Roger Lamb, right, competes in an Epic V12 surf ski during the 2013 Rat Island Regatta, closely followed by Jim Buckley, left, riding in the “Dosewallips,” a quadruple skull boat from the Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club. (Michael Lampi)

Roger Lamb, right, competes in an Epic V12 surf ski during the 2013 Rat Island Regatta, closely followed by Jim Buckley, left, riding in the “Dosewallips,” a quadruple skull boat from the Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club. (Michael Lampi)

Rat Island Regatta set for Saturday at Fort Worden State Park

25th annual event offers two race lengths

PORT TOWNSEND — The 25th annual Rat Island Regatta sponsored by Sound Rowers scheduled for Saturday at Fort Worden State Park will demonstrate many different styles of human-powered boats.

Racers have two different options of race length to choose from, a 2.5 nautical mile course and a 6.8 nautical mile course that goes to Rat Island and back.

The race started back in 1994 has in the past few years attracted about 60 different boats of various sizes from each year, according to Sound Rowers Director Steve Chapin.

“Typically the dominant boats are rowing shells and racing kayaks, though pedal boats, canoes, outriggers, dragon boats, paddle boards often form part of the line up,” Chapin said.

The races start at two separate times, 9 a.m. for slower boats on the long course, and 10 a.m. for all remaining craft for both the short and long routes, according to the event page.

Entry fees for the race vary, with a $5 discount if participants register online in advance at Otherwise registration costs $15 per person for Sound Rower members and juniors (18 and under), non-members 19 and over costs $20 per person.

Registration on the day of the event runs from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and Chapin encourages participants to get thereearly and to register online in advance to avoid the last-minute crunch of registration and pre-race meetings, which happen about 60 to 45 minutes before the start of each race.

Many participants camp at the Fort Worden campgrounds for the event and reservations must be made on the Fort Worden website There is no discount for participants. All participants must either have a Washington Discover Pass (which costs $30 a year) or pay for a $10 daily pass to park in the State Park.

According to Chapin, ribbons will be awarded for first-through-third-place winners in every class, such as boat type. The overall winner of the long course will be awarded a trophy called the “Rat Island Cup.”

After the race a potluck for participants and their family and friends will offer an entree of grilled salmon. Sound Rowing asks that people bring a dish to share.


Reporter Zachary Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].

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