Wanda Fuca Downwinder
The Wanda Fuca Downwinder is a 13.5 mile open water race on the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Freshwater Bay Park boat ramp to downtown Port Angeles.
The race is June 13th starting at 10:30am for the incoming flood current. With westerly winds this is a super fun run with epic views of the Olympic Mountains, Vancouver Island and Mt Baker.
10% proceeds donated to the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles.
Win an Epic wing and other awards from local sponsors!
Influenced by Bill Walker’s Da Fuca Downwinder from 2012 ish, the Wanda Fuca Downwinder is the same course but named after a favorite (former) beer brewed near Port Angeles.
Post dam removal, the Elwha River mouth which is mid-course has since extended out several hundred feet and the mouth is alive with rich marine wildlife and returning salmon.
The river mouth is also known for surf which may influence the race if the W or NW swell are firing or depending on river outflow. Check out Port Angeles marine scientist Ian Miller’s blog on the changing river delta during dam removal.
Sponsored Hammer Nutrition (HEED, Fizz and gel available)
Port Angeles business Sound Bikes and Kayaks are offering us Epic prizes!
- (2) $50 Gift Certificates from Epic Kayaks
- (1) Epic Wing Carbon Paddle (Retail $379)
- (4) Kokatat Cotton T Shirts – Women’s S, Men’s L, XL , XXL (Retail $24.99 each)
- (1) Geckobrands 7 Pocket Market Tote (Retail $29.99)
- (1) Buff Limited Edition Nautical ( Retail $24.99)
- (1) Point 65 Paddle Leash ( Retail $24.99)
Harbinger Winery on Highway 101 en route to Freshwater Bay are also offering a gift basket with their wine, cheeses and other goodies!
And local surf artist Todd Fischer is also offering racers some of his hats and shirts.
Who Should Attend
- Open to all human powered paddling craft – Row, SUP, kayak, surf ski, outrigger, prone, peddle.
- You should be able to paddle 14 miles on flat water.
- Experienced paddlers who are familiar paddling in open water, wind and waves. Must know how to swim.
- Must be able to finish course in approx 4 hours.
- Seeking experienced Safety Boaters (power or paddle) to be stationed along the course. Must know how to use a VHF and can rescue in rough water.
Racer Gear Requirements
- PFD and leash for all craft except prone paddlers and rowers
- VHF radio recommended tethered, on Channel 69
- Hi-Vis clothing a plus! Hi-vis yellow or orange
- Dress for conditions. The Strait runs cold
- We’ll supply Hammer Nutrition options (Heed, Fizz and gel) upon check-in.
Start Protocol for Current Phase Guidance:
Following current WA State Outdoor Rec Phase Guidance, we are allowed to launch a wave of 30 racers every minute for 80 racers. Slowest craft start first.
VERY IMPORTANT – Covid-19 Safety Measures in Place.
- Registrants will be given a link for our Pre-Race Zoom Safety Meeting
- 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.
- Life jackets required to be worn by all participants except prone paddlers. Leashes also for SUPs.
CHECK OUT OUR OTHER 2021 RACES:
- July 25 – Bremerton 2 Bridges Tidal Race
- Sept 18 – Lake Crescent Downwinder, hopefully, waiting on park approval….
- December 4 – Deception Pass Challenge (Dash)
OTHER PNW 2021 RACES SERIES
Ballard Elks Paddling Club – Summer Monday Night Races for charity
Skill Prerequisites: Advanced
You should have proven skills in ocean and open water paddling and experience with rough water. You should know how to swim. This is not a race for beginners. Ocean swell could range from 2′ to 10′. We will not hold the race if the wind is over 30 kts.
Lifejackets and leashes required (except prone and rowers) to participate as well as a reliable communication device (ideally a tethered VHF radio) and hi-vis clothing.
We recommend cold water clothing as the Strait runs colder than Puget Sound.