FULL RACE- Port Townsend to Ketchikan
Team name: Team Excellent Adventure
Team Captain: Bill Gifford
Total crew: 2
Race vessel: Montgomery 17
R2AK cred: 2015 Finisher (2015 bio here)
BIO: When a guy named Bill and a guy named Ted attempt something as epic as the R2AK, it’s impossible to not call it an Excellent Adventure. The tales of their 2015 race lived up to their name: they bashed their tiny ship through the jaws of the gales that destroyed and disheartened bigger and more expensive boats. They destroyed and repaired two rudders in the effort, sailed off of lee shores under jury rigged gear, found friends and refuge from the BC locals, and thanks to Bill’s long and salty experience and Ted’s youthful enthusiasm, they crossed finish line as the rear guard of mid-pack-12th out of 15, right behindRoger Mann’s legendary solo finish and right in front of the guys in the rowboat they pulled out of the blackberries, and that guy on a kayak.
Not bad for two guys from two generations who had never met before the R2AK.
Bill decided to put the band back together for 2016, but without Ted who couldn’t swing the time (or something.) Like so many sequel attempts without the original cast, the bigwigs at Excellent Adventure’s corporate offices were faced with a difficult decision: ditch the franchise and walk away from a proven formula, or ride it out with a replacement.
After what we can assume was a series of focus groups, they followed the lead of James Bond, Dr Who, Spinal Tap’s drummer, hell even something like three of the original Four Tops are gone and they still tour to sold out shows in 2nd tier casinos. So Bill found a new Ted, named Ben, whose sailed at least two of the seven seas on tallships like the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Schooner Lynx. Well miss the original Ted, but what’s important is that the legend lives on- the fans deserve it, the investors demand it, someone had to pick up the banner. New Ted carries the weight of the franchise Atlas-like on his young shoulders.
While it’s both less relevant and less factual than everything else we just wrote, we revel in the fact that both of the Teds were introduced to Bill by one of his daughters. We didn’t ask, but we like to think of it as a scenario to vet suitors that reaches epic, fairy tale proportions:
“Sure you can marry me, but first you have to go to Alaska with my dad in a tiny boat.”
Welcome back to the R2AK Team Excellent Adventure, we’re pretty sure New Ted is more of a Daniel Craig than a George Lazenby.