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The Race to Alaska is one of the most grueling at-sea races, taking participants from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska, as they navigate complicated currents, narrow rocky channels, and inclement weather. The premise is simple: travel more than 1,200 kilometers with no motors, no support, and a USD $10,000 award waiting for the winner. Racers prepare sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, or any manner of non-motorized vessels for a chance to put their paddle to the mettle in the ultimate marine race. But what drives people to take on such extreme adventures?

In this special episode Hakai Magazine editor Jude Isabella and guests discuss what compels people to undertake extraordinary pursuits at sea.

Guests are adventure psychologist Paula Reid, who has spent 10 months racing a yacht around the world and skied to the South Pole; Karl Krüger, the first person to complete the Race to Alaska by paddleboard; and Douglas Smith, who is entering the Race to Alaska for the first time this year.

If you prefer to watch the discussion in video format, you can find it on YouTube, here:

Paula Reid

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