Team members: Jim Edmark
Hometown: Friday Harbor, Washington, USA
Race vessel: Haida 26 Sailing Sloop
Human propulsion: Pushing/pulling the boat with dinghy
Remember when Michael Jordan played minor league baseball?
Six time NBA champ, no-look free throw, tongue out dunking—from his rookie year until his line of shoes, Fruit of the Loom and Space Jam, Jordan is still the guy who made you forget Dr. J ever was and what NBA facial fashion could have been if Gillette had sponsored Lebron too.
Right after his first retirement from pro-basketball, Jordan was minor league—played outfield for the Birmingham Whatevers, batted .202. Which makes him both pretty bad and the only AA player in history to have his own line of shoes.
Why did he do it?
We could have googled it, but we like to think that he was at the top of his game, running circles around the NBA, championships, MVPs, that he was the best but he was bored. He needed to seek new challenges so he walked away from the thing he did best, better than anyone, just to keep it fresh, just to keep growing.
Team Dock Rat is the Michael Jordan of the R2AK, but admittedly his minor league season.
Team Dock Rat spent 11 years long-distance running with collegiate running, steeplechase championships, and an NYC Marathon. Then he threw away his shoes, chucked his stock-broking habit, and became a professional cyclist who fed himself for over a decade by taking the podium and prize money all across France.
You might think that a marathoner turned pro-cyclist might make a different decision: do a long bike race or at least R2AK in some sort of pedaled craft. Instead he learned to sail not that long ago, had his first ocean solo sail right around the same time we were launching the R2AK in 2014. Six years later, he’s living aboard, sailing the lower reaches of the race course in gale conditions, and about to make a solo jump to the land of midnight sun.
A 26’ sailboat whose name pays homage to some of the original travelers of these waters. The Haida were a fierce nation of Natives who were feared for their warlike nature. They used canoes, long dugouts up to 60’ long that were easily moved by human power. Weighing in at over 4,000 pounds, the Haida sailboat, not so much.
What’s more Jordan than that? Team Dock Rat Jordaned-up their bid for Alaskan glory by ignoring their cycling mastery. He could have strapped on a pedal drive and used the god-given talents that earned him the Oregon State Cyclocross and Criterion Championships. His plan: wait, or just launch a dinghy and tow all 4,000+ pounds. That’s minor league Jordan to the bone.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Dock Rat. Being minor league never felt so major.