Burds win Race to Alaska

Published on June 15th, 2017

Ketchikan, AK (June 15; Day 5) – The final day of the Race to Alaska was a tightly fought battle between the 27-foot trimaran Pure & Wild/Freeburd team of Tripp Burd, Chris Burd, and Trevor Burd and Team Big Broderna, a F31 trimaran sailed by Sean Huston, Nels Strandberg, Marshall Lebron, and Lars Strandberg. Leading since day 2, the Burds beat Big Broderna by only six minutes for the victory of the 710-mile race from Victoria, BC.

Finishing Times
1. Team Pure & Wild – 4 days, 3 hours, 5 mins
2. Team Big Broderna – 4 days, 3 hours, 11 mins
For a list of historic timesclick here.

While Team Pure & Wild/Freeburd claim the $10,000 first place prize, second place Team Big Broderna will get the coveted second place prize of a pretty good set of steak knives.

The weather this year has been extremely erratic offering winds over 55 miles per hour and periods of flat calm. No boat has an engine and when not sailing must propel themselves however they design, often with paddle, pedal or oar.

Twenty-eight teams are still battling up the coast for fame or glory, as well as the first to say yes to the R2AK buy-back program. Race Boss, Daniel Evans, says “As each team finishes, we are giving them five minutes to decide if they want to sell us their boat for $10,000. We will buy the first team’s boat that says yes. No questions asked.”

The unusual offer was created to offer incentive for teams that knew they couldn’t finish first, but still could race competitively.

When Tripp Burd, Captain of the winning team Pure & Wild/FreeBurd was asked how it felt to finally take first in R2AK after three years of competing he said, “We finished in half the time as year one with twice as much work.”

Now in its third year, the Race to Alaska is organized by the Northwest Maritime Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage people in maritime activities.

Photos: Top row – Big Broderna; Bottom row – Pure & Wild/FreeBurd

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The race has two stages

Stage 1: The Proving Ground – June 8
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 – June 11
Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK (710 miles): Racers start in Victoria and continue until they reach Ketchikan, accept their mortality and quit, or lag too far behind and 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.

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Source: R2AK

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