"In the name of uncomfortable fun!"
R2AK, the Race to Alaska, a 750 mile jumbo version of the Everglades Challenge, started the 2nd and final leg yesterday. The first leg, raced last Thursday, was a 40 mile sprint from Port Townshend, Washington to Victoria. The rules are simple; no engines, no outside assistance.
Unlike the Everglades Challenge, the R2AK racetrack is open water, very cold and some of the entries are sensible, full out cruising craft. I expect once the dust has settled, the racier catamarans and trimarans will fill the top spots. I don't envy those hardy kayakers in their kayak-trimaran hybrids who will spend the entire race ensconced in their dry suits.
For those who like to get their online jollies by watching the R2AK unfold, the organizers have got that covered - just click here for the race tracker.
There is at least one large open dinghy racing (editors correction: There are two - a Mirror 16 is also competing). Team Barefoot is the product of Barefoot Wooden Boats and is a Tad Roberts design, a 5.8 meter (19 foot) plywood dinghy playing in the same design space for long distance small boats as the i550 mini-sportboat. In looking at the video, the Barefoot dinghy appears to be more in the realm of a high freeboard Classic International 14 from the 1980's. Team Barefoot put this interesting video up on their dinghy and the thoughts behind designing for this race.
Team Barefoot Wooden Boats | Race to Alaska 2015 from Vancouver Maritime Museum on Vimeo.
Designer Tad Roberts has the sideview and sailplan of the Barefoot Dinghy over here.
Some photos of the Barefoot Dinghy I pulled from the InterWebs.
It turns out that Classic Mothist, Jeff Linton, is pursuing the same direction for the next Everglades Challenge. He has scrapped his modified Flying Scot (which won the monohull class in 2014) and is home-building a new 6.7 meter, O.H. Rogers designed, large dinghy for next years Challenge. Boatbuilding details with lots of photos are over at Amy Linton's blog.