Battle a Legend to the Finish Line

The Paddle Relay is heading into the home stretch down the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan right now.   On Friday, Aug 28th we will stage the final leg from Grosse Point Farms Pier Park to Belle Isle.   This will complete the collective circumnavigation of Lower Michigan.

In order to add some excitement to the final leg, we’ve decided to add an Exhibition Race.   The idea is that we’ll send the tourers out first, then have the racers launch with a handicap start system.    Greg Barton (CEO of Epic Kayaks, 2x Gold Medalist, and Michigan Native)   will be starting last in the V7.   Will you have what it takes to out sprint him to the finish line in front of a crowd of cheering paddlers?   Whether or not you win the sprint, the cold beer and camaraderie is sure to be amazing!

The general plan with regard to logistics, is to have paddlers meet and park at Grosse Point Farms Pier Park.  The paddle will be a 7.4 mile point to point run to Belle Isle.  We’ll then have shuttles to bring everyone and their boats back to the start where we’ll host the Grand Finale Relay Celebration with beer (courtesy of Wolverine State Brewing)  and food for all.   We’ll also raffle off the flagship V7 at this time.

The Detailed Schedule

11:30 pm Volunteers and organizers arrive at Grosse Point Farms Pier Park

12:30 pm Paddlers arrive, sign in and set up boats on the beach with volunteers helping with boat hauling

1:45 pm Pre-launch meeting on the beach for Paddle Relay paddlers

2:00 pm Launch the regular paddlers

2:15 pm start launching the exhibition racers

3:00+ pm Paddlers begin arriving on Belle Isle.  Sign-in, showers, snacks and water at finish line.  Volunteers help move boats onto trailers

4:30 pm First bus and trailers leave Belle Isle, hauling paddlers back to Pier Park.  Volunteers help unload boats and haul them back on cars.  Showers at Pier Park.

5:30 pm Second bus and trailers haul second batch of paddlers back to Pier Park.  Volunteers help unload boats and haul them back on cars. Showers at Pier Park

6:30 pm Reception begins at Pier Park

7:00 pm Short presentation, thank you’s, flagship give-away

9:00 pm Clean-up, leave

The course is 7.4 miles, and heads south from Grosse Pointe Park along the shore of Lake St Claire.  At about mile 4 paddlers enter the mouth of the Detroit River where the Detroit skyline forms a stunning backdrop.  River current is about 2 miles per hour.  Paddlers cross the west channel of the river to Belle Isle Beach just south of the Yacht Club.  A welcoming group will be on shore to cheer them in and give them food and water.  There will be volunteers helping with sign in, boat hauling and directing paddlers at both Pier Park and Belle Isle.  This is a fully shuttled event so all paddlers need only come to Pier Park in Grosse Pointe Park and we’ll take care of the rest.   The water is clear, clean and warm and generally about 10-20 ft through most of the course.


To register for the race,  please go to Registration on the Paddle Relay website and register for Segment 13th the final leg.   In the Additional Comments field let us know you are racing and what your 10k race time is.