Team Malolo

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Team members: Duncan Gladman, Tom Kassberg, Paul Gibson, Gavin Bracket
Hometown: Victoria, BC, Canada
Race vessel: Custom Trimaran
LOA: 34.8′
Human propulsion: Tandem Bicycle
Connect: facebook, instagram


TL;DR: Unless you’re offended by the name “Paul,” this might just be the least triggering bio in recent memory.

No matter how bad your day is, unless you’re one of the members of Team Malolo, you’re not the one who scoured the earth, then went to New Zealand, bought the fastest boat R2AK has ever seen only to come in second to a slower boat, with a less experienced crew, because you made the wrong call on routing through the Gulf Islands, missed the tidal gate at Seymour Narrows, then hit a log in Hecate Strait, lost your tracker and electronics, only to finish a mere two hours behind the winning team who, in case you missed it, was on a slower boat.

Too soon?

The story of Team Malolo, né Team Pear Shaped Racing, is R2AK’s version of being on the wrong side of the Cinderella story. In the March Madness upset, they’re the Kentucky to Saint Peter’s (too soon?), they’re the Green Berets to the Viet Cong (too soon?), the Titanic to the iceberg (too soon?), the Goliath to the David (too soon?). In every conflict, there’s the likely winner and the one that everyone is rooting for. Team Malolo holds the unique space that is both of those.

It’s confusing.

By nature of their boat, they’d be the Cobra Kai, Putin-esque level supervillain. Designed and built by Tom Cochrane in 1997, the 35’ foiling trimaran has all the kinds of fast: hydraulic canting mast, lifting foils, and potentially a flux capacitor. We’re told that it averaged over twenty knots on its post-purchase trip from New Zealand. The fact that it was on the top deck of a container ship seems secondary to the point that it might have done it anyway given that it routinely hits 20+ around the buoys and often punches into the 30s. We’re not sure if it’s the pill we just got on/off, but looking at this boat makes us feel something again.

If their boat is the Death Star, their crew are some of the most talented Ewoks we’ve ever met, and potentially the only team with crew members who can claim both the R2AK win and the steak knives IN THE SAME YEAR.

That’s right, the guts of Team Pear Shaped Racing’s steak knife crew have joined forces with part of Team Angry Beavers 2019 champion squad, and a guy named “Paul.” The result: the most complicated Cinderella narrative ever created.

Their combined experience is ridiculous. By sheer volume of numbers and abbreviations, Team Pear Shaped Racing’s resume read like a Dow Jones scroll reporting up to the minute updates on how high their sailing stock has risen: Z86, Swan 42, Schumacher 50, J/109, Archambault 40RC, J/70, Open 50, Farr 40, J/105, 505, Melges 24, Mini 6.50, Mini 4.5, Express 27, 360, ORMA 60, and the F-85SR that won the R2AK’s 2nd place steak knives in 2015. Races? For sure. To name a few: record-setting TransPacs, Melges Nationals, Round the Counties, Swiftures, and the like. Plus, depending on the crew member, they either beat their crewmates, were defeated by their crewmates, or are named Paul.

Fast boat, talented crew; if you weren’t so nice, we’d hate you on principle.

Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Malolo. Keep your log spotting game on point, and you might be the first favored underdog to win this thing.