The famous Klickitat Sandbar in the Columbia Gorge has woken from its slumber and come back to life for speed sailors.
Washed away by the infamous winter floods of 1996, the sandbar has reformed in the intervening years and is now close to its former glory.
On Saturday August 25, Carbon Art speedsailor Kean (Roo) Rogers set a new Gorge GPS record with a top speed of 42.6 knots, a 100m at 41.2 and the first ever Gorge 10 second run over 40 knots.
Conditions were less than ideal with a few beds of weed growing down the center of the course releasing spinout inducing strands of grass, nasty cross chop rolling down the course and shallow areas near the entrance from the main channel to run aground on. Winds were too southerly and light, gusting from 25 to 30 knots, for an assault on the overall US 100m record set there in 1993 at 44.49 knots.
Plans are in hand for a full assault on the record both in the Gorge and at the new US speed strip “ARooBar” on the Oregon coast.
Riding a CA SP47 Roo set a new peak speed for the board edging out fellow Aussie Chris Lockwood who had previously pushed the 47 to a peak of 41.6. As the bigger brother to the CA SP44 the sailing characteristics are very similar but the extra volume makes it easier to get going in choppier marginal conditions.