Bruce’s Brief: R2AK Update Monday June 27, 2016

MAd Dog at Campbell River
Mad Dog going by the Tyee Pool at the Dick Murphy Park in Campbell River.

As of 0615 this morning the mighty Mad Dog after a bit of a slow night was once again moving towards a perfectly timed entrance into Seymour Narrows. At 1100 hours there are clearly too many folks, who have nothing better to do at work, trying to use the Tracker and it has now crashed. OUTSTANDING!

The overall picture is that at about 1115 Mad Dog was sighted off of the southern part of the town of Campbell River. At 1124 Mad Dog went flying by the Tyee Pool at Dick Murphy Park in almost perfect conditions for the cat, flat water and 6-8 knots of wind. Slack at the Seymour Check Point is at around 1145. Max Ebb (7.4 knots) is at 1445 which even at human powered speed means they’ll be into Johnstone Straits by about 1500 hours today. The next sound you will hear is the door slamming shut on the fleet on this year’s version of the R2AK.

The big picture is that the weak low we’ve been watching is moving slightly, and I mean very slightly faster, towards the Queen Charlotte Islands. On the Monday morning chart you’ll see this 1010MB low with its attached frontal system starting to push that weak 1028MB high off of northern California out of the way.

By Tuesday morning that frontal system is ever so slightly closer to race area however it is weakening as it runs into that 1025MB high situated over SE Alaska. This will have the effect of dropping wind speeds over the entire race area. Which will have little to no effect on Mad Dog. It will basically be a case of the rich getting richer at this point. Provided of course that MD doesn’t hit something big or break something important.

By Wednesday morning you’ll see the frontal system dissipating and a weak trough of low pressure starting to form over the race area. This will pull the breeze around to the west and the boats that are furthest to the north will benefit the most. MD will be reaching like a bandit and simply accelerating away from the fleet. The potential exists for MD to break the record to Ketchikan.

Ed. Note: Thanks again, Bruce, for the insights.



Bruce has raced and cruised the Pacific Northwest his entire life. He earned a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography and learned meteorology "to keep from getting kicked around on the race course." Bruce spent nearly two decades as Associate Publisher for Northwest Yachting Magazine, retiring in mid-2015, and was the chairman of the board of trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in 2014. (photo of Bruce driving Playstation is a bit dated, but cool)

3 thoughts on “Bruce’s Brief: R2AK Update Monday June 27, 2016

  • June 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    When will the tracker be fixed?

    • June 27, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Hello! I’ll check with the race organizers to see what is/was the problem with it and more importantly, what’s the outlook.

      • June 28, 2016 at 7:28 am

        I checked in with Jake, and he says it’s working now (no explanation of the problems, but probably just overwhelmed) I just checked (0725 Tues) and it’s running fine. Mad Dog crushing it with the monos Jungle and Madrona leading the rest.


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