Despite the sanitary context, one of the most beloved events on the SUP Race planet took place last week in Hood River, Oregon : the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, which has been sponsored by SIC Maui since 2018. Some of the best US paddlers and a handful of international racers, gathered at the start of the Viento run for an epic race which saw Connor Baxter and Fiona Wylde take the win with a huge lead over their opponents (3 minutes and 40 seconds for Connor and 6 minutes and 22 seconds for Fiona). Both Starboard team racers went on to win the course race for a double win. SUP foiling and Wing foiling were the two other attractions of the weekend in Oregon with a very popular 1st ever Wing Foil downwind race attracting close to 50 racers.
This is what the local hero, Fiona Wylde, who runs a kids racing training program in Hood River, had to say after her double home victory :
“Truly a weekend hard for words. An emotional weekend creating so many new memories honoring the one who got this whole thing started! Thank you Steve for everything you did!
Personally, I had the best weekend I could have possibly had. I got to watch all of the JET kids race their hearts out in 25+ knots. We’ve been training all summer and every kid finished the course.
The open men and women were charging like no other year and the elite race was filled with excitement as the hot lap returned.
I am so happy to have won my first ever Gorge Paddle Challenge course race! It took me 10 years do so, but it was so worth the wait. I’m honored to have won this event 6 times now 🙏
In the fashion of this weekend, the Gorge Paddle Challeng ehosted the first ever Wing Course Race in the gorge. I wanted to jump in and try something new. I had zero expectations and just had fun! To my complete surprised I finished 3rd overall and won the women! It was so fun to be on the course with so many other wingers!
There is so much more I could say, but all in all, a special weekend thanks to the Gates Family. Thank you thank you thank you!”
A special shout-out to the SIC team (www.sicmaui.com) who scored some pretty impressive positions in all divisions!
Day 1 SIC team results – Downwind Race
– 5th Jameson Roeber – Groms / Super Grom
Here are the full results !