Deception Pass Challenge Spring 2020 Race

Deception Pass Challenge Spring 2020 Race Details


The DP Challenge Spring Race has a different twist than the traditional race…

You’ll start on a diminishing ebb with the goal to get past the traditional Pass Island ‘crux move’ at about 1 knots of current or less. Then paddle around Strawberry Island at slack.

But.. you must make it west of the bridge before the incoming flood current traps you on the east side!  (Most racers make it from Bowman to the bridge in 45min to 1 hour.)

Then paddle or eddy hop your way back around Deception Island and onwards to Bowman Bay.  The 12/5/20 race will have the same plan.

We will have a trailer parked at Cornet Bay for those who can’t make it west of the bridge in time. Cornet is a boat ramp 1 mile paddle SE from the bridge.

2019 December DP Challenge Photos by Jasmine Speaks


  • 9:30 – Sign-in tent open (Sign-in upon arrival)
  • 10:30 – Required Safety Meeting
  • 10:45 -11:00 – Approx Race Start (We’ll run the course on Sat to determine the best start time)
  • 2pm – Awards
  • Unofficial beer/food at Bastion Brewing in Anacortes

Participant Requirements:

  • Open to most human powered paddling and rowing craft.  Not allowed: Kayaks and SUPs under 12′.
  • All racers are required to have onboard a vest style life jacket. PFDs required to be worn in wind over 15 knots.
  • SUPs are additionally required to wear a waist leash.
  • All participants must know how to swim and be in good physical shape.
  • Hi-vis colors recommended so you can be easily seen by our safety staff and boaters.
  • If wind is 15 knots or stronger, paddling helmets recommended for cliff and reef areas. Rentals available via pre-reservation.

Terms and Conditions

NOTE –  Regardless of Circumstances:

  • Refunds cannot be issued
  • Tickets can be transferred between participants only if our registration receives the data prior to race.
  • Tickets cannot be deferred to next year


DP Race Clinics

Learn how the Pass works before you start the race. Find out there the best eddies are, when to take advantage of current, how to paddle over boils, eddy lines and whirlpools, how to surf waves or boat wakes and how to train for the race.  LEARN MORE

Race Clinic Dates: Jan 19, Feb 15, March 28 April 25


Seeking Volunteers and Safety Boats

Safety Boat/Board Requirements

  • You must have considerable experience paddling in Deception Pass currents
  • Carry and know how to use a VHF radio and tow system.
  • Have strong self and group rescue skills.
  • Hi-vis clothing, helmet and vest PFD.



Percentage of proceeds donated to the NW Straits Commission



Located 1.5 hours north of Seattle (no ferry), Deception Pass is between Anacortes and Oak Harbor.  The race is based out of Bowman Bay on the north side of the Deception Pass Bridge off Rosario Road. Bring a Discover Pass or purchase a day parking pass from the machine at the lot.  Directions to Bowman Bay


Lodging / Travel Info

There’s ample lodging in Oak Harbor and Anacortes nearby. ‘DP’ is a 1.5 hour drive in good traffic from Seattle with no ferry required


2020 NW Races 






Race Details:

Race Date: Sunday April 26th – 2020

Location: Deception Pass State Park, WA

Course – Bowman Bay – Deception Island – main Pass – Strawberry Island – Canoe Pass – DP Island – Bowman Bay.

*New Current Twist: Start on diminishing ebb into slack – Get to Strawberry Island then west of bridge before flood starts.

Distance: 6.3 miles

Overall Event Duration: 4 ish hours (9:30am – 2pm)

Participant Capacity: 100

Bring your Discover Pass or CC for parking

Private Race Clinics AvailableContact me for rates and/or to save your spot.

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