Team members: Nigel Davies
Hometown: Anacortes, WA, USA
Race vessel: Hobie Adventure Island
Human propulsion: pedal drive and paddle
‘Are you an active racist or just a coward?’
‘Does this (whatever) make my ass look big?’
‘Why not go to Alaska on a Hobie Adventure Island?’
Call it a quirk of the language, Socratic PTSD, or a Darwinian mechanism of self-preservation, but some questions are not supposed to be answered—at least to whoever is asking, and especially if it’s yourself.
By our count, unless you are staring at the business end of a grand jury, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the ‘Speak now or forever hold your piece’ moment of your buddy’s wedding, or you’re excited about getting an actual handprint slapped across your face, most questions are simply supposed to hang there mid-air; like an inversion layer pinning the smoke of burnt honesty against the landscape of time.
Still, a few people speak truth to questions, and even more during the R2AK. This whole thing seems to compel people to mainline a sodium pentothal truth nudge and force a response to the implied Zen koan of human existence: ‘Sure it’s safer, but what happens if you don’t R2AK?’ To R or not 2AK; that is the question Team Hobie-1-Kenobie has answered definitively: R.
Like an open session testimony to Life’s subpoena, in response to ‘If all your friends jumped off a bridge/Race to Alaska in a boat with so many reasons it shouldn’t enter…would you too?’ Team Hobie 1 Kenobi glanced past the obvious ‘But…Roger Mann…’, skipped a couple of reference parsecs and went straight to the double down answer: “Those, those are the droids we are looking for.”
Team Hobie-1-Kenobie joins a small, courageous, and clearly bananas group of R2AK teams who are emboldened by contrary evidence and decide the best boat for the race is an overgrown kayak that comes with all of the wheelhouse you can wear. The Hobie Adventure Island variant of that class has made the run to glory a total of one times, and the guy who did it abandoned the boat at the finish line—so obvious choice. Known for its stability, innovative pedal drive, and ease of use, the Hobie AI isn’t the worst choice for taking to Alaska—there are paddleboards—but ‘Why would you go to Alaska on a Hobie Adventure Island?’ seems like relevant question for friends and would-be heirs.
For Team Hobie-1-Kenobi the answer seems to lay somewhere between ‘I have one’ and ‘Why not?’ The Hobie Adventure Island might be the solitary extension for a self-described ball of muscle who can claim Iron Man Triathlons, the sparse and weight sensitive proclivities required to summit 33 of Colorado’s 14ers, a paddle from his Anacortes home to Desolation Sound—not to mention our favorite part of his adventure resume: in a seemingly Jesus-like fashion he ‘bicycled the Danube River.’ The Hobie will be basically the same thing, but colder and without the sacrilege.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Hobie-1-Kenobi. May the force be with you.