Team Pocket Rockanauts

More bios

Team members: Karl Unterschuetz, Tim Hutchinson, Doug McCutchen
Hometown: Missoula, MT, USA
Race vessel: Gougeon 32 Catamaran
LOA: 32′
Human propulsion: Pedal drives and backup paddles
Connect: instagram


TL;DR: Sincere apologies, self-reflection, attempts at improvement, remission, cyclical behavior, and some weird shit about cuttlefish.

To start off, we want to say we’re sorry.

This is R2AK-6, which means for 6 years we’ve been ignoring pleas just to get to the point. Enough with the… whatever you call this (*waves hands at screen with a team bio’s worth of words on it*). Write a fact, a relevant stat, get to a goddamned bullet point.

Maybe don’t write this stuff in the middle of the night when your fatigued brains think everything you type is interesting, relevant, and hilarious. That’s not good judgment, that’s the triple threat of fatigue, coffee, and cough syrup all peaking at the same self-impressed time.

Six. Years.

It wasn’t until we saw ourselves in the mirror of someone else’s late night typing frenzy that we finally heard the one and a half presidential terms of people yelling “I DUNNO, TAKE A NAP AND WRITE HALF NEXT TIME?!?!” (*slams keyboard to the wall, knocks over lamp, startles dog off the couch*)

We were three books into what can only be described as Team Pocket Rockanauts’ Iliad of adventure resumes before we knew what the hell was going on with them. As we were throwing our keyboard against the wall and apologizing to the dog, it hit us as hard as the wall: we weren’t mad at the length of their resume, we were mad at ourselves.

So we get it, finally, and we’re sorry. Internet, please take us back. We’ll be better, we promise. See, we went out and got you some real pretty bullet points to show you we mean it:

Team Pocket Rockanauts

  • From Montana
  • Three crew
    • 30+ years of friendship based on
      • Adventures
        • Skipping school (early years)
        • Mountains (skiing, etc)
        • Sea (sailing, windsurfing)
        • Most notable: Sailed Seattle to Norway for wife’s Fulbright.
          • Took 5.5 Months
          • For follow up:
            • Unaware of air travel
            • Opposites attract, re: intellect?
      • Suffering voluntarily
        • Cold
        • Mostly cold
    • Skills/Experience
      • Lots
  • Boat
    • Last minute purchase for the R2AK
    • Drove all night to buy it
      • Montana to San Diego
      • Likely while writing their application
    • Gougeon 32

G32?!?! (*picks up keyboard without breaking eye contact with screen, pushes up glasses, hits refresh*)

Well, look at that. A Gougeon 32 that dares us to write, and we’re all out of bullet points. (*looks around, pats pockets*)

With apologies to people who are blind, if you haven’t seen a G32, imagine it as the lovechild of an unlikely night of passion between a cuttlefish and a Jetson’s era cartoon spaceship.

Not to ruin wherever you are in working out the geometry of that moment, the G32 was actually designed by Jan Gougeon; legendary designer, sailor, and co-founder of West Systems Epoxy. Since we first saw a G32, we’ve been as curious to know his browser’s search history as we are thankful that we never will.

Super high rig and running backstays, it gets its fast more from design and systems than the straight math of “bigger = faster.” The G32 is a 32’ catamaran with an 8′ beam—roughly half the width of its same sized peer group. Which begs the question: How does a high rig with big sails and a narrow base not just flip over all the time? Answers:
#1: Sail good.
#2: Self-bailing water ballast in each hull so you can fill the windward hull while you’re draining the leeward one to get more weight on the side you need it, and less on the side you don’t.

Classic cuttlefish-inspired design… or something.

Only twelve of these trailerable rocket ships were built, so a crazy longshot that one would ever enter the R2AK, let alone two, and this is our second. Russel Brown took one all the way to Ketchikan in 2017 and 2018 and part way in 2019. Set the solo record at 8 days, 4 hours, 16 minutes, beating his previous record. Even though he was solo, he led the entire fleet for days, but like our writing, his proficiency was overcome by fatigue. Unlike us, he eventually went to sleep and did better in the morning.

If Russel traveled light and sleepy, Team Pocket Rockanauts is bringing the beef and betting that more crew, sailing 24/7, and sleeping in rotation will be worth the speed reduction from the added weight of three crew and gear—and that’s before the onboard cuttlefish. Crew of three guys, there’s always one.

Yes, we see its vest. No, we don’t believe that it’s a Therapy Cuttlefish… also, what you are doing is not therapy. Not sure it’s even legal.

Suck on that bullet point people. The gear-shift on R2AK’s random idea drive remains stuck in warp mode.

A team with the same inability to edit their writing, riding the second G32 to attempt Alaska? If you divide the number of boats in the world by the number of… whatever, you get the point. This has to be more than a statistical coincidence. Call it magnetism of kindred spirits, some realization of that “birds of a feather” truism of people finding their people—whatever the reason, we’re thrilled that this summer we’ll be flocking with the strapping lads of Team Pocket Rockyanuts. (We can’t edit, but something feels off there…)

Welcome to the R2AK, Team Pocket Rockanauts. No offense taken, we didn’t read this bio all the way through either.