It seems like just yesterday the world was lamenting the loss of OABI, the preeminent paddle racing event in the Midwest.
It seems like just yesterday that Larry Cain blazed a record setting lap of the picturesque island that gleams like a jewel in the Detroit River.
It seems like just yesterday when the paddling world’s eyes trained themselves on Detroit.
But the snow has fallen 4 times since.
The Midwest Paddle League has come into fruition, and has crowned three sets of champions.
Billions of gallons of water have flowed under the bridge just before the finish line.
On July 17th, 2022, it will all come back to us. A DNR permit capped 150 paddlers will once again line up and do a lap of belle isle. Once again, people will stand victorious at the accomplishment of circumnavigating Belle Isle, their pictures taken against the backdrop of a city gleaming with the possibility of rebirth.
Paddle racing on Belle Isle is back. It’s not OABI. There will not be a band. There will not be a beer tent. But there will be a party, and it will be the start of something new, something sustainable, and something that is sure to become classic.