More than 100 brave souls are preparing for an intense 750-mile Pacific boat race from Washington to Alaska -- an event described as "car camping in an enormous washing machine."
It's only the second time organizers are attempting the race known as Washington's Iditarod, a reference to the famous sled dog race in Alaska. The event is set to start Thursday.
Motors are banned from all the boats. The winner of last year's race traveled from Puget Sound to Ketchikan in just over five days.
The sailors and rowers admit it's not an easy trip. They're expecting gale-force winds and massive waves.
“What draws me is the element of human endurance,” competitor Piper Dunlap told The Seattle Times. He works as an acupuncturist when he's not on the water.
Sailboats, rowboats and even kayaks take part in the race. But a massive new competitor may blow them out of the water, so to speak.
It's a 73-foot trimaran believed to be the fastest boat that ever sailed around Puget Sound. Some other sailors cried foul, but organizer Jake Beattie told the newspaper his Race to Alaska won't turn into yet another fancy yacht race.
The winner pockets $10,000. Second place: a set of steak knives.
"We’re all tied to our cellphones and our cars. I love being freed of all that stuff now and then. It puts you back in touch with yourself and with the elements,” sailor Dan Blanchard told the Times.