Its wet and windy in Port Townsend tonight. 55 degrees, 10 to 20 from the SW…its summer on Juan de Fuca. Forecast is for less than 10 knots and rain tomorrow to set sail and head back to Anacortes in the wake of the R2AK.
This event….this race….described as the “Burning Man” of yacht racing…casts a serious attraction. Within its loose constrictions, it encompasses high-tech sponsored racers, lesser-tech shoestring efforts, whimsical dreamers, traditional mariners, wilderness adventurers, mimimalists, professional sailboat racers all meeting the challenge to get to Catch You Can via sail, peddle or paddle. It demands our attention, demands we drop everything and follow along – because here there be heroes.
They dont think so. They do not see themselves as heroic. They do it for the adventure and the challenge. They do it to innovate within the lax rules. They do it to scratch the itch…they do it to inspire….they do it for themselves. They dont set out to be heroes, we put that burden on them. But the value of this race lies in its unanticipated effect on us. We….and they….are surprised by its impact.
We need to identify and follow our favorite teams – become part of their tribe. We need to hear their hair raising tales of survival, gossip about fantastically wealthy entrants sure to fail, root for single-handed rowers who compete as brothers, share the joy of those who do it for causes bigger than themselves, bigger than us. Via sailing….R2AK saves us.
I will sail away tomorrow in the rain and cold and blustery wind to Anacortes. I will sail alone and take what tide and wind offer. I am done with the R2AK…I get it now, and will sail my seperate and quiet way…proud to be a sailor.