The Shaw Island Race made its informal debut in 1978 when Don Cameron & Nick Fahey challenged sailors in a circumnavigation of the island and won. The following year, 1979, a dozen kayaks and rowing shells raced the loop, marking the official beginning of what is now the longest running people-powered boat race in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, participation has ranged from a handful to a hundred.
Getting to the Start
Catch the Island ferry at Anacortes (get in the line for Shaw, of course). From the dock head south to Indian Cove. Ferry schedules can be found at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.
Pre-register online, no obligation to race.
The Round Shaw Race is a world-class 14 mile event which will present a challenge for even the most accomplished open water racer. There is nearly always some rough water and strong tidal currents during the race. At the same time, island ‘ease’ dominates the weekend. The starting time of 11am is “loose” in order to accommodate the Island Ferry Schedule. Racers can choose their direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) and it’s highly recommended that you go the direction Shane Baker goes even if the tidal charts and wind predictions suggest otherwise.
Rob O’Brien/Jeff Knakal, 1:39:45 in 2003 in a 2X.
Free for all participants
Ribbons awarded for 1st-3rd by category.
We encourage everyone to come Friday afternoon and camp out for the weekend. Sound Rowers has reserved – and paid for! – the group campsites for two nights. The facilities at the park are very primitive with only cold running water, but the outhouse has been upscaled in a music-deco motif. Nice. The grassy area is famous for possessing the largest stampeding herd of horse-sized slugs in the entire galaxy, possibly the entire known universe.