Skip to content

Doing the Double Damned — Backward!

Hood River Yacht Club’s Double Damned Race attracted sailors from all up and down the West Coast to race on the Columbia River on August 6. Sixteen boats entered, and 13 raced. Pacific Northwest Moore 24 fleet sailors Mark and Rachel Voropayev crewed in the Double Damned for the first time, sailing aboard a Moore formerly based in Ventura. Skipper Ian Sprenger moved to Gig Harbor earlier this year and joined the PNW fleet. Rachel filed this report.

Moore 24 Space Toaster
Dave Gee’s Moore 24 Space Toaster.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

“Mark and I were fortunate enough to be invited by Ian Sprenger on #73, Skosh, for this regatta. By the time we pulled the trigger there were very few lodging options available. We ended up finding lodging in Stevenson the first night (near the intended start) and The Dalles (near the intended finish) the second night, which would have worked out perfectly, if all had gone as planned. (Note: Next year find lodging earlier and pray for wind sooner).”

Moorality at the dock
Josh Raymond, Amber Moffat, Cathy Meyer and Andrew Haliburton sailed Moorality.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

“A couple of days before the race, Ian let us know that the weather on the Columbia was looking really light and coming from the east. Mark and I were really ready to have the good old blasting-up-the-Columbia experience, but we would take whatever the wind gods gave us. The day before the regatta, the race committee made the decision to cut the course in half and flip it, going from Hood River to Cascade Locks. We were just stoked to have a race happen after a four-hour-plus drive. We rigged the boat and got to sailing.

“The start of the race was super-light, a drifter over the start line, with boats spread out all across the line. I wish I could deliver more tactical information, but I was in the front hatch trying to keep my ‘windage’ down.”

Rachel keeps her windage down, with Mark and Ian behind her in the cockpit.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

“We decided to play the deep water through the light stuff, staying in the middle of the river for perhaps more current. Some boats were hitting the right side pretty close, looking like they were catching eddies. There were multiple restarts until the breeze picked up some. We somehow made our way ahead of a pack of four Moores that stayed on the left for some time and fell into place behind Morjito. Once the breeze came, there were no big gains or losses, just a nice float down the river at around 8 knots. We were distanced from Morjito in front and the rest behind, but I’m sure there were some strategic moves happening behind us as the other four Moores looked pretty close together. This half course took us about four hours.”

boats sailing on the Columbia River
The backward race was a light-air affair.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

“Arriving in Cascade Locks was a dash for the motor before being swept under the Bridge of the Gods. The current at the Cascade Locks Marine Park was pretty hairy until you got tied up. All of us on Skosh were pretty new to trailer launching/retrieval. It was nice to have the Morjito and Firefly crew there to help us, or at least let us know that’s it’s OK to just pray and try your best to get the boat out. It’s got to be a lot easier when the water is really clear and there isn’t a current. But I’m sure there’s a learning curve on the launching, and tricks to make the trailer a lot safer for retrieval.

“This race was not what we expected, but maybe that played to our advantage, as we were the new kids on the block. No broken masts (thank God), no ripped kites, but so nice to see some new faces and sail a new venue. Great job to Morjito for getting in the lead and staying there. Awesome work by HRYC for being so flexible and making the regatta happen.”

Morjito at the dock
Douglas Archbald’s HRYC-based Morjito.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

“Hope to see some of you all for the Chelan Regatta coming up September 9-10!”

The Chelan Regatta will be hosted by the Lake Chelan Sailing Association. Lake Chelan is a skinny, 55-mile-long lake in national forest between Seattle and Spokane. The Chelan Regatta isn’t on the Moore 24 Roadmasters Series, but could be a series counter if six or more boats race. The most recent event in that series was the Nationals, hosted by San Francisco YC last weekend. (We’ll include coverage of that in the October issue of Latitude 38, but in the meantime, congratulations to Joel Turmel and the crew of Firefly). The next event will be the Calvin Paige/Albert Simpson regatta hosted by St. Francis YC on October 1-2.

Tom Garnier and Taz McGee of the Melges 24 Mini Me won the 2022 Double Damned Race. Tyler Karaszewski’s J/70 Spitfire came in second; Ted Lohr’s J/70 Monster Express placed third. Morjito came in fourth, followed by Skosh in fifth. See complete results here.

Baby at the tiller
Future skipper Andrei Voropayev checks out the helm.
© 2022 Rachel Voropayev

1 Comment

  1. Dave Wilson 2 years ago

    Awesome- thanks for the report! Always interested in #73’s new PNW adventures!

Leave a Comment