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Race to AK 2016 Is a Go

Exciting isn’t it? Well, this part wasn’t but most of the first Race to Alaska was. This shot is of the Stage 2 start in Victoria, BC, with racers bound for Ketchikan, AK, on June 7.

© 2015 Nick Reid

Organizers have given a second Race to Alaska the green light. "After numerous debriefs with safety personnel, race staff, event sponsors and others, we have decided to move forward with a second Race to Alaska," said Jake Beattie, executive director of the Port Townsend-based Northwest Maritime Center, which put on the first Race to Alaska this June. "Besides, there may have been a full-blown revolt if we hadn’t run this again." The race will start on June 23 in Port Townsend, WA; details will be released on September 11 at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.

The first-ever R2AK Blazer Party will also be held at the Wooden Boat Festival. This event will be free for the racers and $25 for everyone else. Attendees can come and rub elbows with R2AK teams, see the second-place steak knives, and be the first to hear the details of next year’s event. In mock formality, racers will wear a jacket chosen off a rack of thrift-store R2AK-emblazoned jackets — those who completed both stages of the race get one with two arms.

The Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, a wooden boat-lover’s paradise, is a longstanding event run by NW Maritime Center. More than 300 boats are expected to be on display. The dates this year are September 11-13.

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We do our best to keep track of the 200-plus boats that do the annual Pacific Puddle Jump, but once they move beyond French Polynesia many tend to fall off the Latitude radar.