Sunday, May 14, 2017

Oregon Offshore Race Preview

J/46 sailing Oregon Offshore (Portland, OR)- One of the toughest races on the entire West Coast and also one that has seen very loyal teams participate year after year has to be the infamous Oregon Offshore Race, an event hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland and the Astoria YC in Astoria, OR along the opening of the Columbia River.

Historically, the race acts as a “feeder” for the Swiftsure Race and for the Vic-Maui Race, too.  The race starts off the Columbia River Buoy 2 and goes 193nm north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, leaving Duntze Rock buoy to starboard and finish off the piers at Victoria, British Columbia in Canada on the northern side of the Straits.

Twenty-one teams are entered this year, a bump up from last year.  And, and there is an even larger contingent of J/Teams participating- a J/122, a J/46, a J/42 and three J/105s (29% of the fleet)!

The PHRF A2 Class is always competitive for the larger J/Teams.  Here are some quickie profiles of each boat:

J/122 sailing Oregon OffshoreJ/122 ANAM CARA- If there was an award for the most Oregon Offshores raced, Portland's own Tom Kelly would be in the running with 35 of 40 (not to mention about the same number of Swiftsure's)! In fact, his first race was in 1977 back when the race course headed south to Tillamook before going North. Around 1984 Tom set the OOR elapsed time record aboard Wizard. This record held for a solid eleven years. As you might know, all standing OOR records were annihilated back in 2014! Tom has won the race overall before and he hopes to do it again.

J/46 RIVA- this boat is based in Portland, Oregon and skippered by CYC's own Scott Campbell. She has had an active racing schedule since 2003 with almost annual participation in both the Oregon Offshore and Swiftsure races. She has taken first place trophies numerous times in both races in her division and class. She is also a three-time veteran of the Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii in 2006, 2010, and 2016.

J/42 VELOCITY- Although skipper, Tom Keffer, took last year off to race the Pac Cup, he still helped us out on the start boat and for that we are grateful! That being said, we certainly are glad to have him back on the racing side of things this year.

For the first time ever in the history of the race, there is a one-design class- the J/105s!  Here are the profiles of the crews participating:

J/105 ABSTRACT- this will be Doug Pihlaja’s first Oregon Offshore on Abstract.  And it will be the first Oregon Offshore for four of her six crew. However, overall the crew’s total experience makes up for any perceived shortcomings. This includes many Oregon Offshore races for the remaining two crew members and other Ocean races including Fastnet and multiple Swiftsure races and Bridge-to-Bridge’s (Columbia River Gorge), so the crew should have enough to be in the game. Future plans include this year’s Swiftsure, where there is a one-design class for J/105s, and next year’s Pacific Cup in the Doublehanded J/105 bowl of soup sailing Oregon Offshoredivision. Glad to have Portland based skipper, and crew join us!

J/105 ESCAPE ARTIST- Looks like we're gonna have ourselves some friendly J/105 competition this year. Another first time participant, Escape Artist, skippered by Dana Sibilla, is the "youngest" of the four Portland based J/105 One Design teams. While this is the first Oregon Offshore for the boat, the combined experience of the crew will bring some stiff competition on the race course. Once in Victoria, Escape Artist will stay for Swiftsure then plans to make her way over for Whidbey Island Race Week for a second year.

J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP- Looks like these guys are back for another serving! Free Bowl of Soup, a Portland-based J-105, signed up at the Portland Boat Show! That’s long-term planning! This will be Schenk, Hopper, and Davis's sixth Oregon Offshore race skippering FBoS, although each have been participating for even longer. Last year they took home First Place- PHRF A Fleet. We are fortunate enough to call Eric Hopper our 2017 CYC Race Captain and we appreciate the work he does to keep our club afloat!!  For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.