Race to Alaska

You might recall the R2AK, where any boat you might have races from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, provided it doesn’t have a motor. It’s 750 miles, and presents some very difficult challenges, including completing the race. Past finishers have sailed, rowed, and paddled. It starts this coming Thursday.

Usually, the “winners” are big ocean-racing catamarans, able to complete the race in just a few days; others require three weeks.

I was surprised to not see any of the big boats in the line-up, or at least not on the website (r2ak.com). Nor did I see anywhere near the number of entrants there have been in past years. This being Sunday evening, there are three small boats in the marina that I know are entered, not the dozen or so I expected. Nor are there any big boats at all here. Maybe they’ll show up tomorrow, but something tells me the race is going to look very different this year.

The race organizer (one guy) added a new race this year called the Seventy48. You have 48 hours to go from Tacoma to Port Townsend (70 miles), completely human-powered (no sails). There will be stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and row-boats, and plenty of very athletic people driving them.

I’ll be watching both events closely, though I have to leave my vantage point here at the marina on Tuesday.

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