BOAT RACES: Love Them or Loathe Them?

An opinion survey is being conducted through October 30th to gauge community support of the Annual Boat Races on Angle Lake. The survey consists of one question: “Do you support permitting boat racing one weekend a year?” A binary YES or NO response is requested and requires that your home address be provided to verify only one response is received per residence. 

The survey can be completed using any internet connected device, including mobile phones, and is located here: https://surveymonkey.com/r/XBRCDFV

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How did we get here?

In 2012, a few Angle Lake Shore Club members pondered event concepts that might increase interest in the area and offer family entertainment to our local community. Discussion included having festivals like Celebrate America (HERE and HERE), hosting athletic competitions like a Des Moines Creek/Angle Lake Triathlon, holding a dinghy class sailboat regatta, and bringing hydroplane racing back to Angle Lake. As crazy as it seemed during that time, several residents attested that hydroplane racing events had occurred on Angle Lake in the distant past. So a small task force was formed to begin exploring the possibility of reintroducing hydroplane racing back into the community.

When discussing the idea with individuals outside the group, first impressions were formed from their recollection of Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Racing experiences—recalling when groups of often inebriated race fans gathered to watch large and noisy boats racing around an oval course at an extremely high rate of speed. And based on those memories, who would welcome that kind of experience to a small residential community?

While the design for the overall event was to be modeled after the Seafair race format, research revealed that Junior Series Hydroplane and Small Outboard Boat Racing is not comprised of a bunch of old white guys feeding their need for speed but is proven to truly be a family sport comprised of youth, both boys and girls, working together with their families, both Moms, and Dads (and even grandparents), learning the art and skill of boat building; developing mechanical expertise; and experiencing the sport of organized racing. Who wouldn’t want to support an event of that nature in their community?

In 2013 a survey to gauge interest in bringing back boat racing was sent out to 177 homes around the lake. Of the 174 responses received, only 14% were not in favor of the idea. At that time, it was evident that there was support from the majority of the community, but could we gain the necessary approval from City of SeaTac authorities to stage the races at Angle Lake Park? After several rounds of negotiation with city representatives over the span of a couple of years, the City Council finally voted to approve a one-time event to be held on a trial basis in 2016. By delivering a highly successful, high-quality family event that first year reaffirmed community interest and eliminated the unjustified accusations that the event would have a detrimental effect on the lake environment. 

The race event has been held each year from 2016 through 2021, with only one year – 2020 canceled due to the Covid 19 Pandemic Restrictions.  Having been five years since the original survey was performed, city staff felt it prudent to re-survey the surrounding community to reaffirm majority interest still exists within the community.

The Rest, as they say, is History. 

Last Splash of Summer! September 25th.

Angle Lake Park
September 25th, 2021
Registered Swimmer Check In
8:30 AM

The swimmers are coming back to Angle Lake, SeaTac, WA this year!!! The Last Splash of Summer is the last open-water competitive racing event of the season for adults and kids swimmers. 

Interested in participating as a swimmer? 
Registration ends Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 11:59 pm PDT for any of the following events: 
  • 500 Yards for 9 - 12-year-olds (this is a no-wetsuit event).  
  • 1 Mile Wetsuit 
  • 1 Mile No-Wetsuit 
  • 2 Mile Wetsuit 
  • 2 Mile No-Wetsuit 
  • 1 Mile Julie Montiel Memorial *

This year will also feature 1 Mile Julie Montiel Friends and Family Swim. Fins, snorkels, masks, wetsuits, and swim buoys are allowed for this one event. Hand paddles are not allowed.

Race participant check-in starts at 8:30 AM; racing 9:00 and 12:00, and awards presentation will wrap things up from Noon to 1:00 PM.

Interested in volunteering for the event? 
Course Safety Spotters on a kayak, paddleboard, or aqua bike are needed (must bring your own floatation device). If you’re able to assist, show up at the park by 8:30 to attend a safety meeting, get a radio, and receive an area assignment.  

The Race Organizers will also need resources to deploy the buoys for the swim course in the evening of  Friday, September 24th. They will also need help in retrieving the buoys after the race on Saturday, September 25th.

If you have a boat available and are available to help, please contact Eric Durbin at ericdurban55@gmail.com or send a text message to 206-423-8043 indicating if you can help set out buoys, retrieve buoys or both!

October 26th - Public Hearing on Work-Release Facilities Moratorium

The SeaTac City Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, establishing a temporary “moratorium” on creating new work-release facilities in the City. Comments may be sent to: publichearingcomment@seatacwa.gov

Within the rights of local control, SeaTac Municipal Code authorizes “Halfway House” uses within the Office/Commercial (O/CM), Community Business (CB), Community Business in the Urban Center (CB-C), and Regional Business Mix (RBX) zoning designations. “Halfway House” is defined as a “State licensed work/release facilities and other housing facilities serving as an alternative to incarceration” and is recognized as an Essential Public Facility. The City of SeaTac currently hosts approximately fifteen essential public facilities within the SeaTac city limits. Sea-Tac Airport, Interstate 5 and State Route Roadways 518 and 99, Light Rail and Lite Rail Station Facilities, Federal Detention Center are some examples.

Between February 2021 and August 2021, representatives of the City of SeaTac have been actively engaged with the Washington State Department of Corrections, stating concern for sighting a Work-Release Facility at the Sea-Tac Crest Motor Inn at 18845 Int’l Blvd.

On March 26, 2021, the City of SeaTac Mayor Erin Sitterley signed a letter requesting that the Washington Department of Corrections take action to address numerous concerns, including the effect a work release facility would have on SeaTac’s historically disadvantaged Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community, and further noting that the establishment of a work-release facility will directly conflict and is incompatible with the City’s vision for SeaTac’s Urban Center and conflict with the hospitality industry focus of the Urban Center.

July 20, 2021, the City of SeaTac City Manager Carl Cole, together with the City Managers of the Cities of Burien, Des Moines, and Normandy Park, signed a joint letter to the Washington Department of Corrections again expressing numerous concerns and requesting, in part, that the Washington Department of Corrections take action to address impacts to social equity and the effects of concentrating Essential Public Facilities into a relatively small geographic area.

Responding to each of these letters, the Department of Correction further declined to take any meaningful action to address the stated concerns. On August 17, DOC indicated they would proceed with the evaluation of a work-release facility in SeaTac.

With consideration for the prevention of potential harm to public health, safety, welfare, and peace within our community, the City Council determined that review of ‘Halfway House’ development regulations is necessary to ensure the rules adopted in 1999 serve the good of the community in 2021, ensure compatibility between adjacent land uses, and are consistent within the City of SeaTac Comprehensive Plan. At the August 24 Special Council Meeting, the council voted to adopt an immediate moratorium that can remain for up to one year while a work plan for further study is completed. 

On October 26, 2021, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the moratorium in compliance with RCW 35A.63.220 and RCW 36.70A.390, welcoming comments on the matter.  Written comments sent to publichearingcomment@seatacwa.gov before 2 p.m. October 26 will be accepted and read into the record (up to 5 minutes). If you wish to provide remote oral comments at the hearing, click HERE to access further instructions.  

Boat Racing Returns Sept 11th and 12th

Boat racing returns to the West Leg of Angle Lake starting Saturday, September 11th through Sunday, September 12th.  This event will require restricting access to the beach and part of the lower portion of the park.  Additionally, the boat ramp will be closed, as well as the open water access west of the Point. 

Angle Lake Park
19408 International Boulevard
SeaTac, WA 98188
Time: 10 AM to 5 PM

Seattle Outboard Association (SOA), an organization founded in 1929, is bringing back the American Power Boat Association (APBA) hydroplanes, runabouts, and tunnel boats to Angle Lake September 11th and 12th for a fifth running of the Annual Frank Hansen Memorial Regatta!

Just like years prior, there will be two full days of boat racing excitement on the West leg of the lake. Spectators will again be welcome to enter into the Race Pits** to see the boats up close and meet the racers with their crew. 

Portions of the West leg of the lake will still be off limits for public access; however the restrictive boundary lines are expected to take up less area. We are planning to string together several of the ALSC Barges to form a ‘log boom’ on the eastside of the course, allowing boats to anchor up and welcoming spectators to bring their tables and chairs to watch the race action up close!

Since spectators aren’t able to clearly hear the race announcements outside the public park, our neighbor Allan Freedman is generously donating his time, lending his subject matter expertise and broadcasting equipment to enable low power FM transmission of the tower communications! Spectators and race enthusiasts from around the lake will be able to tune into FM 90.5 on Saturday and Sunday to hear all the race coverage broadcast from the tower!  Please be sure to express your appreciation to Allan’s selfless contribution of his time. 

If you’d like to know about the boats, races and drivers, you're invited to download a courtesy copy of ‘Hydro Basics’ authored by John M. Adams. John built his first outboard hydroplane at age 16 and actively raced for over 20 years in Region 10 with the Seattle Outboard Association. He is currently a retired driver and helps as a crew member of Adams Racing.   

** PLEASE NOTE: Entry into the race pits is restricted to spectators who have signed a waiver and are wearing close toed footwear.

Get Involved. Helping Others

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and provides training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Local community members are invited to take free disaster response training classes taught by the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority—these classes start in late September.


The Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority CERT program focuses on training individuals to help themselves and others following wide-spread emergencies and disasters. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT trained individuals can assist others by applying basic response and organizational skills. 

Those trained in basic CERT skills learn how to help others until professionals arrive. Classes will teach people how to:
  • Organize a team to establish priorities and develop an action plan.
  • Suppress small fires so they won’t turn into big problems. 
  • Perform light search and rescue to help reduce life-threatening situations.
  • Use triage and disaster medical operations to treat injuries.
Classes begin Sept. 28 on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
The last class is Saturday, Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about the program click here. To register for the next session, click here. Classes will be held at a select fire station in Kent.