A WORD ON THE GORGE PADDLE CHALLENGE

Hood River is a scenic area in Oregon USA renowned amongst watermen and women. Not only is the area incredibly beautiful, it is also home to one of the most famous spots in the world for wind- and kitesurfer and many other sports. What makes the conditions truly unique at the Gorge is the atmospheric difference on either side of the massive Cascades Mountain Range. As the gap in the mountain range is relatively narrow, the difference in atmospheric pressure creates some very strong winds, which are unusual for a landlocked area like this.

Your typical Gorge downwind conditions (Pic courtesy of Paddle League)

What makes the conditions truly unique at the Gorge is the atmospheric difference on either side of the massive Cascades Mountain Range. As the gap in the mountain range is relatively narrow, the difference in atmospheric pressure creates some very strong winds, which are unusual for a landlocked area like this.

STRONG WINDS = FUN RIDES

Add the depths of the Gorge river that allow for some respectable waves and you get a unique natural phenomenon. The Gorge can dish up some serious waves, but they never break, making it an ideal playground for those athletes who know how to string one bump onto the next. This really adds to the challenge of the event, and all riders wish for strong downwind conditions as it really makes the Gorge Challenge an event in its own right. If the wind doesn’t materialize, the Gorge Paddle Challenge becomes much more of a technical event where racers really need to earn their bumps and glides throughout the 8-mile course.

do it twice (pic courtesy of Gorge Paddle Challenge)

The Technical Course Race on Sunday continues to contribute to your event average, and also give the audience in attendance to follow the racing up close, as a downwinder is not really a spectator sport. 5 laps at Waterfront Park allows spectators and online viewers alike to get a piece of the action as well. Every rider is allowed to do one “hot lap” where they avoid the time-consuming chicane between the buoys and take an outside line instead, adding to the tactical aspect of this race.

The Elite Technical race (pic courtesy of Gorge Paddle Challenge)

DOUBLE TROUBLE

2017 Titouan won the Technical Race and this year he pulled off the same feat again (full video below – scroll to 1 hour and 36 min). And while last year’s victory was achieved with a 2018 Sonic, Titouan raced a Carolina, a brand new shape for 2019 onto the 1st spot on the podium.

Gorge Paddle Challenge 2018

Extremely suitable for the different conditions that a technical course like the one at the Gorge Challenge can throw at you, Titouan had the right tool for the job. With a serious level of competition from all over the world, team NSP did well at the Double Downwinder. Managing to keep up with the locals who know the river like no other, all International NSP Team rider finished within the top 20 in a field of some of the most experienced paddleboard racers in the world.

Arthur (2nd), Titouan (1st) and Marcus (3rd)

All pics by Paddle League and Georgia Schofield unless stated otherwise. We will update this article once the official full results are in:

# Athlete Combined Points Board Paddle Nation
1 Noic Garioud 1:58:33 100.00 Sunova Quickblade New Caledonia
2 Clement Colmas 1:59:58 75.00 Starboard Starboard New Caledonia
3 Bernd Roediger 2:00:33 60.00 Naish Naish Hawaii
4 Titouan Puyo 2:00:38 50.00 NSP Quickblade France/New Cal
5 Lincoln Dews 2:00:41 42.50 DEEP Quickblade Australia
6 Travis Grant 2:01:25 35.00 NSP Quickblade Australia
7 Connor Baxter 2:02:01 30.00 Starboard Starboard Hawaii
8 Matt Nottage 2:02:37 25.00 Starboard Starboard Australia
9 Marcus Hansen 2:02:53 22.50 NSP Quickblade New Zealand
10 Arthur Arutkin 2:04:42 20.00 Fanatic Quickblade France
11 Vinnicius Martins 2:04:59 18.00 JP JP Brazil
12 Jake Jensen 2:05:17 16.00 ONE ONE Australia
13 Tom Auber 2:06:09 15.00 Fanatic Quickblade France
14 Georges Cronsteadt 2:06:45 14.00 425 425 Tahiti
15 Enzo Bennett 2:07:24 13.00 425 425 Tahiti
16 Alexandre Bicrel 2:07:30 12.00 NSP Quickblade France
17 Ty Judson 2:07:41 11.00 NSP Quickblade Australia
18 Martin Letourneur 2:07:59 10.00 Hobie Quickblade France
19 Martin Vitry 2:08:16 9.00 SIC Quickblade France
20 Chase Kosterlitz 2:08:51 8.00 JP Quickblade USA

 

DOUBLE DOWNWINDER: WOMEN’S TOP 20

 

# Athlete Combined Points Combined Board Paddle Nation
1 Fiona Wylde 02:15:38 100.00 02:15:38 Starboard Starboard USA
2 Annie Reickert 02:19:10 75.00 02:19:10 Naish Naish Hawaii
3 Terrene Black 02:20:37 50.00 02:20:37 ECS Quickblade Australia
4 Amandine Chazot 02:21:38 60.00 02:21:38 Starboard Quickblade France
5 April Zilg 02:22:04 30.00 02:22:04 ONE Quickblade USA
6 Seychelle 02:22:25 42.50 02:22:25 SIC SIC USA
7 Angela Jackson 02:22:34 35.00 02:22:34 ONE ONE Australia
8 Shae Foudy 02:25:16 25.00 02:25:16 Infinity Quickblade USA
9 Olivia Piana 02:28:07 22.50 02:28:07 425 425 France
10 Jade Howson 02:28:54 20.00 02:28:54 SIC Quickblade USA
11 Yuka Sato 02:30:04 18.00 02:30:04 Starboard Black Project Japan
12 Candice Appleby 02:31:07 15.00 02:31:07 Infinity Quickblade USA
13 Hannah Hill 02:31:16 16.00 02:31:16 Naish Naish USA
14 Stephanie Shideler 02:32:51 14.00 02:32:51 Infinity Werner USA
15 Kimberly Barnes 02:34:52 12.00 02:34:52 Flying Fish Quickblade USA
16 Shannon Bell 02:35:19 13.00 02:35:19 Starboard Starboard Canada
17 Lara Claydon 02:36:52 11.00 02:36:52 Rogue Black Project Hawaii
18 Sarah Sandstrom 02:38:34 8.00 02:38:34 Starboard Starboard USA
19 Erika Benitez 02:38:52 10.00 02:38:52 Brawner Quickblade Mexico
20 Susanne Lier 02:39:07 9.00 02:39:07 F-ONE Quickblade Germany

 

NOTE: Only the Double Downwinder counts for The Paddle League World Rankings

 

‘HOT LAP’ ELITE COURSE RACE: MEN’S FINAL

1st: Titouan Puyo (0:25:57)

2nd: Arthur Arutkin (0:26:06)

3rd: Marcus Hansen (0:26:39)

4th: Enzo Bennett (0:26:58)

5th: Mo Freitas (0:27:04)

6th: Martin Vitry (0:27:10)

7th: Clement Colmas (0:27:15)

8th: Ty Judson (0:27:22)

9th: Noic Garioud (0:27:46)

10th: Tom Auber (0:27:57)

11th: Georges Cronsteadt (0:28:06)

12th: Josh Riccio (0:28:09)

13th: Lincoln Dews (0:28:49)

14th: Itzel Delgado (0:28:54)

15th: Leonard Nika (0:29:15)

16th: Slater Trout (0:29:51)

17th: Kody Kerbox (0:30:24)

18th: Matt Nottage (0:30:58)

19th: Fernando Stalla (0:31:21)

20th: Connor Baxter (0:31:22)

 

‘HOT LAP’ ELITE COURSE RACE: WOMEN’S FINAL

1st: Shae Foudy (0:32:34)

2nd: Seychelle (0:33:02)

3rd: Olivia Piana (0:33:24)

4th: Fiona Wylde (0:33:29)

5th: Yuka Sato (0:33:36)

6th: Angela Jackson (0:34:13)

7th: April Zilg (0:34:36)

8th: Candice Appleby (0:34:48)

9th: Terrene Black (0:36:20)

10th: Jennifer Lee (0:36:26)

11th: Shannon Bell (0:36:49)

12th: Jade Howson (0:37:12)

13th: Maddie Miller (0:37:19)

14th: Kimberly Barnes (0:37:26)

15th: Stephanie Shideler (0:37:34)

16th: Sarah Sandstrom (0:38:23)

17th: Erika Benitez (0:39:32)

18th: Abby Baker (0:39:46)

19th: Lara Claydon (0:40:35)

20th: Karen Kennedy (0:47:36)

21st: Adel Umannova (0:51:01)

 

GROM RACE: TOP BOYS

1st: Finn Spencer (0:17:10)

2nd: Shuri Araki (0:17:14)

3rd: Bodie von Allmen (0:17:24)

4th: Gavin Mencinsky (0:17:27)

5th: Rhys Staples (0:18:13)

 

GROM RACE: TOP GIRLS

1st: Mary Rose Kissinger (0:19:50)

2nd: Ava Kitt (0:22:29)

3rd: Ayden Kitt (0:23:23)

4th: Peri O’Connell (0:24:14)

5th: Maylee Jaggi (0:25:32)

 

OPEN/JUNIOR MEN’S COURSE RACE: TOP 10

1st: Leif Bergstrom (0:30:23) Open
2nd: Thomas Nilsen (0:30:38) Junior

3rd: Slater Fleck (0:30:53) Junior

4th: Chance Fielder (0:32:24) Open

5th: Jeramie Vaine (0:32:27) Open

6th: Dan Gavere (0:32:29) Open

7th: Martijn van Deth (0:32:31) Open
8th: Spencer Lazzar (0:32:46) Open

9th: Adam Gerbrecht (0:33:29) JUnior

10th: Elijah Schoenig (0:33:50) Junior

 

OPEN/JUNIOR WOMEN’S COURSE RACE: TOP 10

1st: Alyson Fromm (0:44:13) Open

2nd: Kristin Thomas (0:44:20) Open

3rd: Belah Ellis (0:45:04) Junior

4th: Mel Wygal (0:47:04) Open

5th: Mary Rose Kissinger (0:47:30) Junior

6th: Heather Thompson (0:47:48) Open

7th: Natalie Fon (0:48:03) Open

8th: Eva Scherer (0:48:05) Open

9th: Jackie Auchard (0:51:08) Open

10th: Sophia Riviello (0:51:18) Junior

 

OPEN DOWNWIND RACE: TOP 10 MEN

1st: Olivier Garioud (1:08:45)

2nd: Ingo Rademacher (1:09:13)

3rd: Evan Gerbrecht (1:09:44)

4th: Leif Bergstrom (1:10:24)

5th: Russel Peart (1:10:52)

6th: Spencer Lazzar (1:11:12)

7th: Chance Fielder (1:11:27)

8th: Brett Saguid (1:12:33)

9th: Jeramie Vaine (1:12:36)

10th: Rand Carter (1:12:50)

 

OPEN DOWNWIND RACE: TOP 10 WOMEN

1st: Kim Rueter (1:21:54)

2nd: Misako Yammoto (1:23:21)

3rd: Eva Scherer (1:23:29)

4th: Natlaie Fon (1:25:08)

5th: Kristin Thomas (1:26:44)

6th: Mel Selvidge (1:29:44)

7th: Mel Wygal (1:30:27)

8th: Maggie Adams (1:30:35)

9th: Kathleen Pratt (1:31:24)

10th: Heather Thompson (1:31:34)

 

FOIL DOWNWIND RACE

1st: Jefferey Spencer (0:47:05)

2nd: Ryan Funk (0:48:09)

3rd: Finn Spencer (0:48:55)

4th: Zane Schweitzer (0:51:31)

5th: Austin Kalama (0:56:26)

6th: Rod Parmenter (1:00:46)

7th: Dave Kalama (1:03:02)

8th: TJ Gulizia (1:13:36)