Race 2 Alaska: local sailors fundraising for Kootenay Lake

Race 2 Alaska: local sailors fundraising for Kootenay Lake

Local adventurers dedicate their Race to Alaska to the Lake they love.


Five local sailors are truly giving back to the lake they sail on. They race and cruise on a consistent basis on Kootenay Lake, and have decided its time to raise funds for an independent, inclusive non-profit who is dedicated to sustaining a healthy Kootenay Lake for future generations.

Mike Bowick, Tim Thurston, Tim Rippel, Jay Blackmore, and Roger Hassol, also known as The Kootenay Pedalwheelers are throwing their hats into the ring for the Race to Alaska (R2AK).

On June 8th, 2020 the team sets sail from Port Townsend Washington to Ketchikan Alaska where they hope to be the first team to reach the big prize of $10,000 US nailed to a tree.  The team will donate 100% of the money to FOKLSS along with all the funds they raise leading up to and during the race.

Many teams fundraise to purchase supplies for the trip but the Kootenay Pedalwheelers have decided to direct their fundraising efforts to FOKLSS through a Go Fund Me campaign. They feel that the exposure created from this race will be better used to raise awareness of how hard FOKLSS works to preserve the lake we all love and enjoy.

The R2AK is North America’s longest human and wind-powered race, and currently the largest cash prize for a race of its kind. On the R2AK website, they say “this race isn’t for everyone. It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat, with a chance of drowning, being run down by a freighter, or eaten by a grizzly bear. There are squalls, killer whales, tidal currents that run upwards of 20 miles an hour, and some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.”

Watch this great video of the race Day one to get an idea of the level of competition, fun and excitement that surrounds this international race!


The team has been working with our Program Manager Camille LeBlanc to develop a fundraising startegy that will allow community members and local businesses to show their support for the lake and the work FOKLSS does through this adventurous fundraiser!

All the money raised will go directly to support and enhance FOKLSS projects and programs around the lake, and increase our capacity to pursue futher stewardship opportunities.

“We believe that this race will let the world see how much we love our lake, by reaching our goal of $10,000 while cheering on our local Sailors on their wind-powered voyage!” -Camille LeBlanc


You can make a donation today by heading to our Go Fund Me page.

Those who donate $20 and over before April 1st will be entered to win a FOKLSS Hat or Watershed Map 

Check out the team and stay up to date on their training by following the Kootenay Pedalwheelers on Instagram and Facebook