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  • Almost Canadien: WIRW Moves Location

    Whidbey Island Race Week Announces New Venue:
    Point Roberts, Washington

    SEATTLE, Washington, March 28, 2019 - Whidbey Island Race Week LLC is pleased to announce Point Roberts,
    Washington as the new venue for Race Week beginning in the year 2020. The event will be called Point Roberts Race
    Week and the 2020 dates will be July 13-17, 2020. Point Roberts Race Week will be a 5-day race event, Monday through
    Friday which allows for the weekends before and after for boat deliveries.

    “Point Roberts has everything we need to host a world class destination regatta,” says Schelleen Rathkopf, Event
    Producer and longtime Whidbey Island Race Week Race participant. “It has an exceptional race area for both big boats
    and dinghies, a deep-water full-service marina and a comfortable Pacific Northwest summertime vibe. It’s the perfect
    venue for Race Week’s new home.”

    The vision is to create the largest sailboat racing event on the west coast of North America that includes sailors from the
    USA and Canada. In addition to big boat and dinghy racing, race organizers also want to tie in a US Sailing National
    Championship as well as a youth event which the size of the venue supports. Plans have already commenced to have
    Point Roberts Race Week included in VARC (Vancouver Area Racing Circuit) Society in an effort to build participation
    from Canada.

    “This venue will allow Race Week to grow to its fullest potential. There’s enough space to run multiple interesting and
    fun race circles for buoy and distance races for One Design and PHRF fleets of all sizes. The marina can handle the influx
    of 200+ boats, including the Transpac 52s – even at a negative tide.”
    racers and cruisers alike. Additionally, Point Roberts is home to Bald Eagle Golf Course, an 18-hole course and has many
    walking, running and hiking trails within walking distance to the marina. “We look forward to the influx of new visitors,
    boaters and sailors that will discover our seaside community where you can, bicycle, camp, hike, golf and play freely,”
    says Theresa Coe. “We love for people to discover our hidden gem.”

    Getting to Point Roberts

    By Car: Point Roberts is located in Washington state, but to get there by car from the US requires 2 border crossings in
    Blaine and then again in Tsawwassen.
    Driving Distances to Point Roberts:
    From Vancouver International Airport: 20 miles
    From Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia (BC): 24 miles
    From Blaine, Washington: 25 miles
    Bellingham, Washington: 49 miles
    From Seattle: 150 miles

    By Air: There is a grass landing airport in Point Roberts that offers service by San Juan Airlines.

    By Sea: 48 degrees 58’ 23.91” N, 123 degrees 03’ 52.20” W / NOAA Chart 18241. As Point Roberts is located in
    Washington state, there are no border crossing requirements for those travelling from the US waterways.
    Nautical miles to Point Roberts travelling at 7.0 knots
    From Anacortes: 35.6 NM / 5:05 hours
    From Bellingham: 31.5 NM / 4:30 hours
    From Blaine: 12.7 NM / 1:49 hours
    From Deer Harbor, Orcas Island: 23.8 NM / 3:24 hours
    From Everett (via Deception Pass): 76.4 NM / 10:55 hours
    From Galiano Island: 22.7 NM / 3:15 hours
    From Nanaimo, Vancouver Island: 38.8 NM / 5:33 hours
    From Oak Harbor: 58.1 NM / 8:18 hours
    From Port Townsend: 56.5 NM / 8:04 hours
    From Seattle (Shilshole via Deception Pass): 91.4 NM / 13:03 hours
    From Sidney (via Active Pass): 26.8 NM / 3:50 hours
    From Vancouver: 32.6 NM / 4:39 hours
    From Victoria (via Boundary Passage): 46.2 NM / 6:36 hours
    From White Rock: 11.8 NM / 1:41 hours

    Point Roberts is an undiscovered gem that will be well worth the delivery to get there. Recognizing that border crossings
    might be challenging for some crew, and the venue may require a two-day boat delivery for some Seattle boats, there
    are plans in the works to address these concerns. Point Roberts Race Week will arrange for a water taxi to transfer walk
    on crew from Blaine Harbor Marina in Washington to Point Roberts Marina in Washington. This crossing through
    Semiahmoo and Boundary Bay is 12.7 NM, and will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
    In addition, Point Roberts Race Week will be hosting a rendezvous party in Anacortes for boats doing a two-day delivery
    from the Seattle area on each of the Saturday nights before/after Point Roberts Race Week. “My hope is that Seattle
    area boats get the party started early and share in the camaraderie of the delivery,” Rathkopf adds. The delivery from
    Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina is 91 nautical miles and for boats travelling at 7 knots, it will take approximately 13 hours.
    “The route is scenic and the distance doable when it’s split up over two days,” Rathkopf adds. “An alternative is Point
    Roberts Marina has a 3,000 pound dinghy lift and a 35-ton travel lift for boats preferring to trailer to the event.”

    There are hundreds of VRBO and Airbnb offerings in Point Roberts for crews looking for house shares. Plus, RV and tent
    camping will be available at the Point Roberts Marina and also at Lighthouse Park Campground, a full-service
    campground near the marina that will be reserved annually for Point Roberts Race Week participants. There are also
    several comfortable hotels nearby in Tsawwassen.

    Local Hospitality and Local Knowledge
    Both Theresa Coe and longtime Whidbey Island Race Week racer (and the Overall Winner at Whidbey Island Race Week
    in 2018), David Jackson, (Dash 34, MadDash) have lived and raced in Point Roberts for many years and were
    instrumental in the reconnaissance to bring Race Week to Point Roberts. On the quality of the racing area, David
    explains, “The winds are unobstructed and the tides are predictable. For the longer races, nearby islands can be used as
    marks while some courses may go to the east of the point into Boundary Bay, or to the West in the Strait of Georgia.
    Expect a great variety of race areas and course lengths.” Concerning local racing tips, he adds, “The races will all start
    just 5 to 10 minutes from the marina. For the short courses, we’ll race close to low bank shores and spectators will love
    it because the boats get super close to shore. The water at Lighthouse park is deep right to shore so get close but the
    cliffs at Lilly Point can funnel and/or slow the wind, so stay clear.”

    As longtime Point Roberts residents, Coe and Jackson also encapsulates the support that racers can expect to receive
    from the entire community. “You will not only have the support of the Point Roberts Marina,” David says. “But you will
    have everyone in the Point Roberts community making racers feel at home.” Coe adds, “Point Roberts is a unique small
    close knit, quiet and rustic community where an event like this brings new excitement and a chance where the
    community can shine with our hospitality and friendliness.”
    2019 marks the 37th year that Race Week has called Whidbey Island home. It was brought to life by Northwest Yachting
    magazine back in the early 80s and the traditions continued with Bob Ross and Stan Stanley, followed by Gary Stuntz
    and then Schelleen and Charley Rathkopf and now Schelleen Rathkopf. Whidbey Island Race Week has enjoyed many
    years of hospitality, support and engagement in the City of Oak Harbor. But the marina's only lift has been broken for 2
    years and the plans to address a solution won’t begin until the year 2024. Additionally, the channel into the marina is in
    desperate need of dredging to accommodate larger boats that would like to attend Race Week but cannot due to their
    risks of running aground.

    In order to provide the best event experience on the west coast, attract boats from the US and Canada, expand our
    offerings to the region's growing fleets, the event needs to be in a deep-water, full-service marina and unfortunately,
    that is not in Oak Harbor. The Oak Harbor Marina is owned by a tenant association (not the City of Oak Harbor) and the
    costs for the needed repairs and dredging is too cost prohibitive. Whidbey Island Race Week will celebrate its final event
    in Oak Harbor, Washington July 24-27, 2019.
    New Name

    Whidbey Island Race Week will be rebranded as Point Roberts Race Week and additional information will be available on
    the new event website, that will launch July, 28, 2019. Registration for Point Roberts Race
    Week will open January 1, 2020.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    I like it, but the idea that you will need a passport to get in and out could present problems for some, even though you are sailing in USA.


    • #3
      I have a passport and passport card.

      Sounds like fun, may show up unexpected and check off the bucket list!


      • #4
        Of course, if you leave for Port Roberts from the US, then you don't need a passport if you don't stop in Canadia. If you were traveling by boat from the US, I don't know why you would...
        1987 Canadian Sailcraft 36 Merlin
        Edmonds, Washington
        Salish Sea


        • #5
          Trailering and crew and family would be a few obvious reasons.