Race to Alaska – Team Sistership’s Journey

Published on January 22nd, 2016

Seagypsypress, The Trimaran Journal
Michelle Boroski and Jen Bates stood atop Grand Targhee Mountain on a crystal clear hot August day. The grey-blue Tetons stood silent before them in the sunshine. Aside from small patches of dirty snow on the mountains, there was no water to be seen anywhere. For the two sailors, the ocean never seemed so far away. They had a big decision to make.

“I think we should do it. It’s going to be cold, wet and dangerous. Remember the last time?”, Michelle asked. “I know but I still think we should do it. What have we got to lose?” Only everything, thought Jen.

But her daughter would sure think she was a bad-ass if she pulled it off. And crazy Michelle would probably go without her anyway. Jen refused to be left behind. Not this time. Jen heard herself say, “OK, Lets do it. Lets go.” Michelle turned, said “Great! We’ll need a trimaran. ”

Thus was born Team Sistership, four women daring to sail a Corsair 27 Trimaran from Port Townsend Washington to Ketchican in the second Race to Alaska (R2AK).

Port Townsend is a tidy little town on the south coast of the Straits of Juan de Fuca in Washington state. A quiet Victorian place (except on Halloween), it is home to wooden boat artisans, fishermen, sailors, riggers, writers, spirit guides, and the loopy visionaries at the Northwest Maritime Center. The loopy visionaries who decided to chance it and run another (the second) Race to Alaska (R2AK) adventure.

Adventure. Too often, when we’re young, it’s taken for granted. As we get older, adventure gets sidelined by the obligations of life lived correctly, sanely – carefully. The careful life strangles and constricts – the soul becomes restless, something is missing. But then, an idea catches hold, the old excitement returns, maps and charts are consulted, the idea grows. Another adventure beckons and life is grand again. For Team Sistership, that idea is the R2AK.

Team Sistership is Skipper Michelle Boroski a physician’s assistant and professional sailor from Ventura California; Jen Bates, full time Mom, Yoga instructor, power lifter and an ex-rigger and sail maker from Port Townsend; and Annie Myers, Lieutenant on a Seattle fire-boat, diver and house builder. A fourth crew member is yet to be announced.

No strangers to adventure, the Sisters accomplished burly offshore sailing deliveries, even while pregnant. They have been or are professional sailors, riggers, fire-women, river-runners, divers, skiers, sail-makers and health professionals. They have lived full healthy lives out of doors with no apologies and no excuses. They have pushed their own limits and in doing so, have expanded the boundaries for all women.

Not done yet, they are all on the senior side of 50 years old.

The Sisters are determined to participate in the R2AK to inspire others – in particular young women – by their example. In the words of Michelle Boroski – “We hope to empower and improve the self-image crisis of younger girls. We want to show women of all ages they can continue to compete and challenge themselves throughout their lives.”

Read On for rest of story.

More information on their campaign can be found at http://www.sistershipr2ak.com/.

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