R2AK: Race to Alaska

R2AK, 2017. Photo: White Pebble Productions
Friday, June 8, 2018

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 for a race of its kind.

The race has two stages:

Stage 1: The Proving Ground

Port Townsend to Victoria BC (40 miles)
R2AK  starts with an initial race across open water, two sets of shipping lanes, and an international border.  The first stage is designed as a qualifier for the full race and as a stand-alone 40 mile sprint for people who just want to put their toe in.

If you want to be a part of R2AK but don’t have the time or inclination for the full race- join for a full day of all out racing across some of the biggest water in the course. Racers continuing on will clear Canadian customs in Victoria.

Stage one winners get to bask in the glory for a full day and a half.

Stage 2: To the Bitter End

Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK (710 miles)

Racers start in Victoria at high noon on Sunday, June 17, and continue until they reach Ketchikan—or are tapped out by the sweep boat. Other than two waypoints along the way, Seymour Narrows and Bella Bella, there is no official course. To quote the bard, You can go your own way.

If this sounds like your brand of whiskey, R2AK is the race for you.

Want to race?

The application for 2018’s race is now open. You should do a couple things first:

And we’ll close the doors to applications on April 15, 2018. Apply now.

Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend, WA