Pure&wild Ketchikan 20220621 Thomashawthorne 24 (2)


It’s been said the winner-take-all nature of R2AK isn’t fair.

“How can a kayak compete with a carbon fiber sailing rocket?”

Honestly we have no idea, but folks keep on doing it. Why? Because R2AK isn’t the winning but the doing. And that’s easier to say if you didn’t have a chance of winning anything in the first place.

This is how it works:

You finish. The greatest glory of all is going to be your first night in Ketchikan, telling stories not making them. Value is uncertain but damn high.

  • If you’re first you get $10,000, but you have to figure out how to get it off the wood.
  • Second place gets a pretty good set of steak knives.
  • If you’re special you get rewarded by walking away with one of our Side Bets or Annual Awards.

Steak Knives

R2ak Steak Knives

So what’s the story with the steak knives? Watch Glengarry Glen Ross, baby, it all starts there. They’re not worth much but you have to take 2nd Place to get them. In year one, they were shared between Team MOB Mentality and Team Por Favor after a battle for the finish line when mere minutes decided a 750 mile race. In year two, Team Jungle Kitty Skiff Foundation brought their own steak to the award ceremony to test the power of the knives. Sorry PETA.

Who else holds the Steak Knife crown?

2017 – Big Broderna
2018 – Lagopus
2019 – Pear Shaped Racing
2022 – Elsewhere

Side Bets

To amuse themselves and even the score, our sponsors are throwing down and surrounding the big payday with a bunch of little ones: We’re calling them side bets.

These aren’t really bets, they aren’t class awards- some of them aren’t even good ideas- but if you can accomplish whatever our sponsors offered up you can get some pretty good stuff.

They’ll probably change from year to year, but here are the side bets currently on the table:

  • Admiralty Distillers is putting up an award for “Most in Need of a Stiff Drink.” Race officials are excluded, but you might find the bottle open and the liquid a bit watery.
  • Port Townsend Rigging and Spars is presenting the heavier-than-it-looks Friggin’ Riggin’ award for the boat most in need of some work.
  • Duckworks Boat Builders Supply is offering the “20 And Under Award.” This is awarded to the first boat under 20′ to reach Ketchikan. They will be awarded $1000 and a custom set of R2AK Tactical Sporks.
  • Oaracle Blister Prize. This prize, sponsored by the beloved Team Oaracle, will be awarded to the first human-powered team to reach Ketchikan. We’re told $1,000 in Canadian Loonies weighs about 18 pounds.
  • And the team with the least money into this race will take the Dirtbag Award. There is no money attached—you don’t need it anyway—but the prestige is tremendous. Ask Tim, winner of the 2015 and 2016 Dirtbag, who pulled his boat from the blackberry bushes.

Do it for glory. Do it to escape creditors. Do it because you feel compelled to punish yourself. We don’t care. We’ll love you anyway.