Find Maritime Attractions

Popular Keywords

Close Search

Stan Sayres Memorial Pits

  • Built 1957

The first week of August brings one of the most popular and famous water events to Seattle, the Seafair Hydroplane Races. The “thunderboats,” so-called because early racers installed booming engines from World War II-era fighter planes, use Stan Sayres Memorial Pits on Lake Washington as their staging area, as nearly a quarter million people watch from shore and boats on the lake. The pits were named after a pioneer hydroplane racer, who brought the sport’s leading trophy, the Gold Cup, to the area.

The pits sit at the head of Wetmore Slough near the site of temporary Duwamish Indian camps before the arrival of Anglo-European settlers. Pioneers recognized the area’s potential as a maritime hub, and an early scheme to build a canal from Lake Washington to Puget Sound included Wetmore Slough. (The canal was later built to the north.) The immediate area went through several transformations, although by the early 1960s, it had deteriorated into a garbage dump. After establishing the pits in 1957, the city redeveloped the dump into a public park. Visitors are allowed to walk the pit area, though during the days leading up to the race and race day itself, special passes are required.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...
  • Connect

  • Phone
  • 206-684-4075
  • Visit

  • Support

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Similar Listings

Burrows Island Lighthouse

Burrows Island Lighthouse

The light at Burrows Island Lighthouse, located on the southwestern end of the island in Rosario Strait, warns of strong eddy and rip tides at the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Dennis Shoal and Lawson Reef are nearby. First lit on April 1, 1906, the Daboll trumpet fog signal blew the […]

More Info


The community of Dockton on Maury Island’s Quartermaster Harbor grew up around a drydock that opened in the late 1890s. A general store close to the water served visitors who depended on a fleet of small steamers to travel to and from the island. In 1903, the Dockton Post Office opened with Albert Nilsen as […]

More Info

Bellingham International Maritime Museum

The Bellingham International Maritime Museum is a not-for-profit organization formed to honor, celebrate, record and preserve the rich maritime history of Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Puget Sound, with a special emphasis on the Pacific Northwest regional trans-border nautical heritage shared by Washington State, British Columbia, and Alaska. The museum honors the cultural and fraternal community […]

More Info