The Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, a Labor Day tradition in the Columbia River Gorge since the 1940’s, has been discontinued. The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce made the announcement this week to postpone the swim indefinitely, citing declining participation, logistical challenges that included discontinuation of the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler’s operations, and increasing issues with winds and wildfire smoke. The 2023 swim would have been the 80th year of the event, which was held in Hood River through 2018, then moved to Cascade Locks in 2019 and 2022, with the event canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The loss of the Sternwheeler was a huge blow, as it was used to ferry participants to the Washington side of the river to jump in and swim back to the Oregon side. The event was named after Hood River Valley orchardist Roy Webster, an avid swimmer who started the tradition with his family in the 1940’s.