Posts tagged “SEVENTY48”

Thursday, 20 June 2019

SEVENTY48

SEVENTY48

Owens Beach is pretty at sunset…

A few weeks ago three of my friends did something pretty durned awexome: SEVENTY48.

“What’s SEVENTY48?” you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. I really am. Good asking! Good for you! SEVENTY48 is an annual sea race that begins in downtown Tacoma and ends in downtown Port Townsend (which are Seventy nautical miles apart), and has a 48-hour time limit. SEVENTY48: get it?

Oh, and there’s a catch: all vessels must be 100% human-powered. No motors or sails of any kind. Only paddles, oars, hands, feet, etc. There are people in canoes and racing shells, stand-up paddleboarders, kayakers, and all sorts of the like. It’s also an “unsupported” race, meaning you can’t have people bring you food/water/supplies during the race. You have to bring with you everything you’re going to need to go Seventy nautical miles. Since the race starts at 7:00 PM, that usually means bringing stuff to camp along the way!

From the SEVENTY48 website:

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. 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.)

My friends each took out a single kayak from NC Kayaks. That’s probably because NC Kayaks is owned by two of the three friends who participated in the race. Look how pretty and sparkly:

ooooh pretty

Oooooh pretty…

These aren’t your regular kayaks. They’re what’s known as touring kayaks: kayaks designed for fast, straight operation on lakes and oceans, not for dodging rocks in white-water river rapids.

From the NC Kayaks website:

A touring kayak is a type of sea kayak that is designed with long distance travel in mind. Our kayaks are fast, light, hard tracking, durable, look good, and have enough storage you can really go somewhere.

My family and I went out to support our friends: we headed down to the Foss marina on Friday evening (the race started at 7:00 PM) to see them off.

There they go!

There they go!

Then on Sunday we drove up to Port Townsend to cheer them on as they came ashore at the finish.

Here they come!

Here they come!

One very cool detail is that the SEVENTY48 organizers provide each boat with a GPS tracker, and setup a nifty tracking website where you can track the progress of each of the teams.

Look at 'em go!

Look at ’em go!

It’s quite a feat of endurance as well as logistical planning to not only be able to row for Seventy nautical miles but to figure out what you’ll need to pack for the voyage, and how to pack everything you’ll need into the hull of a kayak (NC Kayaks happen to be pretty roomy, which helps).

The winner this year complete the race in under 11 hours. Last year my friends completed the race in just over 45 hours, and finished in last place of all the teams who actually finished the race (there were a bunch of teams that had to drop out for various reasons). This year they vastly improved their times and completed it in under 41 hours… and still came in last of all the teams who actually finished the race (a bunch of teams dropped out again this year)!

It’s such a momentous feat that all of my friends got tattoos to commemorate it, with their completion times. They’re going to add a new line for every year they participate!

SEVENTY48 Tattoos

Oooooo tattooooo…

Yay for friends doing awexome things! Be sure to check out the SEVENTY48 website to learn more. My friends also wrote some blog posts about the event over on the NC Kayaks website, so be sure to read those as well for a more on-the-spot perspective. Maybe someday you’ll do something as awexome as SEVENTY48? I mean, probably not, but who knows?

Categories: Featured Posts, Life, My Famous Friends, Tacoma.