Team Zen Again Dog

More bios

Team members: Robert McCall
Hometown: Sharnford, Leicester, UK
Race vessel: Seaward Quest X3 Kayak
LOA: 19′
Human propulsion: Paddle
Connect: facebook


It can be a scary thing to go back to school as an adult—which is exactly why we’d like to congratulate Robert on his recent graduation from the Fast & Furious School of Sequel Naming. Team Zen Again Dog is the follow-up to 2022’s sleeper-hit Team Zen Dog, and what we can only hope is a harbinger of annual releases to come. But if we could offer some feedback, we are mourning what feels like some missed opportunities here. We might have gone with something like:

  • Zen Dog 2: Zen Harder
  • Zen Dog II: Back in the ‘Yak

Or perhaps:

  • Zen 2: Kayak Boogaloo

Robert says that the necessary components of a good adventure film are “good company, great people, and three of the four types of fun.” Yet, based on the previews, it seems like there’s only one character in this story—false advertising, or plot twist teaser? Maybe this is one of those conceptual arthouse films—he did say it was ‘niche’. What we’re most interested to see is if Robert’s directorial style leans into his European roots, offering the audience another raw, neorealistic cliffhanger ending, or if he will pivot to cater to the lower-brow American sensibilities of his audience with an action-packed, popcorn-guzzling plot line, concluding in a euphoric hero’s ending in Ketchikan.

We sat down with Team Zen Again Dog over a bowl of curly brackets to talk about mise-en-scene, breaking the fourth wall, and whether he’s filming in British Columbia for the tax breaks.

What are the necessary components of a good adventure?

Good company, great people, and three of the four types of fun.

What’s a lesson you learned the hard way?

That Lillian is spelled with two “L”‘s in the middle. [R2AK HQ: We assume this is in reference to multi-year R2AK racer Lillian Kuehl . . .?]

What’s your favorite kind of bracket?


What’s your claim to fame?

I think I’m the first Brit to take part in R2AK in a kayak. Niche, but I’ll take it.

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

Cape Caution and beyond. Ketchikan and I’ll float back to the UK in a state of zen-like bliss.

Defend your vessel. What makes it worthy?

Minnie. Totally reliable. The third time I paddled her was on Stage One last year, and she was rock solid. Um. Maybe just solid, don’t want to mention rocks.

Blank space, baby. Share some things:

Read the book. Go on, You know you want to. 


Welcome to the Race Again to Alaska, Team Zen Again Dog—we hope this next installment of the Zen Dog franchise is Certified Fresh. Just don’t forget to invite us to the premiere.