Team Kelp

Team Name: KELP
Team members: 
Elena Losey, Kristin Pederson 
Seattle, WA
Race vessel: 
Santana 20
Human propulsion: 
Connect: Website, Facebook

There is a suspicious wild energy that surrounds Team Kelp. Call us jaded by the surge of fake news stories that swirled around the US election, but we’re not buying it. We don’t believe the report claiming the election can be explained as a covert play by the red tie industry to artificially spike demand, nor does it sound plausible that the very concept of truth was sold to a Russian oligarch so he could mix it with children’s tears and wash down a meal of endangered species, and we’re certainly not buying that Team Kelp can be simultaneously this nice, prepared, badass, and safety conscious all at the same time. We might have only paid tuition to the electoral college for a couple of semesters before transferring to a state school, but we’re no dummies. No one is that good, something here doesn’t feel right.

Let’s start with their methodical approach to the R2AK. They bought a boat, practiced, practiced some more, then signed up for the first stage of the R2AK in 2016, did great, then signed up for the full race. We’re not used to that. People around here sign up for the full go before the glue is dried on the half finished bad idea they’re creating in their garage. The R2AK set tends to roll deep with ambition and the confidence that with enough luck, arrogance trumps preparation every time. Who are these women to question that well established norm?

More than bucking a trend, how do you square Team Kelp’s level of preparedness with their full throttle adventure resume that includes climbing mountains, moving to Thailand to become a dive master, riding as EMT to serve the late night high octane maladies in Seattle’s private ambulance service, running out on family and friends on two weeks notice to move to Korea, multiple deliveries up and down both coasts of North America, and hitchhiking on a boat up the coast of Portugal? How do you make sense of that level of off the hook impulsive with their claim that they were clipped in the entire time during the their 7 hour push to Victoria in the first stage of R2AK 2016? Safety first, sure, but at least half of the trip was flat calm. They were rowing, why clip in? It’s like  fishing out the overhead oxygen mask before take off just in case your commuter flight goes from zero to Captain Sully all of a sudden. True, you never know…but really you usually do.

Beyond all that mess of paradox, more confusing still is that they are the prodigal daughters of Seattle’s  Center for Wooden Boats- what are they doing racing to Alaska in 20 feet of plastic sacrilege? Add it all up and that story about the oligarch is looking a little more credible, isn’t it?

Methodical approach, life skills to spare, an EMT, a licensed captain, an existence boxed in alternately by straight-laced responsibility and abject capriciousness. Their whole program is a contradiction, down to the sour patch kids that rounded out their crew last year. Not only were they both sweet and sour, Team Kelp live streamed their gummy buddies before devouring them like a spotted owl in the oligarch’s castle. Still not convinced of the caprice/responsibility divide: Elena’s getting married 12 days before the R2AK. Before. When most people would be on a well earned and hard swooned honeymoon she’ll be slogging north, stinky and sleepless without him. Love you, mean it, bye. Sickness and health never mentioned the R2AK.

Welcome back to the race Team Kelp, we have no idea know what the hell you are up to, but we are rooting for you all the way.