2019 Day 21: Heroes defining crucible moments and judgement days

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photo: Team Wee Free Men by Drew Malcolm

It’s no lie, we have racked up some R2AK firsts in 2019. McGuffin Brothers Racing is now our youngest team, Ziska our largest boat. We had the fewest solo racers ever to complete and the fewest under 20 feet to reach Ketchikan. Below we’ve mashed up a mostly true list of stats as we see them today. You think you have one to call out? Post it on our Facebook page. If you think we got something wrong, you’re probably right.


By the numbers
  • 57% of teams finished
  • 17% of human powered team finished
  • 7 of the top ten teams were monohulls
  • 203: most miles traveled in a 24-hour period by Team Shut Up and Drive
  • 8.52: average speed of Team Shut Up and Drive in a 24-hour period
  • 4.7: average speed of Team Ripple in a 24-hour period
Long winded but true:
  • Longest stay in Ketchikan: Someone from Team WIP (and they still might be somewhere around here). Honorable mention: Half the crew of Ziska
  • Shortest stay in Ketchikan: Odin from Team Ziska and his third eye, we mean sty.
  • Team least likely to wander off the rhumb line: Backwards AF
  • Team most likely to wander off the rhumb line: Ziska or Razzle Dazzle if you spell part of that sentence different
  • Smallest vessel: Solveig at 20 feet
  • Largest vessel: Ziska at 52 feet
  • Coolest Pedal Drive: Educated Guess because it was this clean, internal, awesome design, tied into their chairs, which doubled as hiking racks.
  • Most teams finishing in a 24-hour period (7 teams on June 11): Sail Like a Girl, Educated Guess, Trickster, Narwhal, Dazed & Confused, Ketchikan Yacht Club, and High Sea Drifter, in that order.
  • 10,000:750 – Highest comfort to miles ratio by Team Quilbillians. Honorable mention: Ziska
In case you forgot:
  • 1st place: Angry Beaver – Sailing Skiff Foundation
  • Steak Knife winners: Pear Shaped Racing
  • Final Finisher: Wee Free Men
  • Small Craft Advisor 20′ and Under Award: Yankee Peddlers
And lastly, because it seems to fit:

Educated Guess: Team that should have gotten way more airtime because they broke some laws of physics sailing up here, were good humans, and named their boat Millennium Falcon.


Now, hold off on your preferred ending metaphor: fat ladies, red lanterns, sunsets, closing doors, throwing of hats, bonfires of boats. Just hold off. Certainly, we are seeing the finishing acts of the play, stagehands nervously stroking the velvet ropes, and the pit empty of all but the violins. But we have to finish this. We have to ask the question, “What’s a win?” This question is a forever debate on these quiet Ketchikan docks—whether you must finish to win—because winning has many faces, so many facets. We’ll say this: Race to Alaska is created with the voyage in mind. Imagine Lao Tzu, strapped to the cockpit of a Santa Cruz 27, repeating, “The journey of 750 miles begins with one stroke.” Starting at the docks of Victoria each team curates an experience never seen before. Their reality shaped by the unique decisions of their perspective, experience, and values. So, what is their win?

The crew of Boldly Went explore the question of what teams do with this experience. They turn to racers and R2AK co-founder Jake Beattie for some insight into how the race has come to define and redefine those who accept this journey, and where in themselves they find the challenge.

This is part one in a two part podcast.

Is this the end? No, my friend, you will hear from us one last time today. Consider this the T up for the goodbye that gives us closure: one last video and thoughts from the Race Boss will arrive in your inbox as the sun sets across the Pacific and a year of telling ever growing tales begins at the bars.

The Daily Fix by Boldly Went

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