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HR Sail Park Exclusive Use Parking for Boat Event Concern
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ericandholly



Joined: 20 Jun 1999
Posts: 260

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:32 am    Post subject: HR Sail Park Exclusive Use Parking for Boat Event Concern Reply with quote

I think the week long Epic boat event is pretty cool--truly. Love how HR is the home base as well. That said, I think granting exclusive use to the parking lot at the HR Sail Park for a week, and counting, is a bit unfair to locals, and others who use the park on a daily basis.

To that end, if you feel the same, I have found The Port to be VERY receptive to suggestions and constructive ideas to mitigate the myriad of demands they must juggle on Port waterfront property. I emailed them today with some ideas on how they might proceed for future events, with the idea of locals, and visitors alike, not being totally locked out of this local sailing resource.

https://portofhoodriver.com/contact/

Eric
HR
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, it's lovely to pay $100 for a parking permit, and then get locked out of the parking lot for a week.

Oh right, I can park at the Event Site and dice with 100 kiters....

I am just about done with Hood River as a sailing site. The city and the Port milk you to cross the bridge and to park anywhere downtown. What's next? A toll at each freeway exit?

KMF
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merriam



Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's impressive that all the recreational infrastructure developed over the last 30 years has become so popular and in demand. As Eric says it's understandably hard to balance the variety of needs and uses. My main message to the Port is to continue with their success and build out remaining waterfront properties with mixed recreational uses in mind. The Hook would seem a potential destination for development of more paddle sport infrastructure, particularly on the end and west side where there is a wind shadow from Wells Island. I realize it would compete with the current use for mostly beginning windsurfing instruction. You can't please all the people all the time.

I don't mind paying for the use of this infrastructure, imagine if the parking wasn't there (like 15 years ago,) or that you had to drive to Cascade Locks or The Dalles to cross the river?

Tom
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ImmigrantJesus



Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Californication of HR was inevitable - many people running around marketing every little aspect of it - $$ will always drive demand and the problem is that there is not any emphasis on preserving access for "locals" (whatever that means anymore...) Locals are a given and therefore not part of the equation. It is akin to a bar valuing their Saturday night crowd over their weekday regulars. Many of the "locals" I meet have moved to HR in the last 5 years. I know people from the Portland area that have been sailing the Gorge regularly for 30 years - I consider them more local than the newbies. I've also noticed a growing general lack of respect by a lot of the visitors over the past few years - the locals are generally more courteous than many of the visitors which shows a complete lack of understanding of what is means to be a good "water-person". Good to see you trying to do something Eric. I fear the days of people protecting surf breaks like they do in parts of California and Hawaii will soon be upon us!
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1096
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a pretty huge deal. Last Thursday when they had the official Downwinder, there were so many boats you couldn't sail across the river!! We had to wait almost a half hour till the crowd was thin enough to pick our way through!!
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Machu



Joined: 06 Aug 2000
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

merriam wrote:
The Hook would seem a potential destination for development of more paddle sport infrastructure, particularly on the end and west side where there is a wind shadow from Wells Island. I realize it would compete with the current use for mostly beginning windsurfing instruction. You can't please all the people all the time.
Tom


Really???? Oh, simply compete??? What an incredible anti-windsurfing suggestion. The Hook is the ONLY place in the Gorge to learn to windsurf! Period. I was there yesterday trying to learn to gybe. It is already crazy there with kayaks and paddle boards inside the hook, all while people were taking their first lessons. Oh, and the tiny (but wonderful) rigging area? Good place for leaving carbon shells so windsurfers have no place to rig and de-rig. On a "nothing" mid-week day it was just about parked out and several windsurfers had to park so far from the entrance ramp they accessed the water by climbing down the rocky slope.

Do you really want to eliminate the only decent location for beginning windsurfers in the corridor? Beginners have already been chased out of the Event Site by the kiters. The Marina is too hairy with debris and rocks plus a dependence on water levels for uphaulers. There is an "excellent" paddling lagoon right at the Event Site. Besides, paddlers and kayakers can launch just about anywhere. Bingen is totally unused with a boat ramp, lagoon and huge grassy area complete with tons of free parking as just one suggestion. Please, the Hook is the last place we should encourage other uses.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18713

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize for straying from the title topic's big picture, but focusing on one pixel at a time may ease the problem.

Machu wrote:
The Hook is the ONLY place in the Gorge to learn to windsurf! Period. I was there yesterday trying to learn to gybe..


The Hook is fine for beginning WSers, but if you're learning to carve planing jibes, you're way past the need for the Hook. The only skill we need for roaming all over the river is a 100% reliable waterstart, and if we're ready for carving jibes, we can safely roam even on very windy days. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of Gorge sailors have been shredding full nuke days with huge grins on their mugs for decades but STILL can't carve planing jibes.

In addition, the Hook's sheltered wind doesn't encourage the speeds necessary for planing jibes, and its flatter water could promote lazy habits that don't work offshore*. Get thee out on the open river, have some fun, and (if you must) look for brief flat spots for your jibe practice.

* One of the most famous Caribbean instructors (I forget which) advised jibers to keep their knees straight. That might work in ice skating (I wouldn't know), but it's not even rational in significant chop.
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biffmalibu



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 435

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: HR Sail Park Exclusive Use Parking for Boat Event Concern Reply with quote

ericandholly wrote:
...I think granting exclusive use to the parking lot at the HR Sail Park for a week, and counting, is a bit unfair to locals, and others who use the park on a daily basis.


I think you are being gentle and relatively civil with your complaint. Unless there was mention of an exclusion of dates on the contract you signed for your annual pass, it is indeed a case of breach of contract. Slippery move by the port to "have cake and eat it too"! How much did the boaters' organization pay the port to use the site?

As for the Hook as an alternative site for multiple sports/crafts, the Hook launch and rigging area was developed and (I am pretty sure) financed by the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association, a.k.a. CGWA. As were Blackberry Beach and Swell City. It is predominantly a windsurfing site. Other boaters might need a reminder of this. Or maybe there needs to be some low profile signage to this effect... unless we want to nudge windsurfing in the Gorge even closer to death. Because it really is valuable as an accessible location for beginners, intermediates, AND advanced windsurfers (it is feasible for launching/landing in order to access the strong wind and swell between Swell City and the White Salmon River).

*Situations and places like this are reasons for organizing, joining, and supporting the CGWA.*
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ldhr



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion - they should open the 20 acre lot across from the Event Site and allow free parking for everyone, every day.

If someone wants to pay a premium for a better parking spot (ES lot, Luhr Jensen lot, on street parking) they can buy a pass or feed the meter.

If you want to voice a complaint about the exclusive use by special events that lock out the pass holders - here are the email addresses for the Port staff.
https://portofhoodriver.com/about-the-port/staff-listing/
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merriam2



Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Machu wrote:

Really???? Oh, simply compete??? What an incredible anti-windsurfing suggestion. The Hook is the ONLY place in the Gorge to learn to windsurf! Period.


Just one suggestion, alternative point of views welcome.

Actually, thousands of windsurfers (back when there were thousands of us) learned to windsurf at a myriad of locations throughout the gorge. The Marina being one of the most prominent, and in my opinion, still an excellent place to learn. For years very few people used the hook. Things change and will continue to.

Incidentally, my suggestion was for the outside (west end) of the hook. The protected lagoon is ideal for kids and very beginners to learn, and not much use to paddlers.

Before the waterfront park was developed, but after the event site was too busy with kites etc. we use to launch at the hook and slog through the Wells Island wind shadow to get to the good wind. Now it's just easier to launch at waterfront park.
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