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R2AK

I wanted to watch the arrival of ALULA, the chair-bound boat, last night but when it got a bit dark I gave up, thinking the live video wouldn’t amount to much. I forgot that it doesn’t get dark until very late in Ketchikan. Oh well, I watched the video this morning.

It was nice to see Mark again, obvious on the boat as it came in because he never stops moving. I was surprised to see three on the boat because when I was at Pt Hudson I thought I saw 4 crew. So they started with three chair-bound guys, and lost one along the way, then added Mark. He sails an almost identical boat, and carries two crew, both of which are off-shore sailing athletes with dozens of extreme races under their belts.

Of the two crew he was helping, one had never sailed before. Ever. His first trip was the 750-mile, 18-day trip in what could be described as an “extreme” sport on a stripped down racing trimaran. The welcoming party was large, and very celebratory. It was a grand party for a big achievement.

But then I became concerned. Here was an inexperienced crew on a technical boat who applied for, and was accepted after vetting, to engage in an extreme activity that is dangerous and life-threatening.

These guys were racing, and the chance of disaster for a crew of paraplegics was high, especially so because of the lack of experience. The race organizers need to look a bit closer at the risks before approving the racing teams. I think the race organizers took an unacceptable risk in this case.

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