Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some Photos from R2AK.  Elsie Piddock will live forever as the first boat to finish the inaugural Race to Alaska.  Al, Matt, and Graeme will never forget it either!

The Finish, and the Home Stretch
$10,000 and what was left of the tree...

For more information go to R2AK.com

Kotuku's winter cruising plans

It pained me to miss Round The County this year.  First time since we have owned the boat.  But work has been crazy and I spent the week in Orlando, FL at a Dive Show (as in SCUBA, not Dive Bars.)

Kotuku hasn't been on the race course much.  But she has been a fish killing machine.  We estimate something like 50 fish between the girls and I.  Janna may have caught a few as well, but since she isn't here these evening she isn't bragging about all the salmon she caught.

This winter look for us in Port Townsend, Langley, and Rosario as we do our traditional winter cruise.  Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sailing into the Sunset

Team Elsie Piddock had a great night sail on Friday night.  After a fast session with Alex Simanis from Ballard Sails--Nice jib, HUGE roach--in which we regularly hit 14 knots, and up to 10.5 upwind, we headed back to the marina to tighten the rig down.  All that new high tech rigging stretches under load, and we had her loaded up a bit.

Then back into the night.  The wind was down, and then up again as we rocked into Elliott Bay.  The boat goes as fast as the wind.  Literally.  It feels wickedly fast, but completely in control.  We have to wear funny costumes to have this much fun though!
 Yes, I have a Pencil Neck.
 No, you can't have the helm back!
Cuts like hot knife through butter...
A beautiful city, a beautiful boat, and a fine evening for a sail!

Wanted to give a big THANK YOU to all who have helped get us to the start line.  Thank you UCO for the running lights and headlamps, thanks to ESBIT and Light My Fire for the food jugs and Titanium sporks.  Thanks Morakniv for the knives.  Thank you KIND for all the bars, bars, bars.  Thank you Alex and the team at Ballard Sails for the rigging help, and the jib.  Oh my, what a jib!  (Kotuku has a ton of fast sails from Ballard Sails too.  Fast sails win races!)

Most of all we want to say THANK YOU to Alan, Jennifer, and Katie.  Whose beautiful, fast, safe boat Elsie Piddock will carry us to Alaska.  Without your support and hard work, our dream would be just that.  Thanks for trusting us with her, and for sharing in this adventure with us.

Soon now, we race.  North.  Tomorrow.  

Ride, Elsie Ride!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

R2AK Team Ellie Piddock (Formerly known as Team Kotuku)

Just a quick shout out to those who may not have heard:  Al Hughes, Graeme Esarey, and Matt Steverson have entered the Race to Alaska.  We leave June 4th, have one stopover in Victoria, and then take off for Ketchikan, Alaska.  Non-stop, hopefully.  No motors allowed, no outside assistance.

Skipper Al Hughes
 Graeme Esarey

Matt Steverson

"It's like the Iditarod, but with a chance of drowning."  Or so they say.  We think it sounds like great fun, and we have borrowed the Alan Trimble's F-25C (formerly known as Makika) so that we can get up there as fast as we can.  Apparently there will be $10,000 nailed to a tree for the winner.  Second place gets a set of steak knives.

Image result for makika f-25c (Elsie Piddock, back when she was Makika)

There is a tracker, and a wonderful website.  Please follow us and visit the site for updates:


Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy New Year! Planning for 2015 Already...

Kotuku likes to have plenty of room to change her mind.  So we often have to plan our maneuvers a ways out.  Lately Janna and I have been talking a fair bit about races we'd like to do again and the VanIsle keeps coming up.  Unfortunately for me, that is a year and a half away.  Not too early to mark your calendars and to start angling for a crew position though, is it?

The other bit of good news is that there are plenty of interesting races on the calendar for this year, and we will be looking for friends and family to join us in Canada and in the States for several longer distance races.  The first race is Southern Straits, which has turned into a bit of a tradition for us.  We love the hospitality of the West Van Yacht Club, and really enjoy the challenge of this one.

I expect Race To The Straits to allow us to smuggle children aboard one more time.  Talia is getting bigger now though, this could be her last race as baggage.  She might be driving next year...if so you might want to give Kotuku a bit of room at the mark.  Something that is always a good idea, come to think of it.

Then there is Swiftsure, an old favorite of mine.  Janna and the girls will be enjoying the city while we are bobbing around in the dark, drifting in the wrong direction most likely.  But when the wind does fill, the romp down through Race Passage is always a memorable one.

After that, we are interested in the Border Run concept.  And we will definitely be cruising this summer, killing fish when we can.  The year will finish with Round The County.

Come join us on one or more of our adventures!  Happy New Year from the Kotuku Family!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Round The County

Quick post:  We had a heck of a lot of fun, with some old crew, and some Thistlers.  And Janna joined us for a multi-day, crewed race.  That has never happened but she had a lot of fun and may well be lured back again.

So how did the race go?  We had a great time and battled hard both days but the lack of wind and adverse tide conspired against us.  Matt made wonderful salmon burgers, as usual.  Chris, Eli, Matt, and Al attempted to keep me honest in the back of the boat--we had our moments, both good and bad.  We didn't finish either day, but a good time was had by all.  Thanks to Bob, Chris, Al, John, Matt, Eli, and Janna for joining in on the festivities.  And thanks to all who help take care of the old girl, couldn't do it with out you!

Results are here:


Photos are here:

Jan's Marine Photography

And of course, a wrap-up from our good friend Ben:


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ballard Cup 1

Have a very nice day of racing yesterday, with the wind blowing hard!  Committee Boat said they saw 50 knots of breeze before they left the dock, but most of the racing was done in 20-30 knots.  We were shorthanded with just Al, John, Kenyon, and I having experience, but we rounded up Sterling and Ashley just as we were leaving the dock.

Nice sailing with #4 and no reef in the main.  Could have used one at times, but didn't have the reef line led.  Oh well.  We started exactly 5 minutes early, then got set up for a re-start by sitting on Beltane and forcing them to start directly behind us in dirty air.  Luckily there was plenty of breeze to go around!

We followed the fleet up to the L mark, rounded, went wing and wing directly at Meadow Point, gybed the main, rounded beat up to the mid-channel mark in about 5 minutes, went wind and wing again, rounded and finished.  The whole race took something like 40 minutes.

First in class, First overall.  Kotuku takes care of business when the wind blows.

See you next Monday!