Industrial Revolution President Graeme Esarey was among three members of the team that won the Race to Alaska sailing competition June 12.
The Elsie Piddock team, which was captained by Al Hughes and included crew member Matt Steverso, pulled into Ketchikan, AK after sailing 750 miles, unassisted, in just five days.
Greeting race participants with 50 degree waters that carry squalls, killer whales and 20 mph tidal currents, North America’s longest human and wind-powered race is for those seeking the ultimate thrill on the water.
“This race was one of the most interesting, challenging things I have done. I knew as soon as I heard about it that this race through the PNW without engines, support crews, completely self reliant I knew somebody had thrown down a gauntlet somewhere and that I should pick it up if I could,” said Graeme Esarey. “My teammates were rock solid, the boat was fast, and we had a lot of luck too. That's about what it takes to win a race like this.”
The Race to Alaska is a fully self-supported race with no supply drops or safety nets. Only boats without motors can participate and, other than two waypoints, race participants choose their route. In total, 40 teams signed up and began the race from Port Townsend, WA.
“This was never about the money. This was about the accomplishment, about reconnecting people to the adventure of the water and to the fellowship that can create,” members of Team Elsie Piddock said after winning the race. “Money in hand, Team Elsie Piddock are staying to cheer and welcome the next sets of winners across the line. Class act. As sailors and humans these guys are the real deal.”
Esarey, pictured left, was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but has climbed extensively in Asia and South America. He took a honeymoon cruise across the Pacific on a small sailboat, which was written about in Motion of the Ocean. He won the VanIsle 360 on his boat Kotuku, and is a regular fixture on long distance races in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, he won the Race to Alaska aboard a 25’ all-carbon trimaran named after a children’s book.
Founded in 1971 as UCO, the Original Candle Lantern company, Industrial Revolution has grown to manufacture and distribute a range of products that promote fun, safety, and comfort in the outdoors. In addition to Candle Lanterns, Stormproof Matches and portable grills, Industrial Revolution makes YayLabs! Ice Cream Balls and Pedco tripods and clamps. The company is also the US distributor of cutting-edge product lines from around the world, including Swedish Light My Fire products such as the Spork and FireSteel, and US and Canadian distributor of Sweden-based Morakniv knives, as well as German-based Esbit solid fuel stoves and cookware.