Rogues gallery (Who’s coming?)

2018 Participants and their boats

20. Team Mellonhead: Eric Tirion aboard Squirt (13’8″ Melonseed skiff) (7/27/2018)


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) (6/20/2018)
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.

19. Team Luna: Dale Simonson aboard Luna (12’ ish Scamp Microcruiser) (4/17/2018)


The second Scamp to enter, these guys are the first pair of matched boats to sign up, and they’re both listed as cruising class. As if they’re not gonna be racing each other. First one to finish loses……..!

Cruising the Discovery Islands with the Pirate Team, 2015

“Dale first heard about the Shipyard Raids when he started to get serious about building his own boat. Researching beach-cruising sailboat designs he stumbled across aging reports of past Raid voyages, and decided that was something worth aspiring to.

He comes to the Barefoot Raid with a life-long love of rowing, paddling and sailing in his local Salish Seas, many years of experience crewing in Vancouver Area Racing Circuit campaigns, and a few rough stretches of seasickness offshore. He participated in the first leg of Race to Alaska 2017 with Team Noddy’s Noggins (a sister-ship to his own Scamp), where he learned new respect for modern weather-reporting accuracy, and gained even more confidence in the seaworthiness of the John Welsford design.

“Luna” sort of chose Dale… all his research was thrown away when he heard about the first Scamp Camp in Port Townsend: build your own microcruising dinghy under the guidance of her designer, with adventurer Howard Rice and two boatwrights assisting. Completed in his townhouse single-car garage in 2014, Luna has taken Dale on amazing adventures, from cruising the Discovery Islands to surfing the standing waves in the Columbia River Gorge.

18- Team Scamp: Josh Colvin, Tim Tanner Aboard “Scamp” (12’ish SCAMP Microcruiser) (3/13/2018)

“As publisher of Small Craft Advisor magazine, one of my jobs is to go sail and cruise small boats. With that requirement in mind I have reluctantly agreed to “take one for the team” and join the Barefoot Raid. But please keep in mind while you guys are having fun I’m actually at work, so if you could try to keep the noise down that would be great. Also it would help if some of you could pull reckless stunts and position your boats in a photogenic way.

My crew is my cousin Tim Tanner, a waterman from down in Point Reyes, California. We’ve survived a number of adventures together and, as incredible as this sounds, he actually enjoys rowing, so it made sense to team up for the Raid. I thinking our fully-laden Scamp ought to row more-or-less like the shells he’s used to. “

SCAMP is a (roughly) 12-foot microcruiser with a few unusual features, including an offset centerboard, water ballast, and a stowage cabin with a partial cuddy we call the veranda.

-17. Team Better Left Unsaid: Dylan Davenport, Trevor Henderson, Emil Bothma aboard “ Iruya” (19’6” Newfoundland Trap Skiff) (3/12/2018)


This salty bunch of rowdies represent some of the Silva Bay Shipyard Schools Brightest.

Having grown up in one of BC’s finest coastal communities (never mind which one), Dylan built his Newfoundland Trap Skiff while a student at SBSS.  Having crewed aboard “Dick Smiley” in the ‘15 R2AK, Dylan has decided that boat will present no challenge for his vessel and its crew of elite seafarers.

A graduate of the 99/00 class, Trevor was the assistant instructor at the school for a number of years, and oversaw many of the details while Iruya was under construction. Trevor is a master of his craft, and is responsible for having built the coveted Raid trophy. With his three young sons aboard, they sailed the 09 SBSS Raid in “Ratty”

Returning to his native South Africa upon completion of the SBSS, Emil has come back to Canada, prepared to take on the rugged dampness of the B.C. Coast. A shipwright, a new dad, and a volunteer fire fighter, Emil’s quiet determination will be the counterpoint to Dylan and Trevor’s loud, overbearing displays of showmanship.


16- Team Weta Or Knot: Brian Croll, aboard (14’ Weta trimaran) (2/20/2018)

“I’m constantly looking for a challenge. Although I’ve spent most of my life on the water on many different boats doing some questionable things, the most memorable adventure was an attempt at the R2AK with my good friend Ryan Wegwitz in 2016 for our 40th birthdays. I met some really cool people in the R2AK and when I heard about the Raid and the fact some of them would be in it, I couldn’t pass it up! (more importantly my wife said yes)
The Weta isn’t probably the best choice for this type of excursion, as ‘overnighting’ wasn’t in the sales brochure. Neither is attaching fenders or even an anchor. Is anyone bringing a toilet I can use? I obviously have some work to do….”

I bought the boat last fall from a local guy who wasn’t really selling. I contacted him for info on another Weta I found in California and after a long discussion he offered his boat to me.

15- Team Red Urchin: Rick and Chloe Corles, aboard (17’ Welsford Pathfinder) (2/20/2018)

“I have been a commercial diver for the past 35 years,cruising up and down B.C. s west coast in a powered vessel, exploring almost every mile of coastline underwater.
Back in 2006 I took a year off diving and a attended the Silva Bay Shipyard School. I learned new skills and fell in love with working with wood and of course boat building. After completing the course i started building a John Welsford Pathfinder. that was in 2007. Long story short Im 95 percent finished and am using the raid as a kick in the pants to finish the boat and start sailing. “

My boat is an almost completed John Welsford Pathfinder. Now that i am paying to register it in the Barefoot Raid, I will make sure it is 100 percent completed in time….

14-Team Fly: Steve Millar aboard Fly (F27 trimaran) (2/19/2018)

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) (2/17/2018)

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) (2/15/2018)

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) (2/11/2018)

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) (2/10/2018)

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.

9- Team Alfred Greenling: Tor and Heidi Baxter aboard  “Alfred Greenling” (14’ Penobscot) (2/8/2018)

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 (2/7/2018)

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.

7 — Team Bunny Whaler: Cooper Rooks and Jenine Adam aboard “Bunny Whaler” (17′ Boston Whaler, Harpoon 5.2) (2/4/2018)
Nick Reid, 2016


Cooper: I’m a party animal with a quiet side. I like short walks on long beaches.

Jenine: I like sailing a lot. Race dinghies. Offshore racing. Pacific crossing. I own a marine canvas shop, I love boats and surfing and scooters and running.

Bunny Whaler is like a Toyota pickup, not especially good looking, but pretty capable. Apparently it can’t sink… we tried in Dixon Entrance. It made it to Ketchikan, slowly in 2016 (R2AK). Jenine calls it “a classy bathtub with sails.”

6 — Team Do Something: Ron Mueller and Ben Stevens aboard “Pas Assez” (14’ Ilur) (2/4/2018)

Ron enjoyed the first two Shipyard Raids with Ben joining him to win the 2006 Shipyard Raid in Mother Merry – based on his Merry Wherrys. Imagine a French design, built by a German, painted Irish Green – did we mention it has Swedish oars? The Ilur has a great rough water cruising reputation and should be just the ticket for these northern waters.

Ron has been paddling and sailing for nearly fifty years in western waters and is not about to stop now! Having just sold Just Enuf, a 19’ power catamaran, he looks forward to a active summer enjoying his new Ilur. Ben has been enjoying small watercraft – canoes, kayaks, rowing shells, daysailors – for an equal time and really enjoys camp cruising in small boats. Both of us are looking forward to windy northern Salish Sea sailing – we are tired of just rowing fast!

Ilur is a 14’ sail/oar boat designed by Francois Vivier. Two Ilurs have been to Ile of Sein, at the extreme west of France, one of the worst places to go with tremendous tides and the difficult sea conditions. Ilur is deep and wide with a generous freeboard for good seakeeping ability – in the “sail and oar” spirit.

5 — Team Coastal Express: Heather and Dan Drugge aboard “Mirror Mirror” (16’ Mirror dingy) (2/1/2018)

Heather and Dan have been sailing small wooden boats up and down the coast since 2003 and have been dinghy sailors since 1969. As participants in stages 1 and 2 of the 2015 R2AK, Heather and dan decided they had better ways  to spend the next 2-3 weeks of their summer than bashing into gale force headwinds, and sensibly turned around and went downwind instead.

Built in 1971, theirs is a 16 foot, wooden Mirror dinghy. She was originally built by Bells in England and shipped to Boston where she was sailed, but then eventually wrecked on a breakwater. She was advertised for free in Wooden Boat and Dan rescued her and restored her. Since then we have re-framed and reskinned Mirror Mirror. She is lightweight, at only 200 lbs with plenty of sail area at 70 sq. ft,  plus a full spinnaker.

4 — Team Pieced Together Sailer: Pierre LaRochelle aboard his 15’ Egret (1/30/2018)

I have been involved with boats since I was seventeen years old when I enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, where I served for 6 1/2 years as a Boatswain’s Mate. Now that was a long time ago and ever since then I have been in love with boats for the last forty plus years. In 2011 I launched a 15 foot Devlin Egret sail and oar skiff, fashioned more like a dory with a shallow vee bottom. Anyway, I have been dreaming of taking my egret on an adventure and this years Raid just turned out to be the year for me to realize a small boat adventure.

My boat is a Devlin Egret which is a 15′ Stitch and Glue Hence the name (“Pieced Together Sailer”) Dory/Skiff rigged with a 75 SF Spritsail. I spent countless hours building her to a standard only I can really appreciate. She is set up for Sailing, Rowing, and she even has an outboard well which I added as an after thought and have since determined an un-necessary feature for such a small boat.

3 — Team Ballpoint Buccaneers: Quill Goldman, Mitch Burns, and Tim Stanton aboard “Dick Smiley” (19’ Tad Roberts) (1/27/2018)

Quill Goldman grew up on B.C’s coast, and is a graduate of the Silva Bay Shipyard School, class 99/2000. Co-builder and co-skipper of the winning boat of the first Shipyard School Raid, Quill went on to compete in all of these early events. After ringing the bell in Ketchikan as the “final winner” in 2015, Quill determined to return Raiding to the Salish Sea. After cooking up a course and a set of rules designed specifically to favour his own boat, he set out to lure unsuspecting participants into this rigged spectacle. As the current holder of the Raiding trophy, Quill’s will be the boat to beat if you want to take this prize home.

Mitch Burns is a shy, reserved soul, inclined to deep introspection. When asked to describe himself his carefully worded reply is that he “Enjoys long sails along the beach”

Tim Stanton says : I love playing on water ,salty is one of my favorite flavours. It is an honour to be a stroker/movable ballast aboard such a craft among these people , I look forward to getting salty with you all.

“The Dick Smiley was the final winner of the first R2AK. Designed by Tad Roberts for Barefoot Wooden Boats. This was also the only purpose built boat to complete that years course. With a Kevlar set in Ecopoxy on ply bottom, and lapstrake topsides, the Dick Smiley is a modern classic that turns heads, mostly for its lack of a transom. This boat sports dyneema rigging, and Mylar sails on a carbon mast, and has carbon fibre appendages sprouting from its trunnel fastened, lapstrake hull.”

2 — Team Sea Runners: Scott Veirs and Cora Reese aboard “Manuoku” (17′ Wharram Hitia) (1/26/2018)

Scott is an oceanographer-father based in Seattle who learned to sail on the reservoirs of Colorado. He’s cruised Puget Sound and the San Juans aboard a Wharram Tiki 21 with occasional forays into the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound.

Cora is his favorite child and is always better than her brother at everything. She has strengths in everything and her weakness include nothing. She made this entire site by herself with no help from anyone, including Scott.

Scott built Manuoku (a modified Hitia 17) with Thomas Nielsen for the 2015 Race to Alaska in part to continue exploring the crab claw sailing rig and pedal-powered boats. After getting beaten up by the Qualicum winds of Nainaimo, Manuoku had a great voyage as far north as Telegraph Cove. Of all the R2AK adventures on that trip, though, the most ecstatic moments were the short, competitive sub-races that developed by luck occasionally between a few small boats with like-minded sailing friends. We’re ready for more of that kind of joy.

1 — Team Miss Moose: Jeff Hillbury and Suzanne Steele aboard “Miss Moose” (17′ Siren) (1/23/2018)

Jeff Hillbury, of the internationally renowned Travelling Hillburys, hails from Denman Island. Having explored nearly every hillside in B.C., Jeff has now turned his attention to some of the wetter parts of this country. After outliving his old Atkin double ender, Jeff has a new vessel.

Jeff: “I moved to Granite Bay on Quadra Island at the age of 12, built a Sabot in a woodworking shop and sailed all over the Kanish Bay area as a kid. When I met my previous wife, we bought and lived aboard a 36’ Atkin (“Cleone”) with Comox as home port, and raised two kids aboard to the age of 6. I’ve always been a cruiser. I entered the Shark spit regatta three times, and am proud to say, never came in last. Suffice to say that my racing skills are lacking, but I’m an expert at keeping the water on the outside of the boat. I also have a guitar, and am not afraid to use it.”

Suzanne: “I don’t have a lot of experience sailing but I crewed on Miss Moose from Banff to Lake Winnipeg in 2015: an eight week, 2200 km. trip. I grew up in Vancouver and have always wanted to see the waters of my coast.”

She’s a 17’ “Siren” fitted with a drop keel. Not a classic design. “Miss Moose” is the boat that Suzanne Steele and I chose to navigate the entire North Saskatchewan river from the Saskatchewan glacier in the Columbia ice fields in Banff National Park, to Lake Winnipeg Manitoba. A journey of approx. 2200 Km. Don’t be put off by the outboard,. Notwithstanding a dash to make last call in Edmonton, she was rowed/sailed until well into Manitoba. We’re super exited about the Raid.  Miss Moose brought us through prairie storms, class 2+ rapids and literally wore the bottom off of her pushing across gravel bars. We’d love to show her a more sublime cruising experience.