LEXINGTON, Mass. (June 5, 2015) – Sperry, creator of the world’s first boat shoe, announces today that the company will sponsor brothers Tripp and Chris Burd on their 750-mile sea-based journey from Port Townsend, Wash. to Ketchikan, Alaska in the Race to Alaska (R2AK). The race is the first of its kind, boasting minimal rules except that vessels must be wind or man-powered and that race participants are entirely self-supported during their journey. The brothers, who will go by the name Team FreeBurd, will sail and paddle the 750 miles to Alaska in their catamaran aptly named the “FreeBurd”.
“We were hooked on the Race to Alaska once we heard about it, as we saw the race as an opportunity to push ourselves while exploring a unique and remote corner of the world” says team captain, Tripp Burd. “As kids we always built boats, broke them, and fixed them, learning by trial and error and developing a lifelong bond with the ocean. We’re excited to put those skills to the test in the R2AK.”
Originally from Marblehead, Mass., the Burds grew up on the water alongside their brother, U.S. Olympic sailing hopeful, Trevor Burd. A marine composites engineer and professional sailor specializing in catamarans, Tripp has several sailing accolades, including multihull National and North American Championships and three Tybee 500 finishes. Chris, the younger of the two brothers, is an experienced dinghy sailor with two Newport-Bermuda finishes, one Tybee 500 finish, and an additional 15,000 offshore sailing miles.
“Chris and Tripp are accomplished sailors in their disciplines with many miles under their belts,” says Sperry director of marketing, David Mesicek. “Their dedication to the sport, along with their knack for resourcefulness in the water make them strong contenders in the R2AK and we’re excited to support their epic journey.”
Sperry was founded in 1935 by avid sailor, inventor and intrepid explorer Paul Sperry. From the invention of the world's first boat shoe to a full collection of sea-tested lifestyle products, Sperry equips all those who believe the best stories are written with their feet. Proud sponsor of the United States Sailing Team and numerous world-class regattas, including Charleston Race Week and Head of the Charles, Sperry is distributed around the world at independent and department stores in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Sperry specialty retail stores and at Sperry.com. Sperry® is a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children's and uniform footwear and apparel. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands also includes: Merrell®, Hush Puppies®, Saucony®, Wolverine®, Keds®, Stride Rite®, Sebago®, Cushe®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Soft Style®. The Company also is the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 200 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com.