Thursday, July 23, 2009

US Nationals start today

Yes, the Gorge can be a windy place (nope, that flag didn't get to look like this by just gently sagging off its pole...). We've had really good luck with the wind in the last week and a half. All of last week, I got to sail slalom every day, including the blowout. Monday, all the forecasts except Temira's were blessedly wrong, and we had great Easterlies at Stevenson all day long into the late afternoon (pretty much unheard of) for the junior race camp. Tuesday, Westerlies were back, so the camp moved back to the Event Site with great conditions. Lots of enthusiasm and hard work and fun - those kids are awesome, and if we could bottle that kind of energy... (I'll have a separate write up on the camp soon - it's pretty much claiming its spot as one of the highlights of this season already!).

Yesterday was registration day for the US Nationals, and the Event Site is slowly filling up. Lots of juniors, most of them freshly tuned up after the camp, and a bunch of familiar faces from all over the place. The Kerns are here from Florida, we have a few East Coasters, Charles and Chad Allen from Corpus Christi, Chris Prior and Bill C. from BC, and of course the Bay Area contingent. Yesterday saw full-on slalom conditions at the Event Site, and a bunch of the Bay guys were out getting used to their slalom gear. Lots of fun and big smiles all around.

Looks like today we might actually run some slalom - the forecast is looking promising for that. Tomorrow and Friday look a little lighter, so there should be some good course racing, and Sunday looks like we might get hit with a heat wave and no breeze - but the forecasts have been pretty fluid, so I for one am thinking it's entirely possible we'll get a whole four days of racing.

Major kudos to Bruce Peterson of Sailworks, who jumped in and saved the regatta for several sailors who had chartered gear. The chartered FE rigs didn't arrive as planned due to some logistical snafus, and Bruce stepped up and helped folks out with a killer charter deal that can't come anywhere close to covering his cost, not to mention time and effort. In addition, there was a parade of sailors getting help with all kinds of odds and ends and repairs at the Sailworks loft yesterday, and they all got help, regardless of what brand they were on. Way to go to support the sport!

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