Prior to the race, all participants must check in at the Racer Booth and obtain a racing number. This number must be firmly secured to the boat (we provide duct tape, but you're welcome to bring your own to help speed things along!). A MANDATORY RACER'S MEETING will take place on shore where we will review the route, give final safety information, and provide any last-minute details on the starting schedule/procedures. All paddlers will be on the water in a "racing formation" starting line for the start of the race. We will provide a 10-minute, 5-minute, and 1-minute warnings prior to the start of the race as paddlers warm up and get into formation. A horn blast will announce the start of the race.
Deception Pass State Park is located between the coastal towns of Anacortes, Washington and Oak Harbor Washington approximately 1.5 hours north of Seattle. This unique park spans both sides of Deception Pass, a narrow and turbulent channel between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. The Park features over 4,000 acres, 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on 3 lakes, rugged cliffs, an impressive and very photographic bridge, several campgrounds, an environmental learning center, abundant wildlife, numerous hikes, and breathtaking views. The Dash takes place at the Bowman Bay Boat Launch on the north side of the Park. Follow signs for check-in and boat load/unload. Discover Passes are REQUIRED for all vehicles (if you have a camp/RV space at the Park your receipt can take the place of a Discover Pass).
Each participant must review and complete our Liability/Medical Release form prior to taking part in an activity. Minors must have a parent signature. If you would like to have a copy of this form emailed to you please contact us.
Acknowledgement of Risks & Release of Liability
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 9:30am, and the race will start at 1:15pm. You can register online or by calling 425-883-9039. See you there!
We are looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces, and meeting new paddlers as well!
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.
9:30am- Registration Tables Open (all racers & volunteers must check in!)
11:30am - Mandatory Safety Boater Meeting - 20 minutes (all safety volunteers)
12noon - Mandatory Racer Meeting - 25 minutes (all racers must attend)
1:15pm - RACE START
1:46pm - Ebb begins
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 info@OutdoorAdventureCenter.com - All volunteers receive appreciation gifts!
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
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. info@OutdoorAdventureCenter.com
- 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.
$59 per racer (price goes up to $89 on 11/28/17)
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
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!
American Canoe Association
Original Pilot House Coffee
Download a Vendor/Sponsorship Packet
Videos of previous Deception Pass Dash events:
10th 2015 cancelled due to conditions
10th "2.0" 2016