The Race to Alaska (R2AK) is a monumental 750 KM race starting in the USA, following the Canadian coastline and arriving in Alaska, USA. The aim is to complete it by self powered vessel and self supported. This year American Veteran Josh Collins will attempt this heroic distance on a custom board by Stu Sharpe and Oceansports World measuring 19′ x 26″.
The race starting at 0500 June 14th, Port Townsend, Washington and finishes in Ketchikan, Alaska. It is the longest human and/or wind-powered race in North America. The payout for the winner is 10,000 US Dollars and second place is a set of steak knives! But this race is such a huge accomplishment that completion in itself is priceless! Last year American Karl Kruger completed it on a SUP. Karl took the record for completing the longest SUP race in the world and beat 10 other sailing teams while doing it.
It’s in the spirit of tradition, exploration, and the lawless self-reliance of the gold rush that Race to Alaska was born. R2AK is the first of its kind and North America’s longest human and wind powered race, and currently the largest cash prize for a race of its kind.
The underlying story behind this mission lies in Josh Collins’ personal struggle with TBI and PTSD. He is a Special Operations combat Veteran with multiple rotations to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, along with numerous other deployments around the globe in support of the War on Terror.
Moreover, Josh is a Wounded Warrior with 4 documented Traumatic Brain Injuries with loss of consciousness from explosive blast, 2 by parachute landing falls, and 1 more from combat training. After he retired out of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta Force in December of 2008, Josh continued to support the military as a contractor both stateside and abroad. But it was while leading a training exercise in 2013 that he sustained a final major concussion, and complete with fractured nose, rib, and cervical spine compression that dropped him over the edge.
Driving on with the Doctor’s prescribed medications, but also self-medicating with alcohol, he reached the limits of his ability to function. He was finally hospitalized for over 3 months and was subsequently medically retired again as a civilian.
Not one to quit, this series of events, saving his life, marriage, and family has rekindled a new fire. After the hospitalisation, his wife Tonia purchased him a Stand-up paddleboard for recreational therapy to assist in the prolonged recovery. It was on the water again that Josh found a sanctuary. Severe vestibular (inner ear) damage, nerve damage and palsy in his right eye, and cervical spine compression now fused, left him continuously off balance on dry ground, but the rolling surf calmed all this and in his words, “Everything holds still when I’m on the water.” Having nearly lost it all, he is now determined to make a difference in helping other Veterans navigate these perilous waters of life after combat; this is Operation Torrent, where Josh believes, Connection is the Cure, and finishing the Race To Alaska is his mission to re-connect and inspire others!
The GOAL of Operation Torrent is to have over 20,000 people watching LIVE as the race starts June 14, 2018 through their Website/Facebook. Every day you will hear from Veteran Steve Gern, who will be on our charter boat following Josh in the distance without ever contacting with him so to follow the rules of the race of no support, no help and no motor assistance!
There’s something gripping about those lone riders of our sport, paddling impossible distances under the media radar. They bring back something intrinsic to our collective SUP experience – elements of curiosity, self-challenge and deep care for ‘blue space’. Discovering what drives them to just set off one day and embark on SUP adventures that may […]
Rising SUP star Bodie Von Allmen is already a name many on the Stand Up Paddle racing circuit know from his impressive results at Elite level on the world stage yet this young paddler is still eligible to compete as a junior racer. This season he signed with the NSP international race team and TotalSUP […]
The Carolina Pro-Am is the longest-running Pro Am Stand Up Paddle Surf event in the world and for the ninth edition of the contest event organisers, Haywood and Rob along with event sponsors Infinity SUP will be welcoming some of the top names in the SUP surfing world to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, USA from April […]
Rick Weeks is a self-confessed surf bum who signed a pro contract with SUNOVA at 70 years old. A real silver surfer also known around the world as @supthecreek with a board named after him in the SUNOVA line-up. If you do not know who this real-life surf dude is then grab a coffee and […]
More than $10,000 in prize money and all-expenses-paid trips to this year’s stand up paddling world championships in Poland will be up for grabs at the third ICF SUP World Cup in Oklahoma City in August. The SUP World Cup 3 will form part of a paddling extravaganza at Oklahoma’s Riversport Centre. The World Paddlesport […]
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) today announced that the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint Super Cups and ICF Stand Up Paddling World Cup (e.d. NOT the ICF SUP WORLDS in Gdynia, Poland) previously awarded to Moscow, Russia, will be relocated to Oklahoma City, OK, USA. The events will occur in August, and the final dates will […]
Here are the Long Course SUP results of the 2022 Hano Hano Challenge (27th edition) which took place on Saturday January 29th in San Diego, California. The Hanohano Ocean Challenge is one of the longest running Paddlesport races in California (OC-1, Surfski, Prone Paddleboard, Standup Paddleboard). Huge congratulations to April Zilg and Danny Ching for […]
Juliette Duhaime, the first SUP World Champion from Argentina? Not yet, but with her passion and drive, this may change in the next few years! Placed in the top 10 at the APP tour race in New York, followed by a 4th place finish in a rather “technical” Carolina CUP. Infinity paddler Juliette Duhaime has been […]
It is fair to say that Tamás (Tommy) Buday Jr was born to be on the water. As a three-time Olympian and ICF World Championship silver medallist in Sprint Canoe, Tommy has done it all from a seated position. Standing up on a paddleboard seemed to be a natural progression. The Hungarian-born Canadian now boasts […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!