R2AK Getting Closer!

Karl Kruger is paddling strong in the Race to Alaska

The Race to Alaska is a 750 mile unsupported race from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK and it’s open to any craft without a motor. $10,000 first prize, second place is a set of steak knives. No classes, no handicaps- race what you want and for your own reasons.  This year marks the third year of this sojourn and it is looking good that for the first time, a standup paddler will finish the whole enchilada.
Karl Kruger – of Team Heart of Gold has less than 300 miles to go before the finish.
On her Facebook page, Karl’s wife Jessica is documenting his race.  On Monday, June 19 she wrote that he paddled 29 miles from Namu where he camped for the night.  Then Monday he made the race checkpoint at Bella Bella. She reports that he’s feeling great and the he took Monday as a rest day. While he reports that he has honed his stroke down to “about one hundred different paddling strokes for different conditions,” he also feeling like he as found several different race paces to settle into.
The race tracker shows he is now out of Bella Bella and is just north of the town of Klemtu.

“Every day has its own hard,”  Jessica writes on her Facebook page. “At least today, food isn’t one of them. He got picked up by the R2AK film crew this evening for a big pizza gathering. I hope they got him at least two of his own…”
Just a handful of standup paddlers took on the challenge this year, including the Fueled by Stoke Part Deux team that unfortunately had to end their race just a few days ago.
We’ll be keeping tabs on Karl as he completes this amazing race!
Photos courtesy Anika Colvin, Communications Manager, Northwest Maritime Center, Seattle, WA

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Lisa
Lisa is managing editor of PaddleMonster.com and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.

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