WITHDRAWN from full race
Team Name: SUP St. Louis
Team captain: Shane Perrin
Race vessel: custom 19 foot stand up paddle board (we are not kidding)
The first time we were contacted by Shane his whole email was this: “I’m doing the race, can you help me figure out how to get my SUP back from Ketchikan.”
In an email equivalent of patting him on the head, smiling patronizingly, and giving the propeller on his hat a twirl, we wrote back and told him that the R2AK wasn’t for everyone. We told him about the cold water, the miles involved, the long open water crossings. We asked for credentials that we were sure didn’t exist for anyone on the planet, and then sent him on his way.
His response was email equivalent of a backboard shattering dunk. Credentials? How about the world record for SUP miles in 24 hours (he broke 100 without wind or current). Longest trip? Over 300 miles, oh and by the way that included a day when he paddled 34 hours IN A ROW. Logistics? He’s got a detailed plan including a custom 19’ board that packs cargo in watertight compartments. How do you sleep? On shore in a dry suit. What if things get rough? He gets low and waits it out like he did once in 15-foot seas in shipping traffic….he kept throwing us checkmate answers until we ran out of questions. To mix sports analogies with the nerdtacular- we didn’t just get dunked on, we got dunked on by Bobby Fisher.
Shane is without a doubt a rare breed, when he completes the race, as far as we know he’ll be the only person to have tackled the race route on an SUP. We don’t doubt whether he can do it, he’s an animal, but “Why an SUP?” still feels like a valid course of inquiry. After our last go round with the guy we encourage you to ask him- we’ll rest comfortably on the part of the slippery slope we’ve grown accustomed to.
Welcome aboard Shane, you’ve not only inspired us and a nation of SUP enthusiasts everywhere, you have given everyone else in the race someone to point to and console their worried relatives. “See, at least I’m not as lunatic as that guy.”