Team members: Katy Stewart, John Holt, Lara Mayer, Malachi Rivkin, Drew Smith
Hometown: Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
Race vessel: Beneteau First
Human propulsion: Oars
If you’re an up-and-comer salvage company that started with two buddies, a pickup, and a six pack, and now spans the globe with annual sales that top $50 million, who would you want to rep your worldwide presence? A hand-picked team of sailing elite fresh out of the Americas Cup puppy mills, or one of your employees who’s already got a couple of R2AKs under her belt, and whoever else shows up with the spirit of that 6-pack that started it all?
If you guessed anything other than option B, you’re off-brand and bad at this game. (It’s B.)
Here’s the rundown of the on-brand crew of ragtag gitterdone-ers they’ve assembled for this year’s shot at the crown:
“The captain:” A licensed captain and a hands-on manager at Global, Katy is the nicest badass we’ve met since that MMA canned food drive that never happened. Cap’n Katy is a lot of things, but last we talked to her she was cursing the Chinese for recovering a drone and stealing her business, and buying as much bleach as the Coos Bay Safeway had on the shelves. Why? Because it was midnight and the boat they were on needed cleaning like Dexter. (We hung up and locked our windows.)
The new guy: Former NPR radio personality, former cruiser who’s done both coasts and the part in between, “J” dismisses both the claims that he is the initial behind the modern racing boat designs, and that he is only an alias for some bleach buying serial killer. He does admit freely that he’s a sailing pro who gets boats from where they are to where they need to be—fancy yacht or a dirtbagger with intermittent transmission—he’s sailed them all. (Why is there a tarp laid out in the middle of the room?)
Lara, Drew, Malachi: Team Global adds a crewmember with each run at the R2AK, and in their third campaign, they are up to five. Potentially shrouded in secrecy to maintain competitiveness, little is known about these new crewmembers. Their names. That’s what we’ve got.
In addition to needing a boat big enough to hold them all, on paper the evolution of Team Global’s choice of boats tells the story of a team maturing. From the family’s homemade trimaran to a long-in-the-tooth niche racer of a monohull they sold as rapidly as they bought it, to this year’s more practical choice: the Beneteau 345, the minivan of the sailing world. Not ugly, not slow, and known as much for room below decks as being one of the last sailboats still in production, Beneteaus quicken the heart like a solid balance in your IRA—nothing flashy or capricious, but a solid plan that won’t leave you eating cat food when you run out of luck and good looks. It’s shoulder-length hair after your first born, good health insurance, clipping coupons while you watch the news, a five-year-old car with a good safety rating. Practical. Beneteau.
Back in their wilder year, Team Global earned at least one record and honorable mentions in last year’s successful bid for 13th place:
Most carnage and still finished. In Dickensian irony, they broke, then salvaged more things than any other team in history; sapped boom, shredded pedal drive, fractured dental work that they ‘sanitized’ in a Ziploc filled with a yellow-orange liquid that was either orange gatorade or the outcome of its dehydrated output. Gross either way.
Most songs on film/best laughter on film/least retention of crew members. Correlation isn’t causation, but come on, if we weren’t contractually obligated to like this team, we’d have to wonder. (Then of course, there is the bleach…)
Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Global. In case you’re wondering, yes, we have already put the lotion in the basket.