Team Ruf Duck

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Team members: Jeff Oaklief, Mike Hummels, Mike Brown, Greg Oaklief, Jonah Oaklief
Hometown: Seattle, WA, USA
Race vessel: Farrier F9R
LOA: 31′
Human propulsion: Rice nozzle
Connect: facebook

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and R2AK tends to attract racers that are proxy test pilots for breaking the arrogance barrier. Why? No idea, but our best guess is while the meek may inherit the earth, no one timids themselves engineless to Alaska.

From what we know about Team Ruf Duck and the R2AK Class of 2023, it’s safe to say we’d vote them “Mostly Likely to be Johnny Cash” (walking the line, get it?). Last year they made a prudent decision—dropping out after being smacked in the teeth with 30+ knots of wind in Johnstone Strait and ripping most of their sails. With more than 400 miles to go, they turned it around and lived to fight another day. Prudent. 

This year? With confidence levels we can only describe as “Midcentury White Guy,” Team Ruf Duck gave us absolutely zero responses to the questions below. They cool guyed us. Showed up to the velvet ropes expecting the rockstar treatment for their 30% finish and a 10th-place *almost* win in the WA360 in 2022. Figured that their publicist could just spoon-feed us with hype and an airplane noise. 

We sat down with a cardboard cutout of Team Ruf Duck over a bowl of different expectations to talk about why to never leave forms blank, and what answers we have made up for them. 

*The following answers may not be fiction, but they were created by R2AK without the influence of facts. Any resemblance to the truth is either unintentional or a sign that we are as omniscient as we think we are. 

What are the necessary components of a good adventure?

Do you know why the Swiss Army is so feared? It’s not the training, it’s the knife. If you’re ready for anything—from opening wine to opening cans to picking your teeth—you don’t really need to prepare. The world’s in your pocket, and you can open it like the oyster it is. 

Team Ruf Duck are like human Swiss Army knives, ready for everything right off of the couch. 

Preparation is for other people.

What’s your favorite kind of bracket?

{}, because put them together and they look like a little screaming mouth. Like, if that painting about screaming would have been done in texticons (or whatever you call them) it would be like: 

   0 0

What’s your claim to fame?

I just invented the word texticon.

It’s drizzling, freezing cold, and you’ve missed the tide. The cabin is leaky and the stove won’t light. How do you keep the good vibes going?

When the world gives you lemons, suck on ‘em. Then drink some milk, snort a pixie stick, smack yourself in the face, then poke a sleeping crewmate with a fork. “That’s for nothing!” you can scream to make sure they don’t do nothing. 

Forget the 10k or the steak knives. What does success look like for you and your team?

Our goal is to win both. We’re Chuck Norris good. 

Defend your vessel. What makes it worthy?

Criticize trimarans all you like. You can say it’s not fair because they are so much faster, or that Corsairs are the Ford Focus of the trimaran set. 

You know what we say to that? Ours is ‘lellow.

Blank space, baby. Write some things:

  • Red Leather, Yellow Leather
  • If you were to stand the circumference of the earth end to end you would get a circle the exact length, width, height, and depth of the equator. 
  • One smart feller, he felt smart. 
  • Sure there’s no “I”, but there is no U in “team” either (Sick burn. Saving that one for later.)
  • I’m not a pheasant plucker I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate. I’m only plucking pheasants cause the pheasant plucker’s late. 


Welcome back to the R2AK, Team Ruf Duck. Even though it was fake, this might have been the best interview we’ve ever had!