The Oregon Offshore is a 193 mile up the coast of Washington from Astoria, OR to Victoria, British Columbia and typically is held during the middle of May.
Excited to be entered in the OOR again, Its a fun race with a great bunch of sailors in the fleet. This year the crew consists of Dan Symonds B watch Captain, Jim Brenden, Jim McCone, Mark Ward all of who have sailed on Peregrine in everything from Swiftsure, OOR and Transpac and rounding the crew this year is Paul Walchenbach skipper and owner of Mata Hari. This is a great crew with so much talent and experience it promises to be a great few days on the water.
Well it ended up not being a great few days on the water, in reality it was a day on the water! Peregrine finished the 193 miles in 28 hours and 20 minutes. Winds were constant the race from 15 to 25 with gusts over 35. We hit a top speed of 15 surfing down a wave and were really really wet the entire race. After we recovered from a bad call at the start from yours truly, a wrapped spinnaker which ripped we got sailing with a poled out #3 and moved up from dead last by a very long way to finish in the middle of the fleet. The boat handled well as she always does and took everything in stride.
The intentions were good and the trip started off well. When we entered the straights on our way to Astoria the wind was already blowing 25 knots at 5pm. It only got worse! As we worked our way towards Port Angeles the wind built that evening to 40, the fog rolled in and visibility stopped somewhere forward of the mast. It was one of the most unpleasant times I have experienced on the water. Thankfully we have AIS and I was able to communicate with the shipping traffic leaving Port Angeles and those in the straits. We decided to duck in for cover to see if the winds would subside, when we got started again the next morning they were still holding at 25. After some time calculating our new arrival time in Astoria it was apparent that we would make the Columbia Bar at night (after the required skippers meeting) and with an unfavorable tide. It was a tough decision to turn around and withdraw from the race but it was the only call that could be made.
After registering we had to unfortunately withdraw as we were faced with last minute conflicts for to many of the crew. I decided that this was not a race to add to many first time crew members.