Did Not Start.
Team members: Douglas Walker, Karl Kruger
Hometown: Durango, CO, USA
Race vessel: Walker experimental Trimaran
Human propulsion: Hobie Mirage pedal drives
TL;DR: Star Wars, Karl Kruger, and look at that thing.
It’s not lost on us that the least interesting thing about Team Skywalker is the most interesting thing in R2AK history.
No, not the pornstar. Wrong bio.
Whatever you are pretending you absolutely need to do right now, the Facebook rant can wait. Your Instagram filter is good enough. Your Tiktok will remain garbage. What you need to do now is stare at this screen, this one, and join the rest of us as we embrace that in R2AK nation and the world of Team Skywalker, Karl Kruger is so 2017.
To all of you who are following our instructions and not clicking on this link to learn “Who is Karl Kruger?”, Karl is the sole human to successfully R2AK on a SUP (“stand up paddleboard” in case you still haven’t clicked. Gold star). An incredible feat, 750 miles of human-powered anything is impressive, but especially self-supported, in the wilderness, on a paddleboard, and especially because he did it in 14 days—beating like 17 teams. With boats.
It’s the standard jaw-dropper we throw in pretty much every presentation. $10K, steak knives, Karl Kruger: R2AK’s holy trinity.
At least it was.
That was 5 years and a pandemic ago when he was mid-40s ripped and dreamy. How are you going to top that feat now that you’re older, Karl? What are you now, 50? Other than a medically advised colonoscopy, what have you done lately?
Cue the Imperial Death March, lock up your Ewoks, enter Team Skywalker: R2AK 2022’s excitement maker of Death Star proportions. Team Skywalker’s name comes from the fact that their boat looks like something from Star Wars. While it’s not true, we like to think that a 4-year-old pointed at Kylo Ren’s Star Wars Tie Fighter and told an indulgent naval architect “That!” What resulted from that fictitious, pre-K creative license is a weirdo machine of the highest Imperial order.
First, it’s a foiling sailboat, designed to lift fully out of the water; ride above the waves at exceedingly high speeds—and it doesn’t just have one foil, there are 5 of them. It doesn’t just have one mast, it has two; offset, one for each pod. That’s right, port and starboard masts—like all of the other boats that have never been built like that. As far as we know, Team Skywalker’s trimaran is the first boat to give it a try. While it’s reportedly able to go 30 knots (30!!), it’s only reportedly able to do that. As of May 15th, the boat is still in production and has yet to have a test sail. It’s as inoperable as the Death Star in Return of the Jedi…. which, for all of you Jedi abstainers, means it both is and maybe it isn’t.
It’s in process, still able to vaporize a planet but vulnerable to the details—an x-wing and Millennium Falcon in the ducting could take the whole thing down, or in the case of Team Skywalker: 30 switches on the control panel or the 5 foils under the hull, because more complicated.
But the force is strong in these two, and the Obi-Wan of the crew is Douglas Walker, 2018 R2AK Veteran of Team Swan Song, who turned out to be less eponymously named than they thought. In the years of remission between then and now, Douglas designed and has so far almost finished building a custom foiling trimaran (check out the build progress here). It’s impressive.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Skywalker. While designing, building, and then sailing, a custom foiling trimaran with an experimental rig might be a solid choice, sailing it for the first time to Alaska through an asteroid field of driftwood, all while in hyperdrive? By our calculations, the odds of this working out are precisely 3,720 to one.
Our advice: “Never tell me the odds.”