The 2007 running of the Deception Pass Dash, an annual 5-mile kayak race through Deception Pass between Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands in Washington state has been announced. The race is sponsored by local paddlesports outfitter Seattle Raft and Kayak ("SRK".)

The race starts and finishes at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park, 90 minutes north of Seattle. The start is scheduled for Sunday December 2, 2007, at 9:45am. High tide that day is at 10am, so the paddlers will have to "dash through the Pass" before its famous currents create an obstacle.

This event is open to all kayakers who are confident in their rough water paddling abilities. Safety is provided by SRK staff and volunteers, as well as local police and sheriff's departments.

Race Founders Will Robens and Donald Kiesling created the event in 2006 as an opportunity for any kayaker with decent open-water paddling skills to challenge themselves in tidal currents. Response from the recreational paddling community, as well as from serious competitive paddlers, was strong as racers from around the Northwest competed in the inaugural event. The 2006 winner posted a time just under 50 minutes for the 5-mile course.

Following the race, SRK will host a barbecue for the participants, volunteers and guests. Racers will be on hand at Bowman Bay following the race for interviews.

The Course:

The race starts and finishes at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park. Conditions permittiing, the course will be as follows. Paddlers will head southwest to Deception Island. The island will be rounded counterclockwise. Paddlers will continue east through Deception Pass, to Strawberry Island, approximately 0.5 mile east of the bridge. This island will also be rounded counterclockwise. Paddlers will then venture west through Canoe Pass, and back to Deception Island. This time Deception Island will be rounded clockwise, and paddlers will finish by heading northwest back into Bowman Bay.

The race will start just before slack preceeding an ebb. Paddlers may catch the tail end of the flood heading into Deception Pass, and the beginning the ebb on the return. Waters can be “swirly” in the passes, with eddylines and small whirlpools, but without significant opposing current.

2006 Race Results


  • A safety boat and safety kayakers will be on-hand.
  • Boats must be sea worthy, inherently buoyant (decked boats should have air bags or foam floatation), and capable of self rescue in the event of a capsize.
  • Flatwater racing and training boats are not allowed.
  • Paddlers must wear a PFD and carry a whistle.
  • Paddlers must be dressed for immersion.
  • Paddle or boat leashes are highly recommended.
  • A VHF radio and / or visual signalling devices are highly recommended.


  • 8:00am: paddler sign-in
  • 9:00am: mandatory pre-race meeting
  • 9:45am: race start
  • 12:00pm: awards, prizes, and post-race BBQ

Current forecast:

  • 2007-12-02 6:27 AM PST 5.28 knots Max Flood
  • 2007-12-02 9:59 AM PST -0.06 knots Slack, Ebb Begins
  • 2007-12-02 12:55 PM PST -6.51 knots Max Ebb

For additional information on the Deception Pass Dash, contact Bill Walker, or visit

ABOUT SEATTLE RAFT & KAYAK – Seattle Raft & Kayak, LLC, is a paddlesports outfitter and retailer with its headquarters in Seattle's Magnuson Park. The company provides a wide array of community-focused events at its waterfront location on Lake Washington. Since its founding in 1999 as First Descent LLC, the company has built its reputation on providing private and group instruction, guided sea kayak and whitewater trips, and a large selection of kayaks and paddling gear.