Login | Register

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 39 posts ] 

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:46 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

This race, now in it's 4th day, is starting to drive home the real lessons. The sea is dangerous and plays for keeps. The abandonment of Sea Wolf at the ominously named Sand Heads was a survival situation. Life or Death.
But the waters are cunning and frivolous too . Job 1 for them is to beguile us with beauty and tranquility so we forget the monstrous blank face of 15 foot breaking seas.
Now with the crisis only a sea story...some questions arise.
Explanations are demanded. What led to this event "which should not have happened"?
Why were they apart from the fleet? Looking for wind?
Going home to Vancouver?
Maybe it doesn't matter..the boys are safe.



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:02 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

And the winds of June howl on!
Just past the beginning of Day 5 and the race is nearly won!
You better believe it has been more of a test of endurance and resolve than those little tracker icons or the excellent commentary could ever show. An unseasonable, almost unreasonable challenge for boats and men. But we knew that possibility going in!

What bothers me a little about how all this is shaking out, is what this uninterrupted contest reveals about the nature of competition. A runaway victory like this one, as awesome a performance as it is, turns out to lack a certain measure of excitement...and suspense!

The "reboots" of starts and finishes is where the richest emotional ore can be mined! Even Leg 1 showed us that..

A classing system has a lot of power too. It keeps a pool of potential and actual winners waiting in the wings for their moment in the sun (rain?).

Perhaps most importantly putting the leaders on the podium periodically , limiting their gains , gives the race committee some semblance of safety control over the fleet. Witness the case of Sea Wolf, somehow out in left field, and in trouble.

Natural built-in breaks spread out the love!

Certain stages and weather will favor different boats and crews.
This is key, and gives a better platform to showcase various great boats and strategies, teams, propulsion, etc.

Then there are the elements of celebration of place and community building to consider....A straight through run like we are doing this year is very economical, and justifiably appropriate for a vanguard achievement...but it is also very economical on goodwill and comraderie between the Start and Finish lines.
An event navigating through a territory has a responsibility to be connected to that territory on multiple levels!
Locals will embrace the party and contribute to the pageantry, trust me.

Basically, this thing has exceeded all expectations, has shown itself to be world class right away, and deserves to go the next level , next year.

I never thought I would hear myself ask for this... But just a few more "Rules" please!


Last edited by Dirk Visser 166 on Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:08 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

"Elsie Piddock" records a Win for the Ages!
Chances are it will be some years, or never, before that time is bested! (and I say that knowing one should never say never...)
What a tour de force!
A seemingly flawless and inspiring voyage into forever...
A PERFECT RACE !!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:49 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

And very soon...a nice Ketchikan steak dinner for both crews!
...and knives all around, perhaps?
Should be an excellent finish for the silver and bronze!

A mono and a multi, wind-powered and emblematic of 2/3 of the brave competitors making up the 2015 field!
The so-far unrepresented balance of the fleet composition, our stalwart muscle driven entries, will no doubt dine later next week on fresh local King Salmon that cuts with a dull fork!

Another interesting thought occurs just as "Por Favor" and " Mob Mentality" approach the finish line together neck and neck. I saw it happening early on with Elsie P's long runaway but failed to assign it proper weight.

With enough distance between competitors conditions can become wildly variable..It's a different challenge days later .

Lady Luck plays an ever stronger hand !!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:11 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

In hindsight now, as Roger Mann secures his historic solo completion of the course, and Mike's kayak clears the final checkpoint of Bella Bella, the character of the first edition of what will hopefully become an established annual event is coming into focus.

It was all about wind, sail power, and endurance.
Even the muscle-driven powerhouse called Soggy Beavers only got a few hours at the head of the pack before the Georgia Strait turned nasty for a week.

Excellent Adventure is poised to finish next, Barefoot, Boatyard Boys , and Team John are still in it. It's a great example of guys going for personal best. Motivation comes from many quarters, and the value of accomplishment is sublimely individual. That little blue flame at the heart of it all not only needs protection, it requires fuel as well.

Challenge and risk are hard to dismiss, real as they are.
But it goes deeper than that. Deeper than the threat of death.

This test is really about the unseen triumph of life. No reporters or witnesses to this 1st time out. This will undoubtably change, assuming a rematch. One mobile video crew could lever the whole spectacle open. It's a mental and physical survival epic. And crucially, it's intentional.
Very seductive to publicity and loaded with commercial potential.. Number plates for the entrants will be "de riguer" next time out!

Reminds me in some illogical way of the now-legendary Seattle Folklife Festival. 28 stages, hundreds of musical, dance, and storytelling acts. You show up for that 4 day weekend in May knowing you will be missing 90% of the show!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:31 am

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

If, indeed, there are to be future editions of this unique and inspiring event, experience is showing that additional empowerment of the race committee is looming large as a major factor.

It was clear this year that they need specific information beyond the tracker records and the random updates from the entrants.
Roger Mann's fresh and real interview transcript is proof of the power of direct reporting. We need more of that to capture the essence of what is essentially a struggle against the elements and the limitations of human motivation and endurance.

Boats and float planes are how people get around in this region.
The race officials had only limited access to these resources.
They would gain mightily by chartering a large and comfortable committee boat to serve as a base of operations for the month.
In order to understand what is happening out on the course, what teams are experiencing, how the challenges are being met, immersion in the fabric of the event is the time honored method.

Not to diminish in any way the innovative internet interpretations and reportage that was done, this lent a unique and fascinating flavor to the whole business. Kind of citizen driven and excellent, involving the observer in the process, and there are some well informed experienced contributors, its obvious!

There is a missing voice however, between the start and finish lines..and it is that of the eyewitness.



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:32 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

Is our collective hindsight vision of this epic contest approaching 20/20 now as Mike's kayak covers the final few miles into Ketchikan?

The wealth of detail supplied by each new finisher surely enriches our appreciation of what this event really was... Not exactly what anyone expected, I'd venture, but all the same, true to the territory, and true to human resilience.

Two dozen boats, something like half the entries, did not finish.
This says a lot about the challenges of weather this year, and the distance in any year.

As one reviews the race chronology from the online sources, our main information feeds this year, differences are apparent ..
The experienced boatmen gravitated to the Wooden Boat Magazine site, and supplied an experienced and informed narrative..but what happened to Part 1 of this excellent blow by blow archive?
The more casual followers seemed to be enthralled by the photos and video clips on the R2AK Facebook page. The official R2AK site gave thought-provoking daily summaries delving into the physics and psychology of this unique test.

Looking back amid all the success, and I would call every entry and
survival that..I have to hand it to the Maritime Center...somehow the organizers achieved that lovable delicate balance of irreverence and respect. As a culture and a contagious attitude this combo is hard to beat. To laugh at oneself, disarming, and as old and young as we are ...
The Zen Masters had nothing on these guys this year!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:07 am

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:51 pm
Posts: 31
Age: 53
Location: Upstate South Carolina, USA

Dirk,
Scott and Thomas of SeaRunners had devices that they could text anywhere. For letting race boss know what is going on it seems near perfect and option to sat phone. I only updated when I had cell coverage as I lost my Sat phone. Anyway here is what the ad says.-
If you're going off the grid, stay in touch with inReach.
Two-way communication becomes two-way texting when your inReach is paired with a smartphone or the PN-60w GPS. Now you can both send and receive messages — that means interactive SOS messages, text messages, emails, social network updates, etc., and full GPS navigation. In short, an affordable remote satellite connection that is no less than revolutionary.

Seems like if all the teams carried these then there would be incredible updates for all to see and view and would make followers seem right there in the action.
Anyway I was supprised after finishing the race that there were so many updates and so many folks following and enjoying it since when we launched there were no real plans to update anyone except for the tracker. When I saw all the coverage I was blown away. Something like the unit above would make it more so I think. I will certainly invest in one and not a sat phone when I do again.
Roger



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWW

Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:17 am

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

Hi Roger!

Congratulations on your Epic achievement and victory in the solo division!

There's a lot of us Walter Mittys out here who I am thanking you on behalf of, make no mistake! You guys actually doing the race are a strong antidote when the " life of quiet desperation" card is face up on the table in front of us back here...Hopefuly this is becoming more clear and meaningful to all the entrants as the detailed events that defined this race are revealed !

You were individuals to the max out there, but also proxy stars for us all.!

Yes, the device and supporting network you mentioned would be hugely empowering and keep the reporting to the boats and crews themselves, an attractive scenario!

A further extension to the involving coverage style the event pioneered this year..

WELCOME HOME. !!!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM

Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:31 pm

Offline
Regular Contributor
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:47 am
Posts: 159
Age: 69
Location: Fremont, Ca.

The only first time is now history.

23 days and nights, 15 finishing teams, and an even larger number of entries that withdrew after completing various distances of the 750 mile course.

The "Sweep Boat"?
An enigma of sorts. It always seemed to be a reassuring option.
Maybe it still is. The brown rice and lentils..broken VHF...dead SPOT...these could be very real considerations on a voyage of this sort.

The fact that everyone appears accounted for, hale and hearty even, must be a source of considerable satisfaction to race organizers..
And everyone experienced in the ways of boats and the sea knows this good fortune was no happy accident.

Foresight, planning, prudence, preparation, endurance, seamanship, overbuilding, improvisation, persistence, creativity, good humor, and just plain "holding fast"...all played their parts!
Big Kudos to all who made it happen!

There's only one first time, and she's no virgin ever again Lads....
...It were quite a first dance to remember !!!



Top Top
  Profile Send private message WWWMSNM/WLM
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 39 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum


Search for:
Jump to: