Ryan Sparks
Curry Coastal Pilot

The American Windsurfing Tour makes their yearly visit to Gold Beach this week as they kick off their fifth annual Pistol River Wave Bash on Wednesday.

The windsurfing event, which is the second stop on the AWT's six event season, will feature over 70 competitors from around the globe including locations such as Morocco, New Zealand and Ireland.

The tour will hold opening ceremonies on Wednesday with riders entering the surf Thursday at approximately 11 a.m. at one of two possible locations. Depending on weather and surf conditions, riders will be carving waves at either Pistol River State Park or in front of the Beachcomber Inn located in Gold Beach.

Competitors will compete in Youth, Amateur, Masters, Grand Masters and Pro divisions and will include former wave world champions Kevin Pritchard, Levi Siver, Josh Stone and last year's Pro division winner, Camille Juban.

An awards ceremony will be held on Saturday at Docia Hall in the Curry County Fairgrounds to culminate the event.

"This is my favorite event on the pro tour and the heart of where the tour started," said pro windsurfer and AWT Tour Director Sam Bittner. "It has the most consistent wind and waves and there is a great family atmosphere in Gold Beach."

Considering that the pro tour holds events in Peru, Baja, Mexico and Maui this season it's quite a compliment that Bittner, who lives in Hawaii, holds the Pistol River event with such high esteem.

"Everyone in Gold Beach has always been so nice and supportive of the event. It feels like a home away from home," she said.

For more information on the 2014 Pistol River Wave Bash visit http://americanwindsurfingtour.com/pistol-river-2014/.