Race Turtles

Illustration by Chris Rooney 

2009 Pearl Jam Challenge Audience Favorite Winner

Backspacer has a lot on her mind. She joined the Race for the sake of the journey, to take to the road and to think about where she’s been and where she’s headed next. She started the Race from the most northerly point of any of her competitors, deep in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Backspacer’s sponsors, the legendary rock band Pearl Jam, are hoping that she can win the Race and find her way home in time for the release of their new album in the Fall!

Backspacer’s coach, Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau, has been helping her to focus on moving ahead and taking deep breaths during her long sojourn south.

Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist Stone Gossard and Eric Shanteau predicted victory for Backspacer all along! Listen as they discuss our winner’s training regimen as well as the importance of ocean conservation.

SUBSCRIBE: Make sure to cheer on Backspacer!

Turtle Name

Backspacer (Female)


Pearl Jam


Eric Shanteau


150.5 cm (5 ft)

113 cm (3 ft 9 in)


375 kg (825 lbs)

Tune in to see Backspacer’s progress in the Race.

Where is she now?

Shortly after crossing the finish line and doing a few more loops, Backspacer’s transmitter stopped signaling. We hope that she is spotted in the coming months by nesting beach colleagues.

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