It was a nail biter of a day yesterday, with Teams Broderna and Freeburd (seen in the photo) racing to the finish within shouting distance of each other. After 700 miles of charging along the tumultuous and rugged west coast, the boats were within 5 minutes of each other. The last stretch to Ketchikan was calm and it all came down to their pedal drives propelling their weighty multi-hulls to victory.
Team Freeburd sailed by the 3 Burd brothers managed to hang onto their miniscule lead and rang the bell at 4 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes. Team Broderna arrived 6 minutes later. They’ll be walking away with prizes of $10,000 and a set of steak knives, respectively, but most importantly the pride (and bragging rights) that go along with completing the R2AK so successfully. As the R2AK blog post notes, the difference of 6 minutes between the 2 boats over the 4 days 3 hour and 5 minute race equates to a 0.01% difference. Now, that’s cutting it close. How many races are out there where such tiny margins matter? I bet it’s not many.
On top of all that drama, the wind howled and teams sought shelter. A few eked their way north, but most hunkered down in sheltered bays or marinas waiting for the 30-50 knot winds to subside. By dawn things had improved and many boats were on their way again. A cluster of 5 boats are waiting at the southern entrance of Seymour Narrows for an opportunity to go through the narrow 3-mile passage.
Of the small boats, 3 have made it through the narrows. Team Discovery is in the lead and has travelled some 280 miles. The SUP Heart of Gold is second followed by Nomadica, another trimaran.
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