Paddle boarder Luke Burritt of team Fueled on Stoke takes off at the start of the 2017 Race to Alaska. Burritt, along with his teammate, stopped at Dungeness Spit to camp for the night before making the crossing to Victoria. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Paddle boarder Luke Burritt of team Fueled on Stoke takes off at the start of the 2017 Race to Alaska. Burritt, along with his teammate, stopped at Dungeness Spit to camp for the night before making the crossing to Victoria. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Race to Alaska teams compete for full funding sponsorship

PORT TOWNSEND — One team of Race to Alaska hopefuls could win full funding for the 2018 race to Ketchikan from First Federal through a video contest.

To help find a team to sponsor for the race that will begin June 14, First Federal joined with race officials and the Northwest Maritime Center to hold a video contest that is currently accepting submissions.

Teams must apply to the Race to Alaska (R2AK) and be accepted before applying for the First Federal contest, but other than that the rules are pretty loose, according to Jake Beattie, executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center.

“It’s kind of like the race itself,” Beattie said.

“Any team that has applied and been accepted is eligible to enter the contest,” said Race Boss Daniel Evans.

“All they have to do is create a video and send it in to enter.”

Sponsorship will include race registration and promotional activities, including featured placement in two exclusive videos, one of which will be a Clip of the Day during the race.

The winning team also will get some gear “to make your trip north just a little less horrible,” according to R2AK website.

Teams can apply to the race at www.r2ak.com. Also on the website are instructions on how to apply to be bankrolled by First Federal. However, the rules for the video are intentionally “annoyingly ambiguous” according to the R2AK website.

So far the only suggestions from R2AK staff has been “be impressive, be convincing, don’t get creepy.”

“Just tell us why we should pick you, why you’re cool and why you should represent First Federal,” Beattie said.

According to the R2AK website, video submissions should be .mp4 videos and sent to [email protected] Teams who have already applied and been accepted to the race also can apply to contest and, if they are selected, will be refunded their fees.

So far only Team B4B2 with a crew hailing from Australia and Alaska, has been accepted into the 2018 race.

“Or just send us a link or something,” Beattie said. “If you can’t figure that out, how are you supposed to get to Alaska? Figure it out, that’s kind of the spirit of the race.”

Videos are due by March 1 and will be posted on the R2AK Twitter, Facebook and SnapChat to see which teams garner the most community support. A winner will be announced March 15.

The 2018 Race to Alaska will be the fourth edition of the 750-mile non-motorized race hosted by the Northwest Maritime Center.

While the R2AK doesn’t have any absolute qualification for participating the race, on the website race officials recommend teams have at least one person proficient in navigation, first aid, the ability to paddle for long periods of time and skills to repair a vessel among a number of other skills listed on the R2AK website.

The race vessel also will be considered as part of the application.

Beattie said First Federal partnered on the project “essentially because they’d love to have a team race to Alaska.”

“It’s the coolest bank on the planet,” Beattie said.

“We have valued our continued relationship with the Northwest Maritime Center and are enthused by this opportunity to deepen our support of the R2AK,” said Derek Brown, senior vice president at federal.

The isn’t the first time a business has sponsored a R2AK team. Last year Global, a diving salvage and rescue company, sponsored a team as did UnCruise, an adventure and travel company operating out of Seattle.

For more information, check the R2AK website or email Anika Colvin at [email protected]

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

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