Harken Derm

Three Burds Going for Glory

Published on June 12th, 2017

(June 12; Day 2) – While peddle power dominated the start of the Race to Alaska, strong winds last night have advanced the multihulls on the 710-mile leg from Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK.

Leading the charge is the Pure & Wild/Freeburd team of Tripp Burd, Chris Burd, Trevor Burd sailing Mama Tried, a 27-foot Pete Melvin designed trimaran. Here’s their bio:


With flashing white smiles and strong jaws, the three strapping team members have seemingly walked away from careers as male leads in animated Disney movies for two major purposes: to rise to elite status in the world of sailing and to dare the hard working folks who write these things not to make any “bird” references in their write-up (and honestly we’re white-knuckled on that one, we could break at any second).

When you look at their resume as a whole it’s hard to swallow, like a big fat dog-choking resume of sailing feats and accomplishments. You can start with being the F-18 national champion, Newport-Bermudas, 1,000’s of offshore miles, a captains license… they even got so bored with their list of sailing accomplishments that their original application to the race just said, “a few beach cat national champs” which was true to the letter.

It strains the Internet to find a photo of Tripp not standing in front of something smiling and wearing a medal. Not bad for animated heartthrobs; no one sails like Gaston…

Plus they are Eagle Scouts. (Nope, we’re not going to touch that one. Just going to leave that right there. Walking away, focusing on our breathing.)

Add to that they’ve collectively been in 100% of R2AK (Tripp-2, Chris- 1, Trevor-0) Year one had Tripp and Chris on a hate mission onboard a 22 foot/year-old racing cat with a fresh coat of paint and a 38′ mast. No shelter but an endless supply of the adrenaline-filled moments the Burds seemed to feed on. They finished, set a world record for open boats and got a sweet Waterlust documentary courtesy of the good folks at Sperry.

Last year Tripp returned as a part of another team who dreamt big, broke their boat, then rallied only to bow out after Victoria. Sometimes all the right pieces fall apart leaving Tripp with unfinished business, and family members who didn’t look busy enough. Voila-2017.

Refuting cultural assumptions established by Lynyrd and friends, these Burds actually can change. Lesson learned from the unsheltered year one, Team FreeBurd grabbed the best looking boat from R2AK 2016 that was still up for grabs- Mama Tried, a physics bending 3-wheeler handed to the league of mortals by multihull legend Pete Melvin.

Mama Tried rallied north in 2016 with a respectable time as Team Pure and Wild. Freeburd also grabbed their sponsor – Pure and Wild – who are three years deep in to R2AK glory and slashed back to join forces with the Burds for a glory run in 2017.

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The race has two stages:

Stage 1: The Proving Ground – June 8
Port Townsend to Victoria BC (40 miles): R2AK starts with an initial race across open water, two sets of shipping lanes, and an international border. The first stage is designed as a qualifier for the full race and as a stand-alone 40 mile sprint for people who just want to put their toe in.

If you want to be a part of R2AK but don’t have the time or inclination for the full race- join for a full day of all out racing across some of the biggest water in the course. Racers continuing on will clear Canadian customs in Victoria.

Stage one winners get to bask in the glory for a full day and a half.

Stage 2: To the Bitter End – June 11
Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK (710 miles): Racers start in Victoria and continue until they reach Ketchikan, accept their mortality and quit, or lag too far behind and are tapped out by the sweep boat. Other than two waypoints along the way, Seymour Narrows and Bella Bella, there is no official course. To quote the bard, You can go your own way.

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Source: R2AK

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