Open Water Race

Heads up to put Saturday October 16th, 2021 on your race schedule. Open to human powered paddle craft: Kayak, Surfski, SUP, Outrigger, Prone, Row, Peddle. Advanced paddlers familiar with tides and open water conditions. Start & Finish outside the entrance of Gig Harbor. Paddle South under the Narrows Bridge with a buoy turn at Narrows Park.




Saturday October 16,2021
Start groups between 1:00 - 2:00 PM



Short Course: Distance @ 9 Km.   Skill Level 2/3 depending on conditions day of race.

Start/Finish just outside the Gig Harbor entrance paddling South towards the Narrows Bridge with a turnaround buoy near Point Evans.


Long Course: Distance @ 19 Km.   Skill Level 2/3+ depending on conditions day of race.

Start/Finish just outside the Gig Harbor entrance paddling South under the Narrows Bridge with turn around buoy between Narrows Park and Point Fosdick. Nautical course with the participant taking into account the tide, current, wind & weather conditions.


Conditions can be a 3+ on a scale of one to three. There may be rough water with strong currents & high winds, be prepared!

Participate at your level of experience.


Short & Long course are open to OCs, SUPs, HPKs, Kayaks, Rowers and Other human powered craft.



Pre-registration: Per person $35 / Teams of 6 or more $200.

After October 5th: Per person $45 / Teams of 6 or more $250.



Race purse $1,500.

Cash prizes to 1st, 2nd & 3rd place for all categories with three or more participants

Ribbons awarded to all finishers.

Gifts cards and raffle prizes provided by sponsors.



Registration through Pacific Multisports will open June 1, 2021.


Registration will be open until 10 AM Friday, October 15th. No in-person or day-of registration is available. Pre-race Zoom meeting is required Friday, October 15 at 7pm. Race day morning pick up your race number, transponder, etc. at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard: 3117 Harborview Dr, 98335.



Highway 16 across the Narrows Bridge. Follow signs to downtown Gig Harbor. There are public launch sites at Skansie Brothers Park, Eden Boat Park, Ancich Waterfront Park, Gig Harbor Boat Ramp. After you have launched paddle to the harbor entrance near the Lighthouse.  Start and Finish will be across from the Lighthouse near the old ferry dock. Further instructions provided during pre-race meeting.


Mandatory Safety Rules

Participants testify they can remount their craft in rough water.

Will always wear a Coast Guard Approved PFD.

Will always wear a leash.

Will wear bright colors for high visibility on the water.

Will render assistance to any other participant as necessary.



Water Safety

  • Event Permit filed with US Coast Guard.
  • 8-10 Safety boats positioned on course.
  • VHF Radio – Channel 72.
  • Equipped with throw ropes.
  • Additional floatation devices.
  • Dedicated individual to monitor Commercial Traffic.
  • Will adjust start times as needed.
  • West Pierce Fire Boat scheduled to be on the water.
  • Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol requested.


COVID Requirements

Participants will follow COVID guidelines as required by Washington State &  Pierce County at time of event.


Medical Plan

911 is primary Emergency contact for all participants, volunteers and staff. First aid supplies and guidance available at start/finish line dock.


Local Hospital:

St Anthony Hospital

11567 Canterwood Blvd

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

Ph. 253-530-2000


Disaster Response

  • Race Director will make decision to close or postpone event.
  • On site mass communication will be done via volunteers on site.
  • Mass Email to participants for communication if required.


Race Director : Tod Cole


Sponsored by Gig Harbor Canoe Kayak Racing Team - Masters


How did you find us?  

Event Organized by Gig Harbor Canoe Kayak Racing Team Masters

Let us know if you are interested in paddling the Narrows Challenge!