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White Lightnin'

R2AK 2016

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The singles are coming the singles are coming!

 

Well, Angus was first, but the rest are coming, and given the shitty wind situation, it's fucking epic!

 

Go motor sailers!

 

Edit: would a malibu-esque outrigger (aka a tacking proa) be da bomb?

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And lifeboat (tm!) has the aesthetics (damn it's sexy!) but Angus, you know.....

 

Seascape too, but a paddle?

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Team Vantucky that finished last night (or this morning) were racing in a 17' plastic trimaran designed by my father.

It was definitely not the fastest boat in the race, but I'll bet it could bounce off logs better than any boat entered and my hat is off to the guys that sailed it.

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Better than repair! The line between skill and design is what makes this race so alluring....

 

And Russell, being in a line of what I perceive as genial genius is fun, no?

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Better than repair! The line between skill and design is what makes this race so alluring....

And Russell, being in a line of what I perceive as genial genius is fun, no?

Russell is a modest guy, but I can testify that he is a mega talent fellow (just like his Dad).

Nice guy too.

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......I'm convinced that an over-canvassed Swiss lakes style multihull is the way to grab line honors in this race. In a windy year, a big multi will always be fast. But even if you find the lightest 4 days on record, I would wager the sailing multi is still faster than a rowboat or other human powered craft.

........The ORMA60 I don't think is a good choice for this race. Getting in and out of Victoria, and crossing the ketchikan finish line would be seriously hairy. I think the Tritium guys were happy that they weren't dealing with the big tri once they saw the situation first hand

.........Felix the cat and Mama Tried are more interesting ans exciting boats to my eyes.

+1.

I haven't done the numbers on all your suggestions, and only picked out the AC45 due to the extra length, exceptional Displ/L and the fact that it has cockpits which could be covered to provide shelter for an off watch crew... .. The numbers for your M32 are pretty hard to beat. The G4 would also be a luxury liner, but I reckon is too heavy and high sided for effective HP...

The rowing supporters forget that you get 12 hours a day of tide wind, even if it is totally dead flat calm, on a Swiss lakes style cat, as you have clearly demonstrated, you can go a lot further than a rower who realistically will only be rowing more or less the same 12 hours.

Seeing the photo of 50/50 on SA's front page reminded me to check it's numbers:

http://www.thedailysail.com/inshore/12/62880/0/pauger-carbon-composites-launch-50-ft-twin-rig-catamaran-for-wild-joe

 

L: 15 metres, Displ/L: 16.33, Bruce Number: 3.52, Base Speed: 24.8 knots

 

And speaking of Lake Geneva, you could also go for a Decision 35: http://www.decision.ch/en/achievements/marine/decision-35/#

 

L: 10.81 metres, Displ/L: 37.09, Bruce Number: 3.13, Base Speed: 19.1 knots.

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Liteboat should arrive right about now.

Call it 17.5 days for stage 2 in a rowboat.

 

Nice video from day 17, Mathieu definetly knows what he is doing.

 

 

4 teams still moving on the tracker.

Sea runners, Can't Anchor Us, Squamish, Costal Express.

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Why doesnt this guy row properly? Oar blades get hardly immersed in water. Just splashing around. Must be very inefficient.

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Why doesnt this guy row properly? Oar blades get hardly immersed in water. Just splashing around. Must be very inefficient.

if you follow through with the video, you can see that he is partially rowing with the port blade only which points to the boat not beeing balanced properly for rowing, so him dragging the stb blade along for no actual effect seems intentional.

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The boat rows beautifully. Nothing wrong with the balance.

 

 

He's just tired after rowing solo for 750 miles. How would your form hold up?

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You should row for 17 days and then I'll interview you in a second language and we'll see how that works.

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+1

 

He finished.

 

And I must admit, setting up the tent after a day rowing shows some discipline.

 

Still a cool looking boat- how did he balance things sitting that far back if there was some wind on the beam? Foils? Web page gives up no secrets...

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Alula finish was a tear jerker. This is amazing....

 

Bucket list!

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Or has LB finished? Hull is grey, but moving toward finish line? Status says finished...

 

The Seascape has been romping along! Another cool boat. Wouldn't want to HP it though, if it was like our U20.

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Facebook says he rowed in at 2145 last night.

The trackers are good, but still glitch. Ours had us finished, but kept us 5 miles off Ketchikan for a few days.

I kinda wanted to put it in my car and drive all over town.. "Tracker showing Salish Express heading up a mountain at 45 knots!"

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Liteboat has finished, the live stream recording is on FB.

 

 

He has to be a bit back or the amas would be even smaller. I'd say balanced by putting all the stuff for a long row to Alaska in the front. IIRC he said after stage 1 that it is a bit overloaded.

The boat is based on the LiteRace. With 6 meter about a foot longer than Collins boat. Both boats are quite similar in layout and dimensions. RowCruiser has much more sail area and auto steering.

 

Listening to the arrival interview. Not a sailor, thus the design decision for a small rig. Consequently not enough wind this year, he needed 10kts+, so he rowed ~90%. (Size hint: The mast has Aero5 decals.)

 

Won't do it again solo. Interestingly his brother is a sailor. This should be the correct Mini Transat profile.

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I meant center of effort of the sails vs center of resistance laterally for the hull. Can't really see (or figure) if there's an extra foil to balance that out. If he was rowing for apparent wind, it might explain full catch on port in the vid.

 

Who was it that had warping problems with the hull so he was just paddling (on one side)? Was that the SUP?

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R2AK committee just re-posted a video of the boat that clearly shows a foil. It is pretty far forward to balance the sails.

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Would love to do the race on a F18, since I own one, and will talk to some experts on that front, but here is my take:

 

1) The F18 doesn't have the storage space to carry the necessary gear and sail the boat at max potential. I hate even putting a tramp bag on the boat for the 50-100 mile distance races we occasionally do.

 

2) Pedal drive, not sure how that would work out...

 

3) While not overly weight sensitive, if you expect to meet the boats polars in light air, you have to keep crew + gear at 330lbs. That ain't no easy feet!

 

If going the raw beachcat route, 20 ft would be my minimum. The modified Tornado used to set the Everglades Challenge course record would be a great start.

 

Another contender maybe the Diam 24, but apparently they are at full production capacity with none slated for the U.S, though $'s generally make boats appear from sheds.

 

None are likely to slay a M32, but it sounds like the experience is worth it no matter where in the fleet you are!

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The boat rows beautifully. Nothing wrong with the balance.

 

He's just tired after rowing solo for 750 miles. How would your form hold up?

 

You should row for 17 days and then I'll interview you in a second language and we'll see how that works.

 

i'd be dead in the water before day one ends, and i have the deepest respect for those guys so chill.

the video Chasm posted shows him rowing straight with only the port blade later on when he is not talking and that is intentional.

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Facebook says he rowed in at 2145 last night.

The trackers are good, but still glitch. Ours had us finished, but kept us 5 miles off Ketchikan for a few days.

I kinda wanted to put it in my car and drive all over town.. "Tracker showing Salish Express heading up a mountain at 45 knots!"

rh- Portaging?

 

I suppose with an old enough car and claiming NW saltwater rules (that is, Alaska and Port Townsend), but what rusted vehicle..................................................................................................................................................................................

 

No. Nope. Forget I ever posted this. Great race!

 

:lol:

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R2AK committee just re-posted a video of the boat that clearly shows a foil. It is pretty far forward to balance the sails.

just looked at it- thanks. Neat bit of kit.

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Is the Seascape really on the far side of Pennock, or is that a tracker glitch?

 

Tide?

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15:24 ketchikan time and a bunch of people are on the dock on the webcam but can't see Sea Runner yet. Am working on a difficult proposal so will keep checking!! Edit: 15:26 sail in sight!

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Is the Seascape really on the far side of Pennock, or is that a tracker glitch?

 

Tide?

Por Favor went that way last year as well......

 

Well done Sear Runners.

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Here is my unsolicited advise:

 

Do this race, it's a great one. I promise you will not regret it. Don't worry about my M32 or what anyone else might bring. Put together the fastest ride you can, do the prep, max out your credit card and race hard. It's a great adventure "organized" by passionate people running through a spectacular corner of the planet.

 

The tides and currents, 100s of route options, unreliable forecasting, no motors, and lack of a substantial safety net add dimensions to this race that were new to me and unlike any other race I know of.

 

My only regret is that the 750 miles went so fast. I am inspired by the teams finishing now. While Ian and Colin might not like to read this, I'm wondering what a solo attempt might look like.

 

Regarding specifics, an F18 would be fine solo. I think it would be pretty miserable for a two man team. Last year the Burd brothers suffered on a 23' beach cat. The Diam or a Multi23 would be a nice ride if you could pick one up.

 

Copy my pedal drive general concept. It was light, worked well, was out of the way when not in use, and didn't require mods to the boat. If you have time and money give yourself a range of gear ratios that you can shift through on the fly.

 

Do it!

 

 

 

 

Would love to do the race on a F18, since I own one, and will talk to some experts on that front, but here is my take:

 

1) The F18 doesn't have the storage space to carry the necessary gear and sail the boat at max potential. I hate even putting a tramp bag on the boat for the 50-100 mile distance races we occasionally do.

 

2) Pedal drive, not sure how that would work out...

 

3) While not overly weight sensitive, if you expect to meet the boats polars in light air, you have to keep crew + gear at 330lbs. That ain't no easy feet!

 

If going the raw beachcat route, 20 ft would be my minimum. The modified Tornado used to set the Everglades Challenge course record would be a great start.

 

Another contender maybe the Diam 24, but apparently they are at full production capacity with none slated for the U.S, though $'s generally make boats appear from sheds.

 

None are likely to slay a M32, but it sounds like the experience is worth it no matter where in the fleet you are!

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110% agree ^^^^^^

 

Run what ya brung, whatever you can. This race is really only against yourself.

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I vote for a sub-10k class next year. Go to Craigslist find a Santana 525, get new sails and turbo what you can, steal the nav off the real boat and run it hard.

 

Randy did this race fast, I did it a few days slower.. I know I experienced NOTHING compared to what the guys finishing now saw.. I surfed fast and went upwind for like 3 days straight.. I think I saw a whale, maybe 2. Yay. My GoPro footage kinda sucks.

 

These guys coming now had pubwalks, they bowled and met cool Canadians, saw bears and anchored in coves and stuff.. broke stuff and made repairs on shore.

 

That's pretty cool.

I'm scoping a Buccaneer 24 that would be perfect for 2017. (Who's with me?)

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Looking at boats to go fast in this race- going back to the early days of multihull sailing - the Dragonfly 25 that in 1985 won the Round Britain and Ireland race on handicap was about 680kg - maybe lighter for that race.

 

And singlehanded - a very light small tri - might be the boat.

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So, the R2AK 2016. Most teams arrived or are out. Only a few still left.

cat > mono > tri - Who would have thought that?


I have the suspicion that next year will bring much better human propulsion, Jungle Kitty really raised the bar.



For next years audacious large entries...


A bigger mono, because faster.

How about Canadian Ocean Racing? Adding an IMOCA Open 60 into the mix sounds about the right level of stupid. Probably needs an extra large set of floaties because of depth problems in the harbors. ;) Stubby keel mods are totally not in their budget. (R2AK attracts lots of Canadian media, they could really use the hype. Race what you live on also fits.)


Mathieu won't go alone so maybe adding his brother? Taking a Mini should be sufficiently whacky.

not enough wind - check

upwind - check

Sounds like Mini is an obvious choice. Good rowboat also - much less height that the usual R2AK trimarans. ;)

(Thomas on the Seascape took ~18days.)


International Canoe is another "obvious" thing, after all the RowCruiser had a hiking board.

Maybe a Machete Liteboat/RowCruiser cross? (Folding amas) Certainly something for the not too sane entry category.


On the celebrity front: How about a more local madman like Steven K. Roberts instead of Larry? He lives on a motor boat in the Seattle area. Microship definitely checks all wackiness boxes. Should survive stage 1, I hope.

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So, the R2AK 2016. Most teams arrived or are out. Only a few still left.

cat > mono > tri - Who would have thought that?

 

I have the suspicion that next year will bring much better human propulsion, Jungle Kitty really raised the bar.

 

 

For next years audacious large entries...

 

A bigger mono, because faster.

How about Canadian Ocean Racing? Adding an IMOCA Open 60 into the mix sounds about the right level of stupid. Probably needs an extra large set of floaties because of depth problems in the harbors. ;) Stubby keel mods are totally not in their budget. (R2AK attracts lots of Canadian media, they could really use the hype. Race what you live on also fits.)

 

Mathieu won't go alone so maybe adding his brother? Taking a Mini should be sufficiently whacky.

not enough wind - check

upwind - check

Sounds like Mini is an obvious choice. Good rowboat also - much less height that the usual R2AK trimarans. ;)

(Thomas on the Seascape took ~18days.)

 

International Canoe is another "obvious" thing, after all the RowCruiser had a hiking board.

Maybe a Machete Liteboat/RowCruiser cross? (Folding amas) Certainly something for the not too sane entry category.

 

On the celebrity front: How about a more local madman like Steven K. Roberts instead of Larry? He lives on a motor boat in the Seattle area. Microship definitely checks all wackiness boxes. Should survive stage 1, I hope.

Starting with an IC isn't a bad idea- lengthen and widen it a bit so she doesn't fall over at the dock, use the seat for the oar locks, maybe as a sliding seat for rowing, enough weight in a centerboard to help right her, a Gunter rig to get the cg down, and a tent?

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I finally got around to editing some video.

 

This is Hecate and Dixon. Downwind. We made up a lot of time this day. The main held together all thanks to the batten pocket.

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Kind of an argument for an una rig. Picking your way through the usual bigger air 'Waves' on no sleep? Epic.

 

So where on the Salish sea would be best to train? Haro? Admiralty? Wilson point? :)

Figure 8's around the Lk WA floating bridges in November? :)

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I finally got around to editing some video.

 

This is Hecate and Dixon. Downwind. We made up a lot of time this day. The main held together all thanks to the batten pocket.

 

That looks like a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're below with rum and a bong.

 

Looks like Bunny Whaler is kicking out the jams in the final rush to the finish, they stopped towing Cantankerous and struck out on their own. Coastal Express is resolutely grinding away at Last Boat to Finish, good on 'em.

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It's all over. Coastal Express didn't feel like tackling Dixon Entrance @ 25 knots of wind, in a Mirror dinghy, so they retired in Prince Rupert. I don't blame them one bit. Hats off to all the competitors.

 

I'm going to go through withdrawal. Maybe they should run another race in December? That would be truly evil.

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Withdrawal is right.. I'm already planning for the next one.

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Withdrawal is right.. I'm already planning for the next one.

+1. Kudos Keedos!!

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The race is said to be 750 miles - stupid maybe - but in europa that would be nautical miles of course - but on the other side of the Atlantic -it can be different?

 

 

Just looking at the distance from Oslo to Tromsø - around the Norwegian coast - that could be a good eu-version of similar race. About 1100nm - ending in midnight sun up at 70 north.

 

Could lay some gates and stops so it will not be just an oacean run for the big boats - and some other rules like the R2AK to limit the size.

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Hi everyone, I am still in Ketchikan today tied up beside TeamKetchikan and sailing 90 miles back to Prince Rupert Monday across the Dixon Entrance. The KYC has been great to all of us and I have enjoyed a few days here hanging out with the port captain, Jack. We had a great burger night with the club on friday. I wrote up a race summary today in the clubhouse.

Congrads to Randy on his spectacular finish that was hard core.

 

There are lots of great team stories out there, like a team getting chased by a bear,or the Thunderbird 6 ft up a sand bar and 500 feet in and being called hostile to CG help.

It was a pleasure to finish with TeamBunny Whaler within a minute after a 24 hour passage from Rupert.

It was also uplifting to greet Tim in his Swampscot ldory late the next night and share stories with him till the wee hours.

Also worth noting that Daniel the race boss now has the strong urge to compete in the race, he confirmed on burger night.

 

Here is my race summary if you are interested.

 

R2AK 2016 Team Squamish Race Log

Port Townsend,Wa to Victoria,BC Leg One Qualifier

Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, Ak

Stage one JUNE 23

Race morning started at 5;30 am with a 6 am start line time. It was blowing to 20 knots that morning, straight into the marina, making rowing out almost impossible for some. We were preparing to cast off and rowing like shit to get out of there, as we could only row at 1.5 to 2 knots maximum. It was borderline if we would get out there at all. A sailboat spectator boat motored by and offered us a tow out and we quickly accepted this huge favour. It was with some relief we raised sail and got on the right side of the start line. We watch as a news helicopter came roaring in low and passed close by, then hovered over the water 10 feet off the deck. He missed us with his prop wash, but others were quite put out by his antics and appearance so low. We crossed the line a little late and by then the fast tri’s and others were rocketing away. The fleet quickly spread out and we had a great sail to Victoria, about 40 miles to cross. We made it over in good time and Cam rowed the last mile into the harbour as required by the port authority. We watched as Team Superfriends in the 26 foot sloop struggled sculling and rowing up wind in the last bay into the marina below the famous Empress Hotel. We weren’t the only ones to struggle against the wind. The autonomous sailboat did not even launch from Port Townsend, too much wind. One duo kayak team were caught out after dark in freshening winds and seas, before having to call the Coast Guard and bowing out of the race.

With a couple three days to kill before the next leg, there was plenty of time to meet other teams, look at the boat setups and get supplies. Some humourous details, like the oversize bras hanging off the rigging on Team Hot Mess, the axe handle [complete with axe head] tiller on Team Bunny Whaler and a set of furry balls hanging from their transom. It was kind of a nice break after weeks of boat prep and punching it at work to be able to do the race. We had a great dock party one night, with teams gathering on the end of our dock, and we talked into the night, while Zack did some team interviews. We woke one morning to find the large Sperry promo flag from one of the tri’s mounted on the smallest Bolger sailboat, about 11 feet long. Wasn’t us. Team Hot Mess led a bar crawl and the R2AK dinner was good food. Hot rods cruised the downtown Saturday night and the tourist masses never let up.

 

Stage 2 Victoria JUNE 26

The race teams gather in front of the Empress hotel, with a horn and a mad rush down to the boats to cast off and row out the harbour unit we are able to raise sail past the outer marker. Float planes come in steeply on final approach to the water, bank and land what seems like right beside us. A 12 noon start assures plenty of spectators to watch the running start. For 2 days we met plenty of people who came down to the docks to look at the motley crew of boats and meet the racers. We met lots of nice folks, some who were former Squamites, knew friends there, or had visited our town. Some visitors knew of Jim Young, our boat designer, and others who were sailors and had raced in other PNW events like Swiftsure, Vic Maui, Southern Straits and even a couple who had raced in Squamish at S.O.A.R. , our club’s V.A.R.C. circuit event. A large field of tidal current greeted us as we headed northeast just out of town and teams either fought it out or went wide to avoid it. Light air was all there was to be had as we worked our way towards Active Pass and the first tidal gate to beat. We struggled in the light wind towards the pass as night approached and hoped for an evening breeze in the Gulf Islands, but it was not to be. Our boat, a 20 ft Jim Young design with an 8 ft beam, was a poor rowing platform with the used river rafting sweeps I had traded a WW kayak for from Braden Fandrich, of Kumsheen River Rafting. The tide was against us and we lose ground all night with no island close enough to anchor at. We drifted back to the U.S. border line.

JUNE 27

When the light breeze filled in next morning towards Saturna Island we chose to go out to the Strait of Georgia rather than row to the pass in no wind. All the rowing teams now had 8 hours on us as they could make 3.5 knots compared to our paltry 1.5 to 2 knot max. As we closed with Saturna the wind died completely and we made for land to wait for the tide to change, while Team Alula, a trimaran who chose the same route, was sucked back all the way to the Penders, being too far south to make it to Saturna. We had stopped at a park on the south end of Saturna, with the sound of domestic animals in the hills above us as we had dinner and then took off rowing with the tide taking us out to the strait. It was to no avail, as we sat out there beside Saturna with no wind again all night. We rowed all night to keep our position.

JUNE 28

The wind filled lightly from the south and we had a 14 hour spinnaker run all the way to the north end of Gabriola near Nanaimo, where we anchored in a poor tiny cove to sleep well after 2 days of hard rowing.

JUNE 29 Awoke to the sound of the boat bumping on the rock bottom and a fresh NW breeze pushing us on to the lee shore. The Danforth copy anchor had dragged in the fresh wind. We never use that anchor again and use the Lewmar claw 4 pounder after that. As we sailed away from the lee shoreline into 15-20 knots the spinnaker blew off the foredeck. We had to chase it back close to the shallow shoreline in the chop and collect it up. With the wind on the nose, it faded as we reached towards Thormandby Island and the wind filled from the south again. Back to a spinnaker run north until sunset put us north of Hornby Island, passing Team Shadowfax set to camp on Hornby’s north shore. We later hear that a local put him up in a cabin and donated an old vhf radio. We decided to press for Comox harbour as it is only sunset and made it late that night with light wind.

JUNE 30

After getting ice and some supplies it was off again in the light wind on a tack that took us too close to the boulder patch off the point. One rock kissed our centreboard but that was it and we worked our way towards Campbell River and Seymour Narrows, hoping for the 2am high tide that night to ride the current into Johnstone Strait. It was not to be as the wind faded before we could get close enough. As we approached Campbell River in the darkness late that night, we could hear the disconcerting roar of the tide rapids off Cape Mudge and decided to anchor a few miles short of town off a rocky point on the Vancouver island side and delay our entry into town to daylight. As we rowed into shore I could see the bottom lit up by the stern nav light so we headed away from the rocky point to deeper water. The forecast was for strong SW wind somewhere in Georgia Strait, but we had no wind here. Cam couldn’t sleep and kept an anchor watch in the rocky bottom. Wind waves from far south in the strait filled the bay with 3 foot rollers and that combined with some north waves made for a bouncy anchorage and we were forced to leave in the dawn.

JUL 1

The crappy light wind finally filled in and was enough to overcome the wave slop, ship the oars and carry us towards Campbell River, as the current built in our favour. We approached the town side under sail and current keeping an eye on the Quadra Island ferry, who kindly waited as we crossed his dock approach. It was too late to ride the current through the Narrows and north without risking the whilpools of Seymour Narrows. The marina entrance current was strong enough to easily miss the turn and a several departing boats made for some excitement as we sailed to the dock beside Team Nordica. Thanks to the marina for supporting the racers.It was Canada Day and not much open as we waited for the tide again. Team Shadowfax, a Hobie 16, soon made it to the marina, too. Dan needed another vhf radio as he had 2 fail already due to water. Cam’s phone dies and his cheap camping light will only flash on and off.

As we left on the tide north and slipped away on the current, Cam driving, he says the rudder feels funny. It gets really funny as the lower pintle is loose and the rudder is wobbling off the stern, the nylock nuts and bolts gone completely. I dig through the spare junk box looking for bolts long enough to fit. The only bolts to be had are a size smaller and only stick past a quarter inch, making it impossible to start the thread under way bouncing along. I manage to find a wing nut to fit and finally get the lower pintle back together so I can get another nyloc nut mounted. After that excitement it was not too long as we are pulled to the narrows on the 3 ½ foot tide difference. Even with this small a tide it was still impressive to see the swirlies and whirlpools, one of which tried to eat us, except for some powerful rowing to avoid it. While it was not big enough to swallow a boat, it would have put us on our ear and would have been a poor place to fall overboard. We raced north on the tide and watched Shadowfax as Dan went through behind us, with his boat twirling in the currents. We found a bay for the night along with Shadowfax and Team Nordica. A beautiful cabin and dock with a helipad nearby filled the rest of the small bay. The owner and his son saw us and came down to the dock and after a brief conversation, invited us to tie up there for the night. His son was an adventure racer and Cam shared his Strongbow cider in gratitude. The owner was nice enough to let us stay as his dock is regularly poached by other boaters without permission. The temperature and climate turn for the colder as we sail up Johnstone Strait, and food now stays cool in the bilge against the cold water.

Jul 2

We leave early next morning in the semidark to take the tide and head north, until we are forced to stop again and wait for the next tide at Kelsey Bay. It is not too long before teams Searunner and Liteboat pull in too and wait for the tide. There is a breakwater with a large wind fence on top, making you wonder just how nasty it gets here. The harbourmaster is kind enough to let the racers stay for the part day and we enjoy a huge breakfast in the local restaurant. We continue our travel north again and make it to an island with all of us anchored together, with Searunner farther out in the 2 knot current and wind. I am shocked to see how much Styrofoam debris there is above the tide line. I am also shocked to see how badly the new 3/8 anchor lie has woven itself into a bird nest.

Jul 3

Dan knocks on our hull at 3 something in the morning as the tide is falling quickly. By the time I get my drysuit on and get outside our boat is stuck on the rocks and we are aground. Forced to watch the teams leave without us, we wait for the next high tide, a huge disappointment. There is no way to lift the 1500 lb boat along with its 700 lbs of water ballast and all our gear. We finally get away and move north, and make Telegraph Cove for the night. Real food, showers and a night in a room for Cam and others. It is the coldest day yet as the climate north of Seymour Narrows gets a few degrees colder up here. I am dressed in my Ocean Rodeo drysuit, long johns, wool socks, pants, long sleeve drytop, pile jacket, gloves, booties, hat, hood and Mustang PFD jacket to keep warm. We arrive to find Team Bunny Whaler already there and swap stories. Cam goes to step on the boat from the dock and the sail slide pops off the mast track into the water and the guides all slide out, the topping lift being set too low. A local fishing guide, staying on his boat near us, offers his supply of stainless goodies and I find a nut and wingnut to fit the mast track. He has an interesting boat, a Uniflite hull, like the gunboat ones built for the US Marines in the movie Appocalypse Now. I check all the fittings and the rudder bolts to make sure nothing else will fall apart.

Jul 4

Dan has had another vhf radio fail and he is forced to get a ride to Port Hardy and spend 400 bucks on a full featured model, same as ours. A 150 dollar cab ride back to Telegraph Cove as well. We all leave together for the far side of Queen Charlotte Sound on a reach. One of the largest debris filled tide lines I have ever seen greets us as we sail across, filled with entire trees, logs, kelp mats and other debris. We are forced to move slowly through 30 foot logs and other wood and bump a few things. Past the islands the wind pipes up to 25 knots, gusts to 30 and chop combined with waves of 5 feet to make a nasty wet crossing. We get separated as Nordica stops to reef and Bunny Whaler points way north of us. We stay close to Dan and punch the waves putting the pig on the bowsprit into the waves many times. As we close with the other shore Dan is yelling at us, his brand new radio failed already. We can’t make him out but it is clear he wants to make it to an anchorage quickly. A check on the chart and we peel off downwind to the nearest shelter, with Dan on edge as he tries not to pitchpole in the now following seas. Several other yells form him regarding how dangerous it is out there for him and we are soon into a safe anchorage north of Wells Passage, protected by kelp beds and stern tie for the night. There is no sign of Teams Nordica or Bunny Whaler, who both end of north of us the next morning. We have a beach fire to dry out and it is heaven sent. Dan takes the cover off his brand new radio and it is wet inside and will not transmit anymore. We decide to continue close together, with Dan using his air horn to signal us, 1 blast for fog, 2 blasts I need to get off the water, am too cold, and 3 for in trouble need help.

Jul 5

We leave early that morning and are beset by the 2 knot tide flowing into our series of bays, unable to row against that current and make it back out again. I recall the coast guard vhf call from some other boaters that morning, who were trapped by the current and could not row back to their mothership previously. We are forced to raise sail and short tack out the 100 foot wide kelp beds until we are free of the bay, while Dan easily sailed out in his light boat. We continue north following the shoreline and make it to a popular anchorage, Blunden Harbour, with a dock to the abandoned indian village. Right away, a tender from a large yacht closes with us and the gentleman has 3 beers and a bag of chips for us as he has been following the race. He knows my name and it turns out he is friends of my dad’s cousin. There is a fisherman and his 2 boys we meet there and Dan and Cam sleep in an old cabin on shore, so Dan can dry out. My snoring would wake the dead and Cam was a light sleeper,still he only had a few hours of real sleep that night in the cabin. Next morning another powerboater come up to the dock in the early morning and offers us some fresh caught crab.

Jul 6

There is enough wind to sail the mile out of the bay, but nothing in the sound, so we have to row much of the morning and watch the same piece of rock off the stern, for an inordinate amount of time. As we leave the anchorage, a chorus of wolf howls on the island makes for an eerie feeling. We finally get some pressure and make it to a cove in the dark, well out past where the ground swell starts. We park in a small kelp choked bay in Miles Inlet, just in from the swells and Dan has a cold wet night again. We have him aboard and Cam shares his Drambuis again, until we all retire for the night.

Jul 7

We start the long day to pass Cape Caution on the open ocean. Dan is well ahead of us and out of site, as we are stuck in a wind hole off Cape Caution for 2 hours. Whales are breaching and up to 6 foot swells are breaking on shoals close to us as we near Egg Island. The wind fills again and Dan is not to be seen. There is a white mark clear across Fitzhugh Sound, well past Rivers Inlet and we make for Safety Bay as planned. Closing with Calvert island, it is clear the white shape is the lighthouse, and we make Safety Bay after rowing a couple hours along the shore. Some wind filled the dark bay, enough for us to sail in blind to near the drying flats and anchor. I drag the anchor until it touches bottom at 20 feet. There is another boat there in the pitch black but no Shadowfax. We are concerned with his progress but we knew he had a sat phone and the Spot tracker SOS if he was in trouble.

Jul 8

At first light it turns out to be Team Searunner anchored and he leaves at 6 am. Three hours later we head out rowing to the sound and look for Dan’s sail but it is not to be found, neither is Team Bunny Whaler or Nordica. We row a couple more hours until a small breeze fills, taking us up Fitzhugh a few more miles. I call the Coast Guard on the vhf and he finds Dan’s tracker located in a safe bay on Penrose Island, off Rivers Inlet and we continue on. That was it for wind and we are forced to row in and anchor on Hunter Island as the tide is pulling us out again. Searunner is not to be seen again until the end of the race.

Jul 9

Joy as we have a spinnaker tail wind all the way to Lama Passage. Of course it changes to on the nose up the Lama, but much better than all the rowing of the last 2 days. We dodge fishing boats and the ferry again as we short tack up the channel, excited to be closing on the next checkpoint, Bella Bella. The wind continues as we make good time and leave that channel behind. Then we spot the Coast Guard cutter passing us with Dan’s Hobie Cat in tow at 20 knots and our hearts sink as we realize he has pulled the plug on his tracker. It is a sad point of the trip for sure. Knowing he has had a wet sleeping bag since Campbell river and the cold wet days in Johnstone Strait, as well as 3 damp rainy days in Queen Charlotte sound, he was having trouble with the exposure more than the other teams. He could have used a small tent to put on his trampoline, like Team Liteboat did. After several more hours we approach Shearwater and sail in to the docks, where Dan greets us with a heartfelt hug and apologies for not being able to continue the race. He had lost his main halyard connector in the water after anchoring and only had a piece of rope to try a jury rig. He also lost a jib fitting with his cold hands and his fate was sealed. He was nowhere near roads as had been reported on FB. We all got rooms for the night and felt human again. I have to dry my notebook computer on the baseboard heater as it is weirding out. My phone had died by Cape Caution and even after a night on the heater, the screen refused to light up and it beeped incessantly as I tried to charge it.

Jul 10

Next morning Dan finds a guy towing a crew boat to Port Hardy and he is able to hitch a ride. We help him break apart his Hobie cat and load the amas and mast on the tow boat. It has been 3 weeks for my crewmate Cam sailing with me and he needs to get back to work. His foot, which had shoe blisters from walking around Port Townsend , got worse and it never got better from there. It needed medical attention and to dry out. It was a quick handshake as he rushed to gather his gear and hitch a ride with Dan’s ride and got a lift down to Nanaimo and the ferry. Cam did the R2AK not because he loved sailing as much as me, but because he wanted the adventure with me, which we had not shared for a few years since we ww kayaked together for many years. Rowing that sailboat at 1.5 to 2 knots was a mental challenge as was helming in the light airs, where he was prone to fall off his course pointing and getting cheated, or stalling the boat upwind on his shift in the wind patches, while I slept. The inside of the cabin was still wet from the days of rainy weather and lack of sunshine and my sleeping bag was wet since Johnstone Strait. I expressed my concerns for his foot and assured him I was mentally ready to continue on my own, that his help to the half way point was what got us here. He enjoyed the race and suffered his foot in silence. TheR2AK race daily reports sensationalized him leaving and I felt that was not fair. Dan was looking forward to meeting his family and daughter enroute to Hawaii and they bought him a ticket too.

I am confident with the boat and decide to continue alone and Cam leaves on the tow boat with Dan and a ride down to the ferry in Nanaimo and home. I am humbled that I am only half way to Alaska right now. My truck and trailer are in Prince Rupert and there is no easy way for me to bail anyway and get the boat home. Team Nordica pulled the plug already in Queen Charlotte Sound we see on the tracker, but Bunny Whaler has pulled into town by now and I feel better travelling together with them and another team in a Swampscot-like dory, Tim is his name. Tim had rowed the entire way, only sailing thrice, once off Hornby once in Johnstone Strait, and across Dixon under jib and sea anchor.

Jul 11

We leave shortly after the marine store opens and are rowing again with no wind. The other 2 teams quickly leave me behind as they can row 2 knots faster than me. Swearing and rowing, I finally get some light pressure and make it across the next sound and the wind dies to zephers. I continue rowing, fuelled by some home baked muffins a nice lady gave us in Shearwater. I get another shot of wind off the lee shoreline of Milbank Sound and make it out to the ground swell and to the lighthouse at Vancouver Rock, where the wind dies to 5 knots or less. The rigging and sails slap for hours in the slop and I row and get pushed by the waves to a tiny bay a few long miles past the lighthouse and row in to a small bouncy bay on Keith Point and anchor at midnight.

Jul 12

I wake up to the swells finding their way into my bay and row out until there is some light pressure. A half hour later my mainsail comes sliding down, parted from the halyard, which is stuck at the top of my mast. I re rig it with my spinnaker halyard, which on the fractional rig I have means that I can only raise the mast to the second reef level. I struggle again, rowing and ghosting across the sound in the wave slop to the other shore, pulled in with the current. There is no way I will head outside now, with no wind and that maddening wave slop. Tim and the other team Bunny Whaler are not to be found and are planning on going inside anyways. I was out of cell range and my phone had crapped out off Cape Caution, so I could not get a location for those teams. I took a lunch break from rowing on the far shoreline, my hands sore from yesterday’s long row. A dark line on the horizon grew and finally the wind arrived. I had a tail wind down the Findlayson Channel fjord and quickly past Klemtu and entered the narrow passage at the head of the bay with the current and wind with me, until I reached Swanson Bay to anchor in. I tried to pull the boat on her side with the spinnaker halyard but there was no way it would heel past a certain point with the water ballast and I was forced to drop the mast. I pulled the boat on the rocky shelf stern first, pulled the sails and boom off and loosened the front stay. I grabbed the mast and started to lower it by hand. The trickiest part of lowering it is getting from the cabin top to the cockpit. However, my shoes had kelp goo on them, I was more tired and weak than I thought and I slipped on the cabin top, the mast coming down on my leg like a nut cracker on the coachhouse. I was stuck under the mast and in pain and it took some time to wiggle out from there. If it were not for the mast base having a slotted fitting, my leg would surely have been broken below the knee. In some shock at my stupid predicament, I quickly fixed the halyard and lifted the mast back up with the fear and adrenaline helping me. I noticed the blood stains as I was attaching the bow stay and blood was on the jib, the foredeck, cabintop and soaking my leg. I knew I needed the sails to get out of here and to help. By this time the tide had gone out quickly and I could not push the boat off in my state of pain. I went below and got my pants and long johns off and found a nasty goring from the gooseneck of the mast. My calf was quick swollen and the leg well bruised in 2 places. I knew it needed stitches but was embarrassed and did not want the R2AK to end this way for me. The boat was quickly becoming aground in the rapidly ebbing tide and I had no strength to shove it off, so I sat there and dressed the wound and cleaned up the blood on the floor, then tried to sleep.

Jul 13

I woke and changed the bloody dressing. The next tide was only enough to wet the bow and I was forced to wait again for the next high tide. I sat beside a small beach fire and just kept off my feet. Mid day sometime and I was happy to see Team Bunny Whaler sail into the bay to check on me. I explained the halyard and mast drop but was too embarrassed to mention my leg wound, so they continued along with Tim Team Can’t Anchor Us, not far behind. Later that day as I waited for the second and larger high tide, a 1st Nations safety patrol boat pulled up to the shore to check on me. There was nothing he could do about the boat to tow it off but he did have some first aid supplies he gave me and promised to come help me if I could not get off on the tide. I managed to get away on my own with great relief to be under way again.

Jul 14

Light winds led me to Butedale, the wind armpit of this channel and I struggled to fight the tide rowing, so I jet ferried across the current with what little wind was left, into the dock at the former cannery, sometime in the mid afternoon. It is really a nice place, with a beautiful falls dropping straight into the ocean and the remains of old buildings. The caretaker Corey, his dog and his cat came down to greet me. There were a couple of boats there already. Bunny Whaler had left hours ago with Tim, rowing up the channel with no wind. I was sore and decided to stay the night. Corey supported the R2AK teams with free moorage and thanks for that. I got fresh water and just changed dressings. The wound was weeping blood all day. Corey told me about the owners plans to turn the site into a resort, about how the falls thunder after a big rain and the Kermode bear that hung around last week. That afternnon a luxury yacht hoves to off the bayand the next thing we know is there is a drone flying above us that the boat had sent in, the first time I have seen one used cruising. A fishing boat came in near dusk and I met his dad, who had actually worked here at Butedale in the 50’s when it still was operational. One night the cannery slid away into the sea and was gone in the great depths.

JUL 15

I left with the high tide and a 10 knot wind and continued north. I briefly saw Bunny Whalers sail way up the channel but did not see them again that day. The wind held and I made good time up Fraser Reach, McKay, and Wright Sound, where the wind came from 5 directions at different times, until it settled on 25 knots plus out of Grenville channel. I gave in at Coghlan Anchorage and found a tiny bay half way in, protected from the winds.

JUL 16

I left early the next morning and had to row all the way to into the Grenville, where the wind finally filled in on the nose and I began what was probably 300 tacks to bust the Grenville. I made it to Lowe Inlet, barely, as I fought the current and finally was able to tack in. I found a spot on the north side and had a meal. I dried out my gear in the sun and swatted deer flies. I was wishy-washy, flipped an coin to decide on tonight’s tide, lost and still decided to wait until tomorrows tide. My anchor slipped and I was being pulled out of the bay with the tide, so, I took it as fate and proceeded north again that evening. I continued short tacking the Grenville into the night.It must have added another 20 miles to the distance sailed. As I past the meeting of the tides at Klewnuggit Inlet around midnight, the wind was back up to 20 to 25 knots, gusty and choppy, a cruise ship came up from astern. I saw her from a long ways and stuck to the port shore. However, it appeared from her nav lights she was bearing down on me. I was way too busy driving the boat to hail her, in those gusty winds. She kept bearing down on the west shore and I was forced to tack into the shore with only a quarter mile of seaway between the cruise ship and the rocks. She was way too far into the other side of the shipping lane with a fish boat coming the other way at me. This was close to midnight and my nav lights were under water with every wave over the bow. I cursed and screamed out loud at the basterd to move over and he passed me 150 yards off my starboard. There are foul currents off the opposite shore and I’m sure shipping avoids that shore, but that was way too close for comfort. I made it to East Inlet and ghosted in to the drying flats, guided by the anchor lights of 2 boats in there, at 2 in the morning, sailing all the way in and anchored.

JUL 17

I saw Bunny Whaler pass me alone, without Tim that morning, who had to row against that wind as he couldn’t tack his rowboat in that stuff, and I caught up to them a couple hours. They had a big reef in the main and could not out point me. Nate said they broached several times and risked flipping it several times. We hung together the rest of the day and finally busted the Grenville and tacked up the Skeena River, past Marrack Island. The wind faded as we past the island and then blew 25 to 30 beside Kennedy Island, as we struggled under double reefs to find shelter at Lewis Island in the narrow rock and kelp filled channel beside Porcher Island. We rafted up and had dinner together, then settled in for the night.

JUL 18

Morning saw no wind but the tide was in our favour to row up Chismore Passage and we found light wind at the north end. We both were able to reach all the way past the Lawyer Islands and struggled with light air by the time we made Rolland Island. They were well ahead with rowing and I had to wait for pressure until I could sail in to Digby Island at the mouth of the channel into Rupert. The wind died completely and I had to row to the mainland side and wait for the tide to change. Bunny Whaler was well ahead. I rowed all the way to the BC Ferry dock and the breeze filled again and I made it all the way to the dock under sail, where I was hailed by sailors and R2AK followers Peter and Christy, into the municipal marina at about 10 pm. They had offered Bunny Whaler a warm place to sleep on their boat and set me up with extra fenders for the night on the outer dock. The municipal harbourmaster let us stay for free. It was a tough day rowing and we only made it 20 miles.

JUL 19

I took a cab up to the hospital and got a tetanus shot and some fresh dressing. It has been what, 5 days, so the doctor could not close up the wound. I got a prescription for antibiotics filled and we were ready for the tide slack at Butze Rapids, rather than the 5 miles out and back up again. There was no wind and we rowed across the harbour and up the inlet, where the breeze filled in on the nose and we short tacked out to the ocean through the convoluted passage. I hit bottom twice and then had to pass 4 boats while closehauled, at the narrowest part. I swear 40 motorboats passed me that morning and I cursed every wave slop I had to row through or took on the beam. Tugwell Island slowly passed by and we finally had enough wind to make it to our planned stop on the NE corner of Dundas Island. We made it by 8 pm and then Bunny Whaler radios that they want to keep going through the night. I considered that and rather than row in a couple miles to shelter, I put my night gear on and kept going too. I had no appetite as usual and skipped dinner again. A westerly current of 1.7 knots really stacked the swell coming in the opposite direction. The swells were 5 feet off Dundas all the way into Revillagigado Sound and Hog Rocks. It was a beam reach close reach then a tail wind that saw me till dawn close to Bold Island. It was so bouncy and dark that passage I sat in the bottom of the cockpit with my knee under the thwart to stay safe in the darkness. Several times I was rounded up by the wind and had to fight back on course . The cabin sole had an inch of water in it from the pressure on the centreboard trunk seal on top from the seaway. Other bad news. My rudder pintle had come loose, on the top one this time. Now it wobbled around. I was worried it would fail completely and end the race for me so close to the finish. It was with great relief to be out of the swell as you can imagine and I worried all night. I thought about calling the Coast Guard but did not hail them. I followed the eastern shoreline and light system in and found myself in a group of small islands and reefs, not where I expected to be at all, after I checked with the plotter, finally. The wind died near Spire Island the next morning and it was with some relief to make coffee and see Bunny Whaler appear and close with me. I was not looking forward to rowing the last 9 miles in and swore at the wind gods with foul language, leaving me to finish the race this way. There were salmon jumping out of the water everywhere here, more than any other place from Johnstone Strait onwards. As Bunny Whaler closed to a half mile, the fluky wind filled in behind us and carried us all the way to the harbour entry, where the tide sucked us in at 2.2 knots. The wind did a shift on the nose and Bunny rowed and I sailed right to the dock, one minute behind them to ring the bell and finish the race. Nate and Cooper shotgunned beer and we all hugged and congratulated each other. It mattered not that they rand the bell first, the feelings were relief as we busted the last leg over the Dixon Entrance.

JUL 20 Mid day

It was good to see Thomas of Team Searunner there to greet us as well as the Team Ketchikan members. Jack, the port captain from KYC put up the racers on the docks and there were several boats still there from earlier teams. Thomas and I had coffee next morning at the New York Hotel and talked about the race. He was headed out that day to Chicago to do the Chicago-Mac Race, a 300 mile distance race, in a Seascape 27. He had some good stories from the race, like getting caught in a fisher’s line on the breakwater near the finish when the guy caught a fish at that moment, or about the time at the Skeena river when he could have been pulled overboard by the tangle of an anchor, spinnaker and sheets overboard. He had a nice code zero he used on one tack all the way back inside and was glad he carried the light air sail. He managed to sail 98 % of the time. Thomas also slept only twice in the last 36 hours, for a couple hours each time. His halyard had jammed in the mast track at one point and he also rigged the spinnaker halyard until he could get it out of the track.

JUL 21

I was up late that night after an afternoon nap and was surprised to see the lights come on in the clubhouse and a KYC member about. Team Can’t Anchor Us[cantankerous?]had made it to the finish line and I raced out to greet Tim. He was glad to be done rowing as he had to row the last miles into the harbour with no wind. He had his celebratory beer in his hand and had 2 Camel filters, one after the other, as he calmed down from his Dixon Entrance crossing. He was sailing under jib and sea anchor in the swells for much of the crossing in what is likely the tippiest boat to finish theR2AK.

I dropped off my broken pintle that day to get welded and it looks like I will be here a few days as bad weather moves in Friday afternoon, with 35 knot winds from the south and 10 foot seas. My truck and trailer were in Prince Rupert and I had to sail back 90 miles to get home. We enjoyed Ketchikan Yacht Club Friday burger night with a full clubhouse, along with Daniel, Zack, a NW Marine Center director and Team Ketchikan. Tim was quick to accept a tow to Rupert from the NWMC director and his wife returning from up north, to Rupert, when he graciously offered it. Tim has spent more hours on the 2 R2AK races he has now done, that any other team. Zack offered Team Bunny Whaler his van to get home on the last ferry for 2 weeks and he would fly home. Both Alaska ferries were to be down with repairs and there were no more ferries here for 2 weeks. There is no other way to drive off this island. Daniel the Race Boss surprised us by expressing his desire to do the R2AK race one year in the future.

All told, Team Squamish rowed approximately 57 nautical miles, with 25 miles in and out of anchorages, like Comox. We lost at least 7 miles backwards to tide in the first 2 days. No wind, tide waits, slow rowing, Comox pit stop, caught on falling tide ashore twice,all cost us time.

The Spot tracker batteries would last about 75 hours with regular batteries and the unit would fail to track daily and have to have the footprint button reset.

The full feature Standard Horizon VHF lasted about 4 hours before needing to be recharged, slightly more if features were turned off.

The freze dried meals weremuch better when you used 10 to 20 % less water and left them for 25 minutes to mix. They were still quite warm to eat.

Ketchikan is a great town and is busy with cruise ships leaving daily. The ship companies own much of the tourist attractions and workers for cheap are brought in from Louisiana and other places. The block gaudy federal building in town is called the “Pink Elephant”.

Thanks to many people we met, from the race safety inspectors who drove us to the other marina in Port Townsend to inspect our boat, Kama from Victoria who drove us to Cdn Tire and the grocery store, the Victoria harbour ferry captain who brought us 2 bags of ice [he bought a 500 buck San Juan 24 for next years race], the free moorage in Comox, Campbell River, Kelsey Bay, Shearwater, Butedale and Prince Rupert, and all the fans and supporters who showed up in Port Townsend at 5;30 am, in Victoria for 2 days, in Comox, Shearwater and Prince Rupert. Thanks to Peter Heilberg and Christy. Special thanks to KYC port captain Jack and the Ketchikan Yacht Club for hosting us.

 

 

 

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Hope the leg is mending.

 

I think Shackleton might be smiling just a wee bit.

 

For all, well done.

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Norse Horse, that was a great report, an excellent read. Thank you for that.

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Norse Horse, that was a great report, an excellent read. Thank you for that.

+1..... Well done......

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Norsehorse, thanks for making the effort to write out the whole story.

It should be an obligation on each participant to write out their own version. Seriously, such stories are great.

I'll write out my version next week when I get home to Comox.

Today, as I sailed SOUTH around Cape Caution, about 3 weeks after we rowed north around it in the race, I saw a red spinnaker in the distance. The wind freshened and I closed the gap after several hours. They changed their red spinnaker for a really buxom white chute, and as the wind eased past Port Hardy they pulled ahead again. It was Double D (team Hot Mess, Olson 30) who we'd split tacks with for 4 out of our 6 1/2 days of racing north. They were returning from Haida Gwaii and I was generally cruising, bushwhacking ,visiting friends and exploring since leaving Ketchikan 3 weeks ago. It's a small coast: until you try to row and sail a really small boat along it. Well done.

Steve, Team Fly, F27

Norsehorse, thanks for making the effort to write out the whole story.

It should be an obligation on each participant to write out their own version. Seriously, such stories are great.

I'll write out my version next week when I get home to Comox.

Today, as I sailed SOUTH around Cape Caution, about 3 weeks after we rowed north around it in the race, I saw a red spinnaker in the distance. The wind freshened and I closed the gap after several hours. They changed their red spinnaker for a really buxom white chute, and as the wind eased past Port Hardy they pulled ahead again. It was Double D (team Hot Mess, Olson 30) who we'd split tacks with for 4 out of our 6 1/2 days of racing north. They were returning from Haida Gwaii and I was generally cruising, bushwhacking ,visiting friends and exploring since leaving Ketchikan 3 weeks ago. It's a small coast: until you try to row and sail a really small boat along it. Well done.

Steve, Team Fly, F27

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Great story Norsehorse! Good on you for continuing on solo, bad on you for not getting that leg tended to sooner!! Too many stories of lost life as a result of similar injury, so glad to hear you made it through. I'm sure you know your boat better than anyone by now, one thing I do now on the F18 weather it is me stepping the mast solo or with 4 guys is I rig the spin halyard as a temporary forestay and have it led to the base of the mast so you have some control over how the rig comes down, at least until its at the halfway point.

 

What handheld continued to fail on your friends Hobie 16? FYI, the full featured VHF's are often more of a semi-waterproof deal, rather than fully waterproof.

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I second that motion on stories from every racer! Thanks,all, the wound is fine, the boat is a mess for tomorrow.

 

I just got home tonight after a 15 hour drive home with the boat. I left Ketchikan on Monday after the gale saturday. The seas had time to drop, too. The same gale that cost the Mirror dinghy 16 to abort in Prince Rupert.

 

Two Alaska ferries were out so I had no way to pick up my truck and trailer the boat from Ketchikan and I looked around for an outboard, but none to be found. A couple I met from the R.Vic.Y.C., who had been up north and had stopped in Ketichikan for a few days at the same time as I, had been gracious enough to offer me the use of the tender outboard they had, since they were leaving for Rupert anyway.

 

Well, it saved my bacon. There was only glass calm for the two day crossing, with only a dying 3 foot swell, so there was no sailing to be had. I want to thank Rob Tate, the RVYC member, you are a scholar and a gentleman for lending me your engine and getting me home. Rob has a beautiful C&C 115 called Riot and has done the Van Isle 5 times in various boats.

 

I motored all the way to the big bay on Dundas that first day with not a breathe of wind.

 

The second day was 4 knots wind max straight out of Rupert off the tip of Dundas then dead.

It turned out to be a banner day for a marine show, as I had 4 orcas off the stern, 5 whale sightings, 6 of the smaller black dolphins follow my boat, salmon doing backflips everywhere and 6 breaches by 1 whale close in and shallow on the approach to Butze narrows.

 

It was 10 U.S. gallons at 40 % power at 4 knots to do 90 windless nautical miles with a Yamaha 8, some tide on the beam and a small lift in the narrows.

 

 

The last vhf radio that Dan had fail was a Standard Horizon full feature strobe, floating waterproof HX 870, like I have. I am reading the box right now and it says " submersible IPX8 [4.92 feet for 30 minutes].

 

 

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Any of this years racers have any thoughts about the perfect r2ak boat from your perspective? Especially the becalmed ones? Like Angus- anything you'd do differently?

 

Your program seemed pretty together

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Well.....

To win, or just have a good clean fight?

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Well.....

To win, or just have a good clean fight?

Both? It strikes me starts of the race are one thing, but as the race progresses, things change.

 

The last 2 races for the leaders was one thing, very different for everyone else. Do perspectives vary a lot?

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I'm in the "good fight" camp. I want to go out there, get my ass kicked a little, sleep in a bunk, run nonstop, see some whales, have a pot to piss in.

Not be first, because that doesn't include much of anything on that list.

 

I wanna do it again in something like my S2, or an Evelyn32, Olson 30, J/92.. something like that. if I was playing with more crew then an SC40.

 

This is what I wrote my sailmaker last week. forgive if it rambles--

What I learned on R2AK

 

Many headsail changes were needed. IF the boat used had a roller furler, we would have been sailing better.. I don't think at the point we were down sized in headsail, that shape was important as the fact we has less sail. a 140 that could be furled to 100 that still has some shape would have been tops. furling it to 60 and still have it usable for suitability would be fantastic.
I wouldn't car what fabric it was made of, and it's understandable if it only lasted that one long race.
Double reefed main. ^^ same fabric as above. strong and capable. longevity be damned as long as it hold up through the race.
More sail area. When the wind was dead or near dead, we needed to throw anything up we had. We had a 150, and used it a lot. the Olson had a code 0. I don't know if it was on the sprit. They clobbered us in the light air sections. We made up time when max sail area didn't matter.
We used our Asym and Sym spinnaker in equal amounts. Our asym was really a narrow shouldered sym but tacked to the bow. We could get closer than 90 degrees to the wind, but not by too much. a true sprit asym with a luff and leach would have probably been much more efficient.
I think I can see the benefit of adding a sprit to any boat to get the larger free flowing (code0 or asym) out in front of the mast. how far is too much on lets say.. a 30" displacement hull boat? too long would overpower the rig, and lee helm. what about 3 foot?
The center of gravity would be changing on the boat as well, as the yanmar 15 horse diesel mounted slightly aft of the keel would be removed.
The S2 9.1 was designed and raced successfully in the MORC class (Midget Ocean Racing Circuit)
it seems silly for me to be chasing the "better boat to race on" when I have one right in my own garage.
Oh, and it's a given that we broke stuff and fucked most of the sails that we used. Don't get too sexy- it will break and you will cry.

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I heard one rumour that will affect boat choice in the next race . The loser gets to buy the winners boat for $5000.00

 

That changes the race profoundly, as would a new checkpoint, at say, Butedale.

 

The NWMC directors, the RC, founders, racers, and followers need some dialogue on what direction, if any, the race takes.

 

Would it be more challenge,or fun, draw more fans, in an old Tornado cat for Randy or others or even in a small tri ?

 

Given the mandate of the NWMC to promote small boats and getting people on the water, along with the race of no rules, change could come in this way or they may not. It was certainly exciting to see the top boats race and their experiences must have been as exciting as ours, even more so.

 

Perhaps if sponsors step up and create interesting "Side Bets", that will be enough to please everyone next race, as the RC seemed pretty clear he did not want to create classes and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-105471-0-50298900-1469854587_thumb.jpg

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Claimer race? That could get really interesting. Who is the loser?

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R2ak seemed very much in the spirit of the 24 LeMons race. ( Not that one)

LeMons has a budget of 500$.. keep the car going around the track all day. Kinda skill, kinda trampy,kinda anarchy

-imho

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The concept of a 'claimer' race is an interesting twist but $5000 is pretty unrealistic. Boats that cheap probably aren't fit for the voyage

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A bit off topic, but after the PT start of R2AK this year my 5-yr-old daughter declared that she's "really into sailing" that she's "a sailor" and she's ready for sailing camp.

 

She's actually too young for sailing camp, at least around here, but I'm taking her out today in a 420 and we're both pumped about it. Her older sister doesn't have much interest and I'm trying not to have any expectations, but really I'm hoping this is the start of something.

 

I think it was the helicopters at the start that did it, but hopefully she actually does like it.

 

Apologies for the digression, but I felt like sharing.

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I smell an Opti purchase in the wind....... Your welcome to bring her out for a Friday night race, we start'm young.

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I'm in the "good fight" camp. I want to go out there, get my ass kicked a little, sleep in a bunk, run nonstop, see some whales, have a pot to piss in.

Not be first, because that doesn't include much of anything on that list.

 

I wanna do it again in something like my S2, or an Evelyn32, Olson 30, J/92.. something like that. if I was playing with more crew then an SC40.

 

This is what I wrote my sailmaker last week. forgive if it rambles--

What I learned on R2AK

Many headsail changes were needed. IF the boat used had a roller furler, we would have been sailing better.. I don't think at the point we were down sized in headsail, that shape was important as the fact we has less sail. a 140 that could be furled to 100 that still has some shape would have been tops. furling it to 60 and still have it usable for suitability would be fantastic.

I wouldn't car what fabric it was made of, and it's understandable if it only lasted that one long race.

Double reefed main. ^^ same fabric as above. strong and capable. longevity be damned as long as it hold up through the race.

More sail area. When the wind was dead or near dead, we needed to throw anything up we had. We had a 150, and used it a lot. the Olson had a code 0. I don't know if it was on the sprit. They clobbered us in the light air sections. We made up time when max sail area didn't matter.

We used our Asym and Sym spinnaker in equal amounts. Our asym was really a narrow shouldered sym but tacked to the bow. We could get closer than 90 degrees to the wind, but not by too much. a true sprit asym with a luff and leach would have probably been much more efficient.

I think I can see the benefit of adding a sprit to any boat to get the larger free flowing (code0 or asym) out in front of the mast. how far is too much on lets say.. a 30" displacement hull boat? too long would overpower the rig, and lee helm. what about 3 foot?

The center of gravity would be changing on the boat as well, as the yanmar 15 horse diesel mounted slightly aft of the keel would be removed.

The S2 9.1 was designed and raced successfully in the MORC class (Midget Ocean Racing Circuit)

it seems silly for me to be chasing the "better boat to race on" when I have one right in my own garage.

Oh, and it's a given that we broke stuff and fucked most of the sails that we used. Don't get too sexy- it will break and you will cry.

Thanks! Sounds like the usual 80% 1) all or nothing PNW summer windfest & 2) upwind or straight downwind fest. :)

 

Human power for the S2? She's a roundish v under water, I think, low wetted surface?

 

We're in the 'eat at a lot of nice restaurants, sleep in some b&b's and hotels, some nights on the hook, hp only to the point of exhaustion, try for no injuries - have I forgotten anything?- oh, a head and someplace dry to sleep- and finish before the grim sweeper approacheth' club.

 

There are some new drifters out there- we have one- that can go upwind and down- set flying- and 'reef' with a snuffer or roller. Our setup on Amati is that, a self tacking blade, and one main reef point. Works well, but we are optimized for light air in the hull design. I'd probably want 3 reefs for the race. If we pulled the engine for the race we'd probably replace the engine with lead acetate deep cycle batteries to keep her on her lines. I think they would give enough charge time for civilized amenities.

 

Don't know how we would set up the L7, other than the present carbon Gunter which we might extend higher with a longer top mast, assuming we could work out the reefing to keep cg low and the top mast intact, self tacking blade, and aforementioned drifter. Probably one big battery.

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The concept of a 'claimer' race is an interesting twist but $5000 is pretty unrealistic. Boats that cheap probably aren't fit for the voyage

+1

 

Unless a manufacturer was doing it for exposure

A bit off topic, but after the PT start of R2AK this year my 5-yr-old daughter declared that she's "really into sailing" that she's "a sailor" and she's ready for sailing camp.

 

She's actually too young for sailing camp, at least around here, but I'm taking her out today in a 420 and we're both pumped about it. Her older sister doesn't have much interest and I'm trying not to have any expectations, but really I'm hoping this is the start of something.

 

I think it was the helicopters at the start that did it, but hopefully she actually does like it.

 

Apologies for the digression, but I felt like sharing.

This race is catnip for women- excellent!

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No, I have no idea how I would human power a displacement hull like mine.

But it's a sailboat, and it sails really well.

But I'm day dreaming here.. honestly I'm mostly broke and will probably just hitch a ride again. I don't wanna think about the amount of money that was spent just to get Salish Express or Kermit running.. (and I have a good idea $$$$$)

 

 

And yeah, both my sons got really pumped about the sport after the race, asking for lasers and Hobie's.

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5000 is 8000 canuck bucks, maybe !

 

Team Ketchikan is raffling their boat off, 100 tickets at 100 each, there are some left.

http://ketchikanyachtclub.com/blog/

https://www.facebook.com/KetchikanYachtClub/

 

Team A Pirate Looks at 30, Marilyn Cassedy and her brother Paul, donated the Etchell to the KYC.

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Sorry, a little late to the party but we've been out learning how to cruise (Turns out its easier than racing! Those old guys may be onto something). We decided to bring the boat back via Haida Gwaii, which I highly recommend if your ever in the area. The kiting on North Beach was awesome and Gwaii Haanas was breathtaking in so many ways.

 

Pacifica! awesome running into you last week in Johnstone, we really need to stop meeting like that. :P BTW we were digging your new super deep downwind mode.

 

So many good stories! Thanks everyone for sharing. I feel like our race wasn't nearly as exiting as some. We just kept the stick up, keel down and the boat moving forward. We should have a report soon.

 

I think next time I want to be a part of the Suicidal Dinghy Squad, they looked like they were having the most fun!

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Sorry, a little late to the party but we've been out learning how to cruise (Turns out its easier than racing! Those old guys may be onto something). We decided to bring the boat back via Haida Gwaii, which I highly recommend if your ever in the area. The kiting on North Beach was awesome and Gwaii Haanas was breathtaking in so many ways.

 

Pacifica! awesome running into you last week in Johnstone, we really need to stop meeting like that. :P BTW we were digging your new super deep downwind mode.

 

So many good stories! Thanks everyone for sharing. I feel like our race wasn't nearly as exiting as some. We just kept the stick up, keel down and the boat moving forward. We should have a report soon.

 

I think next time I want to be a part of the Suicidal Dinghy Squad, they looked like they were having the most fun!

 

Team Hot Mess? ("Modified Olson 30")

 

http://www.hotmessracing.com/

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I think next time I want to be a part of the Suicidal Dinghy Squad, they looked like they were having the most fun!

 

 

I really enjoyed trying to stay with you guys!!

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I think next time I want to be a part of the Suicidal Dinghy Squad, they looked like they were having the most fun!

 

 

I really enjoyed trying to stay with you guys!!

 

 

You guys killed it! I thought for sure when I checked the tracker around Rupert that you were ahead of us (and in better breeze). Waiting out the storm near Bella Bella really hurt! Overall I was impressed with how close the racing was after 6 days.

 

Next time we should get a OD fleet of something cheap and shitty going, say cal 20s?

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I like it.

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Without Swangtang (Hot Mess, Olson 30) and the merry band aboard, and RHPaw (Salish Express, Express 27); our 'race' aboard Fly would have been just another north coast cruise, maybe a little colder and wetter than usual. No regrets about hiding out from the gale in a little cove off Seaforth Channel. Wouldn't do it differently again. So clearly, to me, not a place to be in an F27: dark, rain, gale , lee shore , big seas. Multis are different, at least to this noob. I think Ain't Brain Surgery would do it differently again. Hot Mess maybe could have carried on into the fray off Macinnes Light. Just more knockdowns , but no inversions. Which is good.

What a blast to pick up cell signal off Oona River and see Hot Mess behind us on the tracker, when we assumed they were 40 miles ahead of us. And, WTF, there was Salish Express in the express lane out in Hecate going a knot or two faster than either of us! But to hear the stories of multiple tethered overboard incidents on SE made me wonder.

We were really hoping that next gale in east Dixon would have persisted to get us into Ketchikan that afternoon/eve. But it started to abate just as we were going to open the throttle. Serious fun for this serious non-racer.

Oh, and Swangtang, the gusts off Ripple Point on our way home were a rush. I was hanging on for a couple of miles there fully committed to the tiller at 14 knots hoping that the wind would ease a bit , which they did. Then I looked back from Chatham Point to see your red chute disappear. One more broach. My jib sheeted to the ama bow worked really well for me singlehanded in those strong following winds.

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But to hear the stories of multiple tethered overboard incidents on SE made me wonder.

 

Yeah, our foredeck was a bit slick.. the grip had been worn off in the last 30 years of service and our netting was less that optimal. The lifelines were inshore shorties. 12 inches, 14? Not sure, but we knew beforehand that there was nothing to be trusted forward of the mast if you weren't in clip. Satch wound up through the lifelines twice on that hecate-dixon run. The GoPro would have caught one of the offs, but pivoted and filmed the damn hatch at that point.

Not overboard really, but that part where 75% of your body is on the wrong side of the lifelines.

(as a sidenote, Satch loved the Ocean Rodeo drysuit)

 

I really wish we would have taken more pics and video.

Oh well, that's what next year is for!

R2ak2016 Libra2

R2ak2016 Team

R2ak2016 Mike

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Then I looked back from Chatham Point to see your red chute disappear. One more broach.

 

What broach? We were just taking a beer break

 

The one earlier that day closer to Hardwicke Island however was spectacular! Maybe that wasn't the best time/ place to try out the symmetrical kite.

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R2AK2017 has been announced as a go.

Official scheming started.

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R2AK2017 has been announced as a go.

Official scheming started.

 

I think you should start the 2017 thread.

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"I'm not a starter.. !I'm a joiner!"

 

But yeah.. probably. Seems so premature. My skin still hasn't stopped peeling from 2016.

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Norsehorse, thanks for making the effort to write out the whole story.

It should be an obligation on each participant to write out their own version. Seriously, such stories are great.

I'll write out my version next week when I get home to Comox.

Today, as I sailed SOUTH around Cape Caution, about 3 weeks after we rowed north around it in the race, I saw a red spinnaker in the distance. The wind freshened and I closed the gap after several hours. They changed their red spinnaker for a really buxom white chute, and as the wind eased past Port Hardy they pulled ahead again. It was Double D (team Hot Mess, Olson 30) who we'd split tacks with for 4 out of our 6 1/2 days of racing north. They were returning from Haida Gwaii and I was generally cruising, bushwhacking ,visiting friends and exploring since leaving Ketchikan 3 weeks ago. It's a small coast: until you try to row and sail a really small boat along it. Well done.

Steve, Team Fly, F27

Steve,

 

I gotta go find your blog again. Am hoping you have something posted about your adventure. If not drop me a PM. Wife and I are talking about taking our F27 cross country and doing this fun adventure in our future retirement. Curious what worked and what didn't on your and other F27s that did the race.

 

Am laughing about having to ditch the engine having worked like hell to get a new 2016 Yamaha 4 stroke 9.9hp into the sled. They don't fit anymore and the remote starts only come with power tilt which hang below the sled... UGH!! (lots of drag). So we had to re-engineer the new engine and the sled to get it all in and working how we wanted (extra long shaft, remote start and manual tilt). In 90F + heat. :wacko: I think the wife will kill me if I tell her we have to take it off for the R2AK, LOL. We used to race Lola but this year converted her into cruising mode... curious to see how perfect she is or isn't for an R2AK.

 

Wess

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R2AK2017 has been announced as a go.

Official scheming started.

And an official Yacht Club. https://r2ak.com/yachtclub/

Maybe SAYC has some reciprocal bar tickets and a parking pass?

 

Buy your way into Commodore-domism, wear a sash, start the race, fly to Ketchikan and greet the winners. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/252497725799?

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Wess, my blog is dead. Atrophy. Like an old man's calves.

I am working on a write up of our R2AK experience. I have my thoughts (and the camel has his, as Tilman said). Lola should be as perfect for the R2AK as an M32 cat or a custom SUP or a rowboat with outriggers. I really don't know who had more fun. I don't think anybody was bored. But bring yer woolies. And there's not much beer drinking. Really.

I'm reading Val Howell's account of the first OSTAR race in 1960 at the moment and he talks about how they decided NOT to have handicap classes despite Gipsy Moth 3 (40' Robt Clarke) and Eira (Folkboat) racing boat for boat. Compelling argument.

 

 

Norsehorse, thanks for making the effort to write out the whole story.

It should be an obligation on each participant to write out their own version. Seriously, such stories are great.

I'll write out my version next week when I get home to Comox.

Today, as I sailed SOUTH around Cape Caution, about 3 weeks after we rowed north around it in the race, I saw a red spinnaker in the distance. The wind freshened and I closed the gap after several hours. They changed their red spinnaker for a really buxom white chute, and as the wind eased past Port Hardy they pulled ahead again. It was Double D (team Hot Mess, Olson 30) who we'd split tacks with for 4 out of our 6 1/2 days of racing north. They were returning from Haida Gwaii and I was generally cruising, bushwhacking ,visiting friends and exploring since leaving Ketchikan 3 weeks ago. It's a small coast: until you try to row and sail a really small boat along it. Well done.

Steve, Team Fly, F27

Steve,

 

I gotta go find your blog again. Am hoping you have something posted about your adventure. If not drop me a PM. Wife and I are talking about taking our F27 cross country and doing this fun adventure in our future retirement. Curious what worked and what didn't on your and other F27s that did the race.

 

Am laughing about having to ditch the engine having worked like hell to get a new 2016 Yamaha 4 stroke 9.9hp into the sled. They don't fit anymore and the remote starts only come with power tilt which hang below the sled... UGH!! (lots of drag). So we had to re-engineer the new engine and the sled to get it all in and working how we wanted (extra long shaft, remote start and manual tilt). In 90F + heat. :wacko: I think the wife will kill me if I tell her we have to take it off for the R2AK, LOL. We used to race Lola but this year converted her into cruising mode... curious to see how perfect she is or isn't for an R2AK.

 

Wess

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Wess, my blog is dead. Atrophy. Like an old man's calves.

I am working on a write up of our R2AK experience. I have my thoughts (and the camel has his, as Tilman said). Lola should be as perfect for the R2AK as an M32 cat or a custom SUP or a rowboat with outriggers. I really don't know who had more fun. I don't think anybody was bored. But bring yer woolies. And there's not much beer drinking. Really.

I'm reading Val Howell's account of the first OSTAR race in 1960 at the moment and he talks about how they decided NOT to have handicap classes despite Gipsy Moth 3 (40' Robt Clarke) and Eira (Folkboat) racing boat for boat. Compelling argument.

 

 

Norsehorse, thanks for making the effort to write out the whole story.

It should be an obligation on each participant to write out their own version. Seriously, such stories are great.

I'll write out my version next week when I get home to Comox.

Today, as I sailed SOUTH around Cape Caution, about 3 weeks after we rowed north around it in the race, I saw a red spinnaker in the distance. The wind freshened and I closed the gap after several hours. They changed their red spinnaker for a really buxom white chute, and as the wind eased past Port Hardy they pulled ahead again. It was Double D (team Hot Mess, Olson 30) who we'd split tacks with for 4 out of our 6 1/2 days of racing north. They were returning from Haida Gwaii and I was generally cruising, bushwhacking ,visiting friends and exploring since leaving Ketchikan 3 weeks ago. It's a small coast: until you try to row and sail a really small boat along it. Well done.

Steve, Team Fly, F27

Steve,

 

I gotta go find your blog again. Am hoping you have something posted about your adventure. If not drop me a PM. Wife and I are talking about taking our F27 cross country and doing this fun adventure in our future retirement. Curious what worked and what didn't on your and other F27s that did the race.

 

Am laughing about having to ditch the engine having worked like hell to get a new 2016 Yamaha 4 stroke 9.9hp into the sled. They don't fit anymore and the remote starts only come with power tilt which hang below the sled... UGH!! (lots of drag). So we had to re-engineer the new engine and the sled to get it all in and working how we wanted (extra long shaft, remote start and manual tilt). In 90F + heat. :wacko: I think the wife will kill me if I tell her we have to take it off for the R2AK, LOL. We used to race Lola but this year converted her into cruising mode... curious to see how perfect she is or isn't for an R2AK.

 

Wess

 

Steve,

 

Thanks. I noticed the blog was fading and you had shifted to facebook for the R2AK adventure updates. I enjoyed reading them; thanks!

 

No worries on the beer even if I don't quite believe you. Being of a racer mentality, we believe beer has too low of a buzz/lbs value. We prefer scotch or rum... after racing. Less weight; more fun! :D

 

I get the F27 would be a fine base boat to do the R2AK; heck it seem like one of the most popular over the years the race has run (maybe the most popular?). If you - or others - do have thoughts, I am curious what changes you would make to the boat for human go power - pedal or rowing or... (now that you have seen many approaches on many boats). Other changes to the base boat for electrical power, safety, comfort, etc...

 

Sounds like you had a great time of it Glad to hear that.

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Very quick note here to say we are excited to be supporting R2AK again in 2017 and to mention that another of the R2AK sponsors, Fisheries Supply is helping us clear the remaining inventory of last season's Ignite Drysuits for 40% off.

 

The Ignite is the official drysuit of R2AK and features the ability to quickly switch from standby mode to full dry mode with a removeable neck seal and outer dry jacket. R2AK Proven! Happy to help with any questions you may have but I think a number of race participants on this thread used the suits too so can attest if need be.

 

Oh! And we are super excited to announce that Team Maverick is using the Ignite.

shows some of the crew in action in the suits as the come into Malta with a bit of rain. No doubt the transat will see more action for the suits.

 

John

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The concept of a 'claimer' race is an interesting twist but $5000 is pretty unrealistic. Boats that cheap probably aren't fit for the voyage

 

Hah!

That sounds just a little like a challenge to me...

No... well... no... well... hmmmmmmm...

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The doubleD is up on CL, right?

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The doubleD is up on CL, right?

 

Sorta, my partners are moving on to new adventures so I'm looking for someone to share the program with.

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The doubleD is up on CL, right?

 

Sorta, my partners are moving on to new adventures so I'm looking for someone to share the program with.

Swangtang, did you read this from Sail mag? : "There were other odd duels: for example, between Fly, an F27 trimaran, and Hot Mess, an Olson 30. They locked horns early on and duked it out for hundreds of miles. "

 

Only odd thing about it is that we should have been a day or two ahead of you, right????

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