Many of the 45 watercraft in this year’s Race to Alaska depart Victoria’s Inner Harbour to continue the race Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

Many of the 45 watercraft in this year’s Race to Alaska depart Victoria’s Inner Harbour to continue the race Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

Human power takes the early lead in Race to Alaska’s second leg

PORT ANGELES — With light southerly winds and a northern current, the first day of the Race to Alaska’s second leg went to human power, much like the competition’s first leg.

As of Sunday afternoon, paddleboarder Karl Kruger, Team Heart Of Gold, led the pack. The Orcas Island man was traveling an average of 5 knots, said Race Boss Daniel Evans.

“He’s been training all year.”

Last year Kruger’s paddleboard broke on the third day of the race as he approached Nanaimo, B.C. He had a custom board built for this race, Evans said.

He is one of 35 teams competing in the second leg of the Race to Alaska.

Hundreds of miles

Teams are racing 710 cold-water miles from Victoria to Ketchikan, Alaska, without motors or any outside support in an attempt to earn the Race to Alaska’s $10,000 grand prize.

The second-place team gets a set of steak knives.

The race, hosted by the Northwest Maritime Center and sponsored by UnCruise Adventures, has two legs: the “proving ground” — the 40 miles from Port Townsend to Victoria, which began Thursday — and the second stage, “to the bitter end,” which began Sunday. Forty-one boats originally signed up for the longer leg.

The human-powered Team Liteboat won the first leg and made it to Victoria by 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The race started at 5 a.m.

Final results showed that 49 teams made it to Victoria.

Rod Price, a canoer from Orlando, Fla., overtook Ellensburg kayaker Matt Pruis of Team Viz Reporter at about 4 p.m. Sunday as they battled for their spots in the top 5. Their exact ranking was unclear Sunday afternoon.

“It’s still looking like this human power is really doing it,” Evans said. “They are really killing it. This is definitely paddling weather.”

Evans said winds were expected to pick up in the evening and the current would be heading against the racers.

“It’ll be a different story when that wind kicks up,” he said. “That will be the story in the next couple of days.”

While most human-powered watercraft seemed to have everything going for them Sunday, Evans said Team Oaracle, made up of Victoria rowers Janice Mason and Ian Graeme, ran into a few mishaps that knocked them into the middle of the pack.

As they were preparing to get their rowboat back into the water in Victoria, their truck ran into problems.

Evans said they had to scramble to find another truck to get their boat back into the Victoria harbor.

Once the race started, they ran into more difficulties. A pleasure boat knocked into them, bending their boat’s rowing frame.

“They scrambled to find anyone with wrenches and got back on the water,” he said.

There was no structural damage to the boat, but they had to run ashore to bend the rowing frame back into place.

He said it’s likely a first in the race’s three-year history to have a competitor hit by another boat.

“It’s crazy,” Evans said.

Racers have two points they have to go through before continuing on to Ketchikan.

They must first go through Seymour Narrows then Bella Bella before heading to Ketchikan. However racers get to any of those points is up to them, he said.

To follow the race, visit r2ak.com.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

A Port Townsend team, North to Alaska, pulls away from the dock in Victoria to start the second leg of the Race to Alaska on Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

A Port Townsend team, North to Alaska, pulls away from the dock in Victoria to start the second leg of the Race to Alaska on Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

More in News

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Sunday, the last day of a five-day community build to replace play equipment destroyed by arson in December. The playground, built entirely with donated labor, will be substantially complete with primarily detail work and play surface installation still to come. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Finishing touches

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground… Continue reading

Seabrook CEO Casey Roloff talks with community members about a planned 500- to 600-home development near Sequim Bay on April 23 at John Wayne Marina. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim site could include 600 homes

Developer eyeing property near John Wayne Marina

Wait times at Olympic Medical Center emergency department improving, board told

Hospital aims to see patients within 30 minutes of arrival

Clallam to develop Salt Creek campsites for trail

Estimated development cost is $15,000 with annual maintenance at $1,500

Sarge’s Veteran Support house managers, from left, Danny Deckert, David Durnford and Steve Elmelund welcome attendees to the organization’s first fundraiser at the Dungeness River Nature Center on April 27. The event raised nearly $50,000. (Sarge’s Veteran Support)
Sarge’s Veterans Support gets nearly $49K in first fundraiser

More than 100 attend event at Dungeness River Nature Center

Sequim schools looking at options with budget struggles

District freezes most hiring, aims to cut at least $2.5 million

Gary Reidel, representing Wilder Toyota, plucks the winning duck from a truck. Wilder sponsored the winners prize of a 2024 Toyota Corolla. And the winner is Sarah Aten of Port Angeles. Her response was, “That’s amazing, that’s amazing.” There was 28,764 ducks sold this year as of race day. The all-time high was back in 2008 when over 36,000 were sold. (Dave Logan/For Peninsula Daily News)
Thirty-five winners announced in Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Pluck

Fundraising record set for Olympic Medical Center Foundation

Sewer project starting in west Port Angeles

Work crews from Scarsella Brothers, Inc., will resume construction… Continue reading

Port Angeles City Council to conduct special meeting

The Port Angeles city council will conduct a workshop… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Port Angeles Fire Department community paramedic Brian Gerdes flips pancakes during Saturday’s annual breakfast on Saturday at the fire hall. The event, hosted by the fire department and auxiliary, was a fundraiser for department scholarships and relief baskets. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Pancake fundraiser in Port Angeles

Port Angeles Fire Department community paramedic Brian Gerdes flips pancakes during Saturday’s… Continue reading

Work begins on sewer project

Intermittent closures planned in Port Hadlock