Teams powering boats with paddles and sails are racing from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, Alaska with a stop in Victoria today. Pictured, a participants from the 2018 race. (File contributed/ )

Largest person and wind-powered race in North America sees stop in Victoria

Participants in the Race 2 Alaska are arriving at Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Victoria will be an important stop in the middle of North America’s largest person and wind powered boat race, starting today.

The Race 2 Alaska (R2AK) starts in Port Townsend, Washington and ventures approximately 1200 km up to Ketchikan Alaska, with an important stop in Victoria.

Participants can use any vessel, from a canoe to a catamaran, as long as it doesn’t have an engine.

VIDEO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

The race is split into two legs; the first leg starts on June 3 from Port Townsend to Victoria, approximately 64 km. This acts as a qualifier race for the next leg from Victoria to Ketchikan starting on June 6.

Participants can still qualify if they sail in on June 4, just in time for a celebratory party hosted at the St. Andrews Presbytarian Church.

On June 6 the hard part starts; 1100 km to Ketchikan. R2AK has no rules as to which route to take or when to sail, the only rule is that only wind and muscles can power the vessel.

ALSO READ: Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

The winning team takes home $10,000 USD, while the runner up gets a slightly less lucrative, yet practical, set of steak knives.

Several teams had already arrived at Victoria’s Inner Harbour by 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, with many dozens more on their way.

To live track the teams you can visit

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