Outdoor Activities

Round the County Race Attracts the Northwest’s Best Sailors

If you are a sailor looking to get involved in the racing scene or you love sailing and simply want to watch the local “top guns,” head to Orcas Island for the famous Round the County sailing race.
The invitation looks like this:
The Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club invite you to participate in the 27th annual “ROUND the COUNTY” sailboat race. This event will be held November 8th and 9th, 2014 in the gorgeous and challenging waters of San Juan County Washington. The race is approximately 76 miles with an overnight stop in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. Due to the great venue, the better winds of November, and the overnight stop in Roche Harbor, the race has become one of the more popular in the Pacific Northwest.
Friday night November 7th rendezvous at the Orcas Island Yacht Club, in West Sound, Orcas Island. Enjoy the no host cocktail party, free hors d’oeuvres, pre-race briefing, skipper’s meeting, and inflated/deflated stories from years past.
Saturday’s race starts at Lydia Shoal in Rosario Strait, just East of Obstruction Pass. The course goes south past Blakely Island, Decatur Island, around Lopez Island past Cattle Pass, across The Salmon Bank, up the west side of San Juan Island and finishes in Mosquito Bay. The course is approximately 31 nm. Saturday night the sailors party in Roche Harbor.
Sunday, leg two starts by Battle Ship Island just outside of Roche Harbor, goes north toward Stuart Island, around the light house at Turn Point up Boundary Pass, outside of Patos Island, Sucia Island, Matia Island, Clark Island, south east along Orcas Island, and finishes at Lydia Shoal. The course is approximately 35 nm. The awards dinner follows at the Orcas Island Yacht Club at West Sound.
The owner must a have a current PHRF-NW certificate or IRC certificate for the boat
The boat must have a speed equivalent to a PHRF rating of 200 or faster
The owner must have liability insurance for their boat, applicable for sailboat racing, having a minimum coverage of $500,000
The boat must meet the US Sailing Safety Equipment Standard for “Nearshore” and after dusk have jacklines installed and require the crew to wear life jackets having lights, whistles, and tethers
The owner must agree to and have signed the hold harmless agreement in the online registration form: RTC Entry Form
The boat will display a large sail number banner on its side for viewing by all finish line committees
The skipper and one other crew member will have read the sailing instructions prior to the start of the race – every word
Boats less than 40ft are $95.00 and boats 40 ft or longer are $115.00 with your US Sailing membership. Without a current US Sailing membership there will be an extra $10.00 charge. The first 90 completed (meaning paid with a valid PHRF/IRC cert) entries will be assured a spot in the race. Additional entries will be placed on a waiting list and may be added, at the discretion of the Race Committee, to balance divisions where needed. No entries will be accepted after November 1st, and there will be no refunds for cancellations after November 5th.
This year there will one more division added to the PHRF fleet to reduce the fleet sizes — meaning more winners. Included with the entry fee will be one RTC tee-shirt and one dinner ticket for the Sunday night awards party at the OIYC. Packets can be picked up in Roche Harbor on Saturday night.
Please see the RTC WEB Site at,   email to:, or write:
Betsy Wareham, Race Chairman
P.O. Box 119
Orcas, WA 98280
360-376-2314(w)   360-376-4258(h)    360-376-4634 (fax)
What’s the most exciting sailing race you have ever seen?

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