New race to Alaska


The entertaining web site (watch the video below and then go and read the race participants' profiles) of the Race to Alaska gives you a feel for the tenor of this race: 750 miles to Alaska by sailboat, rowboat or kayak – any vessel is okay just so you don't use an engine for propulsion. The race, run by the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Wash., has a $10,000 cash prize for first place. Starting date is June 4, 2015. 

Here's a quote from the race website to give a sense of the organizer's playful attitude:

"The inside passage to Alaska has been paddled by native canoes since time immemorial, sailing craft for centuries, and after someone found gold in the Klondike the route was jammed with steamboats full of prospectors elbowing each other out of the way for the promise of fortune.

"It’s in the spirit of tradition, exploration, and the lawless self-reliance of the gold rush that Race to Alaska was born. R2AK is the first of its kind and North America’s longest human and wind powered race, and currently the largest cash prize.

"It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat,

"with a chance of drowning

"…being run down by a freighter, or eaten by a grizzly bear.

"There are squalls, killer whales, tidal currents that run upwards of 20 miles an hour, and some of the most beautiful scenery on god’s green earth."

By Ocean Navigator