Team members: Christian Patrick
Hometown: Woodside, New York, USA
Race vessel: US18
Human propulsion: Sliding seat rowing
The bar for what will raise our eyebrow has gone up over five races’ worth of teams streaming across our desk. We’re not numb to the process, we’re not jaded. We like all of the applicants, we’ve just gotten used to filtering through to know what’s going to pass muster, and not judging whether something fits or not. Stand up paddleboard? Sure. Trimaran? Of course. Rowboat rescued from the bushes? Do what you like. As long as it fits and matches your desire and skills, we like whatever it is you want to put in.
You be you.
Then we read a resume that made us feel something new. A life of frenetic and all-encompassing purpose. Not a cautious toe-in affair; this guy ran the bases barefoot with abandon: Navy nuclear power tech turned model/actor turned investment banker. He’s gone paragliding in Chile and France, ice-climbed active volcanoes, flown planes up and down the eastern seaboard and deep into the interior for seemingly whimsical reasons we’re not entirely sure of.
Depending on your generation, all of that fits inside of the Thomas Crown/Wolf of Wall Street archetype of adrenaline consumption, but a dozen years ago he became an anti-capitalism activist, started a Freegan Workshop that taught people to dumpster dive and salvaged 1,500 bikes and boats from the garbage stream. Then he got into sailing, solo sailing all hull combinations to and from the Caribbean and East Coast, including a Massachusetts to Bahamas run on a dumpster-dived 35’ racing cat—as in no cabin or official ownership for a couple thousand miles and at least two international borders. Christian drinks double-gripped from the firehose of life.
With subjects so vast, and our perceptions so limited, it’s said that we can only hope to understand the part of the elephant that we can touch. Assuming we’re working top down (and God/legal counsel help us if we’re not), we’d hope that fingering the ears and trunk would get us to ‘Aha! Loxodonta’ before we had to venture much further. Such is the case with Team Try Baby Tri, our elephant in the room of teams who we are excited to not to grasp too literally…and things got more bizarre when we blindly fumbled into this part:
“Hey, yes, so I have a movie premier in Toronto for my new film, cubbyfilm.com, and that’s not going to allow me to tow my boat across the country anymore, so I just flew out to Port Townsend and bought a little boat, just for the race, from Craigslist. It’s a US 18 and I’m having a code zero type spinnaker made for it and it’s got a little sleeping area down below, and I’m putting a heater in it. I’m definitely 120% down for doing the race and completing the task for Alaska and I need to get this new boat approved. I just bought it today. Big hugs, thanks, bye.” – Voicemail from Team Try Baby Tri, 5/10/19.
“In this coming of age dramedy shot on 16mm, a misanthropic gay artist finds hope & self-discipline through his friendship with a sensitive 6 year old, Milo, and the adult superhero ‘Leather-Man’ who is conjured from a psychedelic cupcake.” – home page, Cubbyfilm.com
Both of that in 5 minutes. Awkward smile, uh…ahem…er, whatever part of the elephant we just touched upon was moving car crash fast—from proa to trimaran, to whatever Craigslist daysailer he just bought, and seemingly accelerated through his self-identified narrative of a nuclear tech turned reformed capitalist turned freegan boat recycler, turned indie actor depicting a gay, leather, psychedelic cupcake.
And you thought your life was busy.
His whole story jangled by so fast that it felt like its parts were going to fall off. Other than lending him a wrench and a handbook, all we could do was update the boat, set our wrenches to metric, set our films to indie, and hit play on R2AK 2019. Pass the popcorn.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Try Baby Tri. Given that you might try, but not tri, no shame if you want to change your name. Yes, again.