Malolo becomes the first Canadian R2AK winner

Custom trimaran sails into Ketchikan, Alaska

KETCHIKAN — The four-person trimaran Team Malolo sailed into Ketchikan to win the 2024 Race to Alaska.

Malolo made the 710-mile trip from Victoria to Ketchikan in five days and three hours with the four-person team of Duncan Gladman, Paul Gibson, Becky Kelly and Matthew Macatee, who will walk away with $10,000.

“Our crew, Paul, Becky and Matt, were amazing,” Gladman said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The amount of pedaling they all did, their work ethic was top notch and just always a positive energy and attitude.”

This was Gladman’s fifth Race to Alaska but his first win. In 2019, his team came in second and in 2022, using the same boat, Gladman’s team was knocked out of the race after hitting a rogue log.

Malolo — sailing a custom-made trimaran — at one point had a 90-mile lead over the second-place team. This year’s race has been lacking on wind, so at one point, Malolo spent 15 straight hours using pedal power to push north.

In addition to the first-place prize money, Malolo earned the distinction of being the first all-Canadian team to win the race when it finished Monday afternoon.

“It does feel good to be the first Canadian team to do it,” Gladman said. “We’re quietly proud of that fact.”

Gladman said his three teammates will fly back to Victoria soon to return to work, while he and another friend will sail the boat south.

R2AK’s second-place prize — a set of engraved steak knives — was won by Team Brio, which pulled into Ketchikan just after 5 a.m. Tuesday with a total race time of five days and 18 hours.

So far, three teams have reached Ketchikan — Malolo, Brio and Team Hullabaloo — while the rest were still making their way along Canada’s west coast.

“They’re all chugging along. They’ve settled into a lower gear at this point,” said Jesse Wiegel, race boss for Northwest Maritime, which hosts the race. “They’ve been doing a lot of pedaling, rowing, sailing and sail changing, so they’re now in marathon mode. Spirits are high and nothing has broken.”

While R2AK has only two official prizes, there are others, known as side bets, offered by outside parties. One prize, $1,000, will be offered to the first team with a boat under 20 feet, and a “blister prize” of $1,000 entirely in $1 Canadian “loonie” coins will go to the first human-powered team to finish.

As of Tuesday, all but one of the human-powered teams had dropped out of the race, and the one remaining, the solo kayaker Martin Rother of team Let’s Wing It, was in last place and feeling ill, trying to convalesce in the Vancouver Island community of Courtenay, Wiegel said.

________

Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Andrea Raymor, left, and Christine Cray, former owners of the Spruce Goose Cafe on Airport Road in Port Townsend, share a moment with the new owners of the cafe in the background, Ashley Owen, left, Vanessa McKenney, middle, and sister Kathryn McKenney during a break between cooking and waitressing. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Spruce Goose keeps new ownership in Port Townsend

Waitresses, cook purchase business, keep local institution

Clallam Economic Development Council seeking consulting funding

High-wage industrial jobs sought as long-term goal

Jefferson County Historical Society board president Ann Welch, lef,) and director of development and communications Alexandra Toombs at the Museum of Art + History. (Elijah Sussman/Peninsula Daily News)
Jefferson County history museum renovating space

Society plans to rotate exhibits annually

Motorcycle rider airlifted after collision with deer

A motorcycle rider was airlifted to a Seattle hospital after… Continue reading

Sequim Bay closed to shellfish harvest

Beaches in Sequim Bay have been closed for recreational shellfish… Continue reading

Project 10 to help women’s wardrobes

United Way event set for Aug. 8 in Sequim

Bernadette Shein helps answer quilt questions for visitors of the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club’s annual quilt show in 2023. This year, the event will move to Trinity United Methodist Church and expand to two days, Friday and Saturday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Quilt show gets new venue, expands to two-day event

Raffle quilts benefit club, scholarship fund

Olympic Medical Center to host community forum

Olympic Medical Center will host a virtual-only community forum… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

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

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue
Firefighters respond to a fire near the ridge south of Port Angeles in the area known as the “Six Pack.”
UPDATE: Wildfire south of Port Angeles contained

Bulldozer, helicopter help firefighting efforts

State Senate hopefuls differ on pathways

Chapman, Kelbon make case for 24th District