Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Race to Alaska challenges Larry Ellison and Team Oracle USA + Video

by Jake Beattie on 17 Sep 2015
Jake_Beattie_ Jake Beattie
The details for the second Race to Alaska were revealed at an event the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, and while the format of the race remains largely identical to the inaugural race, the most significant change to the is a challenge issued by race organizers to Larry Ellison:

If the former Oracle CEO and his America’s Cup Team can simply complete the Race to Alaska onboard a boat that has been in the America’s Cup, he will earn an honorary set of R2AK steak knives, the race’s iconic second place prize.

Now in its second year, the Race to Alaska is a 750-mile boat race between Port Townsend, WA and Ketchikan, AK, that has few rules: no motors onboard, no prearranged support. There are no handicaps or classes for different types of vessels and the first to cross the finish line gets $10,000, the second place team gets a set of steak knives. In its first year, only 15 of the 35 teams that entered crossed the finish line.

The race was started to demonstrate what can be possible without an engine, and that adventure can be had on virtually any budget. Teams finished in vessels ranging from racing trimarans, open sailboats, outrigger canoes, and a kayak. One team finished in a boat they had pulled out of the blackberry bushes just a few months before.

“Someone called this race ‘The America’s Cup for Dirtbags’, but we try to be inclusive so we wanted to invite Larry to make sure that even fancy sailors felt welcome,” said Jake Beattie, R2AK creator and Executive Director of the Northwest Maritime Center, the non-profit organization behind the race.

The invitation was also an experiment. “Last year there was a lot of fear among the racers that he would show up in multi-million dollar boat and turn this good natured, grassroots thing into an arms race. But the more we thought about it, the less we were sure that an America’s Cup boat would actually make it. They sail fast but seem to break a lot.”

According to the rules of the R2AK, teams can avail themselves of resources that are available along the race route, but only if those resources are available to everyone, and nothing that has been pre-arranged. Beattie elaborated, “You can buy food, borrow tools, stay at a hotel- you can even get a foot massage if you want to- just as long as everyone else could too.”

Support boats and onshore support teams are strictly prohibited. “If it was a supported race they’d win hands down, but if they are just out there on their own could they even make it to the finish line? Now that’s an interesting question.”

Beattie mailed Ellison a hand written formal invitation, and then extended the invitation via an online video “Just to up our odds that he got the message. To show him we were serious, we even offered to waive the $650 entry fee if he took us up on it.”

At time of posting, Beattie hasn’t heard back from Ellison.

Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportLancer Inflatables - BJ

Related Articles

Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Tristan Brooks
Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills on the Menai Strait in North Wales, and has spent the past 13 years working as a professional skipper, mate and engineer.
Posted today at 6:55 am
An Int’l fleet race ready for BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regattamade their way ashore today to register for a racing Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival made their way ashore today to register for a week of world-class racing out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. The Marina is alive with activity - old friends catching up and first-timers partaking of the infamous Mount Gay rum drinks at the beach bar. With the breeze looking light for Tuesday's annual Round Tortola Race
Posted today at 4:08 am
Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie to impact the Queensland Coast today
Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie intensified to Category 4 strength overnight, and has maintained this strength Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie intensified to Category 4 strength overnight, and has maintained this strength as it approached the coast.
Posted today at 3:46 am
17 Australian entries for the World Masters Games sailing Regatta
Seven Wetas, including Paul White's brand new birthday boat still in gift wrapping, appeared at Port Kembla Sailing Club Seven Wetas, including Paul White's brand new birthday boat still in gift wrapping, appeared at Port Kembla Sailing Club for the Lake Illawarra Weta Camp - the final training weekend to share knowledge and help bring the Australian Weta Team up to the same high standard
Posted today at 2:33 am
Princess Sofia Trophy – Park’s pride as he prepares for Palma finale
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park believes the British Sailing Team is in the right place for multi-medal winning success ‘Sparky’, as Park is commonly known, will preside over some 63 British Sailing Team athletes at the first major European event of the year, before moving on to a new role at British Cycling next month after over 20 years with the RYA.
Posted on 27 Mar
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel leaves Persico
The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo The Simeon Tienpont skippered Team AkzoNobel Volvo65 has left the building facility at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy to The Boatyard in Lisbon under the custodianship of GAC Pindar. Before she left the yard at Persico the team had a celebration to mark the end of the build phase.
Posted on 27 Mar
Cyclone Debbie forces evacuations in Australia
Residents in northern Australia begun evacuating as cyclone carrying winds up to 230km/h moves towards Queensland coast Residents in northern Australia have begun evacuating as a cyclone carrying winds up to 230km/h (143 mph) moves towards the Queensland coast. Cyclone Debbie is tipped to become a Category 4 system - the second most severe - when it arrives early on Tuesday local time, authorities said. Some people have refused to leave despite warnings the destructive core could be as wide as 100km (62 miles).
Posted on 27 Mar
Australian Yachting Championships - Overall report
Australian Yachting Championships have wrapped up with Beau Geste Racing and Bushranger taking out coveted IRC titles. The Australian Yachting Championships have wrapped up in Sydney, Australia, with Beau Geste Racing and Bushranger taking out the coveted IRC titles.
Posted on 27 Mar
Tropical Cyclone Debbie to impact the Queensland Coast on Tuesday
Tropical Cyclone Debbie has reached Category 2 strength and is forecast to further intensify to Category 4 strength Tropical Cyclone Debbie has reached Category 2 strength and is forecast to further intensify to Category 4 strength, crossing the Queensland coast on Tuesday between Rollingstone and Proserpine. Queensland Regional Director Bruce Gunn said this cyclone is very dangerous, and of a size not seen in Queensland since Yasi in 2011.
Posted on 27 Mar
New boats and old favourites prepare for BVI Spring Regatta
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome C&C 30 Sportboat/Gunboat fleets to this year's event Always offering up something new and different, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2017 is pleased to welcome the C&C 30 Sportboat and Gunboat fleets to this year's event which kicks off on Monday with registration at noon and opening party at 6pm.
Posted on 27 Mar