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. kat

    Sod the people what about the whale! good for the whale(my ancestors were english whalers & aristocrats)& no im not one of those greeny peta whack jobs!!!!

    May 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. horseman3

    I blame the whale union for misguidance!

    May 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe


    May 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Linari


    What do you care about the whale, given your ancestors were aristocratic whale-killers?

    I'm sure the whale is just fine.

    May 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MadCityBabe

    ..there she blows............I do hope the whale was not injured.....................cute little mammal

    May 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. courtney

    Thar she blows, lmfao, i cant believe the whale crashed The boat, its a shame the guys lost the race though.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lois

    Ummmmm.....todays date is????????? 🙂 That's why I stayed home. Glad everyone and hopefully whale are ok.

    May 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Re: The Simple Truth

    IIf you had been there, there's only two words can describe this: Devine Intervention. As a devoted blue water old salt, I've llearned a truism, never argue with a Humpback. They land where they want to land...

    May 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JT

    It was my Ex girl friend Stephanie.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marti Gras

    @JT: did she land on the wrong boat?

    May 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. interference

    interference from a whale...there's a fish story for the grandkids.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marti Gras

    Yep, that's a whale of a tail!

    May 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Even the whales will make them wail.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Or maybe the whale thought they looked thirsty,so it gave them drink.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Examine yourselves.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
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