Carnage was minimal and the fun factor was high at the annual Gorge Blowout on the Columbia River.
The Columbia Gorge Racing Association pulled off another of its infamous Gorge Blowout races today in conditions not quite the norm, with torturously light gusty air for the first part of the race, and eventually big breeze on as the competitors set down the second part of the race to finish at the Hood River Marina.
First place went to Chris Barnard, US 2012 College Sailor of the Year with a time of 2:48:24, second to Alexander Heinzemann (CAN) in 2:49:50, and Robert Davis (CAN) with 2:50:42 - an extremely tight finish over 18 miles of racing.
For Blowout veterans the lighter inconsistent breeze today was disappointing as it compromised the fear-of-death racing that Laser sailors seem to love about the Gorge. For the few Blowout newbies, the lighter air was probably a blessing, although some were surprised at just how big the swells on the Columbia River can get - not somewhere you want to bury the bow of a Laser. Overall, carnage was minimal and fun factor high.