Team members: Jeanne Goussev, Evgeniy Goussev, Maisie Bryant, Remy Lang, Andy Kleitsch, Lindsey Lind, John Guillote, Nikki Henderson
Hometown: Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
Race vessel: Custom Lyman Morse 40
Human propulsion: Pedal (prop)
“We brake for whales?” Cue collective audience “awwww…”
But not us.
We see your attempt to leverage the mass appeal of compassion for endangered aquatic mammals for exactly what it is: performative greenwashing masking a tactical precision the likes of which have only been seen on this race course
once twice before.
Together with her co-captain in life and masochistic maritime mischief, Evgeniy Goussev, Team Sail Like A Girl veteran, and professional philanthropy facilitator, co-captain Jeanne Goussev is back with a brand new bag—and in that bag is the most formidable Polly Pocket treasure trove of sailors and supplies you could imagine.
They’ve got duct tape, baked goods, circumnavigating Soviet ex-pats, adaptive sports instructors, record-breaking yachtswoman/Greta Thunberg escorts, a gal named after a famous rodent chef, and fake coffee made from date pits… because apparently in addition to gender equality and mammalian equality and disability equality, they also care about deforestation. What’s next—world peace?
You might have pulled the SmartWool over everyone else’s eyes and convinced them you’re soft and squishy like the tiny silicone cardigans we may or may not have chewed on, but we know the truth: Team We Brake For Whales might be the hardest, toughest team out there.
Until they meet a whale.
We sat down with Jeanne Goussev over a bowl of organic, fair trade fiberglass to talk about upcycling your caffeine, downplaying your achievements, and what happens if you give a whale a cookie.
What are the necessary components of a good adventure?
Using up a roll of duct tape, wearing the same socks for 5 days, and competing for who gets to go on the bikes next to warm yourself from hypothermia.
What’s a lesson you learned the hard way?
Logs do NOT disappear at night.
What’s your favorite kind of bracket?
Evgeniy, aka MacGyver, attached our bikes with some mean welding.
What’s your claim to fame?
We have a real potty on board.
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?
We recommend coffee (our teammate Andy is designated barista), crunchy bits for 2am (chocolate covered espresso beans pack a punch and the crunch wakes up your brain from the inside out), and chocolate chip cookies for a morale boost towards day 4 of biking a boatcycle. Gray Wolf packs an oven so our glamping version of Race to Alaska is going to have baked goods.
Defend your vessel. What makes it worthy?
Gray Wolf is custom built in Maine from cold molded cedar, as an ocean racer from the late ’90s. A free standing rig, water ballast tanks, and some mean pedal drives off the back, she is sure to be a head turner, head scratcher, all the way northbound.
Blank space, baby. Share some things:
Our partners, Atomo coffee, are keeping us caffeinated with beanless coffee made from upcycled date pits—better for the environment and tasty to boot. And their logo is a whale so we think they are awesome.
Did you all hear about the orcas that are using great white sharks like Capri Suns and sucking out their livers with ‘near surgical precision’? I guess we’re just wondering if you brake for them, too—cuz like, we respect the principle but also orcas are scary AF. Let us know. Whalecome to Race To Alaska.