Team members: Lawrence Olsen, Michael Donovan, Brian Garber, Lukas Bridgeman
Hometown: Piedmont, California, USA
Race vessel: Olson 30
Human propulsion: Both a single pedal drive and two oars
Here at R2AK Central Command, one of our guiding principles is that the sea is absolute. There’s no litigating your way out of a storm, avoiding that the mast is broken by binge watching whatever, or waiting for central services to man the pumps when you’re going down. As a judge of how you are doing, the sea is complete, relentless, and brutal, or as someone much smarter than ourselves once said, “The sea finds out everything you did wrong.” Excuses and blame don’t stand a chance against the shear mass and unforgiving volatility of the blue 71% of the Earth’s surface.
Ironically, the R2AK has tons of excuse potential baked right in. We don’t handicap, there are no protests, sailboats don’t row well, SUPs are dinky—there are literally dozens of ways to save face when your enthusiastic but bad idea doesn’t come anywhere close to winning anything. Team Dreamcatchers might as well rename themselves, “Team Excuse Assassins,” for all of the exit doors they’ve closed and locked preemptively when they entered the R2AK.
First and foremost, they’re sailing an Olson 30. Weatherly and fast, the Olson 30 kills it in the boat-speed to purchase-price value proposition. The Olson was developed as a mini-offshore racer to compete with the Moore24 and SC27 in the rating games that many (read: every other) races play. Problem is there is another Olson 30 in this year’s R2AK, obliterating both the, “In another race we would have beat them on corrected time,” argument, and any thread of the, “This wasn’t the right weather year for our boat,” excuses. They have a match race, inside the R2AK—nothing us or the sea can do about that.
(For the record, we want credit for not calling those two teams the Olson Twins.)
The other excuse-removing option invoked in Team Dreamcatchers: the father-in-law. Team Dreamcatchers is either the story of the best thing for a father of daughters to do with their husbands, or a well-played power move to lead with bonding then lock them into a high stakes situation where he holds all the cards. Either way, “Hey, let’s do the R2AK,” has a certain weight when it comes from the parent of your significant other that, from our vantage, doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of wiggle room for anything in the neighborhood of no.
…especially with a FnL who is one with the sea after 40+ years of impressive sailing both on and off of the racecourse—including wins in Farralonnes Races (the ones around islands in the Bay Area) and Pacific Cups (the one to Hawaii), and plenty of transits and trips to and from those distant race starts and finish lines. The sons of the in-law are impressive in their own ways: get ‘er done fixit skills, endurance athletes with century trail runs and triathlons under their belts, sailing and first aid certs, surfing, and experience running with the bulls in Pamplona. Most importantly: crew on the family (in-law)’s trimaran on SF Bay.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Dreamcatchers. While it is not what you intended, it is your fault we can’t get this song out of our heads.