whale of a time

Ryan Barnes, the helmsman onboard at the time of this amazing story shares it with us…

We were racing in the Oregon Offshore International Yacht race on our Beneteau 35s5 in 20 kts of breeze with 1.5 oz north sails kite up. About 30 min. after the start a grey or humpback whale approximately 30 feet in length breeched off our starboard beam and hit approximately halfway to three quarters up our rig past first spreader, then rolled off the starboard side of the boat, taking out the lifelines and crushing the toe rail as well as dropping the whole rig, thankfully it was deck stepped. Here usa link to a coast guard video of post carnage and local news article.

Rig is gone/ deep sixed after cutting it away, lifelines are destroyed, toe rail bent/ flattened on starboard side deck, fibreglass cracks on the topside starboard vberth, fracture cracks around starboard cabin windows, bow pulpit bent to shit, and toe rail delimitation around 60% of the boat! No water leaks, except when the coast guard towed us at 18 knots against an ebb tide across the columbia river bar, which was a little fast, but got a new speed record on the boat! Lots of kudos to our coast guard though, those guys are awesome! No injuries, everyone is safe, my dad and I are motoring the boat up the river back to home port in Portland, OR at Rose City Yacht Club. Story here.