The inaugural Pro-Am Paddle Race, part of the Great Lakes Surf Festival, will take place from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturday, August 18th at Pere Marquette Beach Park in Muskegon. The Pro-Am is a five-mile downwind elite paddleboard race that is open to men and women paddleboarders and kayakers. Paddlers will start the race at a specific starting point along the Lake Michigan shoreline and finish the race at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, greeted by hundreds of event goers. Their race will include both pro and amateur divisions and prizes will be earned for the top finisher in each of the 10 divisions.
The Pro-Am will offer Great Lakes paddlers the ultimate competitive test of stamina and handling of open ocean-like conditions. Registration for the Pro-Am is available on the event website. Registered racers will receive a complimentary and commemorative race rash guard. Space will be limited to 120 competitors.
SUP The Mag, the largest paddle boarding magazine in the world, will be on hand to cover the race. The Pro-Am Race will be run and directed by Mik DeBoet. Mik is a highly accomplished and experienced Great Lakes Waterman and a fixture in the Great Lakes boardsports industry, having been a sales representative for the past 25 years. He also has extensive experience with directing paddle races throughout the Great Lakes region.
Pro-Am founder Joe Bidawid, who is credited with pioneering Standup Paddling on the Great Lakes, is excited about the race. “We have designed this race to accommodate all types of racers and paddling disciplines. We feel that the venue and the timing are ideal for such a race and we are elated to have Mik DeBoet as our race director.”