Have you ever read the novel Shogun? Us either, it’s really long.
Have you ever watched the made-for-TV movie Shogun? Still no from us, it’s really long. Shakazulu long. From looking at the cover we’re pretty sure that the plot has something to do with American colonialism in feudal Japan and must, or at least should, include a deep dive into how the power of traditions inhibits progress in strange and deadly ways.
If we would have written the Shogun book/screenplay that apparently no one watched, we’d have a central character be the samurai sword, chosen time and time again over the deadly and accessible killing power of a Winchester rifle. There’s a scene in our non-existent version of Shogun where a samurai wins in a life and death struggle with a soldier in Union blues. On the ground lies the dead soldier’s rifle and the samurai’s sword. Knowing that he’s choosing death, the Samurai reaches down for the sword and charges. Fade to black… and scene.
With one exception, R2AK has been won every year by teams on professionally built boats with more than one hull. Three out of four. Yet, at time of writing Team SoggyKru is the only team to sign up in 2019 on something other than a moonshot of a backyard-built experiment, a beach cruising pool toy, or a monohull— the samurai swords of the R2AK. True, the only slower way to arrive at this metaphoric point might be on a monohull, but here it is: in a crowd of Samurais, Team SoggyKru was the one that looked around and reached for the Winchester.
Tradition be damned, let’s sail the hell out of this thing.
Team SoggyKru has spent decades in the dojo. They’ve sailed up and down the coast, Caribbean jaunts, hundreds of trips delivering hundreds of boats to hundreds of owners. In the meantime they kayaked, windsurfed, and followed the R2AK from the time our ships landed on their BC shores until the time their bamboo armor looked around and chose a race vessel that was their attempt at Meiji restorative justice; a rare but there Malcom Tennant Streaker which, despite the name, is less of a college prank and more of a “I’m going to win $10,000” grab at the Winchester. 14′ wide, 24′ long, and a 38′ rig, the Kiwi pedigree catamaran was rescued from 10+ years MIA status when the team purchased the pieces and owner’s “Good luck storming the castle” style best wishes for the R2AK. After a year and change of obsession-fueled work on the boat, it’s “ready” for the run to the north.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team SoggyKru. Cool helmets and bamboo armor, grab your rifle, remember the Alamo, and let’s rewrite history in an oddly similar way.