Ride the Wave Regatta

Featuring the Lake Michigan Water Trail Marathon

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Join NWIPA for the 8th Annual Ride The Wave Regatta Lake Michigan kayak races. This year’s event will feature three races. A Marathon of 14 miles, a 7 mile short course, and a 3.5 mile recreational race.

This is a points race on the USCA Indiana Division 2015 race schedule.

T-Shirts are available for all participants, and awards for the top three finishers in each class.

Cash Prizes:
First three overall Marathon finishers awarded prizes of: $500/$250/$100
Prizes are courtesy of South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.

Event Particulars:


Due to weather conditions all three races will begin and end at the Washington Park Marins Boat Launch in Michigan City, Indiana.

The Trail Creek course will make loops on Trail Creek, starting and ending at the Washington Park Marina boat Launch.


Bring your sea kayaks, surf skis, canoes and outriggers!

Special Weather Notice for the Marathon:
In the days prior to the race we will post NWS and NOAA weather forecasts for race day. If necessary the start location and times will be adjusted to keep the race safe and fun.

All Times are Central!

Marathon racers will report to Marquette Park to register and drop off your equipment. Race staff will stay with equipment while you drive your cars to Michigan City, an approximately 30 minute trip. Please allow enough time so that you will depart Marquette Park no later than 8:30 am. At 9:15 the shuttle bus will leave Michigan City to bring you back to Marquette Park to start the race.

Race Plan:

Trail Creek Course, All Races:

Begin at the Washington Park Marina boat launch and heads out of the Marina onto Trail Creek. A red buoy will form the starting/finish line. Paddle upstream past the 4th bridge and turn the buoy in front of Hansen Park. Return to the start line and loop the red start/finish buoy at the Marina boat launch for the finish. You will need to take caution exiting and re-entering the Marina as there may be boat traffic present also.

Times: (All times Central) (times subject to change)

9:30 ... Trail Creek Course Registration
10:15 ... Train Creek Course Description and Safety Talk
10:30 ... Launch and Line-up
10:45 ... Race Starts!

Awards Ceremony:
2:30 pm Central, or when racers are off the water and times are tallied.


Marathon K1 Unlimited Men   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Marathon K1 Unlimited  Women   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Marathon OC1 Outriggers  Men    IN-USCA Points Awarded  
Marathon OC1 Outriggers  Women   IN-USCA Points Awarded   
Marathon OC2 Outriggers  Men    IN-USCA Points Awarded  
Marathon OC2 Outriggers  Women   IN-USCA Points Awarded   
Marathon Sea Kayak Men
Marathon Sea Kayak Women

Short Course K1 Unlimited  Men
Short Course K1 Unlimited  Women
Short Course OC1 Outriggers  Men
Short Course OC1 Outriggers  Women
Short Course OC2 Outriggers  Men
Short Course OC2 Outriggers  Women
Short Course Sea Kayak Men - Includes rec boats   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Short Course Sea Kayak Women - Includes rec boats   IN-USCA Points Awarded

Trail Creek K1 Unlimited  Men
Trail Creek K1 Unlimited  Women
Trail Creek C1 Canoes  Men   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Trail Creek C1 Canoes    Women   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Trail Creek C2 Canoes    Men   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Trail Creek C2 Canoes    Women   IN-USCA Points Awarded
Trail Creek Sea Kayak Men
Trail Creek Sea Kayak Women

Trail Creek Recreational Race - one loop of 3.5 miles

Boat Definitions:

Unlimited : Boats over 18 feet or less than 18.5 inches wide.

Sea Kayak: Boats 18 feet and under, and at least 18.5 inches wide. Must have water tight bulkheads and/or adequate flotation.


Marathon $30 pre-register -  $35 day of event

Short Course $15 pre-register - $20 day of event

Trail Creek $15 pre-register - $20 day of event

Click Here to Register On-Line…

There will be no fee for Parking at Washington Park!


-All participants must wear a properly fitted, Coast Guard approved PFD (life vest) at all times during the race. Failure to wear a PFD will be grounds for disqualification. Inflatable belts are not acceptable by the Coast Guard, inflatable vests are acceptable.

-All racers must attend the course and safety briefing.

-At registration verify that you are racing in the correct class. If you have a question about your class contact the Race Director on site. We will not change your class after the race starts.

-Do not launch until the race director clears you to.

-The 1st horn blast will be a five minute warm-up horn.

-Racers will line up behind a line from a designated buoy and a flag on the beach at the 2nd horn blast. Race will start when the starter sees most boats lined up.

-Races will start at the 3rd horn blast.

-We know all our racers follow good sportsmanship principals: keep an eye on your fellow paddlers and offer assistance where needed. Do not pass a paddler in the water until they are back in their boat or back on shore.

-The Ride the Wave Regatta time-keeper’s results will be final.

-Your boat should be sea-worthy, with water-tight bulkheads or adequate flotation.

-Spray skirts are strongly recommended for sea kayaks.

Safety Protocol:

-NWIPA will have several safety paddlers and at least one power boat on the water to provide race support.

-Each racer should carry a cell phone or marine VHS radio for contacting race officials in the case of emergency; contact phone numbers will be provided and we will monitor VHF marine channel 68.

-Race officials reserve the right to modify the course, times, or other event particulars to accommodate weather and lake conditions and group dynamics.

-In the event Race officials must cancel the race due to inclement weather a portion of your registration fee will be refunded.

-Drivers will be available to pick up kayakers at designated places in case of emergencies.

Risk Assessment - Your Go-No-Go Decision should be based on the weather, water, your skills, training and experience, with the understanding that:

a. You are engaging in an activity with inherent dangers,

b. You accept & acknowledge you are participating at your own risk, and

c. You are responsible for your own safety and to use your own judgment.

Two Ways to Register!

1 - On-Line here>>

2 -  Race day sign-up (t-shirt not assured)

2012 Results

2011 Results

2010 Results

2013 Results

2014 Results

2015 Results

Ride the Wave Regatta is brought to you by the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association
and the generous support of
The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority

©2015 Northwest Indiana Paddling Association

With the generous sponsorship of:


Saturday, September 12th, 2015

The 8th Annual Ride The Wave Regatta took place with weather forcing us to use plan B: as last year a looping race on Trail Creek. This more intimate format lets everyone feel like they are part of the whole event and is more spectator friendly. However, it unfortunately doesn’t have the excitement and challenge of racing on Lake Michigan. We hope next year the weather will again allow us on the Big Lake.

Because of the Trail Creek course we were pleased to have Matt Meersman and Ted Beatty join us in their C2 Pro Boat, hopefully they can encourage more C2’s to give them some competition next year.

I want to thank all the racers for coming out in spite of the weather. In addition, I could not make this race happen without the assistance of all our volunteers and safety kayakers who were willing to give their Saturday so that we may have a safe and fun event.

Special thanks go to the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority for their generous sponsorship of the Marathon prize money.

Additionally I’d like to thank Andy Neal, the professional photographer who shot so many great action photos of the race and shared them on the NWIPA Facebook page.

A personal thanks goes to my friend Billy Bellinger for his encouragement and advice, and especially for loaning me his backup V10 Sport for the day.

Ride the Wave Regatta is a points race on the USCA Indiana Division 2015 race schedule.

Ride the Wave Regatta is a part of the Great Lakes Surfski Race Series.

See you next year!

Ken Stelter - Ride the Wave Regatta Race Director

Updated 9/16/2015 7:49:42 PM

Logo by Mary Catterlin