First SUP Paddler Finishes Race to Alaska

Karl Kruger Makes SUP History, Finishes R2AK

First SUP Paddler to Finish the Race to Alaska


Paddle History was made last night as Karl Kruger became the first stand up paddler to complete the entire 750 mile Race to Alaska, from Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK!

Watch the replay of the Facebook Live stream of his finish here!

Karl was one of three stand up paddlers to start this year’s R2AK race: Team Fueled on Stoke  Luke Burritt and his buddy Erdo were forced to drop out of the race after being plagued by injuries.

First SUP Paddler Finishes Race to Alaska

Dean Burke and Josh Collins completed the qualifying leg- 40 miles of open water, shipping lanes and an international border from Port Townsend to Victoria.

This is the third year of this grueling, self-supported race.  Congrats, Karl, on a job well done!

UPDATE: Here is the official news release from the NMC:


June 25, 2017, Ketchikan, AK – Hot damn! Team Heart of Gold on a 19’ custom Standup Paddleboard has finished the Race to Alaska! The first and only SUP competitor to complete the 750-mile race course. Karl Kruger, 45 from Orcas Island, Washington solo paddled the 710-mile stage two leg from Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK in 14 days, 6 hours and 17 minutes ahead of almost a dozen other teams.

This was Kruger’s second attempt at the R2AK. Last year, he was forced to quit after approximately 100 miles when his board broke. Two other SUP racers competed in this year’s race but both exited midway up the course.

The annual Race to Alaska (R2AK) is a 750-mile race open to all engineless vessels, and has no handicaps or classes and a $10,000 first prize. Second prize is a set of steak knives.

We are all in awe of this super human feat, please contact us if you’d like to interview Karl or with any other media inquiries please contact Anika Colvin at

Now in its third year, the Race to Alaska is organized by the Northwest Maritime Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage people in maritime activities.

Photos by Jessica Kruger, Zach Carver and the Northwest Maritime Center

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