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2017 Race To Alaska

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  • 2017 Race To Alaska

    66 Vessels of various lengths, crew size and mode of propulsion have begun leg one of the 2017 Race To Alaska.
    The short portion, from Port Townsend, Washington across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria is a bit of a weeding out leg,
    with numerous boats not making the entire trip. Today's 0500 start was delayed shortly and began with little to no wind.
    The pack leaders at this point are rowing vessels, Oarcle, Take Me To THe Volcano and Angus Rowboats are making slow but steady progress in the 5-6 knot range.
    Forecast is expected to pick up dramatically as day progresses with wind speed out of west in the mid to high 20's and possible busts to 38 knots!

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Thanks Photoboy. Can you tell me what team is in the picture in your post?


    • #3
      Team Chum :
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Lotta boats still out in the strait.

        Gonna be a long night.


        • #5
          There are STILL a lot of boats struggling to get to Victoria!


          • #6
            Chaos On The Course

            From Thursday June 8, the start and leg one the Race 2 Alaska 2017.
            Light to no wind changes to big wind and short, steep seas for the 56 competitors...

            Weather conditions have deteriorated in the Straits as forecast. Environment Canada reporting 20 knots gusting to 30 in and around Victoria. Racers are taking appropriate actions, some working towards nearby shelter, others choosing to run downwind. Think safe thoughts everyone, it’s getting gnarly out there.

            5.5 hours in...

            8.5 hours in

            Updates from the War Room:
            Fueled on Stoke and Fueled by Stoke Part Deux along with VIZ Reporter are all heading to Dungeness for the night.
            Kayak teams Eagle -Take 3 and Lootas opted for hot showers and warm beds at a house in North Beach.
            Excellent Adventure is off enjoying breakfast.
            Harbinger has headed back to Boat Haven to finish their boat, yes finish, not repair.
            Toms on the Move has dropped out.

            11.5 hours in

            Update: Team Hodge has capsized, self-rescued, and is back upright and in his boat. He's ok but radioed for assistance. It's been reported to us that RCMP will be there shortly.

            14.5 hours in

            Team Chum is presently under tow and crew is safe. They are no longer in the race.

            James Betts It wasn't the 35-45 that was bad it was the very steep and breaking waves so close together that put the nail in it for us. We wish the rest of the fleet all the best and a safe race. Team Chum

            While teams are dealing with these extreme conditions, the staff and volunteers of Race Central are hard at work as well- coordinating racer communication and communicating with folks on both sides of the border. This is an unsupported race but not unsupervised, Lots of moving pieces behind the scenes between these updates, but we'll keep you up to date as info solidifies...and our friends at the Royal Victoria Yacht club are working on their tracker.

            18.5 hours in

            Race To Alaska by Northwest Maritime Center I imagine you have heard, but Tom went to Pt. Wilson and decided it wasn't his day and dropped out of the race. A hard choice, but a very respectable one!

            Update: Race to Alaska Team Discovery, Roger Mann. Is safe and sound and fixed. Struck a log. Damaged his rudder. Has built a shelter out of driftwood for the night.

            23 hours in

            29 hours in
            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7
              2017 Stage 1, Day 1: 7-10 Split

              It started early. By 4 a.m. the growing puddles in Port Townsend’s dark streets glinted with tail lights, broken only by the shadows of pedestrians, and the electric glow of anticipation—all headed in the direction of the R2AK starting line. This was the day.
              In the harbor, crews stopped pretending to sleep, packed their gear for the first/last time, ran to avail themselves of the coffee shop that had opened mercifully at 3:30 a.m., doing their bit to pry open a community of eyelids that desperately needed assistance. At least one crew popped at least one pill to ease the weight of the last one, to three-too-many and the nagging regret of their free R2AK tattoos obtained at yesterday’s official R2AK party; needled ink logos of hoped-for glory that were now as raw and swollen as the weather forecast. NOAA was calling for tramp-stamp levels of ugliness in the hours to come.

              They flicked on their running lights, zipped up their drysuits, clattered their awkward oars into purpose-built/makeshift oarlocks. Pedals turned the chain that turned the shaft that spun co-opted propellers of model airplanes and moved them out of the slip and into their future. Teams rubbed sleep from their eyes and hangover from their temples, all the time running through the list of last minute repairs made the day before and saying a hurried, silent prayer for each one.

              The days before the race had seen repairs, and plenty. The race start is only the most observable deadline in the R2AK. For many, the real race started whenever the niggling doubts of their reptilian cortex crosschecked the Netflix-loving, mother-blaming, social-media-dependent cerebral functions of modern life to make room for the emerging front burner issues: new leaks, old cracks, and half-tested experiments that became part of the hurried prep for their future survival. In the daylight hours preceding the dark of right 0400, a couple thousand race fans moved from boat ogling to the drinking, dancing, free-R2AK-tattoo portion of Pre-Race Ruckus—the best Wednesday party Port Townsend ever threw. Through the party and into the night, teams were still effecting repairs. Our notables: dropping the rig to look at a newly discovered flaw in a shroud lead, pushing enough epoxy and hope into a homebuilt pedal-drive system that it might not chatter apart for a second time, dropping the mast again, repairing a dagger board that went from perpendicular to less so, dropping the mast again, the second revision of a rowing system whose design failed geometry and led to remounting a rowing station that now dangled in the free space off the bow, and dropping the mast again. For more than a few the actual start was as welcome as it was terrifying. Ready or not, its coming was the cessation of last minute preparations—time to stop worrying about wasn’t done and start worrying about what “done” would break first. In the part of the clock that ought to be, at a minimum, an hour before the first snooze, hundreds of kids, parents, grandparents, and pets ignored the rain and the lure of soft sheets to descend on the shoreline and become part of the third version of dark-houred race start celebration that included oatmeal served from paddle boards, a brass band that showed up without warning, the unrelated clown who joined in with scarf-dancing enthusiasm—because that’s how Port Townsend rolls. The horn sounded, the crowd cheered, the Soviet National Choir sang something that sounded as full of struggle, hope, and triumph as we all imagined might exist in the 750 miles that lay ahead.


              The predicted southerlies were a no-show and the still airs left the water bowling-lane smooth; sails yearning, limp, and desperate for any hint of wind to eek them to the next patch of ripples just out of reach. The smooth water meant human-powered teams shot from the gates smugly past their astonished wind-powered counterparts. It was elation itself. The boats headed east, the cheers died, the crowd divided itself between people off to breakfast with a side of bacon-scented tracker, and those who hopped from beach to beach to follow the action as long as their binoculars and work schedules would allow. Around town productivity slowed as folks watched at the tracker, watched at the evolving forecast, and thought outloud: “Get ready, weather is coming.”

              Early morning calms were shattered as nature bowled 30 knots and more down the center breaking the fleet into a 7-10 split, cleaving the teams into those who had gotten across or whose prudence left them hunkered along the safety of the southern shore, and the unfortunates in the middle who now had to deal with the maelstrom that encompassed them.

              If you haven’t been on the business-end of a gale in a small boat, it’s easy to underestimate the howling inevitability that is delivered to your reptilian core. Imagine you are 20 miles from shore, wind screaming against your bare pole of a mast with seas nearly as high as your boat is long—all the time knowing you may or may not show up on the radar of the boats who might potentially rescue you, or that freighter that may or may not be just about to emerge from that fog bank. Seasick, scared, tired to the bone. Now imagine all of that with your boat on its side, water rushing in, hoping that your radio really does work under water, that your drysuit lives up to its name.

              Gusts to 40, waves at 6-8 feet- the details will unfold in the days to come, but the summary might be enough: swamped boats, crews capsized and thrown from their boats into the 50 degree water, at least one mayday, at least one tow to safety, at least one broken mast. The crews who were caught in the middle reefed, swore a little more than loud enough, second-guessed, prayed, scrambled to find whatever version of safety that was most available even if that meant a downwind retreat to distant shores that would add miles to their quest for that dry and stable dock in Victoria.

              The R2AK has had its share of scary moments, and day one was one of them. Everyone is safe, and for everyone out there, in time this will become an story that is both a source of pride and a fearful shudder of never again, but in the moment, for the crews onboard, our guess it was a next level version of terrifying.

              As midnight closed its fist on the first day of the 2017 R2AK there are lucky stars being counted from both sides of the tracker, from the triumphant and humbled alike; sailors, relatives, and fans are slipping into sleep well-earned by whatever combo of luck, good decisions, and rescue services delivered their crews to the version of alive they presently enjoy. By midnight twenty teams were through customs and thirty-eight more were wondering if their lucky stars would be counted tomorrow.

              Triumph, peril, plans and at least one tactical breakfast to wait out weather—hang on to your seats, hug your loved ones, and watch the weather. At time of writing the moon is shining down on calmed winds and waters that have been buffed to bowling lane smooth. The sea can be anything, but if day one is any indication, we are in for a hell of a ride.

              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • #8
                Ominous start!

                No M-32 copy cat entries this year?


                • #9


                  Latest (Abbreviated) On the Water Report from Tripp via broken connection at 1150-

                  We are through Bella Bella and are thankfully getting back out in the channel and the building breeze. We have had to do some more pedaling to keep moving while the boats behind keep bringing the breeze up from behind. We are working hard to stay ahead. We have not yet gotten a visual on BRODERNA but we know they are there. (We hope you do not see them before Ketchikan)! Not sure what we can do but we think once we are in steady breeze our speed is good.

                  We believe the peak of the winds have come and gone already. Outside we are expecting to see 29-35 knots as we reach over the top of the next island. We are planning a safe route thereafter according to the conditions. Our boat is in good condition with no damage and we are ready for what comes.

                  Gotta Go. All is good, no worries.
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

         Photo Gallery


                  • #10

                    2017 Stage 2, Day 2: Groundings, grindings, and a creative curve ball
                    The hour hand’s third and fourth laps around the R2AK have been both eventful and deceptive. Looking at the tracker it might be easy to assume that winds are light, rowing is awful, and Team Heart of Gold won the theoretical people’s choice award for who won’t/should win $10,000. While all of that is technically correct, it’s not, and the story ends nowhere near there, not even close. Paris Texas/France far. We’ve seen groundings from Teams Pear Shaped Racing and Sistership, near groundings from Teams PT Watercraft and Big Broderna… while the details are rolling in it’s safe to say that no one expected any of this. And we have the audio to prove it.

                    That’s right, R2AK is about to get its podcast on (and then regret ever saying that out loud.)

                    Trigger warning: If you were hoping that the next hundred words that appear on your screen would lead to a thousand more, we’re going to need you to be strong. We’re giving our infinite number of monkeys a break and are making the jump from peddling keystrokes to broadcasting the dulcet tones of human voices. Recorded in the fullest spectrum of audio quality, to give you first-person accounts and reflections of the R2AK from the mouths of us, racers themselves, and whoever else wanders in front of the mic.

                    Welcome to our first episode of The Daily Fix: think of it as an experiment in getting us one step closer to the cure for the common life…or at least a mainline to the point source stories from the R2AK. In our first ever audible walk of the podcast tightrope, Race Boss Daniel Evans talks to Film Boss Zach Carver in a late night R2AK geek out covering the weather, boats, and about Team Pear Shaped Racing early race exit. First person content, internet delivery.

                    Race to Alaska will commence podcast in 5, 4, 3, 2… (hit the button and we’ll stop counting)

                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

           Photo Gallery


                    • #11
                      Might have loaded the screacher a bit too much eh?
                      "Honey Badger don't give a shit"


                      • #12
                        Neck and Neck To The Finish In R2AK


                        Neck And Neck! The Corsair 31 TEAM BIG BRODERNA has caught up to the Melvin custom 8.5 meter trimaran Team Pure And Wild Freeburd

                        Looks like Tripp, Chris & Trevor have sailed hard through the night holding off the relentless challenge of BIG BRODERNA and mother nature too. Great sailing from both teams. A great boat race to the finish coming up.

                        2017 Stage 2, Day 4: Sleigh ride

                        Strategic location for grabbing interviews or a ghoulish perch for a front row seat for more carnage? Either way, the Race Boss and crew are camped out in Campbell River and snagged a bunch of great interviews: Teams Bad Kitty, Kelp, Grace B, and R2AK’s floating beat reporter, Daphne- the R2AK/internet famous local who snagged the beachside video of Karl Kruger’s birthday meal. Have you wondered what R2AK sounds like? Well, you’ll enjoy this anyway.

                        The forecast is what it is, but local knowledge is calling for a “Snot Fest” in Johnstone Strait later today. The boats might be breaking, but this is your Daily Fix.

                        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

               Photo Gallery


                        • #13
                          Nice race!

                          Down to the wire!


                          • #14


                            Down to the wire!
                            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                   Photo Gallery


                            • #15
                              $10,000 on the line!