Please select your home edition
Edition
Yachtspot J97E 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.

Musto AUS 2017 FOOTER FootwearZhik 2018 Hyeres 728x90 BOTTOMBandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTER

Related Articles

Laser Radial Youth Worlds at Kiel preview
Young Laser sailors from more than 40 nations in Schilksee There might be no other dinghy internationally as wide spread as the Laser class. The 4.23 meter long boat is just as suitable for the young sailors as for the Olympic sailors.
Posted today at 10:22 am
Going solo: Lisa Blair's next record attempt
Lisa plans to be the first woman to solo circumnavigate Australia This week, Lisa Blair has announced her latest adventure, to become the first woman to sail solo around Australia with plans to depart in October 2018. The Australian is no stranger to such a challenge and holds the record for the first woman to sail solo
Posted today at 5:17 am
More fabulous conditions forecast for ABRW
Airlie Beach Race Week 2018 keeps on giving Whoever is in charge up there is certainly favouring Whitsunday Sailing Club's Airlie Beach Race Week, this week, as Race Director Denis Thompson reports, "more trade winds, but lighter than yesterday – probably in the 15 knot range."
Posted on 14 Aug
2018 America's Cup Hall of Fame Inductions
Ceremony and dinner to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame will induct John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson, Syd Fischer, and Ken McAlpine into the America's Cup Hall of Fame on August 31, 2018 at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England.
Posted on 14 Aug
Welsh breathes new fire in Extreme Sailing Series
Team looking to prove themselves as hot competition on home waters Crewed by a mixture of Welsh and English sailing talent, Team Wales boasts an array of racing accolades, from Olympic campaigns to European and World Championships, with many of the team having competed on Extreme Sailing Series circuit in recent years.
Posted on 14 Aug
Plenty captures Farr 40 class in Verve Cup
Great precursor to the Worlds held at Chicago Yacht Club Leif Sigmond called it a "great precursor" to the Farr 40 World Championship, and that assessment seemed spot on.
Posted on 14 Aug
Jo Aleh on the Sailing World Champs
Jo Aleh looks at the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark After Rio, three time Olympian and Gold and Silver Medalist Jo Aleh - decided to make a break with sport and take her chances in the corporate world Here's her take on the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark.
Posted on 14 Aug
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 3
Battle in the Celtic Sea The cold front that brought tough conditions to the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race have now passed, with the fleet enjoying bright sunshine yesterday and a relatively calm second night at sea.
Posted on 14 Aug
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image officially launched
Professional sailing photographers are invited to enter Started in 2010, this event is the world's premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing, celebrating the very best yacht racing image taken during the year, and which best represents the essence and excitement of the sport.
Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week: Spills & thrills on Day 4
Ichi Ban in control after a big day on the water A sports boat limped home under motor after breaking its rudder, while other boats broached in up to 25 knots wind with gusts, their crews finding it difficult to control their rides - all part and parcel of the forecast superb windy conditions
Posted on 14 Aug