Race to Alaska 2023. Get Ready.

By Jesse Weigel, Race Boss

Somewhere between the harbour of Sydney, Australia (where one aspirant still hasn’t begun his solo ocean crossing to the start line), and a country lane just a stone’s throw south of Sherwood Forest (where last year’s Team Zen Dog has been licking his battered paws and planning for redemption), Race to Alaska 2023 has, in the hearts of the racers, already started. All told, 112 humans, comprising 40 teams overall, are readying themselves for the seventh R2AK. 

The rules still haven’t changed: get a boat (any boat). Take out the motor (if it had one in the first place). Get to Ketchikan before the race is over without any pre-planned support. Besides that, it’s all up to you.

The original idea behind this thing: We nail $10,000 to a tree in Alaska and say “Go get it.” The funny part? Most folks know even before they start that upon their arrival in Ketchikan, all they’ll find is what they brought, what they discovered along the way, and an empty nail hole and the lingering smell of money. Through six incarnations of the race, it’s become clear that the definition of “winning” might, in fact, be somewhat broader than who gets there first.

The R2AK course is a true wilderness and a place you’ve got to mean to be. That said, the race through it is built to bring that wildness and the stories the racers paint on it to anyone inclined to be inspired. Our 24-hour tracker will be on for every minute, the media team will hunt down and capture each and every delicious story and bring it to your table through email, social media, and any other way they can find. 

Not racing? Come down to our pre-race shindy we call the Ruckus on June 4 at Pope Marine Park in Port Townsend—meet the racers, dance, have some food, and get amped. Go ahead—follow the race up to Victoria where you can join in more celebration and cheer on the le mans start. And if you’re so inclined—join the dedicated many who volunteer to help make all of this happen, and without whom R2AK simply wouldn’t be.

Race start: 5 AM, June 5, at the Northwest Maritime Center. We’ll see you then.


Header photo by Drew Malcolm