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A New SUP Race to Debut in 2018: Seventy48

You may have heard the rumors about a new race in 2018. A race where people start in the evening and have 48 hours to cover 70 miles in a congested, complicated waterway past Seattle, one of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. This race is the Seventy48.

Seventy48 starts in Tacoma, Washington at 5:30 on the evening of June 11. A motley crew of racers (anything human powered, including rowers, prone paddlers, standup paddlers, peddlers, canoeists and more) have 48 hours to make it 70 miles to Port Townsend, Washington, near the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Yes, that means there is at least one night involved. Some racers will try and do the whole thing non-stop. Others will camp for two nights, while others hope to do it somewhere in between.

Those unfamiliar with Puget Sound may think it is a benign waterway since it is protected from the open ferocity of the Pacific Ocean. They would be mistaken. The Puget Sound is a complex body of water highly susceptible to tides, localized winds and wild currents. And then there’s the traffic. Ferry, powerboats, tugs and sailboats all criss-cross the Sound’s waterways at all times of day. Racers will have to have multiple plans for myriad scenarios based on all of the above.

There are 123 teams signed up to participate in Seventy48. The majority of the teams are solo affairs, a few are two-person (canoes, rowboats) and one is six (six-man outrigger canoe). When each team entered, they added $100 to a kitty. The team who crosses the finish line first will get the whole $12,300 cash purse.