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Shane Harms
Thomas Nielsen and Scott Veirs (in the hull) in Veirs’ backyard on the boat they built for the race, Manu-o-ku. Fastened with thin rope in true Polynesian style, the boat can be can be taken apart, packed up and moved with a 4runner.

North Seattleites racing to Alaska

A new boat race is being compared to the Iditarod and is bringing boat designers and competitors out from the woodwork for a chance to show off their skills and endurance.

The Race to Alaska is a 750-mile motorless boat race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. The race has very few rules but stipulates that racers can use any propulsion they want except for an engine. That leaves human powered propulsion systems and wind.

Jake Beattie, Executive Director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, thought up the race.

Beattie said that the goal of the race is to explore different modes of travel on the water that do not include engines, forcing racers to get creative in what they use to travel.

“ We really want to strip it down and put the most control in the hands of the racers. …It’s a chance for people to think about being on the water in ways they haven’t thought of before,” said Beattie.

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