Wednesday, May 25, 2011

L'Orca Crew

L'Orca's horseshoe, signed by her captain and crew

The Oregon Offshore crew of L'Orca recovering in Astoria

Video from California Girl

A video of California Girl's wild ride in the 2011 Offshore. California Girl hitting 92 knots!

Goodbye to L'Orca

I know many folks were wondering what happened with L'Orca after the whale strike.  She got her crew safely back to Astoria after being towed in by the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard. Ryan and Jerry Barnes took her back up the Columbia River to Portland, a two-day trip.

She has now been surveyed. Here's what Ryan had to say about the survey in his blog at L'Orca Racing:
"The forward bulkhead is cracked/fractured in multiple places, cracks throughout the inner headliner, cracks around starboard ports, cracks around keel bolts and severe keel bolt stress (think the keel might have hit the whale on the roll back), and complete through and through 3 foot crack on topside deck starboard bow side where the whale landed lengthwise."

He now says that she will be totaled. We will miss seeing her on the race course. She did a great job in caring for her skipper and crew.

L'Orca under tow from the Coast Guard on her way back to Astoria.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nice Video from Cool Change showing L'Orca shortly after dismasting

Thanks to Frank Noragon for this video of Offshore racers shortly after the start and of L'Orca shortly after she was dismasted by the whale.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Results with elapsed and corrected times

Click here to get the final results with elapsed and corrected times.

CORRECTED Race Overall Rankings

I hope to get some assistance with the program we use to calculate results so that I can post the full results with elapsed and corrected times soon, but in the mean time, I've had several requests for the Overall rankings, so here they are:

Bum's Rush
California Girl
Cool Change
Anam Cara
Sol Pacifico

The D fleet was formidable this year, with five of its finishing boats in the top nine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

And the CORRECTED winners are...

Our Congratulations to all the winners!  This was one of the fastest races we've had, with all boats finished by Saturday evening.




1st Rage
2nd Riva
3rd Anam Cara


1st Peregrine
2nd Velocity
3rd Passepartout
4th Siren


1st California Girl
2nd Kaizen
3rd Thirsty
4th Rya


1st Bum's Rush
2nd Wy'East
3rd Cool Change
4th Kokopelli
5th Shamrock
6th Sol Pacifico

Jury decision regarding redress

This morning we held a redress hearing for the boats that gave aid to L'Orca.  Four esteemed Canadian YA Judges:  Chief judge Mike Turner, and other jurors Paul Ulibarri, Jack Stacey and John Abel reviewed everyone's testimony and awarded the following boats redress in the form of deductions from their elapsed times:

Cool Change - 60 minutes
Thirsty - 45 minutes
Sol Pacifico - 17 minutes
Kokopelli - 15 minutes

All boats have our thanks for rendering aid to their fellow racers.

We are so sorry!

Somehow in all the confusion that was Friday night's (and early morning's) finishes, we managed to miss posting Shamrock's really excellent finish.  Not only did she finish, but she did so with her gooseneck track broken.  At some point while off the Washington coast, her track started pulling off the mast.  The crew just lashed it to the mast and kept on going.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Around the time we were communicating with Sol Pacifico and waiting for her to finish, I received a couple of texts from the racers on Rendezvous.

6:05 pm "Update from Rendezvous.:  made 10 miles today 18 miles from finish.  Currently -1 knots towads finish. Will come in by 10 am sail or otherwise."

6:22 pm "Had a roundtable: decided to put in the iron wind. ETA 9:30"

All the racers are now in at the dock.

Tomorrow morning, we will have the redress hearing for the boats who stopped to help L'Orca and then enjoy the hospitality of Royal Victoria Yacht Club... this year, the BBQ is likely to be indoor, since the rain is projected to continue.  Our thanks to Andy McCann, who graciously offered to allow us to use Rya as the site for the hearing... not many boats in this fleet, and Rya will hold 15+ folks for a meeting.

Our final finisher

Here is our final finisher Sol Pacifico. A couple of hours earlier, we got a call from them. They were debating whether to continue racing or just stop and motor in. The wind was pretty much non-existent and there was little promise of more. They decided to stick it out and were rewarded with just enough wind to ghost across the line. They finished at about 7 pm and managed to miss the really nasty rain storm that arrived at about 7:45 pm or so. We think they even managed to get to the dock and get tied up before the rains really hit.

Rage video

Rage's wild ride in the offshore

Rya finishes

In extremely light air, Rya drifted over the finish line this afternoon just before 3 pm.

Redress Hearing

A number of our racing boats stood by to remain available to assist L'Orca after she was hit by the whale.  We have received requests for redress from Thirsty, Cool Change and Kokopelli (boats from C and D fleets).  We expect that Sol Pacifico will also file for redress when she finishes.

We have set a redress hearing for tomorrow morning at 7:30 am (the only time before the awards ceremony that we could get judges to handle the hearing).  At this point, the hearing location is to be determined.

Any boat that believes it should be involved in the hearing may give a written request to the RC by handing the request to someone on Total Eclipse.  Gregg Bryden on Total Eclipse will have information on the hearing location as soon as we get it set.

Thirsty finishes

Thirsty didn't look quite like this during her finish for this year's Offshore, but since she finished in the dark, we thought' we'd share this photo of her racing in a previous one (2004, we think).  She finished about 7:15 this morning.

More early morning news

Just spoke with Sol Pacifico; they are drifting around near Race Rocks, but not quite there.

Shamrock was stopped for a while but is moving again in very light air.

We think we see Thirsty further out.

Cool Change shows off their Offshore tradition

Cool Change shared their annual Offshore ritual tattoos with us, so we thought we'd share them with you. They seem to use a somewhat unorthodox application method.

Kokopelli has finished

Kokopelli just drifted across the finish line in very light air.

Race Rocks Report

We recently heard from Alan Bergen on Thirsty.  They have passed through Race Rocks.  Winds are at about 8 knots.

Another finish

Cool Change has finished the race.

Busy, busy night!

Two more boats have finished. Bum's Rush and Siren finished shortly after 1 am.

Seattle VTS tells us they heard from Rya about 15 minutes ago south of Sheringham Point. We also heard from Shamrock who was just passing Race Rocks.

And still more boats finishing

Passepartout and Kaizen finished within just a few minutes of each other.

More finishes

Peregrine has now finished.  We see more lights behind the breakwater, so we are expecting more racers to finish soon.

More on L'Orca

Here's a link to the Coast Guard interview with Ryan Barnes. It also shows the extensive damage to the boat.

Two cruise ships are leaving the Ogden Point docks

And three or four racers are trying to come in! Keeps everyone wide awake at the midnight hour. Watching Peregrine and Wy'East along with another boat or two (not sure which ones - we are just seeing masthead lights at this point).

Friday, May 13, 2011


Just got a call from Siren.  She has passed Race Rocks and is doing about 5 knots towards the finish.  They say winds are dropping and seas are calm.

California Girl has finished

California Girl finished at about 10:49 tonight.

More boats checking in

We've been getting lots of calls from boats. Kaizen and Peregrine have now checked in from Race Rocks. The winds must have picked up out there because Peregrine is estimating that they will finish in about an hour.

More boats checking in at Race Rocks

Passepartout just called, they are passing through Race Rocks.  They said that Siren is close, but behind them.  Kaizen and Kokopelli are behind them, but not by much. Peregrine is also somewhere nearby,

California Girl is expected to finish quite soon.

Velocity has finished, other boats at Race Rocks

Velocity finished at 10:11 pm tonight.

While they were finishing we got a call from Frank Colistro on Wy'East.  They were passing through Race Rocks.  They could see a boat they thought was Passepartout nearby.

While doing this post, we got a call from Bums Rush.  They are at Race Rocks too - looks like things are pretty busy at Race Rocks right now!

New finishes

Anam Cara finished at 9:26.  Right behind her was Riva at 9:28.54

While they were finishing, we heard from Velocity that they were about an hour out and from California Girl that she was at Race Rocks.

Looks like it's going to be a busy night!

Riva, Anam Cara & Velocity

OK, RC is getting really tired of technology. 

Riva reported she was at Race Rocks at 8 pm and I am just now getting things working again so I could make the report.

Anam Cara also reported that she is at Race Rocks at 8 pm.

We heard from Velocity that she went through Race Rocks at about 8:30 tonight.

Today's Check-ins with Seattle Traffic

Following are the boats that have checked in with Seattle Vessel Traffic:

0650 - Kaizen
0730 - Bum's Rush
0745 - California Girl
0850 - Peregrine
0900 - Rage
1005 - Wy'East
1045 - Cool Change
1158 - Shamrock
1219 - Kokopelli
1445 - Thirsty
1600 - Velocity

We heard that Anam Cara was at Sheringham Point some time ago, but apparently they had not checked in with VTS

L'Orca makes national and international news

The following are a links to a few of reports about L'Orca's encounter with the whale:



The Australian
The Oregonian
Three Sheets NW

We hope to have some photos taken on board shortly after the incident, but will not have access to them until tonight or tomorrow.

Report from Thirsty

At 1:30 this afternoon, Thirsty reported that they were in light air, near Rya and Kokopelli.  They were doing about 4 knots.  Yesterday was lumpy, with winds up to 37 knots.  They were running with their 135 and a double reefed main, still hitting 10.5 knots.  It was really cold, but not much sea sickness on their boat.

Report from Velocity

We got a text from Velocity. They tore their only spinnaker and are "continuing under white sails." Their batteries are failing but claim that a boat full of old duffers know how to navigate the old fashioned way. At 8:30 this morning, they were off Neah Bay.

L'Orca hit by whale!!!

In an Oregon Offshore first, the ironically named L'Orca was hit by a whale when heading to the start this morning.

The first information we have is that an approximately 30' whale hit the starboard side of the boat taking out the lifelines and the rig. All 8 of the crew were in the cockpit at the time and the spinnaker was up.  All the crew is safe and no one was injured. We do know that they had to cut away their rig (making those annoying bolt cutters on the list of required equipment actually useful).

They were being escorted back to the West Basin in Astoria under Coast Guard escort.

We will post more as we hear the details from them.  Our cell phone coverage was spotty when they called to report, so hopefully when everyone has had a chance to catch their breath we will get more details.

Yes, its true, L'orca was hit by a broaching whale yesterday

L'Orca at the dock in Astoria after the whale collision (from US Coast Guard)
Due to technical issues at Blogger, our post yesterday about L'Orca being hit by a whale disappeared.  Since then I had a chance to talk with Ryan Barnes, who was driving L’Orca when the whale breached and hit the boat.  One of the crew saw unusual gray water and heard a noise just before the whale breached, hitting the rig above the spreader.  The whale took out the rig, the lifelines and toe rail.

L’Orca had her spinnaker up and was moving well.  After the whale hit, they cut the rigging to release the broken mast and also had to cut the sails loose.  When the whale hit the boat rolled to port and rolled back to starboard.  Crewmember Daniel Martinet almost fell off the boat and ended up holding on to the transom.

They tried to lash the rig to the boat, but there was too much pressure and they were unable to save the mast or the rest of the rig.

The whale was approximately 30' long and appeared to be a humpback.  They do not know what happened to the whale.  After hitting the boat, it went underwater and was not seen again.  The crew found a few bits of whale skin and blubber left on the boat.

When asked before the race for the most interesting thing they did getting ready for the Offshore, they said that all the race preparation went well this year, with nothing interesting to report.

KATU interviewed the crew and broadcast the incident on their 11 pm news tonight. 

They wish to thank Sol Pacifico for turning back to help them and Sol Pacifico, Cool Change and Thirsty for remaining with them until the Coast Guard arrived to assist.  Sol Pacifico, Cool Change and Thirsty have now continued racing.  We look forward to seeing them in Victoria.