Long distance rowers, paddlers and sailors will compete next summer in a first-ever Race to Alaska that offers a $10,000 prize – and no fuel bill.
The Northwest Maritime Center, based in Port Townsend, Wash, has begun accepting applicants for the unique, non-motorized, 1,207-kilometre marathon scheduled to begin next June in Port Townsend.
The cash prize of $10,000 will go to the first competitor to reach Ketchikan without the aid of an engine.
“It’s kind of a gold rush thing. If you get there first, you win 10 grand,” said Jake Beattie, Northwest Maritime Center executive director.
The Race to Alaska is scheduled to begin June 4, on Port Townsend Bay, with a 65-kilometre first leg to Victoria.
The Maritime Museum of B.C. is partnering with Race to Alaska as the official Victoria port host. Any paddler, rower or sailor is invited to participate in that leg without committing to the full race to Ketchikan.
Racers who complete the first leg without assistance will qualify for the full race, scheduled to begin the following day.
Contestants will not be allowed to have any kind of motor on board – neither gas nor electric. There is no limit on the number of crew, but no substitutions will be allowed. To qualify for the prize, racers must be on board for the entire race.
“People do this trip in engineless boats every year,” Beattie said, “but there’s never been a race. Our goal is to do something cool that inspires people to adventure, that pays for itself, and which helps raise awareness about accessibility to the water.”
For more information go online to racetoalaska.com or contact Jake Beattie by email at Jake@RacetoAlaska.com.