Round Shaw Row

race mapStart: August 10, 2024 about 10 am. Pre-race meeting about 9:15 am.  Check back for updates when the summer ferry schedule is posted.
Level: 3
Distance: 14mi
Check In: at the Group campsite.  Please check in on Friday if you are staying overnight.
Meeting: Pre-race meetings held in open field near shelter.
Director:  Herbie Weisse
Phone: Herbie Weisse 425.263.0520
Carrie Weisse 425.232.7858
Email for questions:  Herbie Weisse

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.

Race Requirements

Must be able to self rescue.
Wear or have life vest attached to boat.  Youth under 18 must wear vest.
Must have whistle.
Bring cell phone in waterproof case. Herb Weisse will be emergency number at 425-263-0520
Must assist anyone who flips.  Stay with paddler/rower until they are in their boat.

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

Coming soon!

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).

Course Record

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

Entry Fees

Race is free if pre-register on line by 9 pm on Friday, August 9.  Day of race, August 10, cost will be $10. 


Ribbons awarded for 1st-3rd by category.  Please see Carrie or Herb Weisse for your ribbon as come off the water.  We are assuming many participates will want to get in line for the ferry immediately after the race.


Soundrowers has reserved the group campsite (combined sites #10 and 11) for Friday and Saturday.  Fee for one day is $20/person, or $30 for both nights,  plus $16.55 (including tax) to park overnight. People are not allowed to sleep in their vehicle at the campsite. Please pay one of the race directors when you arrive. The facilities at the park are primitive with only cold water and pit toilets. You may also be reserve your own campsite no more than 90 days in advance, but these are VERY competitive. A marine site and cycling campsite are also available. You must arrive by watercraft or bicycle.  Campsite fees have increased substantially, sorry.  Checkout time is 1 pm.

We are having a potluck for those staying overnight on Saturday. Please bring a dish to share with the group.

Ferry Schedules

As of February 9, 2024, there is a 5:30 am and 7:30 am ferry scheduled to arrive at Shaw at 7:00 am and 9:00 am; which would support an expected race start at 10 am, meeting about 9:15 am – to be updated when the summer ferry schedule is posted.  Returning ferries to Anacortes are currently at 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:40 pm, 4:35 pm, 7:25 pm and 9:45 pm.  Make a reservation to Shaw, which may be available in May.  No cost to make a reservation if you cancel one day in advance.