Big Hurt Kayak/Paddleboard

Map of Big Hurt Kayak Leg
Course Description

The three mile course starts and finishes at the staging area at Railroad Ave. and Oak St., just 900 feet west of the ferry terminal. The course is in the shape of an inverted triangle that points south.

Detailed Directions

Kayakers will head northeast from the beach, pass a half-mile marker buoy, and turn west at the one-mile marker buoy. Kayak past the 1.5-mile marker buoy and turn southeast at the 2-mile marker buoy toward the finish line.

Boat Specifications

To ensure fairness and safety in the Kayak Leg, ALL BOATS will be inspected on race day for compliance with the following 3 rules.

  • ALL kayaks (in all divisions) must meet a minimum length of 13 feet (not including rudders or handles);
  • ALL kayaks (in all divisions) must have watertight bulkheads and watertight hatches or secure, positive floatation in BOTH ends of the boat;
  • The WIDTH of all TEAM Division kayaks must be equal to or wider than .094 times the overall boat length (in inches).
  • Paddle Boards must all have a leash and fins
  • Must have a whistle
  • Must have a coast guard approved Type 3 life jacket and it must be worn at all times
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, the bay is cold water

The Team Division is intended for NON-COMPETITIVE kayaks only. Most commercial recreation sea kayaks qualify for this category. Common recreational kayaks such as Eddyline Fathom, Delta 15.5, Impex Montauk, Sterling's Illusion, Necky Chatham, Perception Essence, Seaward Infiniti, Rockpool Alaw, Impulse, Glider, Mariner II, Nimbus Solander, Valley Nordkapp and Wilderness Systems Tempest ALL QUALIFY.

In addition, single-paddle outrigger canoes are allowed in the Team Division. Racing hulls and down-river boats are not allowed in the Team Division. Boats such as: Heron, Arluk I, Phantom and nearly all Surf Ski's DO NOT QUALIFY in the Team Division, but are allowed in the Iron Division.

The following boats are NOT allowed in ANY division: a) "whitewater" river boats; b) Olympic "Downriver" racing boats; and) Olympic K-1 flatwater "racing" boats.

Equipment, Skills, and Safety Rules
  • A kayak must be paddled by one person using a double-bladed paddle as the sole means of propulsion. An outrigger canoe must be paddled by one person using a single-bladed paddle.
  • All paddlers are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved TYPE III Life Jacket (PFD) and have a whistle. Any racer observed not wearing their life jacket or wearing it unzipped during the race risks having their team disqualified. (NOTE: Inflatable belt PFD's that do NOT provide neck collar floatation, such as the "Zephyr" model offered by NRS, are NOT acceptable in this race. See:
  • A paddle or boat leash IS required for all surf skis in competitive division.
  • MP3, iPods or similar music/audio systems are NOT allowed to be used by racers while competing.
  • We recommend the use of spray skirts for all sit-inside sea kayaks, but only if you are skilled in how to wet exit while wearing a spray skirt. A paddle float and/or signal devices are highly recommended. A whistle is required.
  • All racers should be capable of performing some form of remount or self-rescue (e.g., paddle float self-rescue, cowboy remount, Eskimo roll, etc.).
Cold Water Safety Warning:

Please note: The water at the Port Angeles Harbor is quite cold. It averages about 50° ± year round. At this temperature, sudden immersion without proper thermal protection can cause shock and hypothermia within 10-15 minutes and, if this chilling state persists, it can be life threatening.

Be sure you understand that, as a race participant, you are solely and completely responsible for your own safety when participating in this race. In rough water conditions, it is sometimes difficult for safety boat personnel to see a capsized kayaker in the water, or they may be busy handling other capsizes. It is possible that, if you capsize, you may not receive help from a safety boat for an extended period of time.

Therefore, ALL kayak leg participants are STRONGLY ADVISED to wear appropriate cold water paddling clothing while racing. A dry suit or wet suit, spray jacket, poly-pro protective thermal clothing, sun hat, etc. are highly recommended.

Impact of Weather on the Kayak Leg

The Kayak leg is conducted only in acceptable wind & water conditions. Be aware this leg may be canceled in case of seriously challenging weather. In the event of extreme wind conditions (18-20 or more knots), this entire leg of the race may canceled at any time.

NOTE: There will be safety boats patrolling the race course plus some boats anchored at various locations along the course. If you need assistance, please notify one of the safety boats. This is for your safety and as a courtesy to the safety officers and volunteers who will have been on duty on the water all day.

Drop-Off and Staging

All boats must be dropped off at race central between 6pm and 10pm the Friday before the race. The race provides overnight security guards on the beach.

Kayak Bike Rental/Service/Parts