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 a few folks did it anyway.
Why? Because the root of the R2AK isn’t the winning but the doing…which is easier to say if you didn’t have a chance of winning anything.
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 get 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.
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.
Dance monkey dance!
They’ll probably change from year to year, but here are the side bets currently on the table:
Small Craft Advisor Magazine is putting up $1,000 and putting you on the cover if you are the first boat 20′ and under to finish the race. Fame and fortune!
Fisheries Supply is giving an in-store gift certificate and an in-race delivery of a classic Seagull Outboard to the first boat that gets swept up by the Grim Sweeper.
Ortlieb is giving a drybag duffle to the team most in need of keeping their crap dry. And there is always a large pool of teams to draw from.
YETI is awarding a prestigious cooler to the most prestigious final finisher. Yes, it’s the Team with the Warmest Drinks Award.
Admiralty Distillers is putting up an award for “Most in Need of a Stiff Drink.” Race officials are excluded but we’re still pissed about that.
Washington State Parks Boat Program is rolling out the Safety Helmet of Shame. To be awarded to the team with the worst choice and the best recovery. And yes, we wish we had one for every team out there. Soooo deserving.
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 hate yourself. We don’t care. We’ll love you anyway.