Team Trickster

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Team members: Greg Rohner, Rafe Beswick, Eric Egge, Scott Schoch
Hometown: Olympia, Washington, USA
Race vessel: Ian Farrier Corsair F-28R Trimaran
LOA: 28.5′
Human propulsion: Pedal drives and paddles
Connect: facebook

There’s something we need to get off of our chest: the votes are in, we hate Team Trickster.

Don’t mistake this as a rash reaction. We did it right. We called a meeting with the proper notice, selected a jury of our peers, invoked Robert’s Rules, debated, called the question, firsted and seconded, debated some more, amended, took a vote, then gaveled down on a motion that is essentially this: we all now hate Team Trickster. Officially.

The issue that invoked binding action was essentially a traffic violation: failure to obey life’s traffic signs. Breaking down the central issue: Life is supposed to be finite and dwindling. The street of existence we all live on has a sign stating ‘One Way’ clearly posted right over ‘Dead End.’ Call it common decency or common law, but most of us slow down or at least pump the brakes as we approach the infinite soul pile-up at the end of the cul de sac of eternity.

Not Team Trickster. They failed our ‘three strikes’ policy for age appropriate behavior, failed with flying colors.

This year, one of them turns 70 and they are again going against life’s one-way signals and prevailing winds to race to Alaska… with people as young as 56. Strike one. All of them are accomplished, intelligent, and strategic.

Accomplished: Bicycle tours, mountain ascents, big ocean transits, 20+ Swiftsure races, months cruising in the lower parts of the R2AK, local races in the South Puget Sound, one of them literally spends 50% of his life on the water working 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off as a tugboat captain…they’ve got credentials to spare, nuff said.

Intelligent: They’ve followed the R2AK for years, nuff said.

Strategic: Last year they scanned the nation for the right boat 2R2AK and found an F-28 that was being held on inshore arrest in the Great Lakes. Team Trickster distracted the guards, sawed off the ankle bracelet, and get-away drove it to the PNW to start training for the big push north. The F-28R is the trimaran we hate to love, but the sheer volume of Farrier created F-boats that have made it to the R2AK’s finish line has made believers of us. But what does the R stand for, you ask? More speed, more danger, less comfort.

That was strike two.

While it’s got nothing to do with sailing, we learned that three years ago one of them hiked the ‘Washington part’ of the Pacific Crest Trail, 540 miles from the Columbia River to British Columbia, in 27 days. Read that again: at 67 he hiked:

  • 540 miles
  • 27 days in a row
  • Averaging 20 miles a day

Strike three, call a meeting.

As much as you are impressed, admit it, regardless of the .25 – 1.25 multiple you are of their age, you probably didn’t/couldn’t do that next month—even if you wanted to. Even though your vote is only advisory since it technically missed the roll call, admit it: knowing that last bit, you hate them a little bit too now… we do too, but in the best way.

The PCT offense is just the latest tip of the iceberg. They’ve sailed everywhere, been paid at least 35 times to take a boat (and barges) to Alaska, and alternately raced and delivered sailboats to and from the warm parts of the Pacific. All of that is fine as part of a well-patinated life on the water, but in a move that can only be described as “Benjamin Button meets Waterworld,” Team Trickster traded in the comfort of the heavy, full-keel displacement, “pipe, woodstove, and a slow moving smile” sort of boats they owned in their youthful mid-life for the ‘Ouch, my knees’ thrillride of a Viper 640: a 22-foot, round-the-buoys screamer designed for hiking out and planing upwind in your twenties when your parents are still paying for your Ibuprofen habit, but at 70? Strike four.

The only thing that makes sense about any of this is that the four humans of Team Trickster are taking a different boat to Alaska—they have a chance of growing wise in their years yet.

Welcome to the R2AK, Team Trickster. If we end up 1/2 as cool when we’re 2/3 your age, we’ll be 100% satisfied, and twice as exhausted.