The Race to Alaska starts on June 3, 2019.
Team Holopuni will be on the starting line.
Team members: Chris Fagan, Marty Fagan, Danny Geiger
Hometown: North Bend, WA, USA
Race vessel: Hawaiian outrigger sailing canoe
Human propulsion: Paddles
About the Race. About the Team.
When we started this thing we said it was about creating onramps to adventure, about compelling people into situations beyond their comfort level and helping them grow into their better selves by going just a little bit farther into the deep nature of this wild and unruly coast, facing their urbanized frailties by rain whipped sideways into a matted-hair panic on a moonless night. Immersed in the kind of outdoor adventure that the founder of Outward Bound would call “The moral equivalent of war.”
This was supposed to elevate. We didn’t expect that actual adventurers would do it as a lark.
Team Holopuni watched the race, read the words, watched the videos, and in what must have been the same measured but struggling mindset that the rest of use for choosing a venue for brunch, yawned out an application that blew us out of our collective chairs. Skimming the surface.
Self-guided solo summit of Denali (highest mountain in North America, 20,230 feet)
Self-guided ski crossing of Antarctica
More than 12 combined ascents of 10,000+ foot summits
Multiple 100 mile running races
4+ years on cruising catamarans, 10+ years guiding kayaks on BC coast
A bunch of other stuff. Honestly, our eyes lost focus as their steady stream of accomplishments flew past our faces at warp speed.
Here’s the kicker: Do you know why the self-guided summiting of Denali was solo and the self-guided ski crossing of Antarctica wasn’t? That part of Team Holopuni’s resume met during simultaneous self-guided summits of Denali, got married, then became the first couple to ski across Antarctica. (WTF? Really? Yes.)
This R2AK, this hard thing you’re not sure you are up to? We’re the cheat day of their adventure diet. R2AK is the can of Pringles crushed up to add some crunch, corn syrup, and MSG to their raw-food-paleo-vegan adventure air salad, because it’s Friday, they’ve got 50+ years of being amazing and decided to give themselves the day off.
It’s more than possible that R2AK is how these ultra-adventurers have decided to ease into the good life after turning 50. Some people buy RVs, these people R2AK.
Their boat is no less incredible. The personal OC-3 pacific sailing canoe of Nick Beck, Hawaii based legendary designer of outrigger canoes. Since the 1960s he’s been creating ever-improving designs of outriggers that consistently hard charge the big boys like the Molokai Channel Race. Fast (under sail they can rip along at 18+ knots), wet (like buckets in the face, all the time), these boats are the space age polymer rendition of the craft that took Pacific Islanders thousands of miles across the later named Pacific with not much more than a knowledge of stars, stick maps, palm frond thermal base layers, and thousands of years of experience. Ancient Polynesians—great, more people who would shrug off the R2AK. The only thing that gives us any hope that this might be challenging for this human/boat combo is water temperature. Hawaii: 81 F, R2AK: 49 F. Better get the thick palm fronds.
Nick Beck is now in his 80s, but has wanted to participate in the R2AK since we launched. His solution: trust his personal boat with these people who are doing this as a cool-down lap. Nick, we are honored to have you, truly. Mahalo.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Holopuni. We hope you at least break a sweat.