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VIDEO: U.S. Coast Guard rescues four people en route to Victoria in race to Alaska

Racers given extra time to complete first leg due to stormy conditions
A trimaran sailing vessel capsized in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Monday, June 13. (USCG Pacific Northwest/Twitter)

Four people have been rescued from the Strait of Juan de Fuca during a gale warning on the first leg of the Race to Alaska.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to multiple reports of people in the water Monday morning (June 13) with nearby vessels also offering assistance.

In total, four people were rescued, according to a coast guard spokesperson, who noted some were showing signs of hypothermia but all had emergency live-saving equipment.

All were taken to emergency medical services.

Coast guard vessels were on standby due to the race and remain in the area but most racers have turned back or are taking shelter near Protection Island or Dungeness Spit, on the Washington side of the border.

A gale warning and a small craft advisory were in effect for the area.

The individuals were sailing from Port Townsend, Wash., to Victoria during the first stage of the human-powered Race to Alaska (R2AK), which kicked off at 5 a.m.

Traditionally, teams have 48 hours to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca but due to dangerous conditions in the forecast, this was extended, and racers now need to arrive in Victoria by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

During R2AK, competitors are not allowed to use motors or have support teams.

An update on R2Ak’s website at 9:30 a.m. Monday, noted many teams are waiting for conditions to improve. A 10:13 a.m. update noted three teams had capsized – Razzle Dazzle, B Team and Runaway Redux – and all racers were safe.

The first team, Pure & Wild, arrived in Victoria at 9:38 a.m., followed by Pestou just after 10 and Ruf Duck at 10:16.

Teams are still scheduled to leave Victoria at noon on June 16 for the more than 1,100-km trek to Alaska.

ALSO READ: 6 south Island teams tackle human-powered sailing Race to Alaska


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Katherine Engqvist

About the Author: Katherine Engqvist

I took on the role of Bureau Chief when we created the Greater Victoria editorial hub in 2018.
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