Sail like a Girl makes history winning the Race to Alaska

An all female team of sailors from Seattle and Bainbridge have made history by winning the Race to Alaska, a 750 mile, non-motorized boat race from Port Townsend in Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Made up of eight women and captained by Jeanna Goussev, this was the team’s first race, Goussev comments, ‘doing this race was the first time for everyone. Some of the crew hadn’t sailed in years but we just went and started planning’.

Some of the crew may have had more experience than others, but they pulled together and managed to win the race after 157 hours of non-stop sailing.

The journey was not without its challenges. In the middle of the night, the boat struck a log, resulting in ‘the loudest noise you could imagine’. According to Goussev, the Coast-Guard was ‘a 30-hour rescue away’ and the team even considered evacuating the boat. Fortunately, however, the boat was ‘really tough’ and six and a half days after they left Port Townsend the women arrived in Ketchikan to find the $10,000 prize money pinned to a tree.

The team undertook the race in part to honour their ‘warriors’; the women in their lives who have been affected by breast cancer. In a touching tribute, the names of the warriors were written on the mast of the boat before they set off. The team have now donated their prize money to the Pink Boat Regatta, a competition that raises money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


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