Team Sea to Sky Sailing

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Team members: Katy Campbell, Will Goldsmith-Jones, Bojan Bogovac, Andy Copson
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Race vessel: Hotfoot 27
LOA: 27′
Human propulsion: bicycle
Connect: facebook, instagram, website

You never know what people are going to tell you about themselves to get into this thing. Usually it’s a little bit about “I did this race” and “I sailed on this boat” sort of stuff. Once in a while there’s an Olympics, sometimes there’s a mountain, often a jab at a spouse, or a self-deprecation light that is really a way to brag up without suspicion. Team Sea to Sky Sailing’s application did that too, eventually, but they were refreshingly different out of the gate for a few reasons:

  • All of them led with their height and weight. For the record, everyone on the team is between 5’8” and 5’10,” and between 150 and 160 pounds. One differentiated themselves by having a wingspan that was 3” more than their height (“I’m the gangly one, gangle for days.”). Why is this important? We’re not sure either.
  • Very little about their sailing background made it in until like page three (Van Isles, sailing instructors at the school that bears their team name, yadda yadda). They bike all over Europe, up into BC’s coastal range. Sure they own boats, and sure they row across ferry lanes in the dark for fun, but what they really wanted to tell us about was how at least one of these same-sized people had recently taken up high diving, and how at least one had been a student at Sea to Sky Sailing and learned to sail in 2016.

We’ve never taken classes at Sea to Sky Sailing, but their curriculum appears to be both inspiring and aggressive:

Step one: learn to sail. Step two: sail upwind 750 miles to Alaska.

It’s the kind of can-do, damn the torpedos, refutation of the chickenshittery that plagues our times and is the stuff from which legends are born. Think of what could happen if we stopped all of the cautious navel gazing and embraced boldness with such wild abandon. Imagine the possibilities:

Step one: buy some hiking boots. Step two: Everest.

Step one: talk down a bully. Step two: Nobel peace prize.

Step one: get on a reality TV show. Step two: run a country.

Right. Never mind… but impressive on their part none the less.

Beyond their address and the polite way they don’t hold that last joke against us, even the Serbian national onboard outed himself as Canadian to the bone by describing their boat as an “adorable Canadian fiberglass monohull”—a lot to unpack there, but lovely bit of Canadian pride. The Sea to Skyers are rolling north on the boat in their quiver that was best suited for the race for its comfy nature, lack of engine to remove, and the monster within it that drives it upwind like it has a grudge against spinnakers. They’ve all been training on their much touted bicycles for their turn on the pedals, and they’ve mounted oars just in case hands and bums want to compete for most blistered.

Blistering speed, chutzpah to spare, and height and weight that with a few transfers of donut consumption could be brought into near unanimity: Team Sea to Sky Sailing is the complete package. Welcome to the R2AK.