Video: Bend wins Cyclo-Cross National Championships

Cyclist Carl Decker, from Bend, has been competing in Cyclo-Cross races since 1984. Tuesday the news came; the National Championships will be at the Old Mill District in December 2009 and December 2010.

“I feel great about it, I’ll be able to just ride from my house, and not change in the car for once, and go straight to my own hot shower after a cold race,” Decker says.

— Excerpt from KOHD News (click below to view the entire story)

USA Cycling Awards Cyclo-Cross Championships to Bend

USA Cycling today announced that it has awarded the 2009 and 2010 Cyclo-cross National Championships to Bend. The announcement comes on the heels of a recent site inspection and city tour by USA Cycling’s national events manager Tom Vinson, and is the culmination of a yearlong effort led by Visit Bend and the Oregon Sports Authority to bring the event to Bend.

“While all of the bids received by USA Cycling to host this event were very impressive, Bend’s competition venue, community wide support and commitment to producing a World-class event convinced us that Bend would be a very worthy host city for the 2009 and 2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships,” said Tom Vinson, National Events Manager for USA Cycling.

In recent years, the Cyclo-cross National Championships have been held in Portland, Ore. (2003 & 2004), Providence, Rhode Island (2005 & 2006), and Kansas City, Missouri (2007 & 2008).

With 35 national titles on the line, the Cyclo-cross National Championships are expected to attract more than 2,000 competitors to Bend each year for four days of racing, and between 3,500 and 4,500 visitors including support staff, families and media. Because the championships are held during the second week in December – a traditionally slow tourism period that falls between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when occupancy levels at Bend lodging properties are well below 40 percent – the event is expected to provide a significant boost for the local economy.

Tentative dates for the Cyclo-cross National Championships in Bend are December 10-13, 2009, and December 9-12, 2010. With the US Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross being held in Portland the week prior, a large field of competitors is anticipated.

“Hosting the Cyclo-cross National Championships in Bend is an incredibly exciting opportunity for the community,” said Doug LaPlaca, president and CEO of Visit Bend and co-chair of the local organizing committee. “Winning this competitive bid process was truly a community-wide effort and is strong testimony of what we can accomplish when the community comes together to support a cause.”

Nationally-renown cyclo-cross race director Brad Ross, owner of Vivo Promotions and producer of the Cross Crusade race series in Portland – the largest cyclo-cross series in the country – will serve as race director for the National Championships. Ross previously managed the Cyclo-cross National Championships when they were held in Portland in 2003 and 2004.

“The awarding of the Cyclo-cross National Championships is a shining example of Bend’s ability to host big-time sports events,” said Drew Mahalic CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority. “We feel privileged to have worked closely with Visit Bend and all involved in bringing this outstanding national championship and its substantial economic impact to Bend.”

Hosting major national sporting events is not new to Bend, which is home to the Cascade Cycling Classic – the longest continually-running elite stage race in the country, recently hosted the XTERRA Trail Running National Championships, and will host the USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championships for a second year on January 11, 2009. Bend is also home to many of the nation’s top current and former elite cyclists including current National Cyclo-cross Champion Ryan Trebon, Chris Horner, Carl Decker, Adam Craig, Chris Sheppard, Chrissy Ruiter, April Lawyer, Kirt Voreis, Bart Bowen and Steve Larsen.

In addition to Visit Bend and the Oregon Sports Authority, the local organizing committee that was assembled to pursue the National Championships included representatives from the City of Bend, Bend City Council, Central Oregon Velo, Vivo Promotions, and representatives from Bend’s cycling community.

Stoking the hopes of MLS

It’s hard to think big in a contracting economy, but it would be unwise for Portland to do anything else

Portlanders have a bad habit of thinking small even when times are terrific. And right now, the dismal economy is a perfect backdrop for a particularly Portland brand of pessimism. Thinking small, at the moment, seems like the only game in town.

But that’s shortsighted. The city can’t afford to shrink its ambitions. When the economy rebounds, as it almost certainly will, Portland could miss out on a huge opportunity — Major League Soccer.

The league is looking to expand by two teams, plans to make the decision next spring and is looking very favorably at Portland. This is good news.

Meanwhile, in Merritt Paulson, the city has someone who doesn’t come along every day, a potential major league owner. Paulson, who owns the Beavers Triple A baseball team, is willing to put up $40 million to bring a Major League Soccer franchise here.

— Excerpt from The Oregonian Editorial, December 15, 2008

MLS commissioner likes Portland’s franchise chances

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday pumped up Portland’s chances of landing an expansion team in 2011.

In one interview after another — more than a dozen in all during a one-hour swing through PGE Park — Garber called the city as a potential favorite to win one of two expansion slots MLS plans to award early next year.

The other five cities seeking a franchise are Atlanta, Miami, Ottawa, St. Louis and Vancouver, B.C.

“Portland’s got a very good shot of coming into our league,” Garber told The Oregonian, before adding the caveat, “if they can complete this process with the city.”

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, December 11, 2008

Repeat victory for Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic

Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft won the 2008 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic for the second year in a row.  The event was held on a beautiful day in perfect surf conditions. Keallii Mamala goes home with the win for the first ever paddle in contest at Nelscott Reef.

After a day of thick fog on Saturday, the field of 16 teams woke up to sunny skies and big surf for the contest on Sunday.  Waves were in the 20-30’ range, wind was calm, skies were clear, and the temperature hit 64 degrees.  This made for a perfect day of tow in surfing.

Although there were a few delays due to fog in the early morning hours, the contest got off to a smooth start.  After two rounds of heats, 4 teams advanced to the finals.  Almost all the teams in the finals, including the winners Adam Replogle and Alistair Craft, were from Santa Cruz, but the surprise of the event, was the team for Australia.  Jeff and Josiah Schmucker are a father and son team from Australia who had never competed in a big wave competition before.  Their 2nd place finish to some of the best teams in the world was impressive.  Russell and Tyler Smith took 3rd place and the Wormhoudt brothers, Jake and Zach took 4th.

“We could not be more excited about the outcome of the event”, said John Forse, event organizer. “We like to think of Nelscott as a family event, and this year, the finals had a father/son team and two brother teams.”

After the qualifying heats were completed, they ran the first ever paddle in contest at Nelscott Reef.  A field of nine vied for a winner takes all 45-minute heat.  Twelve waves were caught during the heat, but in the end, Keallii Mamala took the prize, as well as an auto seed with his partner into the 2009 tow in event.  Jamie Mitchell took 2nd place, Shane Desmond grabbed 3rd, Mike Parsons 4th, and Gary Linden came in 5th.

“The paddle in was amazing and we were surprised how many waves were actually caught. Almost everyone got a wave in what turned out to be an optimal paddle in day at the reef”, said Forse.

After conferring with big wave contest guru, Gary Linden, and based on competitors feedback and spectator enthusiasm, John Forse has decided to integrate the paddle in into future events.

Operating in a three-month holding period, John Forse has proven his local knowledge of the reef he pioneered, with 4 years of perfect calls.  Predicting a day in which the surf is large enough to hold the event with weather and wind conditions coinciding with that swell is extremely difficult.  However, Forse has been successful in the past 4 years at calling the contest on the best day of the year.

The event was presented by the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, OR.  They also hosted the awards ceremony, where Gary Linden was honored with presenting the awards for the evening.  Also honored were the Pacific Northwest Judges, Andrew Kell, who performed safety all day, and all of the sponsors that made the event happen.  The ceremony moved to the bar, where surfers and spectators looked at photos from the day and celebrated a perfect event.

2008 Tow In Contest Results:
1. Adam Replogle (N.Cal) Alistair Craft (N.Cal)
2. Jeff Schmucker (AUS) Josiah Schmucker (AUS)
3. Russell Smith (C. Cal) Tyler Smith (C.Cal)
4. Zach Wormhoudt (N.Cal) Jake Wormhoudt (N.Cal)
5. Brad Gerlach (S.Cal) Mike Parsons (S.Cal)
6. Chad Jackson (C.Cal) and Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
7. Tim West (N.Cal) Ion Banner (N.Cal)
8. Jeremy Rasmussen (Oregon) Tom Miller (Oregon)
9. Garrett McNamara (HAW) Kealii Mamala (HAW)
10. Yuri Soledade (Brazil) Everaldo Pato Texeira (Brazil)
11. Shane Desmond (N.Cal) Tyler Fox (N.Cal)
12. Justin Howard (Oregon) Andre Phillip (Oregon)
13. Jeff Kafka (N.Cal) Benji Darrow (N.Cal)
14. Andrew Cotton (Ireland) Scott Eggers (C. Cal)
15. Alec Cooke (Ace Cool) (HAW) Ron Barron (HAW)
16. Mike Parnell (Oregon) Matt Esnard (Oregon)

2008 Paddle In Contest List:
1. Kealii Mamala (HAW)
2. Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
3. Shane Desmond (N.Cal)
4. Mike Parsons (S.Cal)
5. Gary Linden (S.Cal)
6. Justin Howard (Oregon)
7. Chad Jackson (C.Cal)
8. Zach Wormhoudt (N.Cal)
9. Steve Harnack (Oregon)

Founded by Lincoln City resident and Nelscott Pioneer, John Forse, the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic has always been a grass roots organization.  Without the support of the local community and our sponsors, the event would have folded after the first year.  The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is now the longest consistently running tow in contest in the world.  Local sponsors, like the Chinook Winds Casino, have been a major supporter of the event from its conception, and we are proud to have their continued support.  Other local sponsors that have, and continue to play a vital role in the event include the Nelscott Reef Surf Shop, Westshore Motel, Oregon Sports Authority, Russo Surfboards, Tanger Outlets, Station 3 Embroidery, and the Anchor Inn.  New Oregon sponsors this year are Blowsion, DaKine, and Bob Lamphere’s Beaverton Honda.  Out of State support comes from K38 Rescue, Fringe Clothing, and Banquet.

The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is the only tow in contest on the North American continent and Oregon’s only professional surf event.