Stage 2, Day 19: Spirit of X

Upon the news of the final finish, a sad foghorn was heard somewhere north of Bella Bella as the Grim Sweeper gave up its chase.

Yesterday, two incredible solo teams etched their names into the R2AK annals with finishes that exemplified tenacity.

Ohad of Team Spirit of Nevetz, on his XCAT (which received its share of side-eye in the pre-race times), sailed into 24th place just after 10 AM. As the skies opened up and the rain turned into a downpour, Ohad docked, eyes shining bright. He shared words of inspiration that resonated across continents. His R2AK journey was one of self-reflection, dogged persistence, and sheer willpower. Grateful to a few newfound friends in Port Townsend for making him wear a dry suit for the race and practically doing cartwheels at the thought of a shower and laundry, Ohad’s message was clear: The race is against our own doubts, and every effort drags us closer to the finish line. Online, a massive crowd in Israel went wild, proving that you don’t need to be on the dock to celebrate like a maniac.

14 hours later, Team Mr. X, who claimed the 25th spot, became this year’s final finisher. Sharing many of Ohad’s qualities, Mr. X had been putting in marathon days, with the last stretch clocking in at an epic 22 hours. Since leaving Bella Bella, Xia Huang hadn’t set foot on land—not for a walk on the beach, not for anything. His dedication was rewarded with a hero’s welcome. Fans, both on the dock and online, gathered to celebrate his journey.

Ohad and Xia were the perfect duo to mop up the 2024 race course, and leave us wanting more.

R2AK 8 is done, and there won’t be another until 2026—so savor every moment. We’re doing the same, so expect a few more highlights in your inbox over the next few days. Don’t tune out just yet.

Header photo by Garret Weintrob

Cuts From Course@200x