Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hood River - The Hatchery

On Sunday the Hatchery was firing, classic gorge conditions I'm told, although the swell was not as big as it normally gets. Still, I was goo-goo eyed at the venue. Hallowed ground (err... water) for sure!
Picture this: you're Sailing the Gorge, THE HATCH, its blowing 3.5, a lot of guys on much smaller gear, I saw many 2.5s!. I'm riding a brand new RRD quad limited edition, there are over a hundred sailors out ripping the place to shreds, busting out big moves..the jagged Gorge walls on either side of the river funneling that wind, and it also carves out an exquisite outline for the sunlight that's backlights the white caps and texture on the water. MAGICAL! I was in heaven, well as close as you can get anyway.
That being said, I have to say I found the conditions at The Wall the day before much more fun. If I could draw an analogy, the hatch on a nuking day is like being on 495 IN gridlock, only all those cars are flying at Mach speed, very close by! Jaaaa just a little bit unnerving, and I couldn't seem to get dialed. Also, the prospect of a high altitude ejection off one of these swells could go bad quick, especially considering your kit is gonna fly downwind a considerable distance. So i kept it close to deck until the crowds thinned out later In afternoon.

The Wall on the other hand was much saner, with only a dozen or so friends there to share it with. Less crowded plus the swell at The Wall was allot smoother, allowing for a better setup and approach for aerials. Ahhhh :). In contrast, on this day, the Hatch was more psycho chop than I care for. To be fair, it was my first time at this venue so I'm sure there is a learning curve to understanding how the spot works. That said, I spent most of this day taking it all in, and realizing how very thankful I am for all of the blessings I have in my life. The Gorge, a very very special place for sure. I'll be back.
Alan and Donald, thanks so much for the call on Friday. Sailing with you guys, and dinner afterwards was one of the highlights of my trip. Good stuff, and hope to see you guys in Hatteras next month for the Jam.
Here are a few shots i took with my phone..
View of Mount Hood from Washington as we where driving to the Hatch
View of the Hatch from the parking lot 
Click on this picture to see the full screen view. Ahhhhhh
Big wind and fun rolling swell that I was told was average size by Gorge standards.
Allot like the Secret Spot on a really good day. Just add another hundred+ sailors
Another pic to enlarge. such awesome conditions
Heaven on Earth
So many sailors

rigging areas at the Hatch are plentiful. No sand!
my kit-I was lit all day 
RRD toy box ;) 
Cars lining both sides of the hatchery parking lot-goes way back 

the rigging area Tony and I choose
Great vantage point for spectators 
After my sesh, I discovered a better launch where you toss the board into the water, holding the boom you pull the board up to you, wait for a puff, and jump on. Good stuff   

The view looking east 

Very interesting when the barges come thru

live2sail Hood River

Tony, thanks again for everything. We'll be back for sure.

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