360 miles of engineless, unsupported boat racing circling Puget Sound
It’s COVID conscious, logistically light, and demands all the skill, tenacity and patience you can muster.
Stealing the simple framework of Race to Alaska, WA360 is a race from Port Townsend to Port Townsend, counterclockwise along the edges of COVID-allowable travel. What does that mean? There will be actual waypoints, route choices will matter, boat choices will matter and no matter what, teams will have to choose the lesser of two evils—Deception Pass or the Swinomish Slough. You’re welcome.
WA360 is about why we race
We like to adventure and celebrate without a lot of politics, rules or gala balls with bespoke clothing getting in our way. That’s not why we’re here, and if you sign up for this thing, you aren’t either.
WA360 is a backyard playground that offers some of the most complicated water problems in the lower48—tidal rapids, localized weather systems, dramatic currents, terrifying seas—the perfect landscape to adventure in place.
Few details matter
- Unlike R2AK, you can keep your engine aboard, but if you use it, you’re out.
- Like the R2AK, human powering is legit.
- First boat to finish for each class wins.
- Two weeks. That’s how long teams have to call themselves a finisher.
- If the support isn’t preplanned, and generally available to any and all racers, it’s okay.
- Stopping along the way is totally fine, just avoid towns and stay COVID real.
Ditch the LogisticsThis ain't the R2AK. Make it to Port Townsend, pack your boat with whatever you can’t do without, start the race in the right direction, keep turning, and we’ll see you back in Port Townsend. And remember, you’re not going to Alaska—you don’t have to worry about customs.
Test it All
Choose Your Adventure
Type of vessel, crew size, plan of attack—you get to create your own limitations and advantage. If winning is your thing, here’s a pro tip: In a race without handicaps, fast boats tend to win.
We are surrounded by a waterway with limitless possibilities. Create your own map, chart, whatever...
Rules? Rules are for cowards and accountants. Let us know your safe word, but other than that, let's keep it simple.
Start by running south into Puget Sound til you can go no further, turn around and do the same to Point Roberts, then come back home.
Follow this six point route of success (because you have to to avoid disqualification)
- Start just off the Northwest Maritime Center dock in Port Townsend Bay
- ROUND Olympia shoal in Budd Inlet
- PASS WITHIN 1 NM of Goat Island in Skagit Bay
- ROUND Bellingham outfall buoy Fl Y 10s priv
- ROUND Point Roberts Buoy R "4" 4s BELL
- Finish by landing on the dock at the Northwest Maritime Center
We don’t care how often you stop or where it’s at, but if you do stop, you gotta comply with whatever local regs currently in place to deal with whatever COVID hellscape we find ourselves in at the moment. Your politics are your own, but this race will be following the sum total of the guidance being offered by the communities we’ll be traveling through. Do differently, and you’re likely to find yourself exiled from town and this race.
Honor in winning is honor in life: We don’t rate boats, don’t even know how. There'll be three classes of prize:
- Go Fast. The fastest of the fast, racing sleds and catamarans with a sail to cupholder ratio that exceeds 1:1.
- Go Hard. Others might call this “Cruising Class.” We’re not those people. Racing a cruiser is inherently slower, which is harder.
- Human Powered. Kayaks, rowboats, SUPs, and other muscle-laden heroes who for whatever reason forgo the wind.
Which class are you? You tell us. If you’re a paddle boarder and you want to go up against the big sleds...fine. If you’re a TP52 with a navigation system from NASA with a flux capacitor core and try to enter as a paddleboard in the human-powered class? We’re not gonna buy it. We don’t know PHRF, but we’re badass at poker. Play it straight and earn a story you’re proud to tell.
Prizes (aka being first)
Winning means something, but it doesn’t mean new cars, a miracle Instagram account with a million followers, or a personal attendant to sweep the path before you as you walk.
It does mean you met a personal triumph and likely overcame struggles you didn’t want or never thought you’d endure. That’s the first way to win in WA360: finish, and finish in a way that makes you proud.
You can also be first in your racing class and forever have your team engraved on a big ass championship belt. Nevermind trophies of little people holding indecipherable sport objects, or ornate cups that dent going into the hatchback or gather dust in the cases near the lobby. Think 10 pounds of leather and shiny metal held high with both hands and a Zoom room throng of people chanting your name. It’s a perennial award so you'll be handing it off to the following year, but think of it this way: you could be the first heavy weight champ of this thing. That’s right, you could be the John Sullivan of the WA360. Or be Laila Ali. She's amazing.
Support & Volunteering
We’ve got a saying around the Maritime Center’s race HQ: “Unsupported isn’t unsupervised.” If you want to be part of the race, but have little desire to be a racer and want to help us make it safe and awesome, we hope you'll volunteer. We’re a non-profit organization and our lifeblood is our community. Volunteering is a great way to be a part of it.
2022 Race Volunteer Application opening soon!
FOLLOW THE RACE
Race or watch, we have you covered either way. All teams will carry SPOT trackers issued by us and can be followed by anyone with a computer and the internet. We’ll be uploading our own coverage and pulling updates from team social pages to offer coverage all in one place. Bets are officially illegal yet somehow highly encouraged.
Apply to Race
Application Opens: 2022 date TBD
Application Deadline: 2022 date TBD
Cost: $550 per team + $50 per additional team member (includes race tracker rental and application fee)
Teams are vetted, because we’re foolhardy, but not completely stupid. It goes like this:
- You apply (yes!).
- We review your application and you are either accepted or will be asked some clarifying questions or to make some modifications before you are accepted. In some cases, we won't be able to accept you at all.
- After being accepted, you will register to race.
- If you decided to cancel less than 60 days prior to WA360, you will forfeit your registration fee.
- If you cancel 60 days or over prior to the event, you will be refunded your fee less 30% administration fee.
- If we decide to cancel, your cash will be returned.
- If we are forced to cancel, because of...well...COVID, or other acts outside of our control, you will have the choice of deferring your registration to the following year's WA360, putting your money to one of the many maritime programs, classes and seminars we offer, or donating it to the education non-profit that is our parent organization, the Northwest Maritime Center. All are excellent ideas!