Paddle Relay Around Lower Michigan Photo

The Story

EVENT DATE: Jun 01, 2015

DEADLINE TO GIVE: Aug 28, 2015

1 Boat With 1,000 Paddlers to Lead 1,100-Mile Epic Relay Around Michigan’s Coast

First-ever paddle relay around lower Michigan to raise awareness and money for the Alliance for the Great Lakes and other local community charities

Hundreds of kayakers, standup paddle boarders and surfskiers this summer will join in the inaugural Paddle Relay Around Lower Michigan. Open to everyone, the event is a relay-style water tour of Michigan’s celebrated coastline. Epic Kayaks has donated an ultra-modern style of sea kayak, called a surfski, to be the flagship vessel for the event. The Epic V7 is a stable open-cockpit kayak that will make the entire 1,100 mile journey, paddled by as many as 1,000 different people over the three-month relay. The Epic V7 will be accompanied by a flotilla of participants as it makes its way along the coast.

Launching from Belle Isle on June 1, the tour will head south to Ohio with groups of participants paddling legs of 2-10 miles each.  After arriving in Ohio, the relay will head up Michigan's western shoreline through the month of June, across the top of the state in July, and down the eastern shoreline in August, finishing back on Belle Isle on August 28th.  Participants can paddle any portion of the relay they wish, from a single leg to the entire course.

"We wanted an epic event to bring together the paddling community around the Great Lakes in a collective challenge to cover the entire 1,100 miles of the Lower Michigan shoreline,” said event organizers Nick Murray of Traverse City, Michigan, and James Dagg of Wixom, Michigan. “We also wanted an event that would raise awareness and money for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, as well as a number of local community charities.”

Charitable funds will be raised through sponsors and donations.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes works to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts to ensure a healthy lake ecosystem (Visit

Murray and Dagg note, "The progress of the relay will be tracked at, where participants will post photos and blog throughout the entire summer. Everyone who paddles the flagship V7 will sign the boat, and it will be auctioned off at the end of the event."

Anyone interested in participating in the event or donating can register online now at Businesses or organizations wishing to sponsor the event at any level can find sponsorship details on the website or contact