Sailors flock by the thousands to one of the best summer destinations in the United States. You haven’t sailed until you’ve been on the water at the Columbia River Gorge located in the Pacific Northwest. Atmospheric pressure changes in the Cascades create 25-35 mph winds that provide a lot of excitement. As an added bonus, shore side spectators get a front row seat to all the action.
Flash back to April 2015, two Weta newcomers met at WetaFest USA along North Florida’s Gulf Coast in Fort Walton Beach. One of these participants, Mike Wright along with his trusty sidekick, Wilson, a yellow lab, drove 7500 miles round trip to attend this event. Soon after, the USA Ambassador for Weta Marine, Stephanie, pulled into Weta Village. By the commencement of the event, the two along with Wilson had struck up a friendship. Although they resided on opposite ends of the country, they quickly made plans to sail together this summer when Stephanie was going to be on the west coast.
Flash forward, July 2015. Mike and Stephanie rendezvoused in his hometown of Seattle, Washington. Soon after, they embarked on a road trip to the Gorge just outside Portland. Trailing behind Mike’s van, were Weta Trimarans aptly named “Biscuit” and “Gravy”. The plan included several days of sailing in beautiful weather and tremendous wind. At one point, winds were gusty and swirling so they decided to sail two up. Gybing was difficult and even if executed perfectly, it provided interesting results. During day two, an accidental gybe with the screecher out sent the two sailors flying into the water. In the past, both had executed one controlled capsize each in a training event. Although this was a first “real” capsize on the Weta, they found it to be very simple to right. As they returned to shore chatting away about the experience, the day ended in smiles all around.
WetaFest builds relationships. The Gorge tests your limits. Both will be back for WetaFest and another go around at this Pacific Northwest sailing locale.