Team members: Ian Graeme, Janice Mason
Hometown: Victoria, BC, Canada
Race vessel: Seaward Passat G3 Tandem kayak
Human propulsion: Paddles
Despite the maze rats evidence, some people don’t learn.
In the pre-digital questioning of “How can we know stuff?,” the midcentury mammalian BitCoin equivalent for level-up problem solving was simpler than server farms crunching numbers for the promise of virtual riches. We let loose rats in a labyrinth of cardboard, hit the wind-up stopwatch twice; once when the rats started and once when they were nose deep in cheese. RatCoin never caught on, but they got faster the more times they ran the maze. The conclusion was that if humans were at least as good as rats, we would probably get faster at stuff if two things were true:
- We did something more than once.
- There were dairy products involved.
We can neither confirm nor deny that the Masons or the Russians are involved, but it does start to seem conspiratorial, doesn’t it? Why else would R2AK need to exist?
Given the maze of islands between the starting line and Ketchikan glory land, you’d think that if humans were >/= rat level, then multiple times in the R2AK would make teams faster. Looking at the data, this is in no way true, and Team Oaracle appears to be the most ‘sub-rat’ in their ability to improve. Not a steady decline, but overall their elapsed time trendlines make them pretty dumb rats…or at least rats that heard the click of the stopwatch and looked at the maze, looked up at the whitecoats and clipboards, shrugged, and began to amble through the maze to enjoy the scenery.
Team Oaracle started their R2AK careers as promising contenders of the trimaran set. Ian with Team Blackfish and Fly, Janice as the Olympian rowing engine of Team Sistership (2015, 16 and 16, respectively). But then they found each other, fell into each other and out of the competition. In the smelliest kind of romantic, they decided that not only would they use the R2AK as their first date (yes, you read that right), but they would also make it as long as possible; 23 days dating/racing in a 22-foot rowboat with likely no more than six pairs of underwear between them. Second date: R2AK 2018, 18 days in a double kayak. Their fastest finishing times in each year: 12 days, 6 days, 23 days, 18 days, and teed up for another Grim Sweeper baiting run on the same double kayak in 2019. We’ve kept the cheese in the same place, but they’ve found ways to increasingly take longer to get it by choosing progressively slower boats over the half decade they’ve been a part of this thing.
While their career as lab rats might be otherwise short lived, at right about 60 days elapsed time on course, Team Oaracle has spent more time in the race, is the only team to do the SEVENTY48 and R2AK back to back, and is the only team that potentially rivals Team Soggy Beavers’ 2015 claim at mid-race amor. They are also the only team with a record of perfect attendance.
Gold star and a special certificate. Golf clap.
Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Oaracle. You are our beta test for the R2AK dating app, swipe down for chafe.