Team members: Kelsey Fletcher, Jess Bossert, Jennifer Vincent, Paul Sarena, Mark Aberle, Colin Fletcher
Hometown: Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Race vessel: Dash 34 Monohull
Human propulsion: Dual pedal drives
Connect: website, facebook, instagram
TL;DR: Puppies, illicit drugs, strip clubs, community theater, false feminism, clotted cream, and middle age.
If you were to crossbreed a litter of whateverdoodle puppies with a Canadian costume party, the smiling tutu-ed, glittered, fairy winged, ribbon dancing, tea party puppy pile that remained would be the rough equivalent of Team Fashionably Late.
Since Team Fashionably Late first hit the R2AK scene in 2018, they’ve dominated as a top 5 team. Sure, they only finished once, 15th out of 21, but if you judge success by how close you are identified with a costumed bunch of puppies… they’re top 5 for sure.
Getting closer to clear: their recently alleged ranking is 5x about their sheer joy and 10x about their sincerity. Most people #livingtheirbestlife are actually somewhere between immaculately staged denial and desperation for more social media followers.
We’ve met you. You’re a wreck.
There is no way life offline is as good as the coifed and fluffed up feeds… except for maybe Team Fashionably Late.
Blame it on their GenX IRL childhood, Canadian genetic fun vibe, or the fact that they live in a cool artsy town and run a community theater thing, but Team Fashionably Late is an R2AK team that rolls deep in rollicking and picturesque fun. Evidence? Matching uniforms, fantastic boat names. 2018: S/V Giant Corn. 2022: S/V Fighting Trousers.
More than the throughline of fun that seems to define them, there’s an arc of bold tenacity. Starting with the 2018 race being the first sailing trip for at least one of the crew, to simply shadowing the race in 2019 (and in uniform) to grow their new skills and to introduce “high tea underway” to teams seeking to break into Top 5 fun team power rankings. Less than kidding: Team Fashionably Late didn’t officially participate in 2019 but shadowed the fleet and hosted a tea service for at least two teams who were at the time officially “racing”. Bone china and everything. For real.
To pigeonhole Team Fashionably Late’s big puppy energy as a punchline is missing the point; the pursuit of joy isn’t vacant of dedication to growth and challenge. What did Team Fashionably Late do when COVID dropped the guillotine on the neck of R2AK 2020? They could have eaten the right mushrooms and flitted about the forest in fairy gear until they personally confirmed that the goddess was actually alive and magic was indeed afoot. Rather than just putting the silly in psilocybins, Team Fashionably Late spent the time getting ready, yes for tea parties, but also for the race. No R2AK? They did the 700+ miles around Vancouver Island as a training run. No fanfare, all adventure. Hell yeah.
More than VanIsle Circumnavigators, the Tea Party Allstars are arriving at the 2022 race with skills and credentials. Mid to late 40s all, Team Fashionably Late has been seemingly training for the R2AK since they finished in 2018. Certifications, knowledge of names of boat parts, the whole thing. Also, they continue to host a proper tea underway. Clotted cream and all.
Their boat? The S/V Fighting Trousers lives up to its name… we think. Like the team that crews her, the Dash 34 is a four decades old racer, looks good in pictures, and has a loyal following out here in the PNW. Not often confused by the same named lawnmower, the Dash 34 was designed by legendary IOR designer Laurie Davidson (nope, a dude), and in production for 4 short years in the early 80s. The remaining hulls are widely coveted by a cult of adoring fans of budget micro racers, and have a robust history of almost doing the R2AK. Given their following and the begrudging fact that the designer is the 1 in 392,000 example of people named Laurie who are male-identified, here in the R2AK High Command we’re ready to declare that the Fighting Trousers is fast, furious, and falsely feminist.
Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Fashionably Late. May your social media feeds continue to be our excuse for why all that glitter isn’t from the strip club.