Coming to watch the Dash?
Welcome! It’s a spectacle, for sure. 200 paddlers racing each other and the elements for not much more than a shirt and a little camaraderie with their fellow adventurers.
Spectators are welcome on Dash weekend, for the Paddlefest at Bowman Bay on Saturday the 3rd; for the prerace dinner and bunkhouse space at Cornet Bay on Saturday night; and for the race itself starting at 10:23am on Sunday the 4th. You are also welcome to purchase raffle tickets to support our two awesome causes this year. Here are some things you’ll need to know if you’ll be joining us:
Directions & Parking:
Please note that any time you park your car on State Park property, you need a State Park pass, either a daily permit or an annual Discover Pass.
Check this link for directions and a map.
On Saturday, just come on down to Bowman Bay. On Sunday, parking will be extremely tough so we’re recommending that you use our shuttle service between Bowman and the main park entrance a mile south of the Deception Pass Bridge.
Watching the race from the bridge:
If you’d like to watch the race from the Bridge, racers will be rounding Deception Island and heading your way by about 10:30. Their objective on this leg will be the wide south channel of the Pass, and you’ll see them hugging the north shore of the channel, right up against Pass Island, as they use the still waters of the eddy to make their way against the building ebb current. Please stay out of the roadway on the bridge. To cross from the west to east side of traffic, use the starways that take you below the span and back to the other side. As the racers pass under the bridge and reach the East end of the island, they come to the crux move of the race course, where they must cross the eddyline and enter the current that is flowing against them. From here they must sprint another half mile against the current to reach Strawberry Island, the halfway point of the race. Rounding Strawberry counterclockwise, they now have the current in their favor and they head for the north channel of the Pass, feeling the thrill of the ride with the ebb and the challenge of the boils and changing currents just West of there. They will now paddle the final 2.5 miles of the course, back around Deception Island and home to the finish line in Bowman Bay.
Watching from Bowman Bay:
If you’d like to brave the crowds at the starting line, it is an amazing sight to see. Everyone’s favorite Dash photo is the scene of all those boats — sea kayaks, surfskis, pedal craft, outriggers, standup and traditional prone paddleboards, and rowing shells — thrashing and throwing wakes at the start. your best vantage point is from the official starting line at the end of the pier, or if you’d like a creative angle with a telephoto lens, from the hill south of the bay, accessible by the trail to the Pass. After the start, trails will take you to numerous rocky outcrops from which you can see the racers going both directions through the Pass, just West of the bridge.
Join the fun with a meal, raffle ticket, night in a bunkhouse, or a tee shirt!
We’d love to have you be a part of the fun by joining us for the Saturday prerace dinner of Hawaiian kalua pork, cabbage and rice; a night in the Cornet Bay bunkhouse if you need a place to stay; the Sunday BBQ postrace feast from Sho Nuff Foods; or by purchasing a raffle ticket and/or a tee shirt. You can save a few bucks and assure you’ll get what you want, by prepaying on line right here. You don’t need to enter the race to do this. Prices will be higher, and quantities will be limited, on race day.
Did we miss something? Need more info? Please don’t be shy. Drop us a line at email@example.com or 206-940-6269. We’ll be glad to answer all your questions. Hope to see you there!