Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5th Annual TC Waterman SUP Challenge Returns to Grand Traverse Bay – Saturday, August 16

Celebration to also feature Short’s Brewing BEER-B-Q, Hall’s Sweet Corn and Laith al Saaid Big Band with the Motor City Horns (from Bob Seger’s band)

The Midwest’s largest SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) event returns to the waters of Grand Traverse Bay and it’s adjacent Open Space in downtown Traverse City on Saturday, August 16. The TC Waterman SUP Challenge is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA).

This event includes recreational and elite races for all ages and skill levels, including an 11 mile down-winder from Bowers Harbor. Registration for the race is now open at

Activities run from 8:30am (6:00am for race registration) to 6:00pm and include free product demonstrations, SUP clinics, a product expo with more than 30 vendors and an awards dinner for all participants. Other activities include Coast Guard helicopter landing and tours, Traverse City Fire Department truck tours, historic farm equipment displays, a petting zoo, kids’ Silent Disco dance tent and more.

This year, the Waterman Challenge is supported in part by Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, who are bringing their amazing woody boat and ski bar for a tap takeover on the Open Space pier. This new Short’s BEER-B-Q will feature local whole hog East Carolina-style BBQ, paired with TC famous Hall’s Farm Sweet Corn for a fantastic culinary experience for the whole family.

Award-winning Executive Chef Lauren Smaxwell will supervise all culinary action throughout the day, with menu items including ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, brisket and more. Smaxwell and her team were recently featured on Food Network where they beat Bobby Flays ribs on his show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Access to food during the Short’s BEER-B-Q is free and open to all ages, with meals ranging from $8 to $12. Those looking to enjoy the Short’s Boat Bar tap takeover on the bay will need a ticket for $10 in advance ($15 at the door), which includes a custom mug. Admission to the Tap Takeover is for those 21 years of age and older; ID is required for admittance.

Live music will be provided throughout the day headlined by the Laith al Saadi Big Band, beginning at 5:00pm on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. Street performers will also provide entertainment throughout the day around the festival site.

Tickets for the TC Waterman SUP Challenge are on sale now at Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space is limited. Wine and beer tickets are available for purchase at the event. Proceeds from the event will support sustainable green events and intelligent design through nonprofit partner Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

For more information on the Waterman Challenge visit and the Short’s BEER-B-Q Experience, visit

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