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SITKA - Racers in kayaks, canoes, rowing shells, paddle boats, Tlingit warrior canoes and other human-powered watercraft will compete in the second annual Sitka Sound Ocean Adventure Race on June 14 in Sitka. The race is a benefit for the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society.
The Sitka Sound Ocean Adventure Race features two courses - a long course of 23 miles and a short course of 13.3 miles - with the start-finish line near the Mount Edgecumbe High School boat ramp on Sitka's Japonski Island.
The starting time for the long course race is at 9 a.m. and the start for the shorter race is 9:45 a.m. The two courses will head north on Sitka Sound and follow a counter-clockwise circle around various islands in the area, with the long course heading to Beehive Island and the short course circling Middle Island (a map is posted online).
If the weather is bad, an alternate course will be used (most likely to Silver Bay south of Sitka). A community potluck picnic will take place after the race at 1 p.m. a few hundred yards away from the start-finish line, where the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society is renovating a historic boathouse so it can be turned into a maritime museum.
All racers are expected to attend a mandatory pre-race safety meeting on Friday, June 13. The time and location will be announced. There also will be a pre-race safety briefing 30 minutes before the start of each race.
Racers can compete as individuals or pairs in kayaks, canoes, rowing shells, rowboats or paddle boats, or they can race in teams using Tlingit warrior canoes. All watercraft used in the race must be human-powered vessels. All competitors must wear personal flotation devices with whistles. The entry fee is $40 for the first person and $25 for each additional person competing in the same boat.
For more information, safety tips and entry forms, go to http://www.sitkaadventureracing.org. For more information, call the race hotline at 907-747-6480 or race coordinator Kayla Boettcher at 907-747-3665.