Blue Gull Inn

Race to Alaska

March 19th, 2016 by bluegullinn


Race to Alaska. Last year 35 teams started, 15 finished.


We doubt Larry Ellison and his America’s Cup boats could even finish.

We invited him to change our minds.

750 miles of 50 degree water

Race to Alaska. 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.

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.

R2AK is based on the hardest kind of simplicity:

You, a boat, a starting gun

$10,000  if you finish first,

A set of steak knives if you’re second,

Cathartic elation if you can simply complete the course.

Self-supported race: no supply drops, no safety net.

Any boat without an engine can enter.

The race has two stages:

Stage 1: Proving Grounds-

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: Long haul North-

Victoria BC to Ketchikan (710 miles)

Racers start in Victoria at high noon on Sunday, June 26th and continue until they reach Ketchikan or are tapped out by the sweep boat.

Other than two waypoints at Seymour Narrows and Bella Bella, there is no official course. To quote the bard:  You can go your own way.

If that sounds like your brand of whiskey, sign on to attempt its second year.

Want to go all in?

Become a sponsor and be a part of the next great adventure.

Doing the race?

Better decide soon.  We close the doors to applications on April 15.

2016 race packet can be found here:  RACE PACKET

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