Team Name: Team Adventourists
Team Members: Frederic Chanut, Sandy Farquharson, Michael Scholz
Hometown: Manly, New South Wales AU
Race vessel: Harmony 22′
Human propulsion: Oars
We started this thing to inspire adventure, to get people off of the couch and get past the toe-in proposition of fun runs and walkathons and fully cannonball into the deep end of experiences that are only possible when you strip away the comfort and reconnect with the raw. There are teams that make us feel proud and satisfied- people who have answered the call, world class sailors who want to drop out of the big money and reconnect to the pure without the popped collar polo shirts, moms and grandmas declaring this the nudge from the universe to knock off a bucket list item, high schoolers taking their rite of passage into their own hands. Then there is Team Adventourists, who make us wonder if we should just cancel the whole thing.
Sure, they are likable, if you’re into that sort of thing. Australians with a sense of humor that makes even dry liability waivers enjoyable to read. They regularly seek out adventures across the remote swaths of the planet, not because they are paid to do it or are fleeing cossacks but because it’s their thing- from the looks of their resume they get the shakes if they go more than a year between adventures. It’s hard to not think of the R2AK as their latest fix, which makes us that dirty guy in a rundown RV cooking up a new batch for the adrenaline junkies. R2AK is sailing’s Breaking Bad.
While you’re squandering your dwindling vacation days on an annual forced march visit to Uncle Wally, these guys cast off the chains of familial obli-cations and year after year signed on for opt-in miseries that are increasingly remote, increasingly dangerous, and increasingly outside of their skillset. Our favorites on their CV:
-Mongol Rally (2012)- a 10,000 mile car race from Europe to the steppes.
-Ice Run (2016): A frozen romp through some godforsaken nowhere on an Ural motorcycle.
-Shitbox Rally (2014): A down under race across the outback in cars worth less than $1,000. If we were into cars we’d already be in this race, and probably in our daily drivers.
These guys are like bizarro world us: same dangerous attraction to good sounding bad ideas, different hemisphere, same unearned arrogance, inverse relationship to motors.
All motor, all land- why does bizarro world us think that R2AK isn’t kryptonite to their cobbled together Superman? One word: sailor guy.
The guys who have hoo-ra’d across continents on cobbled together combustion looked at the R2AK, listened to the sage advice of Uncle Wally, and added someone to augment their combined 900 hours of sailing experience with someone who has at least owned a boat and claims proficiency, and several documented trips around one race course or another. Several. This team of motorheads entering the R2AK is like that dolphin entering the Indy 500 because he befriended a sideshow octopus who could reach the pedals. Oh right, that never happened, and next time we should smoke half.
The boat they’ve chosen for the R2AK is…well, unknown at the time of writing. A month to go, they’re in Australia, and no boat. “Actual us” is a bit in awe with the can-do of “bizarro us”… and/or extremely concerned. Hard to tell. Either way we’re going to get along fine. UPDATE: Not to disappoint. Their vessel is now Gizmo. Previously intended to sail in the 2016 R2AK as Team Ghost Rider, honoring crew member Jay Berglund, who passed the bar during Gizmo’s sinking and after refloating the boat is said to still crew aboard. We’re waiving his entry fee.
Welcome to the R2AK Team Adventourists, Uncle Wally wonders if this is the year you should just visit him instead. He’ll make pie.