First, to be clear, most of us don’t have money anymore—you, me, and all the businesses around us. Expenses for races like these largely occur well before any boat crosses the starting line. The umbrella non-profit under which these races are run—Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC)—is still fighting. It, like our races, specializes in teaching, training, and celebrating on the water and shoreside activities—activities that include thousands of students each year from schools all over the Pacific Northwest. In short, NWMC specializes in bringing people together, a clear no-no nowadays. Still, they are unanimous in the need to honor their word and debt. 

The folks over at Race High Command have tried to make the policy as clear as possible, but if further clarification is needed, please reach out to Verity, our race registrar, at

  • All application fees are non-refundable.
  • Cancellations received in writing (email ok) 60 days prior to the event (before April 14th, 2022 for R2AK) are refunded minus 30% administration fee. 
  • Cancellations made less than 60 days prior to the event will not be refunded.
  • If NWMC cancels the event for any reason except Force Majeure (or mineure) 100% of payments can be refunded.
  • Cancellation due to force majeure, which includes COVID-19, constitutes a race closure out of the control of the Northwest Maritime Center or Race to Alaska and is conditionally refundable in four ways.
    • Fees already paid may be donated to the parent non-profit of Race to Alaska, the Northwest Maritime Center.
    • Fees paid can become credits used for other maritime center classes, rentals, etc. in the future. This does not include merchandise.
    • Fees paid may be credited towards racing in 2023.*
    • Fees can be refunded, minus a 30% fee. Keep in mind that if it comes down to this option, it’s gonna take a minute to roll all the refunds out the door. It’s coming, but hold on to those horses for a minute.
  • In the event that a registered team is unable to compete due to a government travel restriction (re: covid), that constitutes a… force mineure. If, after our payment deadline, there is a national-level policy change that would prohibit your entry into the full race, you will be eligible for the same conditional refunds as in a force majeure cancellation—except that a 50% fee will be assessed by cancellations within 30 days of the event. 

* If you credit your fees to the 2023 race, you must register for the race no later than December 15, 2022. All application fees will be waived UNLESS there is a change to your team that trips the re-vetting process (e.g. different boat, change in competent crew, really bad haircut). To register, you must request a code from the Registrar after September 15, 2022. 

Lastly, if you are on the fence about donating and you want to know more about the Northwest Maritime Center’s activities, email Race Marshal Jesse at He’ll give you a call and share his very good reasons for why he loves this organization and how your donation will help support its programs and mission.