The R2AK race to Ketchikan Alaska started yesterday from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. At noon the bell rang and more than a hundred salty sailors, rowers and one paddle boarder ran down to their vessels and started the 720 mile journey.
Colin hopped in his RowCruiser and started rowing. Since there’s no motors allowed on this race and sails are forbidden in the inner harbour, 40 foot sailboats and catamaran’s were also being rowed, which is quite a comical sight.
Once Colin rounded the breakwater, he hoisted his sails and started sailing and rowing. Winds were pretty light yesterday and he rowed for most of the day. For much of the day he averaged 4 knots and he’s at the front of the pack for boats under 20 feet.
He dropped anchor at 10 pm last night on the southern side of Salt Spring Island and started early this morning. He’s now coming up the west side of Salt Spring and closing in on Crofton.
It’s a tight race with the stand up paddle boarder and the French Liteboat close behind Colin. The other small or solo boats are going a different route and are on the east side of Salt Spring or are heading towards the more open waters between the Gulf Islands and Vancouver. The wind is stronger there so it will be better sailing, however it’s coming from the north so it’ll be on their nose.
The big boats are leading. Mad Dog Racing, the 32’ catamaran that won the first leg from Port Townsend to Victoria, is at the front with a lead of about 80 miles on the next boat. These are powerful racing sailboats with 3 or more crew that are going non-stop, and very different from the small or solo boat. It is very much 2 races within one and it’ll be fun to watch both. Stay glued to the race tracker at http://tracker.r2ak.com.
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