Round Shaw Row

race mapStart: August 5, 2023 8 AM-ish
Level: 3
Distance: 14mi
Check In: at the Group campsite
Meeting: Pre-race meetings held in open field near shelter.
EARLY START: Check-in 7:15 AM (or earlier) — Pre-race meeting: 7:30 AM — Race starts: 8:00 AM
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.

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.

Mask Requirements

Highly encourage masks be worn indoors, such as, on the ferry and in the local market

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

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.