Northwest Yachting July 2017

Page 64

TRANS

PACIFIC E X P R E S S

The bi-annual Vic-Maui race is one of the toughest sails on the West Coast. Veteran Brad Baker takes us inside the experience.

Brad Baker looks slightly out of place in the newly opened Scandinavian-chic café in Ballard where we meet. Wearing faded jeans, a nondescript t-shirt, and a well-loved Swiftsure Yachts baseball cap, he peruses his laptop for weather reports from a couch in the back. The crowd around him consists of well-dressed techies with dates

B

Words: Norris Comer Photos: Dave Woodcock & Jan Anderson 64 NORTHWEST YACHTING || JULY 2017

at the bar or work-from-home types on their Macbooks. “Your coffee is on me,” Baker says as we get comfortable and I brace myself for tales from a true bona fide sailor. We exchange a handshake, and it isn’t more than a few seconds before we dig into his favorite topic: the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race. Baker is The Professor when