Please select your home edition
Edition
Armstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif TOP

Scott Walsh on the Double Damned 2022

by David Schmidt 3 Aug 08:00 PDT August 6, 2022
Jack chases Rufless - 2015 Double Damned © Sparky the Whaler

When the conversation turns to breeze-on One Design and handicap racing on fresh water, it doesn't take long for someone in the know to mention the Double Damned. This now-classic Pacific Northwest event is hosted by the Hood River Yacht Club, in Hood River, Oregon, and unfurls on the mighty Columbia River. This year's event is set to unfurl on Saturday, August 6, and promises high-speed and big-breeze fun for all involved.

The event is open to all monohulls and multihulls with a valid PHRF rating. According to the NOR, the event will score One Design classes if they have a minimum of five boats entered.

The race begins on a stretch of river near the Cascade Locks and (quickly) takes the fleet to a finishing line off The Dalles. Racing begins at 1000 hours, and crews have until 2000 hours to cross the finishing line.

I checked in with Scott Walsh, race director of the Double Damned 2022 regatta, via email, to learn more about this classic big-breeze One Design regatta.

Can you please tell us a bit about the Double Damned 2022, how it got its colorful moniker, its history and culture, and the kinds of boats and sailors that one can expect to find here?

The Double Damned has been running since 2008, and its name comes from the racecourse, which starts at the Bonneville Damn, and races downwind up river to The Dalles Damn.

We generally get our thermal breeze that averages 25 knots that time of year, which attracts sailors and crews that are looking for a thrilling ride in some of the most beautiful Pacific Northwest landscapes you can find.

Boats range from 40-year-old [ultralight displacement boats] from the [San Francisco] Bay area all the way up to Grand Prix programs looking to take their shot blasting through the Gorge.

No matter the level of competition, everyone always has fun sharing their hero stories at our clubhouse after eating a few tacos and [nursing] their wounds with an ice-cold drink.

What kinds of numbers and interest levels are you seeing ahead of the 2022 event compared with previous editions?

This is our first year running this event since Covid, so we are expecting smaller numbers than previous editions.

How many boats are you expecting on the starting line(s) of this year's regatta? Also, how many classes do you and the other event organizers plan to score?

We currently have 11 boats registered primarily Moore 24's and J/70's, but are expecting quite a few more before race day.

Generally speaking, what kinds of conditions can sailors expect on the Columbia River in early August?

Conditions tend to be warm and windy. The Columbia River Gorge is known for its high winds and big waves, which is what attracts the numerous different windsports.

It's a pretty safe bet that there will be west winds ranging from [ballpark] 15 knots at the start, and most crews will experience 30-plus knots at some point.

Over the 10-plus editions of this race, we have only had to cancel due to no wind once (including a modified course in east wind one year).

Are there any new additions or changes to the 2022 regatta, compared to previous editions?

Again, being the first event since Covid, we are trying to keep it a bit low key.

Our main goal here is to get all of our buddies back to the Gorge, and for us to have a safe and fun rip up the river.

What about onshore entertainment? What can sailors look forward to once the finishing guns have gone silent each day?

After the boats are derigged, and everyone dries-out a bit, we will have one of our amazing local taquerias cater a fun party back at the Hood River Yacht Club (dressed-up garden shed).

There's probably going to be a keg and some mixed drinks along with some fun and cool awards.

Can you please tell us about any efforts that the club has made over the last year or two to further green-up the regatta and make it an even more sustainable event?

We have ordered reusable metal regatta printed cups for the event.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

We're excited to see the HRYC pop back onto people's calendars. In addition to this year's Double Damned, we're also running a Hood River Yacht Club One Design Regatta which will primarily be J/70's this year.

We are all working hard on growing our amazing sport in our area, and look forward to more people getting to experience it!

[Finally,] we are hosting our first ever Hood River One Design regatta on August 13-14: www.regattanetwork.com/event/23878 Starting in 2023, we are going to try kicking "Gorge Race Week" off with an OD regatta, followed by the Double Damned.

Related Articles

Looking forward to the Golden Globe Race 2022
David Schmidt muses on racing that demands old-fashioned seamanship skills It's no secret that Sail-World loves adventure racing. We also love regular racing, of course, but there's something cool about events that shift the emphasis away from equipment and technology and instead place it on old-fashioned seamanship skills. Posted on 16 Aug
Ron Holm on the 2022 Hobie 17 and 18 NAs
David Schmidt checks in with the event chair I checked in with Ron Holm, event chair of the 2022 Hobie 17 and Hobie 18 North American Championship, via email, to learn more about this high-level regatta. Posted on 15 Aug
Unprecedented vision. Unparalleled objectives.
After a week's worth of deep immersion into the SSL Gold Cup, many things have become evident. Having been afforded a week's worth of deep immersion into the SSL Gold Cup, many things have become evident. Posted on 14 Aug
Road trip!
The Atlantic coast is home to some of the most famous sailing areas in the world After a few years of very localised living, travel is opening up, and as a family we've made our first proper road trip for a while, heading down the west coast of France for a camping holiday. Posted on 9 Aug
Todd Cox on the 2022 Dragon's Breath Regatta
An interview with Todd Cox on the 2022 Dragon's Breath Regatta I checked in with Todd Cox, race chair of the 2022 Dragon's Breath Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting handicap regatta. Posted on 5 Aug
Brian Lockwood on the Montana Cup Regatta
Not the first place that most people think of when the conversation turns to sailing I checked in with Brian Lockwood, vice commodore of racing at the North Flathead Yacht Club, which is hosting the 45th Annual Montana Cup Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting Rocky Mountain regatta. Posted on 2 Aug
Watching sailing's magic unfurl offshore
One of the greatest pleasures is to experience nature in all her moods and forms One of the greatest pleasures of offshore sailing is the chance to experience nature in all of her moods and forms. One particular evening stands out. Posted on 2 Aug
Captain Donald Lawson on his Dark Seas Project
We love fast boats and cool people at Sail-World We love fast boats and cool people at Sail-World, and while the French horde many of the coolest multis, a few make it to the USA. Such was the case when Donald Lawson acquired Defiant, his ORMA 60, a pedigreed trimaran that's ready to rewrite records. Posted on 1 Aug
Beginning a Winning
Could also have been winning from the beginning. So what does it all mean? Could also have been winning from the beginning. Either way I was able to seriously consider all that it takes to get into yachting, and the very essence of the difference between being a participant, and taking home the silverware. Posted on 31 Jul
One percenters
Exactly how big can the difference be with the fast displacement hull form? Throughout the course of the journey, we have been privileged to have great intel from Naval Architect, Pat Bray. Resident of British Columbia, Bray has brought to the table brilliant insight into passage making for large vessels. Posted on 27 Jul
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2022 August Summer Sale - SW FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J45 FOOTER