Deception Pass Dash 2017


Join us on Saturday, December 2, 2017 for the 11th annual Deception Pass Dash! The Dash is an intense 6-mile race through the swirling current of Deception Pass near Oak Harbor, Washington for human-powered vessels; kayaks, canoes and SUPs.

2018 Deception Pass Results are now available! View at

If you prefer to register by phone, or have questions about this event please call 425-883-9039.

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  • Location:
    Deception Pass State Park
  • Activity Level:
  • Season:
  • Length:
    1 Day
  • Experience Level:
  • Pre-requisite:
    Confident Swimmer
  • Ages:

This annual Northwest paddling tradition is open to paddlers ages 16+. The race will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Check-in will begin at 10am, and the race will start at 2pm. You can register online or by calling 425-883-9039. See you there!

Please note our updated Race Day schedule!

The challenging 6 mile race course takes paddlers through the swirling waters of Deception Pass! You don't need to be an expert paddler to participate - but we do ask that you prepare (practice paddling, rolling, rescues, etc) and make safe decisions about your paddling ability on the day of the race (based on actual conditions). Conditions in this coastal pass are dynamic and unpredictable, so all participants should be prepared, well rested, and on the top of their game! All racers should have significant paddling experience and proven self-rescue skills.

Saturday's Schedule Updated!
10am- Registration Tables Open (all racers & volunteers must check in!)
12:15pm - Mandatory Safety Boater Meeting - 20 minutes (all safety volunteers)
12:40pm - Mandatory Racer Meeting - 20 minutes (all racers must attend)
3:45pm - Food & Fun!

Racers should plan to arrive at Bowman Bay (part of Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor) by 11am to allow ample time for checking in, unloading your boat, parking/shuttle, affixing your racer number, attending the racer meeting (required), getting suited up, launching, warming up, etc. You may find it convenient to arrive in Anacortes, Oak Harbor, or at the Park the night before (see notes on Lodging, below). All racers must check in at the registration tables (at Bowman Bay) on Saturday morning prior to the start of the race. We reserve the right to delay/adjust the start time based on the tides and weather, or if safety precautions warrant it.

Registration will be available online from October 18th to November 28th.  Once your online registration and payment have been processed, you will receive a confirmation email with further details.

Volunteers & Safety Boaters
Volunteers are key to making this event successful! If you would like to volunteer, please contact us ASAP for more details. Volunteer positions include; setup, tear-down, registration, on-water safety crew, food, timing, aid station, prizes, emcee, photography, videography and advertising. If you would like to volunteer please send an email to -  All volunteers receive appreciation gifts!

Boat Classifications
All seaworthy crafts are welcome; canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, surf skis... It is your responsibility to ensure that your vessel has adequate flotation/buoyancy on the day of the race. When registering, you must select a boat category, but you may change your category at any time prior to race day by sending us an email. Not sure which category is right for you? Follow this link to the Sounds Rowers website, and include your boat make, model, and length when registering.

Classifications (select one)
Kayaks: SK, FSK, HPK, 2SK
Canoes: OC1, OC2, 2OC, 2OW
Paddleboards: SUP12, SUP14, Unlimited

Race Safety
Safety on race day is our priority. We coordinate with the Coast Guard, Washington State Parks and Skagit County, in addition to providing an experienced rescue team to ensure that this event is successful and we have the resources in place to respond to incidents that arise. If you are an experienced paddler interested in volunteering as a safety kayaker, please email us with your qualifications.

  • Motorized safety boats and safety kayakers will be on hand, and stationed at designated points along the race route.
  • All racer boats must be seaworthy, inherently buoyant (decked boats should have air bags or foam flotation), and capable of self-rescue in the event of a capsize.
  • Flatwater racing and training boats are not allowed.
  • Paddlers must wear a PFD and carry a whistle.
  • Paddlers must be dressed for immersion.
  • Paddle or boat leashes are highly recommended.
  • A VHF radio is highly recommended.

The Race Route
The route is anticipated to be the same as previous years. The race starts and finishes at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park. Conditions permitting, the 6 mile course will be as follows; from Bowman Bay, paddlers will head southwest to Deception Island. The island will be rounded counterclockwise. Paddlers will continue east through Deception Pass to Strawberry Island, approximately 0.5 miles east of the bridge. This island will also be rounded counterclockwise. Paddlers will then venture west through Canoe Pass, and back to Deception Island. This time, Deception Island will be rounded clockwise, and paddlers will finish by heading northwest back into Bowman Bay.

Deception Pass Dash - 6 mile Race Route. Click to enlarge.

Deception Pass Dash - 6 mile Race Route. Click to enlarge.


Registration Fees
$59 per racer
Your registration fee covers the event insurance & permit fees, pre-race goodies & lunch on race day, a DPD event t-shirt, and equipment rentals for the event.


Be Sure to Bring Your...

  • Immersion Gear (drysuit & layers, wetsuit, etc)
  • Pfd with attached whistle
  • Discover Pass for your vehicle!
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Energy snacks

Camping/Overnight Accommodations
We have reserved the Cornet Bay Environmental Learning Center located in the Park, just across the bridge from Bowman Bay. If you would like to reserve a bunk, just add that to your registration (bring your own sleeping bag!).

Thanks to our Sponsors!
More added daily!
Kayak Academy
Werner Paddles
American Canoe Association
Original Pilot House Coffee
Snap Dragon...
Download a Vendor/Sponsorship Packet

Videos of previous Deception Pass Dash events:

3rd    2008
4th    2009
5th    2010
6th    2011
7th    2012
10th 2015 cancelled due to conditions
10th "2.0" 2016