The qualifying leg of the Race to Alaska (Port Townsend to Victoria) went down yesterday in breezy and wavy conditions. The fleet took off around 5:30am and sprinted across the shipping lanes towards Canada. Wind-current interaction caused challenging choppy conditions in the straits for the smaller craft.
The word from race management is that around 25 teams successfully made the crossing, 12 or so have dropped out of the race. Team Freeburd, (with sponsorship from Sperry) was in good form and finished the leg in second place, a minute or so behind a 38′ Crowther Super Shockwave. The competitors were required to drop the sails upon entering Victoria harbor and switch to man-power. Tripp describes their sprint to the finish “with a hundred more meters, we would have caught em! We were surprisingly fast at rowing!”
A “malfunction” with their spot tracker made them invisible to those following the race online, an issue the boys have assured everybody they’ve fixed. Big respect to some of the smaller craft that couldn’t reach Victoria before the tide switched and camped out on nearby islands overnight! There will likely be much more camping on leg 2, 700+ miles from Victoria to Ketchikan Alaska, starting Sunday at 12pm! – Patrick Rynne.