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Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge PDF Print E-mail
By: Alex Morris   
Tuesday, 15 March 2011



The Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge (CGPC) is a Festival celebrating the sport of Stand Up Paddling in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. The Paddle Challenge will feature a Distance Downwind Race, a Course Race, a Team Relay Race and a recreational, non-competitive Paddle for the Park, a fundraiser for the new Hood River Waterfront Park. In addition, there will be SUP exhibits from many companies, free SUP lessons and demos, live music and more!


The CGPC is a World Paddle Association sanctioned event. There will be a hefty cash purse for the men’s and women’s Elite Divisions. The top three finishers in each age class of the Open Division will be awarded unique event trophies. Overall Waterman and Waterwoman will be awarded to the top male and female finishers in the combined Downwind Distance Race and Course Race.


The venue for the CGPC is Hood River’s Waterfront Park. The park features a crescent-shaped beach for the starting and staging areas, great stadium style viewing area for spectators, large grass area for the vendor tents, onsite restrooms, and plenty of parking. It is also a great place for children, with a play site, marimba, and climbing wall, all within walking distance to downtown Hood River.


The Course and Relay Races will take place in close proximity to the spectators, making for a super exciting event for everyone. The competitors will come into the beach for a short run between each lap of the course. The eight mile Downwind Distance Race is scheduled to start at Viento State Park and finish at the Waterfront Park in Hood River. The Distance Race will take competitors up the mighty Columbia River through the heart of the spectacular Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. The Gorge is famous for its strong summer west winds, commonly in the 25-40 knot range, making for an exciting Downwind Race, with large river swells.


The CGPC hopes to increase overall environmental awareness of the Columbia River and its relationship with our communities and oceans. Columbia Riverkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation have been selected as financial beneficiaries of the event.



Downwind Distance $60
Course Elite $100
Course Open $60
Relay $100 per team
Paddle for the Park $25



Friday, August 19th

7pm Welcome Dinner: An athlete’s welcome party. The event will detail courses and race schedule. A great chance to re-connect with friends and meet fellow athletes.


Saturday, August 20th

10am Paddle for the Park:This event is for everyone! The course will begin at the Waterfront Park. Rental boards will be available from sponsors and vendors. Come down and enjoy a paddle for the Park. All proceeds will be donated to the Waterfront Community Park Association.The paddle will be scheduled for Saturday at 10:00 am.


12pm Course Race: The premier event will be a course race from the Waterfront Park. Contestants will race around a 1-mile course for 5 laps. The course hugs the water’s edge making for fantastic spectator involvement and visibility. There will be an Elite Class with prize money for Men and Women and an Open Class with age divisions.


10am – 4pm SUP EXPO: Come see the newest models from the all the top SUP Companies. Free demos and lessons will be available during non-race times.


TBA Paddle Clinic


Sunday, August 21th

11am Distance Downwind Race: This event shows off the beauty and fierceness of the Gorge. Racers will be challenged by the mighty Columbia with howling winds, river swells and current in a 8-mile downwind leg from Viento State Park to the Waterfront Park. The course will take approximately 1 1/4 hours for the leaders. The finish line will be on the beach at the Waterfront Park.


1:30pm Team Relay: This four (4) person relay will be a short course race with a short land run in between each leg. This race will be highly visible and great for spectators. This race is scheduled on Sunday at 1:00 pm.


10am–2pm SUP EXPO: Come see the newest models from the all the top SUP Companies. Demos will be available during non-race times.


TBA Paddle Clinic


2:30pm Awards 

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