Team Don’t Tell Mom

More bios

Team members: Leigh Dorsey, Clare Dorsey
Hometown: Belfast, ME, USA
Race vessel: Savo 650 “E”
LOA: 21’4″
Human propulsion: Two sliding seats with custom wooden sculling oars
Connect: website, instagram


TL;DR: Tattoos, hidden smokes, serial killers, human evolution, and Vanilla Ice.

Sneaking in, sneaking out, first boyfriend, first girlfriend, first tattoo, first time drunk, sex, pregnancy scare, running away, joining the military—back in our day there were respectable things sisters didn’t tell mom about. It’s hard to be sure from the back corner of the R2AK’s bio factory, but we can only assume that Team Don’t Tell Mom has already broke the window with the baseball, ate popcorn instead of dinner, hidden smokes, spent the grocery money on weed, crashed the car then reported it stolen, bought a new cat/fish/parrot that looked pretty much like the old one. Why? Like a serial killer emboldened by getting away with it the first nine times, why else would two otherwise functional adult sisters conspire to secretly row to Alaska in one of the most viewed races in modern history?

No, we’re not saying they’re serial killers. Keep up.

What’s more absurd than not telling your mom that you’re about to do an incredible thing with the other person she loves most in the world? Voluntarily doing that thing for a second time.

What’s more absurd than that? Anthropologists refer to humans’ ability to adapt and innovate as our key advantage as a species. End up living in the Arctic? Boom, ice houses and blubber diets. Tired of not being able to communicate with people who can’t hear you? Tie a note to a pigeon. Tired of short notes and pigeons? Here’s a wire and a tap-tap machine. Tired of the tapping? Come here, Watson, I need you. Tired of your conversation being connected to the wall? Here’s a globally connected supercomputer for your pocket.

Say what you will about 90s rapper Vanilla Ice, but he divined the core of human ingenuity: “If there’s a problem, yo I’ll solve it.”

…unless you’re Team Don’t Tell Mom, who should also not tell their mother that they took all the lessons learned from their 2019 Race to Alaska and decided “Nope, same thing.”

The poor role model/older sister of Team Don’t Tell Mom rowed the same boat 2AK in 2019 as Team Backwards AF—a crowd favorite who never saw it coming. (Great video recap of their race here. Favorite part: “I can tell he’s upset by the way he’s rowing.”) 17 days of callouses and calories from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, you’d think they’d learn. One of them did, but Leigh is back with the same boat and a new crew: her younger sister Clare (who’s so deep in the hardcore part of the Coast Guard that she coaches their rugby team), and the same unsuspecting mom.

Why do it again? “It’s time an all-female crew rowed to Alaska.” Which is true, and at the time of posting validated by at least one other team who thought the same thing (see Team Let’s Row Maybe) and is bringing a very similarly sized rowboat to the starting line. Olympic medals vs R2AK experience and a shared/uninformed mother? This will be the most exciting 3–5 miles an hour we’ve seen in a long time.

Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Don’t Tell Mom. Two thoughts:

  • We won’t
  • You should