R2AK Time Machine Day 10/25

Published on June 25th, 2020

For five years, the Race to Alaska, a 750-mile course from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska, proved that journey trumps destination, and while COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 edition, the Organizing Authority is, for 25 days, sharing their fondest memories from the previous races. Enjoy!

No one has solved the riddle of 2017 Team West Coast Wild Ones’ improbable race, and if they tell you any different, they’re a damn liar. WCWO raced a secret weapon that looked like a floating dinner party venue with a sunshade in the form of a mainsail. In short, an O’Day 27.

They placed 4th, beating out everyone but those teams there to compete for 1st place. Behind them was a massive list of faster boats and crews with impressive sailing resumes. When asked how they did it, Chantelle spilled out some excuse about being really good at sailing in storms. (Usually, code for being really bad at weather forecasting.)

They were only slightly less surprised than us about the finish, but the facts hold. They took a slow boat and sailed the hell out of it, proving money buys boats but it doesn’t buy cool.


This episode of the podcast has everything: Team Freeburd recapping their battle with Broderna, the “little less screwed” that pedaling brings a sailing race, and helping their waitress figure out the bill. Race Boss Daniel Evans gives the rundown of the fleet.

All of that, plus unbeknownst to the racers we reach out to the parents of Teams Bad Kitty and West Coast Wild Ones in a section we’re calling: What does your mom think? It’s like that time at prom when your mom showed off awkward photos of you, but without their knowing and with the entire internet.

Sit back, sit down with your best buds or pop in your ear buds, this is your Daily Fix.

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What was to be in 2020:
Race to Alaska, now in its 6th year, follows the same general rules which launched this madness. No motor, no support, through wild frontier, navigating by sail or peddle/paddle (but at some point both) the 750 cold water miles from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.

To save people from themselves, and possibly fulfill event insurance coverage requirements, the distance is divided into two stages. Anyone that completes the 40-mile crossing from Port Townsend to Victoria, BC can pass Go and proceed. Those that fail Stage 1 go to R2AK Jail. Their race is done. Here is the 2020 plan:

Stage 1 Race start: June 8 – Port Townsend, Washington
Stage 2 Race start: June 11 – Victoria, BC

There is $10,000 if you finish first, a set of steak knives if you’re second. Cathartic elation if you can simply complete the course. R2AK is a self-supported race with no supply drops and no safety net. Any boat without an engine can enter.

In 2019, there were 48 starters for Stage 1 and 37 finishers. Of those finishers, 35 took on Stage 2 of which 10 were tagged as DNF.

Source: Race to Alaska

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