Round Shaw Row

race mapStart: August 6, 2022 11 AM
Level: 3
Distance: 14mi
Meeting: 45 minutes prior to race (10:15) We are requesting masks be worn at the prerace meetings. Please social distance during the pre-race meeting.
Director:  Herbie Weisse
Phone: Herbie Weisse 425.263.0520
Carrie Weisse 425.232.7858

The Shaw Island Race made its informal debut in 1978 when Don Cameron & Nick Fahey challenged sailors in a circumnavigation of the island and won. The following year, 1979, a dozen kayaks and rowing shells raced the loop, marking the official beginning of what is now the longest running people-powered boat race in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, participation has ranged from a handful to a hundred.

Mask Requirements

From Washington Department of Transportation: Face masks are now required only in indoor areas of our terminals and vessels for all riders and employees compliance with the latest CDC guidelines. All customers inside terminals or vessels should continue to wear face coverings. However, passengers can remove their masks while outdoors on the sun deck, car deck areas of the vessel, outside waiting areas at terminals and other outdoor locations. Please remember to mask up upon reentering interior areas of boats and terminals.

From San Juan County: As a part of a regional effort to curb the rising infection rates in Washington, San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James recommends that islanders mask up when entering an indoor public space, including businesses, whether vaccinated or not. (This would include the country store.)

We are requesting masks be worn at the prerace meetings.

Getting to the Start

Catch the Island ferry at Anacortes (get in the line for Shaw, of course). From the dock head south to Indian Cove. It is critical to make a reservation to Shaw. Ferry schedules can be found at Ferry to return to Anacortes is first come/first serve.

Race Registration

Registrations will be taken at the race.

Race Course

The Round Shaw Race is a world-class 14 mile event which will present a challenge for even the most accomplished open water racer. There is nearly always some rough water and strong tidal currents during the race. At the same time, island ‘ease’ dominates the weekend. Racers can choose their direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) and it’s highly recommended that you go the direction Shane Baker goes even if the tidal charts and wind predictions suggest otherwise.

Course Record

Rob O’Brien/Jeff Knakal, 1:39:45 in 2003 in a 2X.

Entry Fees

None! This race is free due to the cost to get to the race.


Ribbons awarded for 1st-3rd by category.


In previous years we encouraged everyone to come Friday afternoon and camp out for the weekend. Sound Rowers has reserved – and pays for! – the group campsites for two nights. The facilities at the park are very primitive with only cold running water. There is camping available for only 13 people. There is overnight parking available in the area near the shelter for $12. The grassy area is famous for possessing the largest stampeding herd of horse-sized slugs in the entire galaxy, possibly the entire known universe.