde’s lead is far from safe, as Jay Salzman, Sam Bauer, and Bill Czinege lurk behind him in a three-way tie at 16 points apiece. Phil Soltysiak (18 points), Peterson (18.7), and Igor Landais (19) aren’t far behind, either.

Race Director Scotia Bauer said Saturday’s light winds brought about a new chapter in Gorge Cup history: the first-ever race to feature sailors on both traditional windsurfing boards and those on hydrofoils. Bauer said the hydrofoils were hard to beat, although to be fair, two of those sailors who used them, Peterson and Wylde, usually perform well regardless of what they’re riding. Wylde finished third overall in Saturday’s competition, trailing Tavis Perez, who took first in the masters class. Peterson won four of the seven heats, Perez took two, and Wylde won the final heat.

Other class winners included Salzman for senior grand masters (sixth overall), and Colzon Zack for the juniors, finished eighth overall on his foil. A total of 33 windsurfers have entered at least one race this season, with 16 entering the July 22 competition.

With three competitions left to go and not a lot of distance between point totals, this series is still very much up for grabs. Race 5 is scheduled for this Saturday morning down at the Hood River Event Site, which will be the penultimate week of racing for the event. The series wraps up next month with races on Aug 12 and 13.

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