Update: Alaska-bound Team Juvenile Delinquents pushes up the strait - Salish Current
June 14, 2024
Update: Alaska-bound Team Juvenile Delinquents pushes up the strait
Toby Cooper

Loose Cannon (second from left) at the sunrise start of the proving ground from Port Townsend to Victoria, B.C., the first leg of the Race to Alaska. Loose Cannon is currently north of the Strait of Georgia, well on the way to Ketchikan, Alaska. (Courtesy Kevin Ranker)

June 14, 2024
Update: Alaska-bound Team Juvenile Delinquents pushes up the strait
Toby Cooper

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Friday midmorning tracker shows Team JD at north end of Georgia Strait

Real-time reports from Team Juvenile Delinquents, Whatcom and San Juan counties’ teenage entry in the 750-mile Race to Alaska (R2AK), show four happy kids beating adversity, learning fast and having the time of their lives.

The R2AK’s online race tracker at midmorning today (Friday) showed Team JD at the north end of Georgia Strait, running seventh among monohull (single-hulled) boats, at a speed of 5.4 knots. 

“Pretty rough night but doing much better now down wind hoping to make the 1pm window at symore,” texted Bryce Lutz to his dad Thursday night.

Roughness in Bryce’s world means enduring a windless night on a boat that needs wind to go anywhere, and his 1 p.m. window is the 25-odd minutes of slack water at Seymore Narrows 25 miles ahead. 

Tidal flows at Seymore can run 12 knots or more with fearsome whirlpools — far more than any boats in the R2AK can manage. Timing arrivals as close as possible to slack water is a key strategic part of the race.

“They send us an update every 12 hours,” said a grateful Tina Torre, team member Else Ranker’s mom. Torre reports that the sailors can use their phones to send texts and photos, but after they are out of range, they expect to use their Garmin inReach satellite communication device to text.

Currently leading the race is Malolo, a spidery 35-foot trimaran out of Victoria, B.C. Commonly called multihulls, trimarans and catamarans are speedy vessels that trade heavy lead keels for skinny hulls with lateral spacing for stability.

Mololo is currently more than 65 miles ahead of Team JD. Mololo led the race in two prior editions of the R2AK but withdrew from both after hitting floating logs in the dark. 

Sixteen-year-old team leader Dagny Krüger saw humor in last night’s slow pace, posting phone-videos of aphorisms Sharpie-scrolled inside Loose Cannon’s cabin. “Man u look good ‘N Greasy,” said one anonymous posting.

A friend and Team JD cheerleader with handle Sureok75 replied on Instagram, “Y’all are our heroes you amazing humans! Soak it all in [heart emoji].”

Salish Current will continue to post — and cheer on — the team as they race North to Alaska.

Read more in Salish Current: “Four island kids chase an impossible dream,” June 11, 2024

— By Toby Cooper

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