Pistol and Rio

Posted on Posted in Competition, Latest News, Travel

The beauty of windsurfing competitions is no matter how you finish, at least you were on the water windsurfing. Well, as long as it’s windy. Lucky for me I arrived early for both the Pistol River and Rio Vista events and got some great days before the events started.

Phil Soltysiak backloops windsurfing in Pistol River Oregon - Photo by Lawrence Stewart
Phil Soltysiak backloops windsurfing in Pistol River Oregon – Photo by Lawrence Stewart

I’m glad I arrived 2 days early for the Pistol River AWT. I scored 2 fun days at “The Rock” and “The Jetty” on my 4.5m Sailworks Revo and 76L Kode. I figured out my wave gear a bit better there as I experimented with a few different fin set-ups, finally opting for the Makani Fins Walu2 Wave 15cm in the middle of my tri-fin set-up.

The first days of the event were completely glassy on the ocean with the occasional rain. We ended up shooting some basketball and lamenting the lack of wind in the forecast. Luckily Pistol River held up to its reputation, and the weekend brought wind, a lot of it. I ended up competing on my 3.7m!

My heats went alright, and I thought I had some pretty good wave rides, but I still got knocked out by young Maui wave rider Jake Schettewi in the 2nd round, so that put me in 2nd last place.

CAN 9 top turn windsurfing Pistol River Oregon - Photo by Ryan Allderman
CAN 9 top turn windsurfing Pistol River Oregon – Photo by Ryan Allderman

I had some fun sailing on 4.0 the next day before I helped out with judging to complete the event.

Backloop by Phil Soltysiak on the Oregon Coast
Backloop by Phil Soltysiak on the Oregon Coast

The next stop was Sherman Island, on the Sacramento River. Once again being there early paid off, and I scored some great sessions mid-week with Rob Warwick before the event got going.

The wind started off great for the first day of competition, Friday, racing on 8.6’s with the wind coming up quickly. Unfortunately I made some mistakes in the racing on the start line and first jibe mark, which showed in my results. By the last race everybody was barely holding on to their 8.6’s, and it was time to move onto the other disciplines. They ran speed and freeride racing, and unfortunately by the time they got to the freestyle the wind was already dropping off, so unfortunately no freestyle result.

Racing at Rio Vista - Photo by Markus Marshall
Racing at Rio Vista – Photo by Markus Marshall

That was it for the wind at Rio Vista, as Saturday there was just enough wind for a morning kids race before it dropped, and Sunday the wind picked up to 8.6 weather, but only very late in the day after the competition was over.

Shove it spock at the Fish Hatchery by Phil Soltysiak. Photo by Caesar Finies.
Shove it spock at the Fish Hatchery by Phil Soltysiak. Photo by Caesar Finies.

After a 10 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area up to Hood River, I got on the water the first day using a 4.7 at the Hatchery and 8.6 at the event site.

Slalom jibe by Phil Soltysiak - Photo by Ted Gillespie
Slalom jibe by Phil Soltysiak – Photo by Ted Gillespie

This weekend I’ll be taking part in the Sailworks Gorge Bash in Hood River, which will include both slalom and freestyle. Let’s hope the forecast holds up so we can get a solid competition done.