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Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:00 am
by Dirk Visser 166
Yes Michael,
I did check out your page, and Roger Mann's too. Don't worry, follow this race, I will ! I am inspired by the magnitude of the test, the premise of the thing being wind and human powered, and unlike traditional races, being as loosely structured as it is.

We are discussing "cruising vs. racing" over in general discussion at the moment, and this would be one of those rare events that seems to blur the line. To hear you say " I have a month to get to Ketchikan" confirms an attitude quite distinct from that of the typical competition-oriented round the marks sailor!

Actually you make another good point in recognizing much of the value of this event in the ramp-up and preparation potentials. And not only for you entrants, we followers get a real kick out of being introduced to ideas and innovations, like pedal drives for example, that we can then research and maybe apply to our own boats here at home.

Fascinating for it's unorthodox approach to competition, satisfying in the authenticity of the triumphs achieved, and one of the real breakthroughs, from my point of view, is the dignity and recognition this event has managed to confer on runner ups, also rans, and non-finishers as well..

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:36 pm
by TeamHangingOn
Thanks for your thoughts and have a happy holiday as you follow along with all the R2AK participants and future participants. Team Spork from New Zealand is building a boat for 2017... Have fun - I know that last year I followed on every post and story as I watched from the sidelines. I'm really thankful that the Northwest Maritime Center is supporting this event!

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:00 pm
by Dirk Visser 166
Sure, Michael, I agree!
It was fascinating to watch the race evolve in those grass roots post ups, really felt like we were pioneering a new way to appreciate and capture a novel event.

But what about some top-down innovations on coverage for the second running of this big Northwest Party?

Some kind of grant for a series of up-close enroute video interviews, and/or in-depth documentation of the technical innovations would sure add color. Know what I mean?

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:52 pm
by TeamHangingOn
I will be taking at least one GoPro camera, portable audio gear and one SLR to document my progress and I know that others are doing the same (at various levels). I am working on having someone take my raw footage, audio and photos to do something with it upon my return. Photos and stories are possible from the trip; however, the computing horsepower required to process video is way beyond my capability (fiscal) mid-trip - I just broke my last laptop capable of this when I accidentally dropped it.
Last year there was a group of private pilots that overflew the course and provided some great photos. Check with Dan Evans (race boss) for what he's planning.
Cellular data is extremely expensive in Canada but some locations (Campbell River for example) are good mid-way stopping points with WiFi access. DeLorme offers a satellite tracker similar to the Spot with basic text messaging capabilities (again too expensive for me).
I'm focused on safety first (regarding any financial investments - still need dry suit, pfd w/ harness, PLB, etc.) so will be using what tools I have available to me and will utilize any additional tools that I'm provided by others to document the trip from my boat's point of view. 64 Gb micro SD cards are relatively inexpensive as are long-lasting batteries so filming 8+ hours unattended is a reality and I don't have to worry about manning them.
I've still got to arrange for funding a basic electrical system onboard to power navigation lights (also needed), charge radios and camera gear but this is reasonable for most medium-sized boats and larger. I had planned on solar with a small LiFePO4 motorcycle battery for the Laser so most should be able to figure this out even on a small budget. I'll post to my page for any who need help figuring out a simple system.
If you like the idea of improving overall race coverage, consider crowd-sourcing funding and then getting cameras aboard as many boats as you can. Sperry funded team Freeburd last year and produced a great little short film.
Hope this helps!
I'm open to suggestions.
Collaboration between us all is what makes the Race to Alaska so great!

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:11 am
by Dirk Visser 166
Yes Michael,
The Freeburd film was one of the best creations I saw last year to capture some of the 2015 r2ak magic; memorable backstory, deep imagery, great voice-over, and the right music, all through.

I agree that collaboration and synergy are big benefits integral to this style of event structure. Any open dialouge has the power to raise the importance of each unique entry and their strategies for competing with a particular character, and philosophy. A relationship to the course, the race fleet, and the weather, if you will.

I will admit to a feeling that the unclassed $10,000 purse is a bit too much like the current Powerball syndrome, where large single undistributed rewards are flashy, but not the ideal egalitarian monetary empowerment or recognition, but hey, the "perfect race" is in quotation marks, right?
Everything has the power to evolve!

The innovative/romantic narrative of this race, and the sheer scale of it has been a powerful driver in attracting entries and attention. Your detailed posts have lately filled a void here, as far as providing a window into one vessel and skipper's prioritites, performance orientation, and preparation progress. I have no doubt that the recent ascendancy of views on this thread, and website overall, is a happy result...

Living off the grid and doing your own boat work on the hook, as you are this winter, also creates a refreshing, basic, and connected image of what the real roots of this event can be..especially as your location adjoins the race environs!

Please keep the authentic reports coming...

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Mon May 30, 2016 12:35 am
by Dirk Visser 166
Greetings Michael!
I see from your Facebook page listed above that you are still making headway toward the starting date later next month.
Everybody must be getting excited about assembling this year's fresh fleet!
From the standpoint of variety of crews and boats the diversity factor seems to be alive and well, even opening up a bit, and that will certainly guarantee us observers some unconventionally cool entertainment!
As a competitor and veteran of well over 6 months of preparations do you have any thoughts of how this later starting 2016 edition might be played, or ultimately play out..?

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:54 am
by beamreach
Dirk Visser 166 wrote:Sure, Michael, I agree!
It was fascinating to watch the race evolve in those grass roots post ups, really felt like we were pioneering a new way to appreciate and capture a novel event.

But what about some top-down innovations on coverage for the second running of this big Northwest Party?

Some kind of grant for a series of up-close enroute video interviews, and/or in-depth documentation of the technical innovations would sure add color. Know what I mean?
I like the live coverage idea, Dirk! I'm going to try to get out on my parent's Gemini 105 with videographer-kids as the fleet clears Johnstone. Hope we get a couple interviews from passing teams and will try to post via hardwire connections in Telegraph Cove...

Maybe there will be other more professional efforts. It would be cool if the NWMC or an affiliate could support the exchange of cameras (like Mike's GoPro or SD card) at the checkpoints (Campbell River, Bella Bella) so that the stories could get told visually as the Race proceeds... If it was a service offered to everyone, maybe it wouldn't be seen as "support?"

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:24 pm
by Dirk Visser 166
Hi Scott,
Yes, well, as we saw in this year's 2016 race.. Quantum innovations flowed across the web as participants and race staff revamped their resources and capabilities in an effort to enrich the availability of real time images and information. And succeed they did!

Today on a shoreside walk, I felt close to reaching an epiphany while mulling over the complexity of our still-unfinished contest..
My bare feet were leaving prints in the wet sand of Princeton's outer harbor beach, north of Half Moon Bay, California. No doubt my meditations were enhanced by the foggy morning, showing the outlines of a half dozen anchored sailboats, and two kayaks cruising close in.
There is something of a universal commonality shared by beaches, docks, and headlands, all over the planet, that can help put one in the "zone"..

The conviction grew in me as I walked and pondered, that the challenges of this r2ak event represent one of the broadest ranges of "experience gathering" ever combined in a formalized maritime competition . What a variety of people, boats, and dreams!
Just a casual glance at the vessel roster or the race tracker bears this out! Authenticity, opinion, and ingenuity are not in short supply here...

The "Daily Update" that included Mad Dog's ironic crediting of Stage One's Team Hodge as a major inspiration really sealed the deal for me.
In this we see the continuum of primitive and basic, on up to advanced and sophisticated, coming back, full circle on the gradient of involvement, in the same survival game..

Winning itself has been redefined, and expanded, as the "champions" themselves poignantly assured us in their moment of glory..!

The trick, as the event matures, will be for the organizers to develop ways and means, appropriate to the efforts, to nurture the motivations of the "back half" of the fleet, those who make this event unique, and ultimately very valuable as an inspiration to like- minded individuals out here in the world.

The bigger money superfast boats are amazing and have an important place in the race, and will always be first to finish, but this year it was obvious that the relevance factor for the "accessible" entry level has slipped, and is in need of more support than the well-intentioned side bets can provide..

We are seeing the astounding results of a wildly successful experiment, and normal growing pains for an event gaining popularity, publicity, credibility, sponsorship, and now beginning to attract the attention of professionals in the industry.

A moderate tweaking of the race's structure and prize program may go miles to preserve the stature of the "everyman sailor" who stands somewhere behind the mission statement of this eccentric contest. The goal might be framed to honor, reward, and celebrate recognition of the human scale efforts, even as the overall winners become more tech and investment dependent.

If the sweep boat is the stick, what happened to all the carrots..?

Re: The "Perfect" Race

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:10 pm
by Dirk Visser 166
A nicey put together "Race Log" was posted late in July on the Sailing Anarchy website (post #841).

The author was Norse Horse from Team Squamish and he did a great job capturing the microdetail of the key events they experienced..

1st class armchair sailing, right from the source..! ... 57&&page=9