Sunday, June 28, 2009

Team Surfing USA-RAAM Summary

Thanks to everyone that gave me support through a long and tough week during the Race Across America as I served as Team Surfing USA's Crew Chief!!!
Unfortunately, our team only made it 2,000 miles. With 1,000 miles to go, one of the race vans from a competing team accidentally crossed over the line of travel for our rider Jason Winn. Jason was driven into the pavement nearly breaking his ankle and elbow with plenty of road rash in between. The other three riders made the decision to stop racing and head to NYC for other team business that was previously planned for immediately after the RAAM. After a few hours with Jason at the hospital, we loaded him up and gathered the team and headed for Annapolis for one night then on to NYC. We completed our other business in NYC without any further mishaps or safety issues.
To clarify and put any circulating BS to permanent rest, this was NOT intentional. It was simply an unfortunate accident. The other team felt horrible about what happened. We felt bad too. Everyone runs on minimal sleep in RAAM with great difficulties. In the end, it came down to safety. It's really important to constantly hammer your RAAM teams and crews about safety over and over again. Let's just learn from this and move on...enough said.
All in all, it was an amazing week. I learned more about life in the last week then probably any other week in my previous life. I learned about who I really am--and who I need to be.
In the heat of the fire, you learn a lot about people. Once again, RAAM and the universe provides!
From a HOT SoCal with post-adrenaline RAAM fever burnout,
In GARRA!!! Coach RJ


TimothyCase said...

Sincere thanks for your comments about what happened in Missouri with Jason and our team vehicle.

For reference, I was the racer (and professional firefighter) who jumped out of our team vehicle to help Jason on the side of the road until the medics showed up.

I can't begin to tell you how disappointed we were with how this all came down and we were fully charged up for the blistering race ahead.

As you wrote, there's alot of BS being floated around about us intentionally hitting Jason, etc. and so we really appreciate you clarifying what happened.

Our thoughts are with your racers and crew who weren't able to finish the RAAM journey and sincerely hope that Jason has a speedy recovery.

Tim Case
Team Strong Heart

Coach RJ said...

Thanks for writing Tim. Like I said, anything beyond the truth is just BS and not important to me--or your team. You came, raced, and finished. That's what is important. I was there. I know what happened. So do you. Keep the spirit Comrade. -RJ

Andrew Danly said...

Jason Winn is one cool guy and he's as strong as an ox. I went mano y mano with him the first night in Borrego and it was a RAAM moment to be sure. We went 100% and encouraged each other (with primal road yelling) to find even more. I am so sorry he did not get to finish. In Annapolis, I thanked him for the spirited competition and found him all smiles even through the disappointment. I really wanted him to know that our head-to-head battled (and with Don and Tim) was my RAAM highlight. Turns out, it was for him too. Awesome. I'll be rooting Jason from here forward and consider him my brother.

-Andrew, Team ViaSat

Coach RJ said...

Thanks Andrew. Jason was rocking man. He was a spiritual warrior indeed!!! Glad you experienced the best of RAAM-the pain and suffering money cannot buy!

Dan said...

Close call in RAAM 2013