R2AK Time Machine Day 22/25
Published on July 7th, 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!
Team Sistership was a true pioneer of Race to Alaska. Captained by Michelle Boroski, whose adventure philosophy was tempered in the fires of Outward Bound, Team Sistership was the first all-female crew, the first all-over-50 crew (I didn’t really cross check this), and the only team to create a fundraising arm on their race bid to raise money for a reason, in this case for youth and adult women’s education.
Hell, they completely financed The Girls’ Boat Project one year. And years later I learned one of the crew sailed with stage four cancer, because it wasn’t going to get in the way of her dreams. Incredible!
2017 Day 14: Lets all be heroes
In today’s episode we hit record as the Team Freya’s gums flap in whatever breeze is out there as he works his way in the final stretch to Ketchikan, challenged and happy as he negotiates the last bit of the course without the anchor that he lost some miles back. He can’t really stop, so we expect him to get in soon.
We also catch up with Team Sistership for a post race wrap up with Michelle, Johanna, and Stephanie. Splintered centerboards, challenged spirits, they reconnect with why the hell they wanted to do this race for the second time in the first place. Their reason is killer, and we wanted to give it context, but realized that someone else already did…
“…having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” – Moby Dick.
You can call us Ishmael, but we like it when you call us Big Poppa. Either way, this is your Daily Fix:
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