7 Mile OABI Detroit Race $60.00 Tier 1 / $75 Tier 2 / $90 Day of
2.5 Mile Rec Race $60.00 Tier 1 / $75 Tier 2 / $90 Day of
It is strongly encouraged that you register for the race at the Friday evening pre-party hosted by Bell's Brewery. The Saturday morning registration should only be considered for absolute necessary cases as we cannot guarantee that you will be through the registration process in time for the start of the race.
1 Riverbank Dr
Detroit, MI 48207
8:00 AM [Registration]
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM [DJ]
1:00 PM [Award Ceremony]
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM [Dead Again]
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM [Big Something]
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM [Karl Denson's Tiny Universe]
8:00 PM [Curfew]
All participants are required to attend a pre-race safety meeting on Saturday, August 12 at 9:40 AM on the Belle Isle Beach.
After the pre-race meeting, athletes can make their way to the water. All racers will access the water via the beach and will be launched in waves. You are advised to have your gear in order to facilitate quick and seamless entry. The race launch scenarios will be as follow:
7 Mile OABI Detroit Kayak, Surfski, Outrigger Canoe and Other (M&W)
7 Mile OABI Detroit SUP (M&W)
2.5 Mile Rec Race Kayak
2.5 Mile Rec Race SUP
The OABI Detroit course ends at Belle Isle Beach. When you pass under the MacArthur Bridge you have approximately 1 mile left to finish. The timekeeper may ask you to confirm your bib#, division and name, so please assist upon request.
At finish line you can safely exit your vessel. There will be vessel caddies to assist you with your vessel after you exit the water. In order to record your time for the race you must cross the finish line with your paddle. Your vessel will be set in a designated area on the beach by the caddies.
Please also take part in a new addition to the event, the racer hospitality tent an experience reserved exclusively for race finishers. Take advantage of this time to recap the race, relax, hydrate, enjoy snacks and beverages. You’ve earned it!!
The OABI Detroit award ceremony will take place on the podium under the finish line. Award ceremony time is TBD. The Black Blades will be picked up at the finish line by the winners of the Men’s and Women’s SUP, Men’s and Women’s Kayak, and Men’s and Women’s Surfski. Participation medals will be awarded to those who finish the race, in order to assure you receive yours we strongly encourage purchasing a pre-sale ticket and registering early.
Water Temp: Water temps on the Detroit River will likely be in the high 70s the day of the race.
Air Temp: Historical average air temperatures in mid August range from the mid 70’s to the mid 80s.
Current: The current of the Detroit River is approximately 3 mph at Belle Isle. It flows south.
Boat Traffic: Recreational boat traffic will be limited to no wake and regulated by the USCG. The race is in an international shipping channel so a friendly freighter may stroll by the day of the race. If so...ENJOY THE RIDE!!
Vessel storage is up to the participant. There will be designated areas on the site to keep your vessel out of harm’s way during the beach party. If you are staying at the Downtown Courtyard by Marriot a meeting room has been designated for overnight board storage. OABI is not responsible for theft or damage to your vessel on or off site.
All racers are required to have in possession a US Coast Guard approved lifejacket. It is suggested that you wear the lifejacket but it is not required.
Paddler’s must be tethered to their SUP’s. All vessels are encouraged to consider a lanyard.
Each racer will be responsible for supplying water during the race. There are no mid-race hydration stations.
Participants should bring a marine whistle as required in the Great Lakes.
Other items to consider to maximize your experience:
-Water (NO COOLERS ALLOWED)
-Coast Guard approved PFD (you will not be allowed to paddle without this)
-surf leash for SUPs (required)
-a whistle (Required in the Great Lakes)
-dry bag for any sensitive items
-wetsuit if cold weather is expected
-rain gear (weather dependent)
First to circumnavigate Belle Isle wins. Course direction determined by race director.
All Paddled vessels are permitted. Motorized vessels are not allowed. Vessel modifications and multiple occupant vessels are excluded from prize offerings unless otherwise noted. The guidelines for black blade trophy eligible categories are:
SUP Men’s: 14’ and Under
SUP Women’s: 12’6” and Under
Kayak Men and Women: Kayaks (any length) including Surfksi’s under 18'. (Surfski greater than or equal to 18' must register as a Surfski)
Surfski Men and Women: 18’ in length and over
Sportsmanship, inclusion and comradery are essential.
Safety prevails. All participants must have a USCG approved floatation device. All SUP’s must be leashed. All participants are encouraged to consider vessel lanyard, emergency whistle and hydration.
Assisting distressed participants is essential. Participants who intentionally refuse assistance to a person in distress may be subject to disqualification.
3 short whistle or horn blasts signifies a return to shore immediately. As the race has been terminated due to weather or safety concerns.
For a copy of the OABI Safety Plan please email
The Race director has the final say on all matters involving the race including but not limited to interpretation of any rules written or unwritten, award presentation, disqualification, safety and fair play.
Cut Off Time
The expectation is to complete the race within 2.5 hours from the start for all vessels. Any gross delays beyond this will be asked to head directly to shore and a vehicle will pick up the participants to return them to the race site.
OABI is always looking for volunteers. We can offer entry to the event, light snacks and refreshments and a slick t-shirt in exchange for your service.