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Bulls and barrels rocks Curry County
July 27, 2013 01:05 am

Top prize winner Cody Brixey of Nampa, Idaho, rides the bull “Pig” for a full eight seconds and a judges’ score of 82 points during the Lucky 7 Bulls and Barrels competition Thursday night at the Curry County Fair. “He’s called ‘Pig’ because he eats anything you put in front of him,” bull owner Jerry Howell said. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
It was mostly a matter of brawn meets brain on Thursday night as 29 bull riders tried to ride their drawn mount to the top prize of $3,000 during the Lucky 7 Bulls and Barrels contest on Thursday night at the Curry County Fair. 

“It feels good to win it,” Cody Brixey of Nampa, Idaho, said. “I always do good here in Gold Beach with Howell Rodeo.”

Mavericks win state championship
July 27, 2013 01:04 am

The Brookings-Harbor Mavericks utilized solid pitching and run production to win three games straight and bring home the Babe Ruth Southern Oregon State baseball championship trophy last Saturday.

“It’s been seven or eight years since a team from Brookings has won the Babe Ruth state tournament,” Head Coach Keith Wallin said. “We’re pretty excited to be headed to the regional tournament in Klamath Falls.”

Off-the-chart salmon action teaches valuable lessons
July 27, 2013 01:03 am

La Pine resident Ron Herring was rewarded with a limit of Chinook last week as he and his brother Chuck fished out of the Port of Brookings Harbor for the first time. The Pilot/Larry Ellis
I’ll never forget the first Chinook I lost some 30 years ago. As I was bringing the salmon to the boat, I thought the fight was quickly over as it glided toward the net. Mr. Chinook, however, knew otherwise. It saw the boat, the net and my lily-white mug, and decided that it wasn’t ready to be scooped up. As it insidiously turned 180 degrees away from the boat, the hook popped out of its mouth as I tried to turn its head, a term often referred to as “horsing”.

The fact is, most of the time Chinook have control of the angler, not the other way around, and if you decide that you have control over the whim of a Chinook, you’ll probably lose them every time, especially the big ones.

Boulder Creek in the Kalmiopsis
July 23, 2013 09:40 pm

Boulder Creek is nestled just inside the Kalmiopsis Wilderness approximately 35 miles from Brookings. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
Smack on the edge of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness lies Boulder Creek. A tributary of the Chetco River with a year round flow, Boulder Creek is one of those places in the world that makes you say wow. 

The hike into Boulder Creek is also something to make you say wow. Wow, and maybe some other words as you fjord streams, cross canyon-wide washouts and  climb over, around and through fallen trees. All the while avoiding the proliferous poison oak that has grown with rampant abandon since the Biscuit Fire destroyed 500,000 acres in 2002, including areas that are traversed to get to Boulder Creek.

Salmon action hotter than ever
July 19, 2013 08:40 pm

Fishing columnist Larry Ellis and his catch.

In spite of 3- to 5-foot wind waves, anglers ventured out to sea to troll for Chinook salmon. This is without a doubt, the hottest salmon action I have ever experienced in 32 years.

In fact, the action was so hot and heavy, people were calling out their favorite sports idol’s jersey number in order to determine how deep to send their downrigger, or how many pulls to use with their divers.

I started out with the undisputed most-noted Giant of all time, Willie Mays. Seconds after the downrigger hit number 24, my rod went off and I battling a nice Chinook.

Living daily through fitness
July 17, 2013 09:36 am


JoAnn VanDerschaaf swims at least 3 miles every day.

Story and photos by Jef Hatch, Curry Coastal Pilot


When it comes to being fit in Brookings there are very few individuals who can claim a workout regimen like JoAnn VanDerschaaf.

Known as Coach Van by those who have attended her twice weekly early-morning Boot Camp workout at Fitness at the Club in Harbor, or her summer beach Fit Body workout organized via Facebook, VanDerschaaf is a self-proclaimed workout freak, health nut and fitness fanatic.

“I’ve been a health freak since forever,” she explained. “I was always the fastest in elementary school and have been active my entire life.”

Those who have shared a lane with her at the Brookings public pool may think of her as a swimming machine as she churns out a minimum of 3 miles in the water every day.

“I’ve got 88 miles already this summer,” VanDerschaaf said. “I try to swim at least 3 miles every day.”

VanDerschaaf swims twice a day Monday through Friday — averaging 1 1/2 to 2 miles each session — and then swims for two to three hours straight on Saturday to get at least 3 miles in.

“She is here all the time,” Bill Emme, assistant manager at the pool, said. “She logs the most miles of everyone who swims in the pool. She’ll have more than 90 miles by the end of summer and most normal pool users will have 7 or 8 miles.”

In addition to swimming, VanDerschaaf runs approximately a mile on the beach with her dog every day but Sunday.

“I don’t work out on Sunday,” she said. “It’s my rest day.”

She would probably run more than a mile but, according to her,  “I tore up my hamstring a few years back doing back-to-back triathlons.”

As though swimming 3 miles and running a mile everyday weren’t enough, VanDerschaaf also holds a twice weekly Boot Camp at Fitness at the Club (FATC) every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m.

Splitting the workouts into upper body and lower body on separate days, the class is attended by anywhere from seven to 15 people who are there due, in part, to Coach Van.

“I come because of JoAnn,” three-year participant Sarah Oliver said. “She motivates us. She gets us going and makes it so we don’t want to stop. She is so full of energy.”

Three-week attendee Dannielle Dietrich agreed. 

“I love it. This is a lot of fun,” she said. “I have fun with the group of people but Coach Van is awesome. She keeps it moving from exercise to exercise so that we don’t get burned out and helps everyone no matter their fitness level.”

VanDerschaaf has been an employee at FATC for three years and began teaching the day she walked in looking for a job.

“I was looking for a fitness job,” she explained. “The day I walked in they had just lost an instructor and so I taught a class that day.”

VanDerschaaf not only works out to stay healthy but eats well to help maintain her body’s maximum potential — staying away from processed foods and eating the types of things she could grow in her own garden.

“I hardly ever get sick and when I do it comes and goes quickly,” she explained. “God blessed me with a healthy body.”

VanDerschaaf’s is excited to help people get fit and will offer a couple of outdoor workout sessions this summer.

“I really want to show people that they can get fit anywhere,” she said. “Getting people fit at home is my big thing.”

Patience is key for Chinook
July 12, 2013 09:33 pm

Tyler Spencer (left) and his dad James Traughber of Grants Pass spent last Thursday whacking Chinook salmon out of the Port of Brookings Harbor. The Pilot/Larry Ellis
Last week, gusty northwest winds and wind waves up to 8 feet continued to wreak havoc with salmon anglers fishing out of the Port of Brookings, but that didn’t stop antsy anglers from tripping the king fantastic, with some days producing several limits of Chinook.

The further one ventured out to sea, the higher the wind waves became. Those who fished within a mile from shore experienced only 1- to 2- foot wind waves.

22 riders stop in Brookings
July 09, 2013 08:08 pm

Students from the University of Texas at Austin prepare to leave the Port of Brookings Harbor’s kite field on Saturday. They spent the night here during their 4,000-mile bicycle trip from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
“Everybody is touched by cancer,” Bucky Ribbeck said. “Whether it is someone you know or whether you are a survivor; cancer touches everyone. That’s why we ride, to kill cancer.”

Ribbeck, as the ride director for the Sierra group of the Livestrong Texas 4000 ride against cancer, is leading a group of 22 riders from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska to bring awareness to the people in the fight against cancer.

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