R2AK – Fresh race, stale breeze, ketchup soup
Did you know there is such a thing as competitive Tai Chi? That thing you did in college and/or during yard time at the Senior Center, that slow-mo martial art that is scientifically proven to be three times more likely to be in a heart medication commercial than your day to day—they’ve got competitions for that. We’ve got no idea how that actually works, but based on projected ticket sales and its non-presence in our social media feed, we’ve got to think it’s more than a lot like the thrill of placing bets on which paint dries fastest, the January molasses invitational, and so much of the so far in this year’s R2AK.
It’s been great racing, but damn if a three-day stretch of rowing/pedaling isn’t at least a little like seeing which G-ma from the B wing can thug up and “make hands like clouds” slower and better than the rest of them. It’s for sure a race, but everyone from the racer’s blisters to the rest of us would love it if the wind could fill the eff in and the edge could give the rest of the seat the day off for a change.
To be fair, the wind hasn’t been absent as much as it’s phoning it in, giving racers and fans alike the deadbeat-dad bare minimum; gone for days and then showing up for makeup sex and an out-of-nowhere hero run to R2AK Disneyland.
From a glassed-off, flat-calm non-response since the race started, to the 15-knot spinnaker run that ushered the trailing fleet within striking distance of the leaders, the wind made a conjugal visit to the front half of the fleet, rising from behind and consummating a downwind run that started low and lifted the mid-fleet hopeful from nowhere near to a ‘don’t stop, don’t stop, almost…there’ romp into the gap at Seymour Narrows that peaked to near ‘Hallelujah’ right around noon. Sky rockets in flight… all that. The top five teams made it through the gate on the first tide and are already punching into the post-Johnstone, free-range reality…