20. Team Mellonhead: Eric Tirion aboard Squirt (13’8″ Melonseed skiff)

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Photo by Nate Rooks

I grew up in a sailing family and learned mostly by crewing on a dragon. When I got my own laser I found out I was more of an explorer than a racer and I spent a lot of time just gunkholing about in Cottage country lakes in Ontario. Since coming to the west coast ten years ago I’ve been itching to do some longer trips aboard a small boat. Here we go!

I have a Crawford built Melonseed skiff, Hull #521. The skiff is a copy of an 1890 Chapelle boat in the Smithsonian. I commissioned the build in 2016, and had “Squirt” shipped from Massachusetts in the spring of 2017. About the size of a Laser, but with a little storage under deck, and just enough room to sleep aboard. She’s just a simple Sprit rigged cat boat, but great in light air and steady in a blow.

21. Team Over Easy: Ted Sweeney aboard Over Easy (17′ Montgomery)

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Photo by Scott Veirs

Six months after Ted learned to sail, a timely, persuasive email earned him a berth on a Ketchikan-bound Montgomery 17 in the 2015 R2AK. The three week trip north left Ted hopelessly strung-out and addicted to Salish Sea salt. His downward spiral into abject nautical nerd-dome has continued with frequent cruises, racing, a Caribbean delivery, a backyard festooned with wretched paddlecraft including a recent unlikely Seventy48 finisher, and employers who at this very moment are likely looking at the preponderance of “OOTO – SAILING” entries on Ted’s google calendar and pulling up HR on Slack.

Over Easy is a 1978 Montgomery 17, a 2016 R2AK finisher in different hands and under a different name. When the prior owners loaded this sweet marigold tortoise on a barge in Ketchikan, never wanting to see or smell it again as long as they lived, Ted was a perfect mark – still wrapped in the Stockholm-syndrome of Monty fandome following his survival of the 2015 R2AK, and young and dumb enough to buy a boat essentially sight unseen while it was in transit back to Seattle. Still sporting a number of significant upgrades from R2AK, Over Easy is ready for the Raid course. All that remains to be seen is if Ted is really prepared to face his demons and rig up the oars.

14-Team Fly: Steve Millar aboard Fly (F27 trimaran)

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Steve grew up sailing the Salish Sea, in dinghies, keelboats and multihulls. A 2016 R2AK veteran, he lives in Courtenay and has sailed all over the Pacific. Just finishing up 3 months sailing the Sea of Cortez.

Fly is a 1996 F27 trimaran. Not a classic small open dinghy cruiser, but becoming a little bit classic plastic multihull, as the years go by. I’ll be using a crude yuloh for human power so that might compensate for some of the fine sailing qualities.

13-Team Skate: Brandon, Shannon, and Tayla Davis aboard Skate (15’ Davis Skiff)

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Brandon Davis has competed three times in the race to Alaska with Team Turn Point Design. The first year he barely made it to the start line as he and his team were frantically finishing the boat the night before the race. Luckily everything held together for the crossing to Victoria where the team placed 4th. Only to have to withdraw a day into the second leg. The next year Team Turn Point Design regrouped and made it to Ketchikan in just over 5 days. Shannon Davis has been a sailor all her life and was first mate aboard their 50 foot trimaran for 5 years as they ran crewed sailing tours in the Salish Sea. They are hoping to share their passion for sailing these waters with their 9 year old daughter Tayla.

Skate 15 is a smaller version of a Mini Transat race boat. It is meant to be an easy to build plywood boat kit that lets its owners play with some tech borrowed from the latest offshore monohulls- lightweight construction, extreme beam, broad planing sections aft, twin foils, rotating wing mast, and water ballast. Hidden inside the cabin is a spacious (for a little boat) double berth under the cockpit sole and a kids size v-berth up forward. The extreme beam makes it a comfortable boat to spend the night on at anchor or tied to a dock.

12- Team Hoping For Light Winds: Dave Achtemichuck aboard ( 19’ Angus Row Cruiser)

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Dave’s experience as a sailor is limited to half-remembered tips from summer camps of his youth, so with that in mind it is probably a good idea that he is not bringing a sailboat. Apparently content to row the entire course, he’s secretly hoping to glean as much sailing and coastal exploration knowledge from the formidable collective experience of the rest of the rogues, so that he’ll be ready to join the sailing intelligentsia by the time his shoulders eventually give out.

The boat is a Colin Angus designed RowCruiser, 19′ long and propelled solely by a sliding-seat rowing rig. Considering the boat dimensions it has a sleeping cabin which is surprisingly roomy, and with plenty of dry storage is tailor-made for extended coastal adventuring. Dave has so far elected to not convert his RowCruiser with the available sailing kit plans, a decision he may or may not deeply regret following this raid.

11- Team Hodge: Rob Hodge and Sock Monkey aboard “Lady Jane” ( 19’ Lightning)

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Rob Hodge is a ship-fitter in Seattle:

I was in both the 2016 and 2017 R2AK first legs in the minnow, a 12 foot pram yawl of the oozegooze design. 2016 went well, 2017, not so much. i’m a member at Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle.

The boat is the ‘Lady Jane’; a lightning with sail number 6724. Built in 1960 on Beacon Hill in Seattle, this boat once competed in the old lightning fleet 132 on Lake Washington. She’s spent the last 20 years in a barn on the Kitsap Peninsula, and is currently undergoing a major overhaul, which will include the addition of a cabin.

10- Team Moon Jelly: Chloe and Blaine Stragier aboard “ Barracuda” (18’ Mower Dory)

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Our first Raid love story, these two met as teenagers on the final Shipyard Raid, in competing Sea Scout boats. Having done this course already, in a longboat and a skin on frame umiak, these two are back as husband and wife, ready to take on the fleet.

Chloë: I grew up around boats, and now I live on a boat. When not on the water, I enjoy mountain biking, going on adventures, spending time in the sun, and good food. I’m a veteran of the 2007 and 2009 Raids, and I’m excited to be back again this year, this time racing with Blaine rather than against him!

Blaine: Ever since my first Shipyard Raid, my relationship with water has continued to grow. I’ve been a dragon boat racer, kayaker, whitewater rafter, and Salish Sea cruiser. I met my wife on the mother-ship Temujin nine years ago on the last Shipyard School Raid. Along with boating, the mountains are where I spend the other half of my life. I also like doughnuts.

Our Raid boat is “Barracuda” (kindly loaned to us by Quill Goldman), a beautiful 18-foot Mower Dory built by the Silva Bay Shipyard School in 2005-2006. Its sails are made of dragon wings, and the hull is of the lightest chicken-of-the-sea bones. It is held together with unicorn spit, and blessed by the mermaids. We were lucky enough to race against Barracuda in the past, and are excited to train and get her ready for this year’s Raid.

Who’s Raiding so far? 19 sailors on 10 boats!

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The applications have been rolling in and getting approved. Nine teams have signed up with beautiful boats, mostly monohulls, but also two multihulls thus far.

All entries as of today are listed below. You can learn more about each team and see photos of the boats on the entries page.

Jenine Adam
Tor & Heidi Baxter
Heather (and Dan, we presume) Drugge
Quill Goldman
Jeff Hilberry
Pierre LaRochelle
Ronald Mueller
Cooper Rooks
Suzanne Steele
Ben Stevens
Scott Veirs
Ryan Wegwitz
First Last
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9- Team Alfred Greenling: Tor and Heidi Baxter aboard  “Alfred Greenling” (14’ Penobscot)

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Tor and Heidi have been sailing together since 1989 on Rainbow Chaser a Tbird. Tor grew up drifting down the Seymour River then exploring about Deep Cove and the Arm. Heidi also spent time making and drifting in rafts on the Cowichan river, later fish guiding for 7 summers near Stuart Island. Both spent vacations on wind, ice & power boats, exploring rivers & coasts East, West, North & South.

Imagine gazing into the depths amongst the upwelling florescent jellyfish of a back eddy or leaning against the wind. It is more fun sailing even if it means getting cold or having a soggy sandwich for lunch. After being R2AK tracker fans, they are trying to figure out new rigging and are super-excited to be in the Raid.

8- Team Nomadica: Ryan Wegwitz and ….? aboard his 17’ Hobie Wind Rider

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Raced in R2AK 2016 with my good friend Brian Croll as Team Nordica. We had a blast sailing in my little Nordica 16 but the doldrums of that year took their toll on us. We retired from the race just south of Cape Caution, it was a tough decision but the right one. Not finishing the race was something I thought about everyday after. R2AK 2017 came but this time I entered solo and finished in a Craigslist Bomber Windrider 17. R2AK  The Barefoot Raid excites the hell out of me, it’s a hall pass to go goof around in boats. The camaraderie of fellow racers and the challenges of dealing with situations like when your sailing and something taps your shoulder and you realize its your shroud that came undone, you know…that stuff.

She’s a 2002 Windrider 17, I’m not proud of how she looks or that she is plastic but when you sail up onto a log at dusk off of Banks Island you appreciate roto-molded hulls. Propulsion comes from sweep oars and an old CCM rowing machine sliding seat. Custom made aluminum ribbed floor for storage, fully wired including solar. My Mom made her a boom tent that’s held up to 40 knots. It’s common to find her tape deck in the Main Salon playing Iron Maiden at Happy Hour. She is fun to sail but does not point to wind, like never.