As with our day, things for them got very interesting very fast. One of the participants related the following:
"The skipper's meeting started at 2:00 under partly sunny skies and an 8 to 10 knot breeze. The first race started on time at 3:00 under menacing skies, a building breeze, and claps of thunder. About 30 seconds later a squall rolled across the river. As it hit [us], we luffed the sails and watched them flog in the wind. It wasn't enough to prevent us from being blown over. We tried to prevent the turtle to no avail. We righted the boat and were immediately blown right back over. We decided to wait for the wind to ease a bit before trying again. So, we climbed on top of the turtled boat and began to wait. I looked behind me to see if anybody else had capsized and counted 7 more of the 12 starters turtled as we were. Only 4 boats remained upright, 1 being an 81 year old [with] his grandson on board for his first ride in a sailboat.
"The rescue boats arrived in no time at all, including 3, 2 manned jet skis from the Portland Fire Rescue team.
"[We] were able to right our boat the second time about the same time the rescue boat arrived and decided to accept the tow they offered rather than sail back, as our machismo seems to have evaporated at some point during the adventure.
"Several people had abandoned their boats in favor of the rescue ride as the river water got very cold, very quickly. It took a while to get all the people and boats back to WSC and the race committee decided to cancel racing for the rest of the day. Nobody was hurt and no boats were damaged.
2 races were completed on Sunday in very light winds with [one of our own] taking home a 3rd place trophy in the A Fleet."
Cold water and rain too. Almost makes our little adventure look like a piece of cake. Eight boats turned turtle? Maybe they should look into mast floats...
Until next, sweet sailing.