The WA360 race ends with 38 team finishers


PORT TOWNSEND – Fun While Lost is not just a team name, said the canoeist. It’s an attitude.

The best part was: “Just explore; see more of the sound. It’s such a special place, ”said solo team member Andy Jacobs shortly after finishing the first WA360 race around Puget Sound.

The Jefferson County Courthouse bell rang eight times when Jacobs stepped onto the dock at Port Townsend Boat Haven after 12 days at sea. As the last finisher of the race, he had already stopped at the dock of the Northwest Maritime Center to wave to the race director, his snow-white sail at his back.

Like the other 53 teams that started the center’s human and wind powered race, Jacobs started on the counterclockwise route from Port Townsend to Olympia, then Bellingham, Point Roberts and back to Port Townsend on June 7th.

He was out there alone. For nights he slept in the middle of his turquoise Polynesian sailing canoe; For days he played chess with the wind directions.

“It flipped me like a switch,” said Jacobs, and “once it’s good, it’s good.”

But it wasn’t always in that category.

Puget Sound, with its bays, bays and islands, is full of quirks, he said.

Daniel Evans, the WA360’s race director, posted a report from the last day greeting Team Fun While Lost, stating that Jacobs was the first to leave Birch Bay on Friday for the San Juan Islands, “on a macabre.” Route with race and destination locations “. – Sucia Island, Doe Bay Resort, Spencer Spit – to finally go ashore at the southern neck of Decatur Island, just before the calendar turned again “, which gave his last rival, Team Health Forces Sail, a run for the” penultimate award “Procured.

Andy Jacobs, also known as Team Fun While Lost, finished the WA360 race just before 7pm on Saturday and then took the travel canoe he built to Port Townsend Boat Haven. (Diane Urbani de la Paz / Peninsula Daily News)

On Saturday: “Andy was caught on a windless Mad Tea Party trip off Whidbey Island. His tracker was pointing in all directions for at least an hour, ”said Evans.

When he made his final paddle strokes in Boat Haven, Jacobs, 38, was in a good mood and said his next project was “definitely dinner.”

Web developer by profession, who lives in Pullman, he built his own trimaran canoe and took part in the Seventy48 from Tacoma to Port Townsend two years ago.

On the reinvented WA360, a replacement for the Race to Alaska, whose route crosses Canadian waters and had to be canceled in 2020 and 2021, Jacobs experienced the spectrum of Pacific Northwest conditions. He was among 38 teams that finished; another 14 teams did not. One team, Felicity Farkle of Bend, Oregon, disqualified themselves on June 11th while using their engine.

“The first night was great weather,” recalls Jacobs, but a man has to sleep.

With no other crew member to paddle and sail, Jacobs woke up to not-so-good conditions. During his stay he was wet most of the time – not that he had a problem with that.

“A lot about this boat is patience,” he added.

And no, there is no motor connected.

One day he decided to take a nap until a passerby who did not see him called his boat to the coast guard as a “drifting ship”.

“Everyone says I need to take a nap,” Jacobs joked.

As the last finisher of the WA360 on Saturday evening, Andy Jacobs paddles his trimaran canoe from the Northwest Maritime Center Dock to the Port Townsend Boat Haven.  (Diane Urbani de la Paz / Peninsula Daily News)

As the last finisher of the WA360 on Saturday evening, Andy Jacobs paddles his trimaran canoe from the Northwest Maritime Center Dock to the Port Townsend Boat Haven. (Diane Urbani de la Paz / Peninsula Daily News)

The WA360 field was spread out over the nearly two weeks of competition – with some teams being more competitive than others.

Back in Port Townsend was the High Seas Drifters team, the four-person crew that sailed in at 12:59 on June 10th. Your prize for the first in the “Go Fast” class: a huge black and gold belt like the Champion Boxers wear.

The team from Wilsall, Mont., Arrived in front of a cheering crowd of around 100 spectators, followed seven minutes later by Team Fressure of Olympia, also a four-man boat. This team won the Go Hard category for large ships that tend to go slower than others.

For Jacobs and Team Fun While Lost, the category could have been “Go Lightly”. The canoeist says that he likes working on boats as much as he likes sailing. He plans to donate the WA360 ship to an outdoor education program led by Matt Wickey of Friday Harbor.

“I have ambitions for a new boat,” said Jacobs.

When asked if there will be another WA360 next year, the Northwest Maritime Center was quick to respond: “This is up for debate,” wrote spokeswoman Hallie Glynn.

At the end of his Race Boss updates, Evans hailed Fun While Lost and Health Force Sail, “To the two teams that have spent more time in this race than anyone else who has ever lived,” he wrote.

“You completed this chapter on WA360 with heart, tenacity and a willingness to make sacrifices. Huzza! ”


Jefferson County’s Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or 09 [email protected]

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