Team Toybox Express

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Team members: Dawson Lucier, Nikolai Kotzman
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario, CA
Race vessel: Hobie Tandem Island 2019
LOA: 18’6″
Human propulsion: Pedal & Paddle
Connect: website, facebook, instagram, youtube

The beauty of young love is not something we meditate on often here at R2AK High Command.  At our count, this race has been part of 5 or more divorces, so we’re more accustomed to dodging unfriendly fire than celebrating the pure of heart.

Enter team Toybox Express. Dawson and Neeko set out to change our hard-hearted ways from their application onward. They said they wanted to race in order to “solidify their partnership and their yearning souls.” They also claimed R2AK will connect their “molting places, pride lands, evolution grounds: Juan De Fuca strait and Ketchikan, respectively. It will tie together Canada and America. It will tie together young love.”

Ok fellas, that’s a lot of pressure to put on our dumb little adventure race.

This isn’t Dawson and Neeko’s first adventure, by far. Separately, they’ve raced sled dogs in Yukon Quest, hitch-hiked the entire Baja Peninsula and across Newfoundland, hatcheried a lot of salmon, rode from Vancouver to Toronto on a bicycle, solo traveled in Asia (including horse trekking in Mongolia), and more. Of all those gin joints, they met while hiking the PCT, and since that time have surfed every spot on the West Coast and sailed to Mexico and then El Salvador together. They reside on a 31’ sailboat and summer in a Toyota Tacoma. Livin’ the dream.

In case you thought we’d gone soft, bathing in tears of joy from this love story/Harlequin Romance bodice ripper of an adventure tale, remember that the race is 750 miles long, and they’re doing it in what boils down to a pedaled double kayak with training wheels and a sail. Double kayaks are nicknamed “divorce boats” for a reason. One or both of them could be a bear’s dinner. You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to be faster than whatever passive aggressive bullshit your soulmate has been constructively serving for the last 600 miles.   Blisters and other bodily ailments lurk around every corner. Rogue waves abound. Nothing is guaranteed, but backseat kayakery is at least 90%

We wanted to sit down with Team Toybox Express over a bowl of yak butter tea to talk about sled dogs, sincerity, and twu wuv. Apparently our friends were too busy adventuring for a chat.  

Welcome to R2AK, Toybox Express. Don’t go breaking our hearts. Or each other’s.