Team Name: Bitty Kitty Meow
Team Members: Morgan Tedrow
Hometown: Lake Forest Park, Washington USA
Race vessel: NACRA 17
Human propulsion: Pedal drive and a paddle
R2AK Cred: Finisher R2AK 2016 (Team MOB Mentality), First person to finish 1.5 times in a single year
It was early in the evening. Eight teams had just stormed across R2AK’s 2016 finish line within hours of each other and the windows in Chuck’s Fish House restaurant were fogged up with the collective evaporation of 30 sets of rain gear. Fire lit, cash and steak knives handed out to those who earned them, beer was flowing, families who flew in were getting a well earned hug full of that indistinguishable emotion that is equal parts congratulation and relief. They had made it.
Then the text came in from the wheelchaired warriors on Team Allula:
“This is Team ALULA. We just lost a crew member in Campbell River and are down to 2. We need two on the oars to carry on. The two of us left are determined to get to Ketchikan before the grim sweeper. What we are looking for is another crew member. Preferably someone who has had to pull out of the race and wants to carry on or has finished the race and wants more. I realize this will officially take us out of the race but we have always been a race of one. This is more than a race to Alaska for us. Can you help us find a crew member and carry on? As of now, we are still in the race until someone steps on the boat as crew. Or we can no longer continue. We love this race and every thing it has thrown at us, can’t thank you guys enough for letting us be a part of this amazing adventure.”
The room was silent, everyone was trying to figure out how to get the time and leeway to help out those incredible guys. As the night wore on, liquid courage overcame the appeals of prudence and his girlfriend, and by morning Morgan and his seabag were on the first flight south. He had just hard charged, 750 miles and he answered the call to help his comrades do the same. He had time off from work, he had the skills, and he was already packed for a trip. Why not?
He sailed with Alulla until he swapped out with another guy at Bella Bella just to help them complete something they started and become the most celebrated finish a disqualified team could ever dream of. We love Morgan’s part of that story; such compassion, such selflessness- the worst part about this guy is that he is impossible to make fun of…until he chose a team name for this year: Team Bitty Kitty Meow.
Morgan, you’re a grown ass man, Bitty Kitty Meow?
What the hell is that? Do you owe a toddler money?
Morgan’s other bad decision is his boat, a minimalist beach cat with as much protection from the elements as a mesh net can offer. Sure, last year he went 1.5 times to Alaska, but both times on technically advanced boats with a cutting edge design feature that mariners call “inside” and essential safety gear known at sea as “other people”. This year he left the safety of a crew, cabin, and charismatic storyline to go it alone, with a team name that foments immediate dislike for anyone over the age of 6, all on an open boat that is the length of a medium sized canoe. In 2015, Team Mau made a go at the R2AK on a Nacra 570 a boat so small they couldn’t bring solid food (but at least they had each other.) Team Bitty Kitty Cartoon Face (or whatever) is making a go on its 17-foot version, and by himself. For two years Team Mau was our vicarious chest thump of gnarly minimalism. Now, Morgan soloed-up to make a run for R2AK’s hardship crown.
Welcome to the R2AK Team Bitty Kitty Meow, may your race be unremarkable (because honestly we never want to type your team name again.)