First run in 1973, the Ski to Sea is a multi-sport team relay from the Mt. Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay. The race is held annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in Whatcom County, Washington. A Ski to Sea team consists of three – eight racers competing in seven different sports: Cross Country Ski, Downhill Ski/Snowboard, Running, Road Bike, Canoe (2 paddlers), Cyclocross Bike, and Sea Kayak. Beginning in 2018, racers will be allowed to participate in up to three legs on race day, for one team or multiple teams. Teams will have a minimum of three racers and a maximum of eight. The Race course runs through the towns of Glacier, Maple Falls, Kendall, Everson, Lynden, and Ferndale, finishing at Marine Park in the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham. Together with the Historic Fairhaven Festival, Ski to Sea is the largest one-day event in Whatcom County and Bellingham, drawing racers, spectators, and tourists from the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and around the country.
The Ski to Sea Race is owned and operated by Whatcom Events, a volunteer-operated community 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Whatcom Events also hosts the Tour de Whatcom bicycle ride in July, The Mt. Baker Hill Climb in September and Trails to Taps Relay in October. We rely almost exclusively on our incredible team of more than 1000 volunteers to pull off these vibrant community events. We have three employees; our full-time Race Director, our part-time seasonal Operations Manager and our part-time volunteer and equipment coordinator. Our current Board of Directors has six members (Mark Lee, Mike Trowbridge, Larry Bussinger, Terri Lee, Don Kurtis and Tracy Gorham) and our Race Committee is made up of over 30 members of our community, all of which are uncompensated volunteers. Each year, we hope that our volunteer efforts and the generosity of our sponsors results in net profits that we can donate to local 501(c)(3) charitable beneficiaries. Thanks to our volunteers and sponsors, we were fortunate to be able to return a total of $113,900 to our community since 2014 alone, in the form of donations to the following local non-profits: