Resolved…determined….tough without bluster….are the badass crews of the R2AK. I am not a reporter or journalist, and I will not pass along the “news” – the teams and race HQ provide the best updates. But I will provide my impression of this event…..you cant stop me.
Viewed abstractly from a nice warm easy chair next to a cheerful fire. the race is straightforward and attainable. 750 miles, no motor, no support – no problem. But out on the water, swinging at anchor, subject to wind and tide, the race is an entirely different beast. It is serious business, with real risk involved. No pleasure cruise, this, sure to generate great legends. Songs will be sung around potlatch campfires. Its a long-ass way to Ketchikan…traversing a rugged and isolated outback…subject to massive tides, frigid howling wind, savage loggers and wild crabbers…10K aint enough. Its Alaska for godsakes…..
The crews here personify toughness and tenacity. They know whats coming but are going anyway. They tweak and tinker not so much for speed as for survival. The pace of the work is slow, steady, relentless – imaginative and innovative. Accepting the challenge, they put all they have into their own unique solution – no one design legislation here – if it works – stick with it, if it fails -ditch it quick. Check in with the competition for solid ideas – how to avoid freighters, where to pull over, camp on the boat or ashore, got a bear gun?
Why go? Only one will win the cash…and steak knives can be bought. They go because it is Grand Adventure, and it is Grand Adventure because this part of the world has yet to be tamed. It is wild and free up North. They will navigate forces beyond their control…solve problems they could not anticipate….transcend the work-a-day….live free.
It aint about winning….the R2AK….its about participating and meeting its challenge in the most creative and competent way. Not for celebrity, but to prove that your solution works. To prove you know what you are about. To be…pure and wild.