Team members: Lionel Jensen, Randy Jensen
Hometown: Chilliwack, BC, Canada
Race vessel: MacGregor 26
Human propulsion: Pedal drive
In the era where Avengers are killing more box office records than supervillains, hardly anyone remembers the workaday DC superheroes from days when the ‘book’ part of comicbooks defined the genre. Sure, Aquaman, ripped and hunky and married to Lisa Bonet makes the spotlight, but he can talk to fish—and he’s married to Lisa Bonet.
What about Green Lantern? Test pilot Hal Jordan chosen by a dying alien to wear the ring that gave him power to do just about anything. Really, an-y-thing: Turning himself into an envelope and mailing himself to his enemies, fighting Nazis with a giant cupid of his own creation, manifesting an ethereal dolphin for Aquaman to ride through the air—anything, as long as he had that ring. Without the ring? Just a broken down test pilot with echoes of 9G nosedives and alien-infused glory mixed with night terrors and years of therapy. With the ring: he could (and did) fly through space on a pirate ship. Don’t mess with Green Lantern with a ring on; you have no idea what acid trip brutality he could unleash.
One ring ruled them all.
If you think of every boat as a superhero (and apparently we do) every boat has its own power. The M32 that set the record in 2016: speed. 2017’s Team Heart of Gold: SUP a human to Alaska. Team Dock Rat’s 2018 bid on a Haida 26: the ability to go so aground that you could walk around it, then refloat, then finish months after the cutoff and get a job slinging drinks in a Ketchikan bar. Point is, each boat, each team has a magic ring kind of super power driven by who they are and the boat they roll with.
Then there is Team R2Ache.
With the dynamic father son duo of R2Ache, it’s hard to know where to start other than we are impressed, but in that eyebrow raised sort of way. Just when we thought we’d seen all of the versions of bad ideas, Team R2Ache might just be our test pilots for how far you can go when you choose a proven boat, then strip it of all of the superpowers it was designed with.
Team R2Ache is the boat equivalent of taking the wings off the plane to make it street legal.
For the uninitiated, the MacGregor 26 is the Sean Hannity of the boating world—you either love it with a passion or you want to throw rocks at it to make it go away. MacGregors are a famed combo of sailing well enough to enjoy the day and then the 50-75 horsepower outboard to jam along at 15 knots when the conditions get unfavorable/boring, or you think it’s a blasphemous aberration of the sailing world’s ‘The journey is the destination’ religious justification of their need to zig zag to nowhere slowly. The MacGregor is way too practical. No wind? Mr. Honda 50 will get you to the anchorage four Budweisers before the sweater-wearing suckers in that wind-driven anachronism.
Which begs the question: Why in god’s name would you enter a MacGregor in an engineless race to anywhere, let alone to Alaska? Like Green Lantern swapping out for a mood ring right before his battle with Satan, Team R2Ache has replaced their Honda 50 with a human-powered paddle wheel. Paddle wheel, like a Mississippi casino boat but without the steam power and gambling.
The line between madness and greatness has never been so blurry.
Given their drive and experience, we can only assume that casting off their superpower is part of some rope-a-dope strategy to psyche out the competition. Between the two of them, Team R2Ache’s father/son team has at least three trips up the Inside Passage, multiple decades of racing successfully on a bevy of boats across the swath of Canada that stretches from Nanaimo to Lake Alberta, and have climbed mountains to build their tolerance for austerity and leg muscles needed to power their paddle wheel and make up for at least a portion of the 50 horsepower their boat was designed to rocket with. Best part: this wasn’t an accident; they purchased the boat specifically for the R2AK, and given that at least one of the salty souls on board has a doctorate in Philosophy, we can only assume that it was a decision driven by something between an ethos and a rationale (but maybe not math).
Welcome to the R2AK, Team R2Ache, when you make it _________ (name any distance) we are pretty sure that you will set the record for number of miles a MacGregor has gone without a motor.
UPDATE: In a proof/acknowledgement that the internet is as forgiving as we are accurate, we would like everyone to know that there are four very important things that everyone reading this should understand:
- We now understand that the MacGregor that we now have a picture of is not the 50 HP outboard kind like we assumed that it was because that is literally every MacGregor that we have ever come across.
- The MacGregor advocate network is accurate, unyielding, and impressive.
- We are flummoxed as to why anyone buy a non-50 HP MacGregor.
- We think it’s funny. We’re leaving it.