Dubbed the most grueling aquatic race in North America.
Editor’s Note: See live updates as Colin Angus rows/sails from BC, Canada to Alaska. Intro and Day 12 update below.
Location: Gulf of Alaska, Pacific Ocean
Race to Alaska (R2AK) is a 1200 km unsupported slog along the entire West Coast of Canada. It starts in Port Townsend, Washington and ends in Ketchikan, Alaska. The rules are simple; no motors, anything else goes. First place gets $10,000, and second place earns a set of steak knives.
Colin will be competing in R2AK 2016 using a small trimaran he designed and built himself through his company Angus Rowboats. At only 200 lbs. it can be rowed efficiently with a sliding-seat system, and sailed at good speeds when winds are present. Colin will be living continuously in the canoe-sized vessel for the 8-14 days it will take to complete the race. A tiny cabin provides a sheltered spot to sleep while at anchor, and the rest of the time (18+ hours per day) Colin will be in the cockpit rowing and sailing.
The course takes in some of Canada’s most dramatic and wild coastal scenery. Bus-sized whirlpools, submerged reefs, and volatile weather patterns will all be part of the mix. The race goes through the heart of the territory under the stewardship of BC Marine Trails, and we will be promoting and highlighting the great work BC Marine Trails has been doing to preserve and maintain this region for small boaters.
Colin approaching his anchorage on Porcher Island (Photo credit: Colin Angus)
Race to Alaska Day 12 – Soggy Slog
Colin finally got out of the Grenville Channel. Yesterday he had 20-knot winds against him so he had to pull into an anchorage early and this morning the current and winds were still against him. Finally, when the current slackened in the late morning he left his shelter and continued rowing north through the channel.
It’s been another soggy slog of a day and he rowed for the entire day except for half an hour when the wind puffed. All day, he’s had light headwinds and weather that alternates between drizzle and downpour. He described as monsoon rains but without the warmth.
Colin passed the mouth of the Skeena River without any issue, voyaged along the west side of Kennedy Island and crossed over to Porcher Island, where he is now anchored. He’s about 180 km from Ketchikan and he’d like to reach the end within 2 days. If not, he’ll run out of food and have to start fishing.
In previous news: November 6, 2008.
I’ve been following Colin and Julie’s adventure. Now you can read all about it in her new best-selling book.
From the rugged highlands of Scotland husband-and-wife team Julie and Colin Angus rowed 6,500 km to Aleppo, Syria in the heart of the Middle East. Their course followed ancient transportation corridors traditionally used for trade and migration. They experienced the rich cultural tapestry that comprises present Europe and the Middle East in a manner that continues to promote environmentally responsible travel as with their previous travels. Read more.