Sailboat wins Race to Alaska

Team reaches dock in Ketchikan

The mono-hull sailboat team Pure & Wild of Seattle won the Race to Alaska Monday afternoon, sailing into Ketchikan amid predicted mild weather and fewer logs in the water than competitors in recent days had experienced.

“The logs are still very much out there, but further up, it’s a lot clearer toward Ketchikan, and Pure & Wild is petty much on a sleigh ride to the finish line,” said Race Marshal Jesse Wiegel about three hours before Pure & Wild was expected to coronate their adventure in Alaska’s usually drizzly city. “They should be having a lovely day on the water.”

Pure & Wild reached the dock just after 4:30 p.m., and the three-man crew celebrated by ringing the bell and drinking beverages.

After wind played havoc with the first stage of the race that knocked out four teams, wood in the Georgia Strait dashed the competition for three more on Friday and another boat capsized that day. On Sunday, one team lost a mast and another figured it was best to bow out.

There were six fewer teams competing in the race’s second stage, a 710-mile stretch from Victoria, B.C., to Ketchikan, although Wiegel noted that no competitors had dropped out since Ruf Duck, then in 18th place out of 26 teams, decided to call it quits.

Team Pure & Wild finished well ahead of second-place team Elsewhere and third-place team Fashionably Late, who were about 200 miles behind the leader as of Monday afternoon.

For the second- and third-place finishers, who were about 40 miles apart, it was a race for the steak knives, Wiegel said.

The Race to Alaska prohibits motors and any kind of support. The first team to reach Ketchikan wins $10,000 and the second team a set of steak knives.

“The race has been very exciting, and there’s been a lot of different parts of the race that haven’t been seen before,” Wiegel said, referring in part to different routes teams chose to reach Ketchikan.

But, he noted, the race is far from over.

“There is a whole lot of race left,” Wiegel said, noting it wasn’t over until everyone finished or the July 9 deadline arrived. “We have a few teams that have really been taking in the sights, so it’s hard to predict when the last finishers will make it to Ketchkan. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”


Paul Dunn can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or [email protected]

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