Sammamish Slough Races

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Redmond has an exciting and rich history of boat races on the Sammamish River!

From 1933 to 1976, the Seattle Outboard Association ran the famous Sammamish Slough Race each April. The Slough Race drew thousands of spectators to watch the dare-devil outboard drivers jump logs and dodge bridge pilings on the narrow winding 13-mile marathon. The course had 63 turns from Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish. Dave Williams, former raceboat driver, attended each race from 1960 to 1975 and recalls crowds of up to 5,000 at the Bothell end of the course.

A race on the Sammamish Slough around 1950

Unfortunately, the events quickly died out starting in 1976 when a spectator was hurt by a wayward boat and the outboard race insurance became too expensive. Fortunately, some of the history has been preserved in photos and film, along with stories told by some racers and fans “back in the day”.

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