I have a Windrider 17, you know, like Ryan’s. Mine came white, didn’t turn white like his did. Its plastic hull is indestructible (I hope). As a trimaran, it makes a nice platform for cruising, camping, and endless modifications. These beauties are a breeze to sail (see what I did there?) because you have the option to steer “hands free” with foot pedals controlling the rudder. This means that if a snotty Hobie sailor screams past you, you can salute him or her with a beer in one hand and a sandwich in the other.
So, picture this. It’s 2006, you’re about to turn 50, and you’re driving the wife and children from the Outer Banks to Norfolk, VA, through the driving rains of tropical storm Ernesto. You had to give up sailboarding because of the pounding on your knees, briefly owned a Catalina 22, but mostly sailed OPB’s (other people’s boats). As you are slowing down to a crawl on the highway with the wipers hopelessly overwhelmed, your mind drifts back to the sailboat you just rented, and fell in love with, in the Outer Banks. “Honey, we should get one of those boats.” You form the statement like a question, fully expecting the logical, practical response which includes the many, many valid reasons against boat ownership. Just then you pass into the eye of the storm: the wind dies, shafts of sunlight coalesce through the thinning clouds until, for a few brief moments, all is sunshine and calm. “Yes, dear, I think we should.” And with that, she was off the hook for my 50th birthday present. Since then I have been the proud owner of a Windrider 17. Subsequently there have been a few seminal events related to my dinghy adventure aspirations:
I was captivated by The Dinghy Cruising Companion by Roger Barnes.
Ryan Wegwitz, despite disparaging the Windrider’s (non) pointing abilities, completed the Race to Alaska in that very boat. (I hope we can chat sometime, Ryan.)
I got the last kid through college, and could retire, thus freeing up time for Boat Love. I am hoping to get to meet you all on the water.
Reigning Barefoot Raid Champ, Smurfette is a 1978 FrankenHobie 16. She is one of many and unique amongst all. Hopefully upgraded with some Raiding specific mods this year…
Alternative team names include “Smurfette Riderz” and “Haddock’s Unicorn”…
Thomas: I love to sail. the faster the better. Rowing is a chore. Like dishes and laundry it can be masochistically fun… but I’ll take tight lines over those evil sticks any day. When the sailing is done Hanging 10 on the beach by a fire feels like magic. I was born for this.
S/V Kingsfold is a Stevenson Weekender (16-foot plywood and stringers, gaff-rigged sailboat) built with some carefully considered and researched modifications to make it safer in the unprotected waters of the Race to Alaska. (Details available here: https://kingsfoldsailboat.blogspot.com/2020/01/some-of-my-thinking-behind-my-changes.html) Not only safer, but more accommodating for a couple of guys to cruise in for extended distances.
25 years ago I got infected with the sailing bug when I got to crew on my older sister’s 27 foot sailboat. That opportunity went away a few years later, but the desire for my own boat remained. In 2011 I bought the plans for a Stevenson Weekender, figuring I could build as I had funds and time. A few years later, I learned about the Race to Alaska and started thinking, “What if?” Then I learned about the Barefoot Raid and Salish 100 and figured, “Hey, those too!” (Lots of details are available on my boat construction blog at www.KingsfoldTravelogues.com.)
The Lady Jane is a 1960 built wooden Lightning one design. Returned to the water after 30 years in a barn and a two year refit, she has been modified for dinghy cruising with an eye towards the R2AK. She has had a cabin added and her sail plan has been revised and modernized.
Rob Hodge took part in the 2016 and 2017 R2AK first leg, finishing in 2016 and capsizing in 2017. He sails out of Shilshole in Seattle, usually in the company of a four-foot sock monkey named George.
“D’ It is wat D’it is ” is a kit boat Southwester Dory build from Chesapeake Light Craft Boats. She is still under construction and will be doing sea trials April 2020. Sail configuration is two balanced lug sails with a Scandanavian style yolk and drag link helm. I have not used either and anybody with advice please contact me
Francois: Witnessed the start of the Raid 2 years ago in Parksville and talking to some sailors decided that I need a wooden boat and do this. I sailed on Lasers when younger (still do but now choose my days better), then for a few years coastal sailing on keel boats. Been an avid kayaker and paddled most of BC northern lakes and finished Race to the Midnight Sun (Yukon River). Now retired on Vancouver Island and not half as competitive as before. Looking forward to sail with my daughter as a renewal tradition of father /daughter adventure.
Therena: Mother, photographer, and waited 37 years to sail with my dad and to teach me.
Golden Eye is a 1975 lapstrake “tent sailboat” built by Greg Foster of Whaler Bay. Her gaff canvas mainsail and jib, and hemp ropes and lines, were made by Shay Foster and still work beautifully today. Her previous owner had her cedar planks and frames recovered in a restoration by the Granville Island Boatyard, and, honestly, the hard Dynel shell is possibly why she has survived the last 6 years under the Dread’s ownership. She sailed in 2018 to Whaler Bay to meet her makers, who were pleased to see she was still alive, as only 2 of the 5 “tent sailboats” they built have survived. Still designing, but notoriously reclusive, Greg Foster is passionate about reviving functional, traditional designs – especially pre-motorized boats with efficient hulls – and built many beautiful vessels that are still plying the PNW, including the S.A.L.T.S. tallship schooner, Pacific Grace. Greg designed Golden Eye along the lines of a Providence Riverboat, specifically for exploring the Gulf Islands, with her centreboard, long oars, and a 100 ft canvas main that can function as a snug tent, which her current owner finds works very satisfactorily. She is a perfect little boat to singlehand, easy to maneuver, and beamy enough to handle almost any weather. She’s looking forward to getting off the damn trailer and back into the water where she belongs…
In a breakaway from tradition, Tobi ‘The Dread’ Elliott returns to Raid in her own vessel, the diminutive gaff sloop, Golden Eye. Vowing to avenge her name and the spar of the ship she pirated in 2019 from Rick the Good (whose name shall forever be venerated in the Raid logs as the most saintly sailor of them all), the Dread has given up trailering (but not piracy) and is bent on a decent start in 2020 in her home waters of Gabriola Island. A fairweather sailor, a landless hippie and a devoted mother of two worthless horses that keep her poor, the Dread splits her time between finishing her tiny house, editing video, fermenting vegetables, and inflicting her progressive ideals on the rural community that can’t seem to be rid of her. One day she plans to trailer her tiny house further north, where the winds are strong, the snows is deep, her horses can forage freely, and she can break as many spars as she wants without issue.
2019 results: Team Pirate Urchin with “Red” Elhe and “The Dread” Tobi placed 9th – 92 points
A Core Sound 20 MK3 designed by Graham Byrnes of B&B Yacht Designs and built by myself (actually I’m still building it but it will be finished 1April or sooner). The boat is a Cat ketch and Graham designed it specifically for the Everglades Challenge in which it took first in class for the first couple years and has remained competitive throughout.
Mark: Ever since I was a child I have had a love for boats both big and small, with a strong passion for sailing vessels. I have owned everything from an 8′ sailing inflatable I was given to by a neighbor when I was 10 years old. to 40′ Clipper Cheoy Lee Ketch. After owning a large sailboat I realized that I missed sailing in smallcraft and found trailer boat sailing much more rewarding and relaxing. My love of boats and open water led me into a career with the U.S. Coast Guard where I spent the majority of my career operating Surf Rescue Boats on some of the roughest water on the west coast. I have always sought out a good adventure whether it was paddling a canoe through the Bowron Lakes in B.C. or climbing Mt. Rainier I’m looking forward to going on a sailing adventure/race with my son and hoping to meet many new friends who share the same passion as I.
Lyle: This Sailor has spent most of his days sailing the great desert seas with the Army in lan vehicles. What I lack in sailing experience I make up for with quick wit and determination.