Rockin’ At Rock Creek – August 4, 2009
Mosier, Oregon is a town of 640 just east of the summer epicenter of Windsurfing in the Gorge, Hood River. Taking exit 69 off Interstate 84 will take you to what you might think is a secret sailing site that has been developed by the City of Mosier. It reflects a friendly vibe of local sailors mixed with visitors from around the US and Canada. And like most sites on the Oregon side of the Columbia, there is a day use fee for the park.
Rock Creek Launch
Rig your sails in the shaded grass area behind your van and walk through the tunnel access under the Interstate to the launch area. Launching and sailing here is user friendly compared to many Gorge sites that can be damaging to both equipment and sailors. The Columbia is nearly a mile wide and there’s a 6 mile straight fetch to the west, which can give sailors some swell and great ramps when it cranks. Barge traffic isn’t an issue since they pass near the Washington shore.
Parking area with rigging behind the cars on the right.
Windsurfers are a diverse group of enthusiasts and I always enjoy meeting and talking with sailors on the beach. Today was no exception with sailors from Colorado, Florida, New York, and Wyoming joining in on the fun on the water. John from Colorado had just purchased a new Gorge quiver of Panthers moving up from ’98 Ezzy Waves…yes, the Ezzy reputation of durability is based on fact. John’s impression of the Panthers: “Much lighter,faster/easier rotation and effortless water starts”. He also added Ezzy RDM masts which his daughter and wife love. Hey, when you’re married to your sailing partner, it’s always good to make sailing more fun and enjoyable for them.
John with his new Panther.
Neil is a teacher from New York and has made the cross country drive to the Gorge for several summers. He doesn’t own Ezzys, but was more than willing to put them to a test and share his impressions. I’m always interested in feed back from non-Ezzy owners; it’s also helpful for David Ezzy in his quest to design and build the perfect sail. Neil’s years of sailing the Gorge have helped him develop a smooth and powerful style. After 45 minutes he returned to the beach and shared his thoughts: “Very nice sail. It has a better low end than mine, and with just a little pump I’m gone. For a wave sail it’s got a good top end and goes up wind well…great for on-shore conditions. On the wave face it seems very soft and forgiving. I’m very impressed and would have to say it’s the perfect wave sail.” Thanks to Neil, John, and everyone else for sharing a great day on the water at Rock Creek. If you’re looking for some elbow room and a friendly place to sail, give Rock Creek Park a try.
Neil’s a Gorge regular from New York.
The good news is that the heat is gone and the winds have returned. The last two days have been 30+ at eastern sites from Dougs Beach and beyond. I’ll post a report on my Dougs demos by this weekend. The wind is blowing, get out there! See ya soon, Gary & Nancy