7th Annual TC Race Attracts Paddlers of All Ages

Ryan Meade is 14 years old and on Saturday she became the youngest person to compete in the 8 mile TC Race.

“I just got a new board and stuff, so now I’m doing 6 miles. I’m like moving up a class. And then, it was just exciting and I wanted to do more,” said Ryan.

Each year, people can compete in different classes with paddle boards, surf skis, outriggers, or canoes.

Ryan says having this diversity allows everyone to race while creating a supportive environment.

She says, “It’s always like calm and just like a one person sport but then I also love the community out there and everyone is encouraging everyone.”

Race organizer, Daniel Novak, says this event continues to grow each year after year.8 8 20 Tc Race

“Seven years and we grew it to 100 people,” said Novak. “We are fortunate to have people here from several states, not just Michigan, and I’m really excited to see about half of new people coming.”

He says when he sees people as young as Ryan participating, it makes him want to expand the race even more.

Novak says, “You might have a wife paddling and the husband is helping or the other way around, sometimes kids. Ya know, the funniest part is I looked at the starting list yesterday and we have two 70 year old people paddling to the island and back.”

But no matter how old or young you are… even if the water looks calm, its important for everyone to stay cautious.

“It’s deceiving here. We are here on Bowers Harbor and it’s calm here but when you look out there on the water it’s about ten mile wind. So it’s upwind and downwind, which really makes for an exciting race,” said Novak.

The TC Race team is hoping that next year they’ll be able to top the 100 participants they had competing on Saturday.