Team Rider Profile – Brian Tracy

On a clear day in Seattle, look south, and Mt. Rainier looks as though it could topple over the city.

Look north, and you are slightly confused, a momentary deja vu makes Mt. Baker look like someone took Rainier and air shipped it north. Behind Rainier, Baker may be the most glaciated, crevassed mountain in the Pacific Northwest; meaning there are thousands of car-sized glowing blue icy gaps you can fall in when you climb it.

Brian Tracy climbed it, then skied down it. Think skiing Crystal Mountain, ungroomed, with natures sinkholes looking to collect skiers like a venus fly trap. Not a worry to Tracy, Team 206’s resident backcountry mountain expert.

From Chicago, Illinois, flatter than the bottom of a race board, it’s no surprise Brian is a category 3 bike racer and was a University of Washington Team Rider. The skiing, and summiting, including Rainier, are less likely and more noteworthy. For a midwest boy to become a mountain expert is the same for someone from Oklahoma to become a quality surfer; you have to work that much harder.

Tracy, who seemingly never takes off or washes his orange Downwind Gladiators jersey, has quickly become one of the top downwind SUP athletes in the northwest. After spending parts of 2011 and 2012 on flatwater boards in the wind, he bartered his way to good downwind boards and is now nipping at the heels of Art Aquinio and Patrick Aio, other prominent PNW downwind athletes.

“I almost caught Brian Tracy.” I heard this no less than 3 times at our local National Surf Day Party at a favorite local shop recently. After a lot of races, folks will ask me about my race, or how my finish line battle was. “I almost caught Brian Tracy” Not last night, a solid handful of the 30 or so racers we had were looking at Brian Tracy from further behind then they had in his first season, last season. Tracy, as we can all attest, wasn’t scared by 25 degree days in the Puget Sound this winter; he put in his off season hours.

The penultimate PNW race occurs in Hood River, OR, just outside of Portland, at the Gorge Paddle Challenge. The night before last years race there was a lightning storm that seemed to split the Gorge even deeper. One local racer got hit in the head by his board at the finish of the race when the wind picked it up off the surface of the water. Two team boards got the Bruce Willis destruction treatment… in the parking lot… and needed professional patch jobs. Another highly skilled racer, Dustin Sousley (admittedly on the wrong board for the conditions), broke a finger and didn’t talk for about 3 hours after the race.

Tracy? I approached him to ask how it went, on his flatwater racer.

“I loved it,” he said, at that point not owning his heavy beard. “I absolutely loved it. And that was my first downwinder!”

@brian-tracy #Team206 #PaddleTheOcean #ClimbMountains #HappyWifeisHappyLife

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