Labor Day weekend traditionally signals the end of the summer season here in the Gorge. Even though some visitors stay into September, the locals will have most sailing sites to themselves beginning this week. This Labor Day weekend brought outstanding winds and sunshine from Hood River and points east, with strong winds making it all the way to 3 Mile Canyon on Saturday and Sunday. I spent a day at Roosevelt, Celilo Park, and Doug’s Beach introducing the new 2009 sails to sailors who had been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to try them.
Bruce at Celilo
Sailors who are “Ezzy Sailors” are always eager to see and try David’s latest creation; providing us with feedback based on sailing time on past years’ sails. As a testament to the durability of the sails, it’s not uncommon to meet a sailor who has been on Ezzys for 10 or 15 years! Sure enough on Monday I saw a ’95 and ’96 Ezzy on the water at Doug’s. Sunday at Celilo I meet Bruce who has never sailed an Ezzy. He’s a veteran Gorge sailor from The Dalles, Oregon, who loves and lives for the summer high winds and swells. I welcomed the opportunity to have him try the new Panther and get his reaction and impressions. He first took out the 4.2 and then switched to the 3.5 when the wind increased to 30+. Bruce’s years of sailing experience showed in his ability to articulate his impressions of the Panther. “They have amazing power off the bottom and are so smooth and comfortable in your hands…no front or back pull, just balance. What really stood out for me was the power off the bottom…just smooth and steady acceleration. They are really handle the gusts differently; you could see the gust coming and when it hit you, there was no front of back pull on the hands…just acceleration. They are very easy to sail over powered.” And when I asked him if the Panther is a sail that he would own? “I’d buy them in a hot minute! They wouldn’t limit my style at all; they’re easy, comfortable, and fast.”
A close examination of the Panter.
I spent Labor Day at one of my personally favorite places in the Gorge, Doug’s Beach. I met several sailors who had been waiting to try the Panther…it was a perfect Panther day! Erin, a young sailor from Seattle, who had seen Graham on his Panthers a couple of weeks ago, was anxious to try one himself. Erin is a solid sailor who is working on some freestyle moves and getting bigger and more air. He’s looking for a more versatile sail that works well in the waves and transitions. Here are his impressions of the 4.7 Panther. “The sail is fast and powerful, but is still maneuverable like a wave sail. It planes up very easy, and what really surprised me was how well the sail rotates through in the jibes and transitions…and free styling is easy.”
Freestyle and Waves: A winner!
Thanks to Mother Nature for a windy holiday weekend in the Gorge. And I want to thank all the sailors we’ve met this summer who helped make our summer an enjoyable one. We’ve appreciated the opportunity to share the Ezzy name with you here in the Gorge. Nancy and I will be leaving in a few weeks for Baja and are planning some demos in La Ventana and Los Barriles this winter. We’ll be posting reports from Baja, so keep and eye on our blog. See you on the beach, Gary & Nancy