Double Damned 2010

steph

New member
35
0
Anacortes
Oh, and stoked to hear the Lowly Rumpus will be attending. You guys will dig it the most!
Are you sure your not meaning the Wild Worm?

it does beg the question...
smile.gif


 

Oxygen Mask

Super Anarchist
6,214
1
Oregon USA
I drove up the gorge a couple weeks ago, the wind was blowing 30-35 with gusts to 50+. In a couple places even higher. As I watched the river, memories of the Double Damned came flooding back to me, every detail of every mile just replayed itself in my head.

Here's the deal:

Sailing in big winds - 30+ and even 40+, all downwind, for experienced adrenaline junkies is manageable and often a load of fun.

But, you are constrained by a river channel, which isn't well charted, and things flash by very quickly so navigation is difficult. The shallows are rarely sand bars, they are mostly rock ledges, so there's a high disaster potential. So far, a challenge worthy of a good team.

The gorge terrain has a profound effect on the wind. It may funnel through steep cliffs here, or cross the current there, or roll down off the hills in unpredictable gusts. In 30+ steady, 50 knot gusts are common, and you get little warning.

Sounds even more fun yes? A worthy challenge indeed.

Now, the river meanders, a lot, so the current varies around every bend and on each straight stretch. There's a 3 to 5 knot current running, against the wind. This pushes up big waves, in some areas 6 footers, tightly packed together. And the good part - they don't move like normal waves. So rather than get big rushes of cool surfing, you jump off each one and slam the next. In the tighter spots they hardly move at all. So you simply slam into them. This is the stuff that breaks boats.

The angles you get to steer, the speeds you travel, the pressure increases from mostly unseen gusts, the waves you slam into, all come at you more quickly than anywhere else you ever sailed, and are dictated to you - you don't get many choices.

And most importantly, once started, you are committed. You get a warm up to Hood River, but once past there, you have only one choice - finish. There are no safe havens to run in to, and there is no rescue boat.

At the 2/3 point you are in the zombie zone, dead tired and numb from adrenaline overdose, no longer capable of fear. Yet that last 1/3 of the race is the toughest, with the tightest channels, the nastiest standing waves, the biggest winds of all, and the most aggressive gusts.

At the finish you don't celebrate, you just stare at each other almost blankly, and stare at the river, and sit down on the dock with a beer in your hand, and know that no one you tell these stories to will ever actually understand how it was.

Years later, something will remind you of it, and you'll stare into the distance for a while, remembering. Your closest friends will mutter softly to each other, "He's back in the Gorge..."

It is an amazing race. It is not for novices, it is not for the unprepared. I am proud and happy to have done it, and on the inaugural run too! But I have no interest in doing it again. It was crazy.

 
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A different kind of Insanity. There is free beer though! And don't forget that freighters go through here, but Oxy is correct on the winds and bail out points.

 
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Rainier

Member
201
68
Anybody care to wager on a combined Ditch Run and Double Damned score? I got a bottle of Makers.....

 

archbald

Member
53
0
Ok, colorful description, and much of it true, but keep in mind that is the perspective from a tri - what was that thing again - I know you can fold the outriggers up but I forget the name. I know it was a hell of a ride, and you guys rocked it. You slam into the backs of waves a lot less quickly in a monohull, I would say the surfing through Doug's beach is a blast, even if the kite is out of the question! The one thing I do have to take exception to is the the claim that the places you run aground are rocky ledges. I run aground regularly on the river and it is always sand or at worst some minor river gravel. There are a few places with stump yards, but ask any local and we can keep you out of those zones. When I hear people describe the navigational gauntlet that they claim the river to be I am always stunned that the barges make it all the way to Idaho. Cruise ships too. Don't tell them how bad it is or interstate commerce could grind to a halt.

I drove up the gorge a couple weeks ago, the wind was blowing 30-35 with gusts to 50+. In a couple places even higher. As I watched the river, memories of the Double Damned came flooding back to me, every detail of every mile just replayed itself in my head.

Here's the deal:

Sailing in big winds - 30+ and even 40+, all downwind, for experienced adrenaline junkies is manageable and often a load of fun.

But, you are constrained by a river channel, which isn't well charted, and things flash by very quickly so navigation is difficult. The shallows are rarely sand bars, they are mostly rock ledges, so there's a high disaster potential. So far, a challenge worthy of a good team.

The gorge terrain has a profound effect on the wind. It may funnel through steep cliffs here, or cross the current there, or roll down off the hills in unpredictable gusts. In 30+ steady, 50 knot gusts are common, and you get little warning.

Sounds even more fun yes? A worthy challenge indeed.

Now, the river meanders, a lot, so the current varies around every bend and on each straight stretch. There's a 3 to 5 knot current running, against the wind. This pushes up big waves, in some areas 6 footers, tightly packed together. And the good part - they don't move like normal waves. So rather than get big rushes of cool surfing, you jump off each one and slam the next. In the tighter spots they hardly move at all. So you simply slam into them. This is the stuff that breaks boats.

The angles you get to steer, the speeds you travel, the pressure increases from mostly unseen gusts, the waves you slam into, all come at you more quickly than anywhere else you ever sailed, and are dictated to you - you don't get many choices.

And most importantly, once started, you are committed. You get a warm up to Hood River, but once past there, you have only one choice - finish. There are no safe havens to run in to, and there is no rescue boat.

At the 2/3 point you are in the zombie zone, dead tired and numb from adrenaline overdose, no longer capable of fear. Yet that last 1/3 of the race is the toughest, with the tightest channels, the nastiest standing waves, the biggest winds of all, and the most aggressive gusts.

At the finish you don't celebrate, you just stare at each other almost blankly, and stare at the river, and sit down on the dock with a beer in your hand, and know that no one you tell these stories to will ever actually understand how it was.

Years later, something will remind you of it, and you'll stare into the distance for a while, remembering. Your closest friends will mutter softly to each other, "He's back in the Gorge..."

It is an amazing race. It is not for novices, it is not for the unprepared. I am proud and happy to have done it, and on the inaugural run too! But I have no interest in doing it again. It was crazy.
 

Oxygen Mask

Super Anarchist
6,214
1
Oregon USA
Ok, colorful description, and much of it true, but keep in mind that is the perspective from a tri - what was that thing again - I know you can fold the outriggers up but I forget the name. I know it was a hell of a ride, and you guys rocked it. You slam into the backs of waves a lot less quickly in a monohull, I would say the surfing through Doug's beach is a blast, even if the kite is out of the question! The one thing I do have to take exception to is the the claim that the places you run aground are rocky ledges. I run aground regularly on the river and it is always sand or at worst some minor river gravel. There are a few places with stump yards, but ask any local and we can keep you out of those zones. When I hear people describe the navigational gauntlet that they claim the river to be I am always stunned that the barges make it all the way to Idaho. Cruise ships too. Don't tell them how bad it is or interstate commerce could grind to a halt.
Corsair F-27.

We started far too conservatively and lost miles on the fleet from the start.

I would point out that we watched the monos up ahead with spins up doing the broach fest. We were still flying the screecher. Then the spins came down and still we watched the broachfest, while we began to make big gains. Then reefed mains only, and still some areas provided excitement. We flew that screecher long after they were main only - that resulted in us rocketing past the ones we overtook. But eventually we too were reduced to triple reefed main only and even then it was ... exhilarating.

But I can see your point - we had to gybe-gybe-gybe - 47 times if I remember right. There was no way we could merely run straight - multihulls must sail angles downwind.

It is easy for a powerboat/ship/barge to run straight up/down the channel, we could not do that, and most sailboats under sail will have hard time with it too.

dd1.jpg

 
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This race sounds like a hell of a time. I wish I could get up there and do it :(
Don't wish, make it happen! It's a short drive and well worth it, you will be absofuckinglutly amazed. It is also one of the most stunning sceneries you will ever see while racing, kinda distracting...

And Oxy, I was amazed you did that on a tri, it's tough on a Moore but not death defying in the least. Just a different kind of insanity.......

Get up to Oregon and do the race. You only live once, and will feel more alive after this one.

 
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Anybody care to wager on a combined Ditch Run and Double Damned score? I got a bottle of Makers.....
and I have a bottle of Black Seal Rum....We talking OD score or overall? cause I'm sure your in a Moore as well otherwise you wouldn't be making this bet.... :) but I would guess OD or overall would be the same then....hmmmm

 
So I'm moving to Oregon (from the lower Chesapeake Bay) in the first week of August. Can anyone offer me a ride? I've been racing intensively for a year, on J30/J35/S2 7.9, mostly mast and jib trim, but I've bounced around every position including foredeck, except for nav and helm. I'm 21, 5'6", athletic, I'm ready to dive into the NW sailing culture!
How is your adrenaline/fear tolerance threshold? :D
Just got off the boat, last day of Southern Bay, two 6-leg races in gusts to 35kts, felt pretty solid up at the mast :p

 
So I'm moving to Oregon (from the lower Chesapeake Bay) in the first week of August. Can anyone offer me a ride? I've been racing intensively for a year, on J30/J35/S2 7.9, mostly mast and jib trim, but I've bounced around every position including foredeck, except for nav and helm. I'm 21, 5'6", athletic, I'm ready to dive into the NW sailing culture!
Wow - if any of you guys end up with the newbie light air sailor crewing be sure to take video! The look on her face will be worth big money when the dial goes past 11 ha ha! Shy kite would be a nice item to have when the fan really gets going.
She may need to tweak her hiking technique. Or not.

photo-45485.jpg
LOL! Theres a big difference between hiking and self-entertainment in light air!

 
So I'm moving to Oregon (from the lower Chesapeake Bay) in the first week of August. Can anyone offer me a ride? I've been racing intensively for a year, on J30/J35/S2 7.9, mostly mast and jib trim, but I've bounced around every position including foredeck, except for nav and helm. I'm 21, 5'6", athletic, I'm ready to dive into the NW sailing culture!
Wow - if any of you guys end up with the newbie light air sailor crewing be sure to take video! The look on her face will be worth big money when the dial goes past 11 ha ha! Shy kite would be a nice item to have when the fan really gets going.
She may need to tweak her hiking technique. Or not.

photo-45485.jpg
She might want to do a warm up for the Double Dam event by snagging a ride in the Ditch run but thats in a week so might be hard to swing that.
Other than being downwind there is not much comparison between the two races. I try and tell people exactly what they are getting into on this one. It's a hell of a time, but not your normal sailing venue....
Yeah I probably can't swing a spontaneous flight across the country this week. But if there's another opportunity to catch a warm up run in the weeks preceding the race I'd be down!

 
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