PORT TOWNSEND — In the midst of a 750-mile race, it generally helps to know where the competition is located. But it didn’t matter down the stretch of the fifth annual Race to Alaska.
Team Angry Beaver reached the dock outside of the Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan just before 3 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on Monday, edging Team Pear Shaped Racing, whose GPS tracker hadn’t updated its position since the previous day.
Angry Beaver, a 40-foot Schock monohull with a six-person crew, finished just shy of the 100-hour mark as the Port Ludlow-based crew rang the bell at 2:56 p.m. local time.
Skipper Matt Pistay led the crew that included Gavin Bracket, Brent Campbell, Alan Johnson, Mats Elf and Simon Miles. The boat is sponsored by the Skiff Sailing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports high-performance sailing.
Thirty-three boats remained in the competition, which prohibits the use of motors. The race, sponsored by the Northwest Maritime Center, began June 3 in Port Townsend and restarted last Thursday from Victoria following the initial proving ground stage.
Prior to the finish Monday, Anika Colvin, the communications director for the maritime center, said it was a drag race between Angry Beaver and Pear Shaped Racing.
“It’s dumping buckets in Ketchikan and the fans are waiting with anticipation to see who emerges the winner,” Colvin said. “Fans and family flew in from around the country and are waiting at Alaska Fish House.”
A webcam outside the restaurant showed the final moments, and a live feed on the Race to Alaska Facebook page captured Team Angry Beaver ringing the bell and celebrating.
Pear Shaped Racing, a 34-foot custom trimaran, includes crew members Guy Rittger, Tom Kassberg and Duncan Gladman. It was difficult to assess where the boat was located at tracker.r2ak.com because its locating device last reported its position at 12:10 p.m. Sunday.
But the crew of Angry Beaver said on the Facebook live feed they saw them just a few miles away when they reached Bella Bella on Sunday afternoon.
The race for third place was between Team Shut Up and Drive from San Francisco and 2018 champion Team Sail Like a Girl.
Nathalie Criou, the skipper of Shut Up and Drive, had her crew within 87 miles of Ketchikan just before 5 p.m. Monday. Team members of the 33-foot Beneteau Figaro 2 include Satchell Douglas, Neil Roberts, Tanguy De Lamottem, Justin van Emmerik, Robert Dieterich, Jeremiah Edwards and Brett Boval.
Sail Like a Girl, an all-female crew from Bainbridge Island, was just two miles behind Shut Up and Drive at press time. The skipper is Jeanne Goussev and additional team members include Aimee Fulwell, Anna Stevens, Lisa Cole, Laurie Anna Kaplan and Nicola Henderson.
Three other boats — Educated Guess, Trickster and Narwhal — were within 200 miles at press time, according to tracker.r2ak.com.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].