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A Message from the Race to Alaska Boss

“Over here at Races High Command we turn on every computer monitor and radio, set them all to news stations, and spin in circles until we find a station that is not reporting on COVID-19. We are still spinning,” writes Daniel Evans, Race Boss of the Race to Alaska.

Team Repeat Offender's Beneteau at the dock
Oakland sailor Carol Klammer has joined the Gig Harbor, WA-based Team Repeat Offender, sailing a Beneteau First 345 in the R2AK — if it happens.
© 2020 Race to Alaska

“It’s because this virus is no joke. The total of fatalities in New York has now exceeded the terrorist bombing of the Twin Towers on September 11. Canadian borders remain closed to visitors. The Washington governor has extended the statewide shelter-in-place order. State parks, like our SEVENTY48 race site, Blake Island, remain closed. The Heiltsuk Nation, which includes the R2AK waypoint of Bella Bella, issued a bylaw closing their territory to non-Heiltsuk populations.

“No corner or map edge is safe from the virus.

“So, why are we holding out against all this evidence?

“We’re not really ‘holding out.’ We are paying attention. We are measuring the distance between do and don’t, can’t and won’t, want to and why risk it… We are waiting because, despite the obvious, we can wait.

“We love the waters these races traverse and have spent many years upon them. We wouldn’t run the races if they endangered communities. The fact that we haven’t made our decision has no bearing on our sensitivities to rural communities along the route or local and federal laws; it is tied to the fact that this pandemic changes every day, and if we can wait to make a more informed decision, we will. And we can wait, a little while longer. On April 24, we’ll be announcing the final and permanent decision on R2AK and SEVENTY48 for 2020. Until April 24, all application and registration processes will be suspended.”


  1. Chuck Cunningham, TransPac Safety Inspector 4 years ago

    In the spirit of doing all that we can do and being unselfish in our personal pursuits, I suggest not waiting until April 24 and get on the same boat that all other major sailing events have taken and that is to “know When to hold Them and in this case Know When to fold them” RIP Kenny R.

  2. Craig Russell 4 years ago

    This race is amazing. Please check out this Waterlust short on two brothers that did the race.

  3. Joseph DiMatteo 4 years ago

    As of 10:40AM this morning Canada is not closed to entry according to the Canadian Border Service [204-983-3500]. If you arrive by land, sea, air you must self isolate for 14 days. This may be the same as “closed” for a race like R2AK but for regular cruisers it may not be too big an imposition?

  4. milly Biller 4 years ago

    I think everyone is watching and waiting to see if their event can happen, and as you said – the news changes daily. We are doing the same for several events. If everyone STAYS HOME a bit longer, we might actually see a day when we can be our sailing selves again

  5. Evan 4 years ago

    Good on you. Make the decision your own, informed, as/when necessary. Don’t be part of the herd. Last month 20 million Californians were meant to contract Covid. Turns out that ” science ” was off by, well, almost 20 million.

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