Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law on Monday adding the Race to Alaska to the list of events eligible for a “race classic” game of chance permit. House Bill 18 will allow the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to offer a “race classic” contest based on people guessing the winning time of the 750-mile Race to Alaska, which is a human-powered boat race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. Similar “classics” are offered by the Chamber’s of Commerce in Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Seward, Petersburg, Delta, and Big Lake.
“A race classic permit allows the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to take advantage of a thrilling boat race to raise money. Whether it’s the new scholarship fund, community projects, or economic development projects, the benefits of this new race classic will be spread across the entire Ketchikan area,” said HB 18 sponsor Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan). “With a myriad of essential bills to work on this bill could have gotten lost in the shuffle. However, thanks to the diligence of a bunch of hard-headed people from Ketchikan this bill crossed the finish line in time to take advantage of the next Race to Alaska.”
The 2019 Race to Alaska is scheduled to start on June 3 in Port Townsend, Washington. The deadline to apply to participate is April 15.
House Bill 18 passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 36-1 in February of last year. The Alaska State Senate unanimously approved the bill on May 11 just before the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature ended a day later. Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed HB 18 into law Monday during a ceremony at the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce.