Team Three Legged Cat

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Team members: Stuart Sugden
Hometown: Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada
Race vessel: Triraid 560 s
LOA: 18.3′
Human propulsion: Paddle

The first time we heard of crate-training dogs we thought it was bonkers. How could an animal descended from wolves then trained and bred for thousands of years to hunt, herd, and kill be made happier by being boxed up under the table for hours at a time? It feels cruel, but the dogs seem to actually like it. Despite all the positive testimony, it unnerves the hell out of us. Go dig a hole, hump a leg, sniff a butt—something, just let us know you’re still alive in there!

It’s essentially the same thing with people. There’s a big world out there, but the answer to the call of the wild is usually less of the barbaric yawp shouted at the moon until the ragged throat surrenders, and more of a ‘Meh, Playstation.’ Instincts erode into habits, muscles become memory devices for how to reach for pork rinds. It seems cruel, but the people seem to actually like it. Despite all the positive testimony, it unnerves the hell out of us. Go dig a hole, hump a leg, sniff a butt—something, just let us know you’re still alive in there!

Team Three Legged Cat is the feral opposite of the crate-bound; off leash and remote seems to be central ethos to his free ranging life. When he was done with the epic rambling, and we do mean epic—skipping across the top: high altitude mountaineering, hang gliding, bike touring, hiking, triathlons, ultra-marathons, three-month kayak trips tracing the Australian part of Captain Cook’s route, sailing in pretty much all of the oceans including a double-handed 9500 NM non-stop passage from Chile to Vancouver, and a sail to Antarctica with his 9 year old daughter—after all of that stuff he finally got domesticated in Bella Bella, British Columbia, R2AK’s mid-waypoint. 1,400 residents disconnected from the rest of everybody except for a weekly ferry and however many people you can skiff to on one tank of gas, Bella Bella would be considered remote by pretty much everyone except for the 505 people who live one skiff ride away in Klemtu.

With his experience and location, Team Three Legged Cat could start a rehab center for humans born in captivity with the eventual goal of releasing them back into the wild.

It’s certainly the approach he took with his boat. Team Three Legged Cat took a crate-trained pile of plywood that arrived in the mail and began the slow rehabilitation process of reintroducing it to the daylight, and over time teaching it how to bend into, then remain in the shape of a boat so that it can rejoin its species.

In more understandable English, Team TLC’s in the middle of building a kit boat, a Tri-raid beachable trimaran popular in events like the Everglades Challenge as it is cartoppable, easily paddled, and screams along when the wind is up. One even finished the R2AK in 2017. At time of application Team Three Legged Cat’s vessel could be best described as ‘open air’ in design, floor trained flat panels waiting for construction. The race before the race is to see if the vast amounts of time and epoxy can be applied in time for race day. He went to Antarctica with a 9 year old, we’re pretty sure he’s got this.

Welcome to the R2AK, Team Three Legged Cat. Make the waypoint proud!