The legendary R2AK Race to Alaska (see our June 2016 feature R2AK Race or Revolution?) is officially on for June 2017. The announcement from the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) of Port Townsend, the race’s sponsor, was considered by many a given, but the NWMC only commits to the race on a year-by-year basis. Details will be announced on September 9 at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, and potentially dramatic adjustments to the course are part of the scuttlebutt.
This will be the third iteration of the 750-mile race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. The rules are brutal in their simplicity: no motors and no support. For the first-place winners $10,000 awaits, a set of steak knives goes to the second place boat, and there are free beers for all finishers. The stories of resilience in adverse conditions are nothing short of jaw- dropping, and are enough to keep many near the comforts of home and couch. But what is a horror story for some is a motivational call to adventure for others, and R2AK continues to grow in popularity and recognition, even as participants are forced to shore to survive storms and ward off curious bears.
Stay tuned, we know we will. More details about the race are available at r2ak.com.
Photo: Nick Reid // R2AK