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First all-Canadian team wins the 8th Race to Alaska

by Northwest Maritime Center 18 Jun 16:23 PDT

Team Malolo has won the eighth running of the Race to Alaska (R2AK), finishing at 02:36 pm on June 17, 2024, sailed and pedaled by skipper Duncan Gladman and crewmembers Paul Gibson, Becky Kelly, and Matthew Macatee.

The Race to Alaska is a demanding engineless event that requires physical endurance, saltwater know-how, and the bulldog tenacity that it takes to win a "no motors, no support' adventure race covering 750 cold water miles from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska.

First place wins $10K; second place wins a set of actual steak knives. Teams embarked on Stage 1, "The Proving Ground," from Port Townsend on June 8 at 5:00 AM; they have 36 hours to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and make it to Victoria, BC. High noon on June 12 marked the start of Stage 2, "To the Bitter End," the 710-mile odyssey from Victoria to Alaska.

The victorious Team Malolo is the first all-Canadian crew to bring home the grand prize. Theirs is a story of grit, persistence, and redemption to go with their evident nautical savvy and skill. This is Team Malolo's vessel's third attempt to win R2AK on their custom-built Cochrane trimaran, Dragon. When asked why he returned for another run at R2AK, Captain Duncan Gladman said, "It is unfinished business for me and for Paul, so I would say that is the most compelling reason for the two of us. For Becky and Matt, they love adventures and are super competitive. They have listened to both Paul and I and the numerous R2AK stories, so it's natural that they both said we have to go even though I said never again after 2022."

Gladman took the second place steak knives on this boat as Team Pear Shaped Racing in 2019. Gladman and Gibson dropped out of the 2022 race as a DNF (Did Not Finish) due to serious damage from a log-strike at high speed.

"We've said a lot about Team Malolo and their vessel Dragon hitting logs in years past," said Race Boss Jesse Wiegel. "And it's true that logs were the story of their previous two attempts. But Duncan and crew have broken the curse!"

Gladman, Gibson, Kelly and Macatee will be celebrating their win at the Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan with an impromptu awards ceremony at 6pm, Wednesday June 18 where they will receive their prize in the form of $10K cash as tradition dictates: nailed to a piece of firewood. If they arrive in time, the second place team may also receive their steak knives at the same time.

At the time of Team Malolo's finish, the nearest competitors are just over 90 miles from Ketchikan. The winners may have finished, but the story of R2AK 2024 continues to unfold—29 of the 32 teams that set out from Victoria are still on the course braving the challenges and enjoying the adventures the Inside Passage affords. Follow the teams' progress on our 24-hour tracker, social media streams, and daily content from our media team on R2AK.com.

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