SEVENTY48 | Race Explained

Race Explained

Race Explained


SEVENTY48 aka 70 miles in 48 hours.
Rules are simple: no motors, no support, and no wind. That’s right. HUMAN POWER ONLY. Pedal, paddle, or row. We don’t care. It’s up to you. (And this is a boat race. Leave your 10 speed-towing-a-canoe idea at home.)


Race Start:  May 31, 2024
Application Open: November 15, at noon
Application deadline: April 1, April fools day baby
Registration deadline: April 21, 2024
Gun goes off at 7:00 PM, and teams have 30 minutes to cross the start line. (And PM is not a typo. We know what it means and so do you.)


Tacoma to Port Townsend
First find Tacoma, Washington. The race starts at Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway from The Foss Waterway Seaport. Next find Port Townsend. That’s where you hope to end. Only one checkpoint is required: The Port Townsend Ship Canal. Here’s the route map.

RULE 8: If we decide we need to consult a lawyer to figure out if you are disqualified or not, you are automatically disqualified.


YOU! It’s easy to try hard when no one is watching, but can you make 70 miles moving past the most populated cities in Washington? It’s a front country race, so the challenge isn’t about fighting whirlpools and running from bears. What you’re up against is yourself.


We’re stripping away the excuses and introducing difficult beyond the daily concept of difficult. What’s it gonna take to get yourself across 70 miles of water?

Click to apply.


Each team kicks in 125 bucks to the kitty, and it’s pipelined into five prizes:

1st Overall – 50% (aka 4/8th) of the total purse
Class Prize – 1/8th of the purse
Class Prize – 1/8th of the purse
Class Prize – 1/8th of the purse

NRS Random Hero Award – 1/8th of the purse and a full Gore Tex Dry Suit. We’ll take all the names of the teams that finish and throw them in a hat. There will be one lucky winner.

There are only 4 classes and only three awarded. Why? Because whoever wins overall 1st does not also get a freaking class prize. That would be ridiculous!!


The classes have been decided upon. Think of us as that Hogwarts sorting hat, only instead of ending up in Hufflepuff House, racers get sorted based on how they’re doing it.

Classes for SEVENTY48 are:

Standing Up
By Yourself
Facing Forward
Facing Backward

Here’s the order of filters we used to come up with these: (re-read that sentence before you move on)

  1. If you were a person that stands up when underway then you went into the Standing Up class.
  2. If you were a solo competitor then you went into the By Yourself class.
  3. If you face forward when underway you went into the Facing Forward class.
  4. If you face backward when underway you went into the Facing Backward class.

Race End

The race is over 48 hours after it starts. Teams must ring the bell at the finish line in Port Townsend by 7:00 PM. The prizes will be awarded during the SEVENTY48 Necktie Party, to which everyone is invited.


Based on the lawless self-reliance of R2AK, we wanted to compress crazy stupid into 48 hours and make it a different kind of hard. Think of it as powerlifting for 48 hours.

“The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure.”
-Dr. Laurence J. Peter

R2AK What?

Simply, SEVENTY48 is the spawn of Race to Alaska. The idea for the R2AK was born in a beer tent at a boat festival. SEVENTY48 was conceived after a beer at R2AK. What is the R2AK? The premise is simple—you, a boat, a starting gun. No motor, no support, 750 cold-water miles from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. $10,000 if you finish first, a set of steak knives if you’re second. Cathartic elation if you can simply complete the course.

R2AK is a self-supported race with no supply drops and no safety net. Any boat without an engine can enter, and we really mean any. It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat, with a chance of drowning, being run down by a freighter, or eaten by a grizzly bear. There are squalls, killer whales, tidal currents that run upwards of 20 miles per hour, and some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. It’s hard enough that it’s a bad idea to even try… and the same can be said about SEVENTY48.

Race to Alaska and SEVENTY48 are powered by the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery.

Race to Alaska Port Townsend Washington to Ketchikan Alaska