Deception Pass Challenge

Deception Pass Challenge – Dec 4, 2021

Trying again, hopefully the world is in a better place by December 2021

Newish Cornet Bay Course –

Start from Cornet Bay and race to Strawberry Island taking a left turn towards Canoe Pass where you’ll try to get to the other side before the flood traps you. Then head to Lighthouse Point. Take a right around Lighthouse Point and race to Northwest Island past Rosario Head. Go Left around the island then a left around Deception Island, thru through the main Pass where you’ll take a right after Ben Ure Island to finish back at Cornet Bay.  Approx 6.15 miles. Thanks to Jason Park and Patrick Hwang for testing the course.  

Donate to the Skagit Search and Rescue and the Makah Lutheran Church to help tribal youth in Neah Bay at online registration. 

Sponsored by Hammer Nutrition! 


2020 Course

2020 Course


Start Protocol for Current Phase Guidance:

Following current Phase Guidelines for Whidbey Island, we are allowed to launch a wave of 10-15 racers every minute for 200 racers. But.. Since 200 racers will be nuts to properly distance in the parking lot and we can’t order outhouses (per regs) and get everyone out in time to beat the flood, we are sticking to 100 this year. Sign up early to save your spot.  Slowest craft will go first.


VERY IMPORTANT – Covid-19 Safety Measures in Place.

  • Per State Guidelines we will have a Covid-19 sanitation and hand cleaning station at the start.
  • Masks will be required to be worn in the parking lot and shore areas and by safety crew on-water when in close contact with participants.
  • You will be assigned a start time for your heat.  Aside from the first (slower craft heat), all heats will be set by type of water craft.
  • Please follow our onsite guidelines to stay distanced on shore and when entering the water. Stay clear of the start area if your heat isn’t immediately.
  • Do not attend if you’re feeling sick and/or have a temp. No refund permitted if so.








Who Should Attend

  • Open to all human powered paddling craft – Row, SUP, kayak, surf ski, outrigger, prone, peddle.
  • Advanced paddlers who are familiar paddling in tidal rapids at Deception Pass. *See Participant Requirements below.  
  • Must be able to finish course in 2 hours. Gets dark at 4:18pm
  • Seeking experienced Safety Boaters to be stationed along the course. Must know how to use a VHF and can rescue in rough water.
  • Per Phase 2 Guidelines, no spectators at the starting line area for distancing.



Order online here. *Shirt will arrive approx 2 weeks after the race.

Designed by Ayu Othman


Event Schedule:

1:00pm – Arrive to warm up and sign-in at a distance.  Stay clear of the start until your heat is ready to go.

1:30pm – Safety Meeting. You will be sent this info prior online as well. We prefer questions prior to your arrival.

1:50pm – First heat starts from Cornet Bay (Heats: 10 racers per minute)

4pm – Race End.  No in-person awards after race. Results to be posted online. Awards will be sent via post.

Terms and Conditions – NOTE  regardless off circumstances:

  • Refunds cannot be issued
  • Tickets cannot be transferred without confirming with DP registration.
  • Tickets cannot be deferred to next year.
  • Masks and distancing are required on shore. Non-maskers (on shore) will be disqualified.

Participant Requirements

  • Must know how to swim and paddle in tidal rapids and swift current.
  • PFD are required to be worn by every participant.
  • Leashes required SUPs. Recommended for prone and other paddling craft.
  • No SUPs under 12′-6″.  No kayaks under 13′. All kayaks must have bulkheads. Short boats to slow to finish in 2hrs.
  • All craft must know how to self-rescue in rough water
  • We recommend hi-vis clothing and a tethered communication device like a VHF (phones don’t work well in DP).
  • Must be able to finish course in 2 hours. Gets dark at 4:18p


Percentage of proceeds donated to the Makah Lutheran Church which helps tribal youth. And Skagit Bay Search and Rescue.



Race Photos by Jasmine Speaks

Photos from Ivan Storck



  • Past: Seattle Race Series – 5 Bridges Race – Jan 17, 2021
  • Feb 27 – Elks Crossing Benevolent Benefit to help the Ballard Elks Lodge. 6 miles.
  • March 28 – Seattle Race Series – ‘Link the Lakes’ to Webster Point, RT
  • April 24 – Deception Pass Challenge Spring Race  – New Course to Hope Island RT
  • May 8 – Hammer the Inlet on Hammersley Inlet in South Puget Sound (10m with current)
  • June 13 – Wanda Fuca Downwinder, Port Angeles – 10am. (13.5 miles)
  • Sept 18  – Lake Crescent Downwinder (8-10m)



Sound Rowers


Ballard Elks Paddling Club – Summer Monday Night Fundraiser Series

2020 Course
2019 Race Start

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