Photo by Ben Mitchell
AT THE HOOD RIVER EVENT SITE, a kiteboarder leaps out of the water with a hydrofoil attached to his board. Hydrofoils will make an appearance at this year’s Beach Bash, with the new Foil Fest event happening Friday to help attendees learn about the devices — particularly their application to windsurfing.
As of Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The annual Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association’s Beack Bash extravaganza returns June 22-25, helping usher in the summer wind and watersports season in the Gorge.
Formerly known as Windfest, the event changed to Beach Bash in 2015 to help include some of the other user groups on the river.
CGWA BEACH BASH
• June 22: Pray for Wind Party at Stonehedge Gardens
• June 23: Friday Foil Fest at Hood River Event Site
• June 24: Beach Party, Gorge Cup slalom race, and concert at Hood River Waterfront
• June 25: Second day of Beach Party
The event kicks off Thursday, June 22, with the annual Pray for Wind Party at Stonehedge Gardens restaurant in Hood River — although judging by Monday’s unruly gusts, it seems a few people out there have already been praying extra hard. The event will run from 6-10 p.m. Dinner tickets are sold at the door; the event includes a full bar, auction items, and music by the Hapa Hillbillies.
June 23 brings a new event to the Beach Bash: the Friday Foil Fest, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hood River Event Site. The event will highlight the use of hydrofoils; attendees can learn about hydrofoils used on windsurf boards, and local foil builders and designers will be there to help guests get a “lift” on their windsurfing.
Saturday, June 24, brings the most action-packed day of the event. Activities kick off with the Beach Party, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Event site. The party will feature local musicians providing live music, food, beer, wine, games, kids’ activities, races, unlimited SUP and windsurfing demos, free clinics and lessons, and more. The Beach Party will also continue Sunday at the same times.
Also going on throughout the day Saturday offshore from the Event Site will be the second Gorge Cup race of the season, which will run in conjunction with the International Windsurfing Tour (formerly known as the American Windsurfing Tour). The Gorge Cup is a summer-long windsurfing slalom series, where the sailor with the lowest point total wins. The IWT will also be holding freestyle competitions on the fly June 23-25; location will depend on conditions.
Saturday night activities draw to a close with a concert at the Hood River Waterfront, featuring live music from local and regional bands. Headliners are “The New Triumph,” a band from Seattle that have funk, world music, Latin, and jazz influences (suggested donation at the door; beer, wine, and food available for purchase).
The CGWA is a Hood River-based nonprofit that works to improve windsurfing access in the Gorge, coach youth sailors, and host wind and watersport events. For more information on the organization and on the Beach Bash, go to gorgewindsurfing.org or check out their Facebook page (facebook.com/GorgeWindsurfing).