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Since its first running in 2015, the Race to Alaska (R2AK) has grown into a noticeable summertime spectacle for boaters and landlubbers alike in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. With an ever-diverse array of teams and vessels, part of the fun of being a spectator is following along as competitors take on the 750-stretch of water between Port Townsend and Ketchikan with a shot at 10 grand or, for second place, a set of steak knives.

As they do every year, the R2AK command center (aka, Northwest Maritime Center) has been releasing team bios over the past few months. While the team’s stories are immensely fun to read, it’s equally as enjoyable to see the craft and characters that will be showing up on the start line on Port Townsend Bay come June 3rd.

Here are five unique entries that have pegged our interest meter so far:

Team Holopuni (Read Bio)

That’s right, this team’s boat is a 30-foot Hawaiian outrigger sailing canoe. When they aren’t sailing, they’ll be paddling and with three souls aboard this open vessel, it should be interesting to see how they handle the wild weather and currents of the Inside Passage.

Team Ziska: Sail Like a Luddite (Read Bio)

So, any team that restores an old boat and gets it to the R2AK start line is fascinating to us. But bringing a 116-year-old 52-foot (LOA) Lancashire Nobby?! You’ve got our attention!

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Team Seaforth Expeditions (Read Bio)

In the same vein as restoring an old boat, we’re also captivated by those who decide to fully build a brand new boat. Anyone can buy a boat, but not everyone can custom build one. This team from Sechelt, BC has spent the past two years constructing a 41-foot custom rower/sailer in the backyard and the progress has been fun to watch. It should be even more entertaining to following them on the race tracker.

Team Perseverance (Read Bio)

Yes, this Angus Rower Cruiser is a home-build, too. But more than that, we love Doug Shoup’s perseverance (hence the team name). From applying and not getting into the 2017 race to now, his story is an inspiration.

Team IaqVelo (Read Bio)

This guy is attempting the race on a SUP. A SUP!! Enough said, we’re interested.

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