START: Port Townsend
The perfect starting point: A town that loves boats and crazy people
Port Townsend is known for its Victorian buildings, maritime trades, and the largest Wooden Boat Festival in North America. It’s the jump-off for boats heading to Alaska or making the big left turn down the coast. We’re a maritime village that cruise ship companies haven’t screwed up yet, and as a result attract a talented set. The bookends of our citizenry: the hearty handshake of adventurer Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Everest, and the rapier wit of Luke Burbank, who pierces national public radio airwaves on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Livewire, and others.
Bold spirit in proximity of folks not scared of a joke; 9 months later R2AK was born.
…and they can throw a party.
Come join and welcome racers to town at the Pre-Race Ruckus!
The best send-off this race has ever had.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
(More Ruckus info here.)
Monday, June 3rd, 2019
0500- Official race start and associated unofficial goings-on. Here is a shot of the start line location.
(allegedly there’s a community skinny dip…)
If you are interested in coming to town for the start- here’s some info on where to stay.
SECOND START: Victoria, BC
Victoria is a bit of the old Empire in that pinkies up, stiff upper lip, tweed and a Gin and Tonic sort of way combined with that frontier spirit of beaver pelts, red serge of the Mounties, and socialized medicine. In short: Canada at its best.
As the Canadian stop on the R2AK tour, Victoria’s Inner Harbor will welcome racers as they finish the first stage of the race.
…and they can throw a party.
Join us as we welcome racers across the first finish line on June 3rd and 4th, celebrate with them individually and stay for the party to celebrate with them as a group.
Victoria launches the race into the second stage to Alaska at noon on the 6th. At the sound of a bell racers will run to their vessels and get underway for the long haul north.
The race is entirely weather dependent, so we have no idea when the first racers will arrive, but it could be as soon as early afternoon.
1700- Official cutoff for finishing the Proving Grounds stage.
We are teaming up with Whitehall Rowing & Sail to throw a racer party. And entry is free to all. It’ll start at 8 PM with music, drinks and people…yes people will be there. More details coming soon, but it will be at the Whitehall shop.
1200- Race start for Full Race.
Welcome to done.
In Ketchikan they measure rainfall in feet, tourists by cruise ships loads, and parties by how many people dance. By all accounts the town is looking to have a bit of a hoe down when the racers nose over the finish line.
Ketchikan is really rolling out the welcome wagon to make sure the racers have a soft spot to land and bask in their accomplishment. 750 hard earned miles deserves a bit of a fanfare.
Whenever the first boat finishes…
We have absolutely no idea when this is going to be, but whenever it happens we’ll be there with Champagne, the $10,000 grand prize, and US Customs to get them back into the good old US of A. After that we’re going to have a big party, invite the whole town, and kick up our heels.
Again, no idea when this will be but we’ll have some celebrations in the middle of things too, a hot meal, a cold beer, a dry bed, and some well earned accolades. The Ketchikan Yacht Club is about as good as they come – our yacht club being the high bar here – and they often will host a mob bbq if enough racers are around.