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Hood River Beginner Sites
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Event Site has turned into a great place to learn how to waterstart, as the sand bar is where you'll end up as you drift down wind, and if the water level is low enough, you can walk your gear back to the beach.

However, its a very popular site as you've noticed, and there are a lot of kiters there so far this year.

When sailing in the Gorge, "advanced sites" are advanced when there is a lot of wind. You can sail most of the sites when its not so windy. You can get into trouble at any site, even a "beginner" site when the wind kicks in unexpectantly (like it did on Sunday).

If you can't waterstart, don't go into the channel. Also, figure out where you might end up if you're stuck drifting. If the wind is from the west, you'll drift upriver (east) if you're trying to waterstart and flying the sail a lot. If you just sit in the current, you'll drift west.

Waterstarting is not that hard once you get the hang of it, actually technically a little easier than uphauling, so come down to the Gorge and learn how to do it. Then keep an eye out for barges and slowly venture out a little more each time until you feel comfortable.

Check the weather forecast before you sail. Remember, advanced and intermediate sites might look "dooable" when the wind is light, but they have their designation for a reason. I think you are allowed to sail by the Best Western there, but don't know what the wind is like, you're right by the bridge.
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windsurf_FI



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

Thanks for the great advice! I will be sure we stay safe and out of the channel until we learn to waterstart. My son already got too close to a barge in the Sound here at home off the south end of Fox Island. Since then we have only windsurfed at Purdy which is much more forgiving of blundering novices.

Will try to get us waterstart lessons this weekend. That is if the wind shows up.
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