Best Round the County ever?

Published on December 10th, 2018

To those in the lower latitudes, November sailing off the coasts of Washington and British Columbia would hardly seem like the time of year to maximize participation in a race. But as Doug Hansen of Northhwest Yachting describes, this isn’t just any race:


Round the County is considered by many to be the ultimate Northwest regatta. Taking racers on a two-day lap of Island County that includes the San Juan Islands with an overnight stop in Roche Harbor, the race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise directions every year.

This direction change, along with the swirling tides that rip through the islands, means no two races are quite the same. Between snowcapped mountains dominating the skyline and whales hunting the tide rips, this is the most quintessential Northwest racecourse I have yet to see.

This year’s race was a clockwise year, and the stage was set with stacked fleets in all classes organized into three group starts. Northerly wind at the Saturday morning start made for a sporty downwind start, with the first boats rolling off the line shortly after 0800 hours. They took no time in hoisting spinnakers and riding the ebbing tide down the San Juan Island shoreline. – Full report

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