Brian Croll (standing) and Ryan Wegwitz are preparing for an epic life adventure as they sail/row from Port Townsend

Brave sailors heading to Alaska

Brian Croll of Courtenay and Ryan Wegwitz of Victoria set for epic adventure

Two guys, one very small sail boat, and no motor.

Vancouver Island’s own Team Nordica will be competing in the 2016 Race to Alaska aboard a heavily modified, Canadian made, 1979 Nordica 16 sailboat.

The team consists of longtime friends Brian Croll of Courtenay and Ryan Wegwitz of Victoria. The start and qualifying leg of the race will leave Port Townsend at 6 a.m. on June 23, arriving in Victoria later that day/night. The race will then resume at 12 p.m. Sunday, June 26 from Victoria’s inner harbour, with the finish line being in Ketchikan, Alaska sometime in July.

For safety purposes during the 750-mile journey, there are two way points that must be crossed, one in Campbell River and the other in Bella Bella. Each boat will also be equipped with a GPS tracking device, where race fans can follow an individual boats progress online at R2AK.com.

The crazy part? No motors, and no outside support are allowed in the race, only wind or human power can be used to get them to Alaska.

For this reason Team Nordica has fabricated a removal rowing set-up to the boat, complete with a custom quick-release carbon fibre oar system.

Team Nordica hopes to complete the race in two to three weeks, while sailing/rowing 24 hours a day when possible. First place is $10,000US, while second place boasts a set of steak knives, and third place – “Well,  that gets you nothing,” Croll notes.

The duo does not plan on winning the race, more just finishing it in one piece, making for one epic life adventure.

Check out Team Nordica on their Facebook page to see pictures, updates, or to donate to their cause. You can also check out the entire race and other teams at R2AK.com.

 

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