Round the County organizers are hoping to run the 33rd annual race with modifications for Coronavirus

The Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club are aiming to get the 33rd annual Round the County sailboat race off on November 6-8, 2020 in the beautiful and challenging waters of San Juan County, Washington. Online registration will open on October 5 and an online skipper’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday November 6.

Round the County is a two-day event that runs approximately 76 miles, circumnavigating the San Juan Islands (alternating directions—clockwise or counterclockwise—each year) with a mid-way overnight stop in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island on Saturday night. Due to the terrific venue, the often fantastic winds of November, and the overnight stop in Roche Harbor, Round the County has become one of the most popular sailing events in the Pacific Northwest. Without a doubt, this is one of our favorite races, too.

Competitors sail upwind during the 2018 Round the County race. Photo courtesy of, taken by Sean Trew.

According to race organizers, here are the Coronavirus Considerations for this year’s race: 

The race organizers are continuing to monitor the Coronavirus pandemic. At the time of publishing, the U.S. / Canadian border remains closed and San Juan County is in Washington’s Phase 2. Therefore, we are planning to delay opening registration until October 5, one month later than normal.

We expect to eliminate all formal social activities before, during, and after the race; and crews will be expected to adhere to the Washington Safe Start guidelines in place at the time of the event, including potentially limiting participation to no more than five crew per boat. Should Roche Harbor Marina be required to close transient moorage or operate at reduced capacity, participants should be prepared to anchor Saturday night.

Here’s the latest announcement via the Round the County Facebook page:

With fingers crossed that we’ll be able to hold the 33rd annual Round the County (RTC) race this year, the Notice of Race has been posted. Registration will open a month later than usual this year on October 5. This will provide us with a better window into the status of the pandemic and hopefully help our Canadian friends better insight into whether the border might open in time to allow their participation.

This years changes are expected to include NO social events (welcome, party at Roche, or awards at OIYC). The skippers meeting and awards will both be held virtually. The shortened courses will now be a longitude on each day with no limit on range and no shoreside reporting—to be scored for the halfway, a picture of your GPS showing longitude and time will be required.

We hope you’ll be able to join us! Mark your calendars for October 5 when we expect to publish the SIs and open registration.