Just when we thought the economy might hurt our chances of even meeting our $63,000 raised from last year, wind and charity proved us soooo wrong. This year’s KB4C on August 9th brought visitors and athletes from across the country, AND $95,000 for a cause that touches every one of us.
The clouds parted Saturday morning for sunny skies and winds that ranged from 10-30 throughout the day. Over 150 kiteboarders descended on the Hood River Event Site in Hood River, Oregon, ready for a 6-Hour Endurance Kite Derby to represent the battles that those with cancer face every day.
The race kicked off with a rabbit-style start, with all racers having to follow behind a boat pulling away upwind. Five buoys were set apart to create a box in the middle of the Columbia River that riders had to kiteboard around, with about one mile distance between the farthest buoys. After some GPS analysis, this made for actual kiting surface distance of 5 miles per lap. 150 kiteboarders started at once — a sight that is hard for even the best photographer in the Gorge to capture….
The thing about kiteboarding in the Columbia Gorge is that there are lots of hazards… Besides the strong, gusty winds and strong current, there are the barges…. and you can’t schedule their passing through.
Local bands Subterranean Howl, Climatize, and Sunderland played throughout the day for the crowd. Be sure to check out their music, because they rocked Kiteboard 4 Cancer!! Climatize band brought two sax players for the event and played at the after-party at the River City Saloon as well. Long day!
Children’s Healing Art Project brought the most colorful display and unique activities to Kiteboarding 4 Cancer. CHAP brings the healing power of art to children in crisis and their families with a mobile team of teaching artists working in Portland’s children’s hospitals. The CHAP staff brought beads, rugs, paints, a sequined kiteboard, and a painted car for everyone to add their creative flair to help raise money for their programs.
At the end of the day’s events, the live auction included items from CHAP, one very special piece being a custom kiteboard by board shaper, John Doyle. For two months, the children and families of CHAP helped decorate the John Doyle Bling Kiteboard for the auction. Then, spectators, participants, and the kids of KB4C added to the board throughout the day. The board went up for live auction at 5:30pm after the Kite Derby.
The John Doyle Bling Kiteboard went to one very special winner…one not even old enough to ride the board, but old enough to put his feet into those shoes…
The winners of the 6-Hour Kite Derby Endurance Race went over 20 laps each, which equaled well over 100 miles of kiting per person. KB4C Sponsors Slingshot Kiteboarding, Naish Kites, Dakine, Best Kiteboarding, Eclipse Kites, Liquid Force, Cabrinha, North Kiteboarding, and Litewave Dave all donated kiteboarding gear for the prizes. The top prize of a Naish quiver package of two Helix kites and a pro golf travel bag went to Tony Bolstad of Stevenson, Washington.
1. Tony Bolstad
2. Irv Stein, cancer survivor
3. Grom Gormley
1. Marybeth Zigarelli
2. Carol Bolstad
3. Cynthia Brown
The Best Kiteboarding Long Jump competition was challenging due to shifty winds, but still entertaining for the crowd. The longest jumper honors went to Ryan Schenk, winning a Best Kiteboarding package with a Waroo, Best Surfboard, and Best apparel.
1. Ryan Schenk
2. Scott Edgar
1. Cynthia Brown
2. Laura Maher
Top fundraisers came from all over this year, giving to our partner cancer organization, John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Slingshot Kiteboarding generously donated a quiver package of two T3 kites, a Lunacy kiteboard, and travel packs for the top fundraiser. Kee Park of Jackson, Missouri, brought in a staggering $17,000 to take the top prize!!
1. Kee Park of Jackson, Missouri
2. Peter Nora of Seattle, Washington
3. Matt Sexton of St. Pete Beach, Florida
4. Tony Colburn of Seaside, Oregon
5. Shay Ohrel of Portland, Oregon
Peter Nora of Seattle, Washington came in 2nd for fundraising, bringing in over $8500 to win a new Liquid Force kite surfboard.
John Wayne Cancer Foundation and Real Watersports of Hatteras, North Carolina presented the prize for top total number of donations: a Jimmy Lewis Standup Paddle Board, Werner Carbon paddle, and Dakine SUP bag. Fundraisers got creative to get this prize, seeking out donations from hundreds of people, just to get one dollar. In the end, Brett Edelen of Pacific City, Oregon, came in with 201 donations:
On the day of the event, we raised an additional $30,000 through the silent auction, raffle, athlete registrations, t-shirt sales, day-of-event donations, and party door donation. On top of the $65,000 already made through athlete fundraising, this brought our grand total to $95,0000!!!! Congratulations to all fundraisers and anyone who donated to KB4C! This year was off the hook!