Team Swan Song

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Team members: Douglas Walker, Cap Allen, Anne Markward, Glenn Bland
Hometown: Durango, Colorado, USA
Race vessel: Corsair 28CR
LOA: 28.5′
Human propulsion: Paddle power

Full disclosure: we might admire the hell out of this team, but due to jealously of who they are and who our future selves can no longer be, we simply can’t be compelled to like them. Nope, not at all.


The journey to “Why not?” starts with our perception of our future self juxtaposed with Team Swan Song’s annoying level of incredible—both now and going way back.

Why annoying? Team Swan Song sets unfair standards for the rest of us. Our plan was to ghost into aged laziness under the cover that it’s the inevitability of tacking on a few more decades. Screw CrossFit, once we hit 65 we’re trading up for Sansabelt shorts and two plate sorties at the all-you-can-eat. Lifetime ban at the Golden Corral. Then came Team Swan Song with adventure resumes that seem to accelerate as they aged and shattered our guilt-free road to mediocrity. Annoying.

What do we mean?

Let’s make this personal.

As you experience/imagine your AARP years, who are you and/or who do you hope to be? Have you undertaken progressively harder endeavors with each decade? Did you start doing ultra marathons in your seventies? Did you forgo the Bridge and Bingo gambling circuit for the cold, wet, depravity of the R2AK? Us either, but that’s why we have such a problem/admiration of Team Swan Song.

Team Swan Song is a lot of things, but it is certainly not a crew who are coddled by the warm embrace of mainstream aging, that backpedal shrinking into crochet and soft foods that gets backed into for decades. Give us an IRA, a 40-ft RV towing a Hummer, and a Costco senior discount. Team Swan Song ruined that for us, for everyone. Well done you annoyingly inspiring role models of how cool we could be if we just kept trying.

Way to keep doing bigger and bigger adventures. Team Swan Song brings deep and present adventure cred to their bid for the R2AK: Grand canyon rafting, multi-continent cycling, untra marathons, and national championships in canoes, outrigger canoes, and arm wrestling (all true, so incredibly true). Our favorite: one championship was secured during a heart attack, which ought to be a world record in itself.

It’s like that movie that doesn’t exist where Judy Dench starts cage fighting to save her nursing home.

Their boat is also annoyingly adventurous. Team Swan Song didn’t settle into a greybeard, pipe and a concertina kind of affair. They grabbed a trimaran and started running laps through the Caribbean and Sea of Cortez before they realized they had gotten older and there were harder things to accomplish. Their Corsair 28CR is faster than any boat we’ve ever owned, and up there in this year’s fleet in terms of boat speed. Sleeping quarters for four, sensibly fast cruising boat that can pump out 15 knots when it needs to, or get rowed when it doesn’t. In a R2AK that lacks a rocket ship crewed by hired guns, Team Swan Song might be a contender for the money, notching their collective belt one more time.

Welcome to the R2AK, Team Swan Song, and well played, you bastions of the later generations. Our only request is that you set this record without the heart attack.