Hood River Blows Away the Competition


Saturday, April 9th

Newport, OR

Befriending your teammates is an integral part of building a cohesive team, and there’s no better way to make friends than to go camping. On Friday night, we arrived in Newport and set up camp around our fire, met up and said our hellos and goodnights. In the morning, the team woke up to a delicious egg and bagel breakfast cooked up by the Sutherland family. Whipping up a batch of scrambled eggs for over 30 people is no small feat so thanks were plentiful.

Our pre-race meeting informed us of the new conditions we would be sailing in. Eddies and strong currents were to be expected in the harbor, with the biggest tide of the year coming in all day.  Sailing in this much current was a new experience for first time ocean sailors. Capsize procedures were stressed and were reviewed by each team in order to keep the athletes safe and above water at all times. After gathering our gear, we set out for the harbor with our trailer-load of boats in tow.

With air and water temperatures around 50 degrees, skies mostly cloudy, and the wind gradually increasing to around 16 knots, Saturday was a fine day for a regatta.  In fact, by most accounts, it was as good a day for racing sailboats as you could ask for.

Out on the course, racers jockeyed for position at the start line, careful not to go over early. The horn sounded and water began to spray into the air as boats crashed against the waves, sails held taught in the whistling wind. The heavy currents created new strategic opportunities, and if used correctly, could boost your speed considerably. Moving upwind, boats snaked their way to the windward (upwind)  buoy, rounding it and sailing downward to the leeward (downwind) buoy.  After rounding the second buoy, the teams of two would crank their sails in tight and hike out with all their weight as they flew across the finish line.

Payton Rigert, a senior at HRVHS, when asked how the weekend went said, “School can be very stressful and having this weekend full of sailing, camping, and good people took away some of that stress!”

Erin Sutherland, a sophomore at HRVHS, when asked about the ocean sailing said, “I personally love the challenge of having tide and ever changing current along with that comes the sea lions which bring an extra level of excitement.”

Denali Emmons, a senior at HRVHS, said, “I am new to the sport of sailing, but I could not have felt more welcomed by this amazing group of sailors.”

A great weekend of fun and relaxation for a dedicated group of sailors. Districts is right around the corner and the team is training diligently to put their best bootie forward.


By Finn Peterson

Categories: News

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