30-foot whale smashes onto sailboat
The breaching whale left bits of blubber and a barnacle on the sailboat.
May 13th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

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.

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Filed under: Animals • Oregon • U.S. • Whales
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Andreas Moser

    Moby Dick!

    May 13, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Captain Ahab Animal Control Services

    Shouldda hired us.

    May 13, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      Huge LOL! You totally made my day 🙂

      May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • silvershado

      No. We definitely don't want Ahab giving orders, not even Ishmael. Give us Starbucks!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Captain Ahab Animal Control Services

    No, we only control whales. Control your own people already.

    May 13, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Captain Ahab Animal Control Services

    That's right. We only do whales. If you want a human done, you'll have to do it yourself. (oh, pardon me. i see you've already done that. never mind)

    May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    People of the United States of America and the Sailing Community,
    I have Sailed myself with others off the East Coast.Looks like L Orca ran a Bouy and the Humpback had the Right of Way.HA,glad no one including the Whale was seriously hurt.

    May 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. RichP, easton, pa

    That must have been at least 10 times the most potent caffeine jolt you ever had.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. humpback whale

    I am a humpback whale and I speak for all the other sea creatures when I say, "Take bin Laden back! We don't want him either!"

    May 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. kor

    Another breaching whale onto boat incident? They really are mad at humans

    May 13, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. George

    I thought blubber was fat - not skin.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chantel

    Skin is made of fat tissue. AKA blubba!

    May 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. YIKES!!!

    Curious to know... Is anyone tracking wild life during these races or is it a situation of... Take ur chances and hope u dont get toppled by wild life who are going about their daily business. Good to read that no one was hurt, but too bad L'Orca couldn't finish the race

    May 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. it was

    Moby duck quack!

    May 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kent in Dallas TX


    The word is "wives", not "Wifes."

    The Unites States does not torture anybody–even unclean pigs like Osama bin Laden.

    The CIA does want to ask his wives what they know about future terrorist attacks.

    You ought to learn more about the English language & the United States of America before you post messages on American blogs.

    You may also want to use an American-style name that we can pronounce & spell.

    (I ask little Hispanic children to call me "Ken" or "Kenny"
    because they probably can't say "Kent")

    May 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Heywood Jablome

    Hey Estebangonzales in comment #5(posted 05/13/11 at 10:26am EST...what does a whale crashing onto a boat have to do with Osama or his wives and whatever else you wrote. Post your opinions in the proper forum so it can be appreciated. When you post your comments in forums such as these, your comments are dismissed as the rantings of some extreme psycho. I agree with what you are saying–just not where you placed it. Just food for thought...have a great day.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lola

    Thank the LORD the crew was all okay. 🙂

    May 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
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