Wayne Gorrie shows off the steak knives he won at the inaugural Race to Alaska. Gorrie and the crew of Team MOB Mentality took second place in the boat race

Wayne Gorrie shows off the steak knives he won at the inaugural Race to Alaska. Gorrie and the crew of Team MOB Mentality took second place in the boat race

Nanaimo sailors finish second in race to Alaska

NANAIMO – No motorized vessels allowed during inaugural Race to Alaska.

A Nanaimo resident and his crew mates were second only to one in a recent rigorous boat race.

Wayne Gorrie, Angus Ellis and Francis Walsh, the crew of Team MOB Mentality, came second in the inaugural Race to Alaska, a 1,207-kilometre sea trek from Victoria to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Motorized boats and food drops were not allowed and Gorrie, who is one of the founders of the Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, said it was a memorable experience.

“It’s the most interesting yacht race I’ve ever been in and it was also the most difficult,” said Gorrie. “It was beating against very strong winds, pretty much the entire course, sometimes in what we would call survival conditions. It was tough sailing.”

Gorrie said the wind was on their “nose and strong” for a majority of the race. The team’s 8.5-metre trimaran, the Mail Order Bride, held up extremely well, he said.

When asked to compare the Race to Alaska to the Van Isle 360, Gorrie said the former was more arduous.

“The Van Isle 360 stops pretty much every night and most days you only sail between four and six hours, where as this one was scheduled to be non-stop, if you wished. So it was much more difficult. No opportunities to get spare parts. We provisioned – in the Van Isle 360 you don’t,” said Gorrie.

Race to Alaska participants couldn’t rely on support vessels and had to bring supplies and provisions – water, food, dry clothing – on their boats, according to Gorrie.

The crew was awarded a set of steak knives for placing second, but seeing as they beat third-place Team Por Favor by just four seconds, Gorrie said they shared the spoils.

“We passed them during the last 14 hours of the race and they sailed their hearts out … so we split the knives with them at the end,” said Gorrie.

There were other Nanaimo-area race participants. Team Barefoot Wooden Boats from Gabriola Island placed 15th, while Team Y Triamoto did not finish.

Team Elsie Piddock won the race.

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