FULL RACE- Port Townsend to Ketchikan
Team name: Team Gold Rush
Team captain: Mark Dussell
Total crew: 1
Race vessel: custom 18? tri
R2AK cred: R2AK 2015 entrant
Bio: As they say in the old west, you have to get back on the horse that bucked you. Pick up your hat, slap your dusty chaps, climb back on. But what if the horse that bucked you filled with water, capsized, and had to be towed back to the dock, upside down- all within a sight of where you started? That’s a substantial horse to get back on.
Team Gold Rush’s decision to mount up for 2016 must have been a hard swallow. Like many teams rushing to the starting line in 2015, projects were hurried and things were overlooked, details were missed and experiments revealed definite conclusions even if the outcomes were negative. Team Gold Rush’s boat captured our imagination from the time its photo sailed across our desk to the time it rolled down the street on race day. An R2AK specific design, garage-built trimaran with clever features to allow it to be easily transformed from a lightly pushed solo sailer to nestled onto the trailer for making miles to windward on the asphalt sea. It was sleek, like nothing we had seen before and fully embraced the DIY and mud in your eye spirit in which the race was conceived.
Fast forward to race day, and the echos of the starting gun were still ringing in our ears when the fleet discovered a wall of wind and standing waves at Point Wilson, and the sea discovered an unsecured hatch on Team Gold Rush’s boat, which then was swamped, flipped, and towed back to the dock by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. A year of planning, 30 minutes of racing. After enduring the questions and stares from the crowd of onlookers still on the dock, we might have left the boat there and taken up a different sport- not Mark. After drying out and feeling dumb for an hour or so, Mark got busy improving hatches and marking up his calendar with deadlines for the next race. Repaired the damage from the tow, built new hatches, lead all the lines to the cockpit, pedal drive. Time to get back on the horse.
Welcome back to the R2AK Team Gold Rush. Rather than a fail we like to think of your last race as your bid for Most Improved.