2 minute read

You know that conversation that’s had in marina bars across the world? The one that goes… “Yeah. Just slap some foils on that puppy and it’ll fly just like those boats in the America’s Cup.” Well… this is what happens when people start taking that conversation more seriously than they should.

I’ve been a fan-boy for the Race to Alaska since its inception, watching the racers go by the shores of the island I live on. But this year, something hit different, and now I’m chest deep in plans to make my dream come true.

Anyone who’s been willing to listen to me natter on and on about it, has been subjected to listening to me ‘blue sky’ this thing. I’ve been WAY down the YouTube rabbit hole and back again, trying to find examples of real things happening that are encouraging, that match the visions in my head, and where I might find some encouragement.

But let’s be real for a moment. The smart thing to do is not start any of this.

Let’s roll the clock back a few years. In 2015, that first notice for the Race 2 Alaska. So irreverant, so funny, so compelling! Could you? Would you? Yeah… if I could find the time. I was hooked and resigned to be a tracker junkie.

Then in 2017, I’d read about the voyage of Chris Bertish across the Atlantic on a paddleboard. My first impression was perhaps similar to what yours might be… “A Paddle Board? Is he nuts?”. But for me it went a step further. What kind of person would neglect to use a sail? I mean, seriously. Just put a sail on it and call it a day! And so a phrase was born in my head, a phrase that would act as a container for my philosophy about pretty much everything:

“Any idiot can be uncomfortable.”

The phrase is meant to capture the fact that comfort doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive, or be derived from complex infrastructure. Surely, with a little forethought and a nod to the tried and true, it’s possible to do extreme things AND be comfortable at the same time. In the paddlerboarder’s case, surely that impulse would suggest slapping a sail on that paddleboard so he could expend less energy getting from A to B?

As it stands, after a few months of obsessive planning and replanning, I fear now that the joke might be on me. Can I come up with those clever hacks that’ll make sailing a beach cat to Alaska… uh… cough… COMFORTABLE? I think I need a few sail trials in the Spring weather first.

Stay tuned!