Team ‘Lost But Don’t Care‘: Pat Ninburg, Nicky Scragg (obscured since he’s no longer on the team) and John Scragg. Photo courtesy r2ak.com.
By Scott Schaefer
Race to Alaska is back for year six after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus, and team ‘Lost But Don’t Care‘ from Burien will be one of the 49 teams at the starting line on June 13, 2022.
Current team members include John Scragg, Pat Ninburg and Adam Seamans (Nicky Scragg had to drop out). If the last name Scragg looks familiar to you, it may be because one of John’s sons is Chris Scragg, who worked as “The Puget Sound Weather Geek” in 2015-16 producing weather reports and stories for The B-Town Blog and South King Media. He now lives in New York City, where he’s an Associate Producer for Fox Weather.
But Father Scragg should feel right at home on the water, as he is a Marine Pilot for Puget Sound Pilots, and has also taught at Pacific Maritime Institute and others.
No motors or outside support is allowed during this race though – the R2AK is all about the physical endurance, saltwater know-how, and bulldog tenacity that it takes to navigate the 750 cold water miles from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska (see map here).
“As these teams sail into the forgotten reaches of our coastal wilderness, the stories that do come out will be incredible,” said Race Boss Daniel Evans.
First place wins $10,000; second place, a set of mediocre steak knives. There is no third place.
Teams embark on Stage 1 – “The Proving Ground” – from Port Townsend on June 13 at 5 a.m., then have 48 hours to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and make it to Victoria, BC.
June 16 at high Noon marks the start of Stage 2, “To the Bitter End,” the 710-mile trek from Victoria to Alaska.
This year, the removal of one of only two waypoints between Victoria and Ketchikan – Seymour Narrows – gives racers the choice of going up the inside of Vancouver Island or going out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca into the Pacific Ocean – opening up a new realm of possibilities as teams endeavor to solve the R2AK puzzle.
The Burien-based team will take the inside passage.
Here’s a video from a documentary made about the 2017 race:
And another by CBS News:
John Scragg told The B-Town Blog that he likes adventure, but has never done anything like this race before.
“Then Covid happened, so then I thought ‘it’s time to try that again,'” he said.
The Lost But Don’t Care team name comes from John and his son Nicky, and was dreamt up while they were towing a boat from California to Seattle. Scragg is a big “Top Gear” fan, and the “lost but don’t care” attitude is a theme he said that show might use, highlighting that the fun is all about the journey, not the destination.
“Plus the fact that we’re now all three professional navigators doing this trip,” he said. “No outside support is allowed during the race, which means nobody can text weather data to us as we’re racing. But we’ll be fine.”
You can track the full race on the r2ak.com website starting June 13, via tracking devices on board each boat that are monitored in real time.
This will be Scragg’s first such competitive “long” boat trip.
“We’ve been training for a while now though, but the longest I’ve done until now is three days,” he said. “One team member (Adam) sailed from Europe to Brazil in a race, so we’re pretty confident knowing that he’s going to be on board with us.”
The race will go on for 24 hours per day, with the Trimaran sailboat always moving, and the crew sleeping in shifts.
“There will always be two on deck and one cooking, resting, or cleaning,” Scragg said.
Scragg adds that the entire race should take between 6-10 days total. The record is four days, which required a consistent 15-20 knot speed most of the time.
The Race to Alaska is a project of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery.
Team Name: Lost But Don’t Care
Home port: Burien, WA
- John Scragg
- Pat Ninburg
- Adam Seamans
Throwback Thursday to when we picked up the mighty Raven in Dana Point, CA. It was an incredibly long and slow 40 hour drive round trip but the start of an amazing journey.
T-Minus 137 days until we leave Port Townsend!
— Team Lost But Don’t Care (@lostbutdontcare) January 27, 2022
Vessel Type and size: Corsair Sprint 750 Trimaran sailboat, 24’3” (seen in the Tweet above)
Human propulsion: Pedal propulsion supplemented by rowing stations. Wind, currents, tides allowed, but NO motors. And there is no third place.