The Northwest Maritime Center (NMC) is officially accepting Race to Alaska (R2AK) 2019 applications. Sailors, kayakers, or anyone at the helm of an engineless vessel are welcome to sign up. Human or wind power only is one of the few rules this endurance race up the wild coast of Alaska enforces.
Every year since its inception, an assortment of craft from state-of-the-art racing yachts to home-made kayaks and paddleboards line up for Leg 1 of the race. A one-day sprint from Port Townsend to Victoria, B.C. kicks off the race and knocks out any of the racers without a snowball’s chance of making it all the way to Alaska.
A few days later, the 710-mile marathon to Ketchikan, Alaska, begins. Other than waypoints at Seymour Narrows and Bella Bella, teams can make their own course. First one to Ketchikan wins $10,000, nailed to a piece of wood, and second place gets a set of steak knives. The prize everyone takes home is the lasting sense of accomplishment for conquering one of the craziest races in world.
There are no true qualifications for the race, but the application process plays an important role. This vetting process prevents the more unsafe applications from getting into danger. The race was started to prove that adventure could be attained at any price point. Not for everyone, the race puts racers in the path of huge water, grizzly bears, and strong tidal currents. But anyone who thinks they’re up to it and wants to challenge themselves in and amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world are welcome to apply at r2ak.com.