Hood River local favorites, Bernd Rodiger and Fiona Wylde took the overall title over the worlds best at the 2017 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge. While the top paddlers in the world were enjoying great conditions in Hood River, the Open and Junior paddlers were not over shadowed as the competitors gave a great show to spectators and family in attendance. Bernd and Fiona, being local Hood River residents, wind surfers, kite-boarders, Sup surfers and top Sup paddle racers enjoyed there local conditions to over take the best paddlers in the world. Bernd, Naish team rider as well as event sponsor, doubled down the competition in the downwind races as did Fiona to take two wins each in their favorite conditions, the downwind on the Gorge.
The Columbia Gorge offered paddlers good conditions over the two day event with winds at 20-23mph on Saturday for the downwind races and stronger gusts on Sunday for the course racing at the event location at Water Front Park in Hood River, OR. The conditions allowed all abilities of paddlers to have a great time in both race formats and to exhibit their overall skills. The Hood River provides a unique venue that cannot be found any where in the world given the conditions, variety of activities, food and places to see that never seems to disappoint.
While Bernd and Fiona took the overall win at the Naish Gorge Challenge, there were great performances turned in by many other great athletes. Titouyan Puyo from New Caledonia took the win in the Elite Men’s course race over second place Lincoln Dews from Australia and Arthur Rutkin from France in third. Annabel Anderson blitz the Women’s course race field holding such a big lead, she could have not taken her Hot Lap (shorter course for one lap) and still would have won over second place Penelope Strickland and Candice Appleby in third.
For the first time ever at a paddle event, there was a SUP foiling division in the downwind race. Given the faster crafts tend to start first in a race, the foiling SUP competitors dazzled the crowd with brothers Jeffrey and Finn Spencer coming in first and second place overall and with the fastest times for the downwind race. There were great performances by the all competitors that included a Super Groms (11&u), Groms (12-14), Juniors (15-17) and four age divisions for adults in all board classes. Complete results with all divisions are posted below.
For seven years the staff and event directors have put one of the best events in the world and the consistent growth with competitors and sponsors. The Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge is a must to include on your event calendar for 2018 and years to follow. Next years event date will be August 18-19, 2018!
Complete 2017 Gorge results, click and view:
Remaining 2017 World SUP Tour Event Schedule
Presented by Salt Life
Sept 23rd Battle of the Bay San Francisco, CA West
Sept 29th Pacific Paddle Games Dana Point, CA Finale
Oct 14th *Japan SUP Cup Chigasaki, Japan Asia
Oct 21st *Korea SUP Cup Seoul, Korea Asia
*Points carried over to 2018.
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