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2000-09-17 Portland “Wocket” visit 


Ocean Sailing fans, 

Wow! I had a great weekend in Portland, Oregon, where I visited our beautiful Open 60 taking shape. The weather was fantastic, so it turned into a mini vacation for your humble reporter.  After viewing (and drooling all over!) the “Wocket” saturday morning, I joined our esteemed builder Steve Rander aboard his Cal 20(!?) to sail in the “Sail for the Cure” regatta on the Columbia river. This was a for fun fundraiser for breast cancer research, obviously a most important cause. The event was great fun. 

We pulled some hilarious stunts, including having the audacity to be first to the weather mark on a Cal 20, ahead of a fleet of boats up to 43ft! All the “racers” had to fetch a bucket out of the water to find a number inside that designated each boats downwind finishing order. We drew a 10, but put it up upside down so it was 01, and led almost all the way to the finish before being passed by the real “1”, a 43ft sloop. Then we dropped our kite, spun up and sailed backwards at full speed across the line. The committee didn’t buy our “01”, but said our finish would count if we finished backwards again, but topless (including our one female crew). Our heroine sportingly agreed and so we did it again as per the commitee’s instructions. Heck, if it helps cure cancer…. 

Steve gave me a tour of the spectacular Portland/Mt. Hood area sunday. Wow! I had no idea our boat was being born in such a beautiful place. This singlehanded sailor loves mountains, so Mt. Hood and the famous “timberline lodge” blew my mind. To top it off, we then visited the town of Hood River and the legendary Columbia River Gorge. This awesome little town is the mecca of serious windsurfers. These crazy radsters blast off the beach right in front of town where it is gas to watch. The wind was honkin and I was jumpin up and down cheering the stunts. I was especially turned on by the “kite boarders”, who windsurf with a giant kite. They jump and fly 30-40ft up in the air! 

I was watching this thinking what nuts these guys are and then remembered that I’m the one going to sail around the world, solo, non-stop. Maybe they are smarter than I thought!! 

ANOTHER HINT FOR THOSE GUESSING OUR NEW OFFICIAL SUPPLIER SPONSOR: It’s not Intel. It’s a smaller but well known company, but their super fast PC chips are putting some big chinks in Intel’s armor… There have already been some correct guessers, but I’ll give you another chance to win some great gear! 

Attached are pics of an excited sailor checking out his future ride, contemplating mountain climbing, and ogling the Gorge surfers. 

Bruce Schwab
Skipper, Made in America Globe Challenges


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