Race to Alaska 2016 – Meet Team Pure & Wild

June 24, 2016

Team Pure & Wild return from last year.  Same team name and sponsor, but different crew and boat.  They are local boys, Colin Bunnell, Bill Niedringhaus, and Conor Harkins,  sailing MAMA TRIED an 8.5m trimaran built in New Zealand.  Not to take anything away from the crew, we must mention the sponsor SeaShare.  They are a non-profit that fosters partnerships between government agencies, seafood companies, and food banks in a shared effort to produce food for hunger relief.

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– So our race is in our backyard, and it looked pretty crazy, until you saw us, until the boats going. Did well last year and amazed everybody on how fast they got up there, so we kind of followed their lead and said, well hopefully it’s a sailboat race and we can handle that and we like going north, it’s a beautiful country up there, so we’re stoked to be here and kind of on the brunt end of this thing, as opposed to the uphill battle that is the prep and everything that we’ve been doing trying to get ready for this, so we’re stoked to be sitting here in Fort Townsend.

– Yup, loving life.

– And it’s kind of the start of this race. You know, last year obviously was the first one and it seems like this is gonna just get bigger and bigger. We’re all from the Northwest, so it’s kind of cool to be on this adventure, heading North.

– We’ve all basically worked on boats for a long time. Me and this guy worked on our 80 foot sail boat around here, that we just did circumnavigation of Vancouver last year, and then just racing every possible chance we get in between work for a whole lifetime really.

– Yeah.

– That’s kind of it, we’ve been racing things since we were a little kid and I think these guys are the same.

– Yeah, a lot of Northwest sailing, some East Coast sailing.

– It seemed like a lot more fun than sailing across the Pacific.

– We’re just hoping to finish, that’s our goal as a team. We’ve got a good platform here. Custom 8.5 tri, built in New Zealand, redesigned on, by Pete Melvin, Morelli Melvin. Got it in January, so new to the boat.

– Took it apart in California, and had it, put it on a truck and shipped it up here, put it back together again, started sailing it.

– TSR helped us with a racing bottom. Helped us through kind of a yard that we’ve known, down in Seattle for a really long time, so we are representing those guys up here, they helped us a lot along the way. Nolan works their, so he let them off work to come sail with us, so that’s pretty bad ass. Slammed it together, started sailing around here doing some races, then got to the point where we had to stop sailing and focusing on what we were going to do to butcher this thing. We actually had a sweet Schwinn exerciser on the back of this, that we were hoping to have a peddle drive hooked to, but well, we blew it up. We did the R and D department were hard on our stuff, so our peddle drive is no more. We have some sweeps and some paddle board paddles and hopefully we’re just sailing.

– So this is basically it, these are the Amans obviously, that are now becoming world famous. Very simple layout, which is what we like, which is one of the things we liked about the boat. There’s really nothing crazy or over complicated about it, it’s about as simple as it can get. Self tacking jib, so we don’t even have to worry about that. Lazy jacks, ankle roller, it’s basically a cruising boat. It’s simple, which is what we like, don’t have to think about too much stuff. Got some new sails that we’re testing out, that haven’t been on the boat before, they’re a lot bigger than the previous ones. Simple as one kite, two jibs and Genoa and a code zero. That’s what we’re taking up North with us. Simple, simple. So again, with the simplicity, there’s not much down below. There’s no holes in the boat, no instruments, no depth, no speedo, which is why we like it, a little safer we think. Colin just installed our new electronics with our smaller charger, and we’re running an AIS transponder and a sharp platter, which hopefully we can keep the battery up and it’s nice and sunny for us. But other than that, there’s not much down below. We have some custom made storage bins. It’s surprisingly roomie down below. I can actually stand up, which is hard to believe really, but there’s three bunks in there, and one back here in the back, and the middle one and then the knee birth in the bow, so if we’re stuck somewhere on anchor, all three of us can sleep down below. Just doing a jet boil for the stove and that’s it. Trying to keep it light, as best we can.

– I think weather is obviously the most important factor as far as us sailing up there and staying safe.

– We’re racing under the name Pure and Wild, but we’re hoping to promote SeaShare, which is an organization, it’s a nonprofit. What they do, is they work with Northwest fishing industry to take either over catch, or by catch I believe and they package it, process it, and ship it to food banks across the country. And we’re just stoked to have them on board and hopefully we can do them right in this RDAK.

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