Deception Pass Challenge
The Deception Pass Challenge is the same 6 ish mile course as the Deception Pass Dash. The DP Challenge is the new official version of this classic NW winter race in the tidal rapids of Deception Pass but under new management.
New to this race? The race starts at slack (before ebb) where participants race from Bowman Bay around Deception Island then through the main Pass (south channel) before the ebb current becomes too strong to paddle against. The ‘crux point’ is the last somewhat doable eddy on the SE corner of Pass Island before open water leading to Strawberry Island. Many don’t make it past this point. If you do, you’ll go around Strawberry Island, then through Canoe Pass (north channel) back towards Deception Island then finish at Bowman Bay.
Challenges on the course aside from tidal currents include boat wakes, progressive standing waves from current bucking wind, reefs and kelp beds around the islands, wind and well.. its December.
Dates are set for December 7 or 8. The final day will be called a few days to a week prior once we know the conditions. Race start at noon Sat or 12:30 Sunday.
Open to all human powered paddling craft who are competent in tidal rapids, waves, surf and possible wind. Common craft include SUP, surf ski, OC, sea kayak and rowers. Registration to open in late August.
Note: Due to our insurance, only 50 participants will be allowed to compete in the 2019 Challenge. This should open up to a larger number in 2020.
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.
Seeking Volunteers: Registration, competent on-water safety paddlers, timer assistants, photographers.
Skill Prerequisites: Advanced
Must be competent with winter paddling in tidal rapids, waves, wind and rough water. Lifejackets required for all participants and leashes for SUPs. If you’re unsure of your skill level, contact us to discuss or for additional training.