Team Angry Beaver – Skiff Sailing Foundation

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Team members: Matt Pistay, Gavin Bracket, Brent Campbell, Alan Johnson, Mats Elf, Simon Miles
Hometown: Port Ludlow, Washington, USA
Race vessel: Schock 40
LOA: 40′
Human propulsion: Pedal drive

We’re not animals, this didn’t have to happen.

All they had to do was to submit an application like everyone else and we might have gone easy on them. It’s a simple process: tell us who you are, tell us about your boat, convince us you’re not going to die. Simple.

What we got in the place of Team Angry Beaver’s legit bona fides was a campaign budget and a slew of heh-heh-hehs that left us wondering what the hell was going on.

Despite your claims, what we know is this:

  • You aren’t sponsored by Victoria Secret’s non-existent line of foul weather gear (We checked the website, again and again and again. Yes, it was work related.)
  • We’ve seen the pics of your boat and are positive that there’s not a rudder on both the bow and the stern.
  • We’re pretty sure you’re not made of the uranium-like substance that would let you live up to your declared height of 2’2”, 230 pounds.

Honestly we don’t know what to make of it. The whole application sounded like it was filled out at a sleepover, right after the pillow fight, and right before the first one to give in to a keg stand-induced sleep had his face drawn on with permanent marker.

You must play a lot of sports.  No? Well, why else would they have drawn those balls on your forehead? 

Reading past the frat-fueled Ouija Board, here’s what we know about Team Angry Beaver:

The boat: Stellar. Their Shock 40 arguably packs as much fast into a single hull as any boat we’ve seen so far. 40 feet of upwind waterline, it boasts a canting keel that maximizes its sailing advantage by adjusting its angle to optimal on each side of the wind (yes, it does ‘swing both ways’…fine, you got us there, that apparently was true). Shock 40s are known for their ability to reach speeds of 27+ knots and having two rudders, one in the usual place and one forward towards the bow (DAMMIT, that was true too. Sorry guys, it looks like we went off a little half cocked there.) At 7,000 pounds for 40 feet, the Shock is slumber-party style light as a feather and stiff as a board.

The crew: While we don’t officially know much, we admire their R2AK-esque arrogance and the levels of ‘pluck’ that only a mother could love. From what we’ve gleaned from local sources is that the motherpluckers of Team Angry Beaver know their way around the bouys like few others in the PNW—at the bare minimum they are good enough to gain the trust and backing of the Skiff Foundation—an organization whose sole purpose is to back proven contenders for sailing exploits. The last time Skiff Foundation anointed a chosen few for the Race to Alaska was the 2016 steak knife finish of Team Jungle Kitty who pioneered pedal-powered motor sailing and came in second against a fleet of trimarans, and then came in first in at least one of Ketchikan’s fabled karaoke nights. No pressure.

Whoever you are, and however sincere/secure you are in your lady-undy thermal layers, welcome to the R2AK, Team Angry Beaver.

UPDATE: Like the time when we totally forgot our lines for a solo one act play and then just tried to improv it into a piece about forgetting things— there are times when failure happens awkwardly and with an audience, and no one forgets. This is one of those times.

Apparently we did get Team Angry Beaver’s info, and while we missed it because it was filed under another team name, we should have noticed it because of how legit impressive these guys are. We’ll let the credits roll for a bit and go back to wetting ourselves:

  • 2009, Top jr at Moth worlds,  7th overall
  • Melges 24 and 32 National champ
  • Optimist National USA Team, National Swedish Team
  • 5o5: 1st Canadian National Nationals
  • Melges 24: 9th World Championships, 6th US Nationals, World Championships
  • Farr 30: 1st Swiftsure, 3rd Canadian Championships, International Championships
  • 14 OD: 6th World Championships Key West
  • 470: Swedish Olympic National Team

There was, of course more. Much more. But our embarrassment made us look away. Multiple national championships on multiple boats? The Swedish Olympic team? The team’s collective resume was so heavy it has a measurable gravitational pull. These guys have been no joke sailing champions for a long time and we missed it.

We just poked the wrong beaver.

So as we pack our bags and say good bye to our co-workers and friends, we’ll simply say: sorry Beavers. We regret adding to your now justified flat-tailed rage.