Windermere Cup crew races, Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day Parade and Mukilteo Yacht Club Opening Day activities are on May 6, 2017.

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Opening Day of boating season brings Windermere Cup crew racing and the Seattle Yacht Club Boat Parade, a longtime local spring tradition, to the Montlake Cut on Saturday, May 6.

Boating season is year-around for hardy Northwesterners, of course, but celebrating spring and the arrival of better cruising weather on the first Saturday in May has been a local tradition since 1920, a few years after the opening of the Montlake Cut — the narrow canal that connects Portage Bay and Lake Washington.

The day starts with a Dragon Boat Exhibition Race, followed by crew racing with teams of all ages hosted by the University of Washington Crew, leading up to the 31st annual Windermere Cup championship race.

Windermere Cup

Time: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6.

Location: Montlake Cut, Montlake Bridge and vicinity, Seattle; parking available in UW lots

E-12 and S-1, $15; and E-1, $10.

More info:

Opening Day Boat Parade

Time: noon to approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6.

Location: Montlake Cut, Montlake Bridge and vicinity, Seattle


Mukilteo Yacht Club Opening Day

Time: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6.

Location: Port of Everett Marina, 1205 Craftsman Way, Everett.

More info: 425-931-3384 or

After the races, all the crew shells parade through the course before the Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day Boat Parade, which leads off with Seattle Fire Department Fireboat and Husky Band boats, followed by festively decorated boats of all kinds.

Thousands of spectators line the shores along the Montlake Cut and start gathering early, bringing blankets and lawn chairs for seating. Best viewing for shoreside spectators is on the banks near the Montlake Bridge and any vantage point overlooking the area. Parking is available at nearby University of Washington lots. If your commute includes the Montlake Bridge, keep in mind that it will be closed to traffic from 9:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Saturday’s festivities.

Reserved space for spectator boats on the log boom is sold out. The south side of the cut is unregulated and boats can anchor and tie up there; see the Windermere Cup website for detailed information.

Mukilteo Yacht Club also hosts Opening Day activities on Saturday, May 6. The “Marine Myths and Legends” themed event includes the blessing of the fleet and a decorated boat parade and contest at the Port of Everett.

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