FULL RACE- Port Townsend to Ketchikan
Team name: Team Sea Runner
Team captain: Thomas Nielsen
Total crew: 1
R2AK cred: 2015 R2AK participant
Sponsor: Seascape sailboats: www.thinkseascape.com/
BIO: In 2015 Team Sea Runner’s three part answer to R2AK’s engineless riddle boiled down to out of the box thinking, a maniacal sense of humor, and the most extreme training we have ever witnessed for an opt-in activity. Rather than use an off the shelf boat for the race, they built their own (Wharram 17 catamaran) and introduced us to HTFU as they trained hard, and then harder in pursuit of a two part goal:
- Don’t die
Our favorite bit from their training: their hypothermia coach motivated them through prolonged cold ocean immersion, then had them start fires out of wet driftwood with their numb and trembling hands. They even sat in bathtubs full of ice to get ready. Yes, there are videos.
Their first boat was equal parts science experiment and drum circle. It had a wackadoo Spartan practicality we loved to the bone. The boat was built during
rum fueled garage sessions, it was a clever departure from production boats, and it had a huge yellow sail that looked great in the photos that found their way onto the pages of the Seattle Times, New York Times, and Outside Magazine. Like the race itself Team SeaRunner’s 2015 bid for glory was a statement as much as a theory: this shouldn’t take money. With skills, suffering and hard work you can have adventure on the cheap. Together we were going to stick it to the man, we were going to Occupy Sailing.
Nature had other plans and before they hit 100 miles the BC Coast handed them a present:
“Team Sea Runner, here is your ass.”
In the week of gales that shattered professionally engineered and manufactured boats, the wingnut longshot of a homebuilt, pedal-powered catamaran didn’t stand a chance. They slogged upwind, broke things, fixed things, waded their boat upstream through tidal rapids, and prudently took semi-permanent residence in a small coastal town when the weather raged too hard for their tiny boat. We hear they were even trivia champs at the local pub. Twice. In the end they turned around, kicking rocks down the road.
Like that old college buddy from your days of long haired idealism, Team Sea Runners cut their hair evolved with the times. They didn’t sell out, they narrowed their eyes, focused on the prize, upgraded their boat and got back to training. They sponsored up and found a hot new boat looking to make its West Coat debut: a flying wedge called the Seascape 18 whose planing hull will do 18 knots upwind. You can beach it, sleep aboard, and from the videos we’ve seen it looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
HTFU + Hot shit boat= it’s anyone’s race.
Welcome back Team Sea Runners. Nanaimo might miss you, but Alaska is getting excited.