Home-Course Knowledge


June gloom doesn’t dampen enthusiasm for 25th annual Rat Island Regatta. Large turnout for human-powered boat race

PORT TOWNSEND — Home-course knowledge played at least a small part in a familiar team raising the Rat Island Cup once again.

Hundreds of competitors aboard more than 70 human-powered forms of watercraft raced in gray, foggy weather on Admiralty Inlet and Port Townsend Bay last Saturday as part of Sound Rower’s 25th annual Rat Island Regatta.

The 7.8-mile-long course started and finished near the kitchen shelter along the beach at Fort Worden State Park. During the voyage, teams proceed near the shore to Point Hudson head across Port Townsend Bay and around Rat Island near Indian Island before returning back to Fort Worden.

A shorter 2.9 mile course headed to Point Hudson and returned back to Fort Worden.

“The cool, moist conditions prevented anybody from overheating and probably contributed to good performances,” said Steve Chapin of Port Townsend, a crew member aboard the winning team in the long course race, the Storb QuadMaas 4X OW (open water), along with father and son duo Rainer and Adrian Storb, and Paul Grigsby.

The crew beat its 2018-winning time, completing the course in 55 minutes, 25.2 seconds, 2:49 ahead of Jessica Lowe and Peter Hirtle in a 2X open water shell.

“I think it also kept other boat traffic down,” Chapin said of the weather. “Probably fewer boat wakes on Saturday than we might normally see. So the water conditions were really good.”

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