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Race to Alaska

Since its inception in 2015, Race to Alaska has drawn thousands of competitors from across the globe to race 750 cold-water miles from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska. It’s the longest human and/or wind-powered race in North America. 

The race was dreamed up in a beer tent at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival by a few of the eccentrics at Northwest Maritime who wished to inspire people to adventure, to start a conversation about engineless voyaging, and to dare people to dream outside of their comfort zone.

Any boat without an engine can enter—each year there are a wide variety of vessels participating, from stand-up paddleboards to 40’ monohulls. Unlike other races, there are no classes or handicap systems for the different vessels. Racers must compete without support systems, and can only avail themselves of resources found along the way.

The prize for the first-place finisher? $10,000 cash—nailed unceremoniously to a piece of wood. Second place gets a set of steak knives. Everybody else? Bragging rights.

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