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30-foot whale smashes onto sailboat

L'Orca lost out to L'Humpback on Thursday. Well, kinda.

L'Orca, a 38-foot sailboat out of Portland, Oregon, was participating in the Oregon International Offshore race in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning when a breaching humpback whale crashed down onto the vessel, crushing its mast and rigging and knocking it out of the race to Victoria, British Columbia.

The sailboat was about a half-hour into the race when the whale struck about 9:30 a.m.

"It looked to be a humpback whale, about 30 feet in length roughly. It hit the mast about halfway to three-quarters of the way up, and then proceeded to fall forward and on the starboard side of the boat. The mast came down as well as the forestay and all the rigging, and our tow rail and all our life lines on the starboard side of the boat were demolished, as well," crewmember Ryan Barnes, whose father owns L'Orca, said in a Coast Guard video.

The sailboat's crew was in the cockpit when the whale struck and no one was hurt, Barnes said.

A U.S. Coast Guard motor lifeboat escorted the L'Orca back to Astoria, Oregon.

While the L'Orca's crew of six didn't end the day with a victory, they did come home with a trophy of sorts - a dish full of bits of flesh the breaching leviathan left behind.

"I have some nice pieces of whale blubber as souvenirs and proof of what happened," Barnes said.