Seventy miles. Forty-eight hours. 123 human-powered watercrafts. A whole lot of saltwater and sweat.
June 11 marks the inaugural SEVENTY48, a 70-mile race from Tacoma to Port Townsend dedicated to testing the limits of human willpower and strength. Qualified paddlers will make the voyage in a variety of vessels—on the condition that they are human powered.
That’s right. No motors, no sails. And if you’re Troy Nebeker, no paddles either—he’s using a prone paddleboard, powered by arms only.
For its first year on the water, SEVENTY48 is already a success. Nearly 190 individuals representing 123 teams from across the United States and beyond have registered for the race. Some are traveling as far as 2,600 miles from Hawaii and 4,800 miles from the United Kingdom to participate.
SEVENTY48 offers a few ways for the public to be part of the fun:
The SEVENTY48 Pre-Funk is June 10, 3-7 p.m., at The Social Bar and Grill on the Thea Foss Waterway. Enjoy music and food, hang out with paddlers and hear presentations by champion paddleboarder Karl Kruger and rower Natalia Cohen.
Cohen was one of six women to row across the Pacific from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia, setting a world record as the first female team to finish that route unsupported. Kruger is the first athlete to complete the 750-mile Race to Alaska by stand-up paddleboard.
One of SEVENTY48’s sponsors, Harmon Brewing, will serve its Human-Powered Pale Ale, a beer specially brewed for the upcoming race.
The SEVENTY48 Sendoff Party is June 11, 4:30 p.m., at the Museum of Glass. Food, music and appearances by Cohen and Kruger will build excitement before the race begins.
The SEVENTY48 race kicks off at 5:30 p.m. outside the Museum of Glass, along the Thea Foss Waterway. Keep up with the real-time action with team tracking and a live-stream of the finish line on the SEVENTY48 homepage, going live at launch time on June 11.
Tacoma’s waterfront parks and restaurants offer excellent viewpoints for spectators to cheer on the 123 teams from dry land as they paddle out to sea from Tacoma. Arranging your own viewing party? Share on social using the hashtag #SEVENTY48.
The Tacoma race is the precursor to Race to Alaska, an unsupported sea race that spans 750 miles from Point Townsend to Ketchikan. Race to Alaska begins the day after SEVENTY48 participants dock in Port Townsend. Team Adventure Mann is slated to continue to Ketchikan on June 14, combining SEVENTY48 with the Race to Alaska.
It’s bound to be a grueling 48 hours. Will we see you on race day?
Mark Your Calendar: