The long 4th of July weekend was windy from west to east site, so the crowds were spread out from Stevenson to Roosevelt. I was at Doug’s Beach for two days getting sailors out on the new Panther 2. You know it’s July when trying to find a parking spot at the Hatchery or Doug’s on a windy day. A quick check of license plates shows that our friends to the North are here in force. It’s been like old home week meeting sailors that come to the Gorge every July.
When the crowd’s at The Hatchery, head to Doug’s.
After the great winds over the long weekend, the first heat wave of the summer settled over the Gorge as a heat low moved north from central California. The temps were in the 90’s in Portland and Hood River, so the smart sailors headed to the Oregon Coast as the winds turned NW with swells to 7 feet. After fours days of heat, Mother Nature turned on the air conditioning as marine air moved from the Pacific to the eastern desert Friday afternoon. Saturday morning Swell City was blowing 25 and the Hatchery Parking lot was full by 10 am. The winds quickly moved out to Doug’s, and by noon sailors were on 4.5 to 5.0 enjoying building swells with plenty of elbow room on the water. Here’s a little local knowledge for July sailing: when looking for a little relief from the crowd, when the Hatchery is jammed, head to Mosier, Rowena, or Doug’s.
Chris from Portland put the Panther to the test.
I met Chris from Portland who had heard about the new Panther 2, and was anxious to try one. He’s a serious Gorge sailor and this was his first time on an Ezzy. He’d been sailing his 4.7 when I got to the beach, so I rigged a 4.7 and sent out with instructions to, “don’t hold back, let her rip”. For nearly and hour Chris put the Panther to the test…duck jibes, tacks, air, heli-tacks, he didn’t hold back. When he returned to the beach I answered his questions about materials, construction, and rigging. But what were his thoughts on the Panther? “The biggest difference is the power delivery. The Panther has much more power and it’s there when you want it; there’s no hesitation. It took me some time to get used to the difference from my sail, but the Panther has a light and balanced feel, and I really liked it.” I told him with the power and range of the Panther, he should consider a .7 size difference in the upper end of his quiver.
Look for the Ezzy flag.
Looks like Monday will be big, so I’ll be at Doug’s Beach with the small Panthers. Stop by and get ready to go BIG! See ya on the beach, Gary