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VIDEO: $10,000 or steak knives

All you need to enter the R2AK is a boat of any size, but it must have no engine or electric motor. Auxiliary power comes from the crew and has fostered a host of interesting approaches.

In addition to a boat, entrants need a healthy dose of seamanship skills to cope with squalls and impossibly rapid tidal currents along the route. Maybe more than anything, they need to be a little crazy.

Stage 1, a 40-mile qualifier race from the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, to the harbor at Victoria, British Columbia, began June 23. Stage 2, a 710-mile marathon from Victoria to Ketchikan, Alaska, began on Sunday with a Le Mans start.

The competitors will follow the Inside Passage and have only two waypoints to honor — one at Seymour Narrows and the other at Bella Bella. Otherwise the race has no official course.

As of Thursday at 6:14 a.m. Pacific time, Team Mad Dog Racing, aboard its Marstrom 32 catamaran, led by a healthy margin and was sailing at 18.4 knots on a north-northeast course. She might have made port by the end of the day. The slowest boats may not arrive for another three weeks.

To see more videos of the race, visit

To see the route map, track the progress of each boat and read the daily reports, visit