- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - A bill allowing bets on the results of a motorless boat race from Washington state to Alaska has been approved by the Alaska House.

The bill brought by Independent Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan cleared the House on Monday. It now heads to the Senate, The Ketchikan Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2kRujuE).

Under the legislation, Race to Alaska would be categorized as a race classic, allowing people to place bets on when the winning vessel will cross the finish line.

Other race classics in Alaska include the Mt. Marathon Race Classic in Seward and the Nenana Ice Classic in Nenana.

Race to Alaska challenges contestants to sail, paddle or peddle their vessels from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska. It is organized by the Northwest Maritime Center, which held the inaugural race in 2015.

The bill would also make the race a fundraising event for the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, which chamber Vice President Chelsea Goucher said would help offset decreases in state funding.

“We rely on very little grant or government money and depend primarily on member dues and fundraisers to function,” Goucher said in a Feb. 3 letter supporting the bill.

This year’s race begins June 8.


Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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