What's SUP in Bend, Oregon? A Major Stand Up Paddle Event!

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The Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge will offer stand up paddle enthusiasts an opportunity to compete for prizes, show off skills, and sample equipment from some of the country’s leading SUP manufacturers.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Race in Bend, Oregon

2011 Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge Logo

Bend is awesome. My whole family looks forward to our trips there. There's so much to do and it feels healthy and relaxing.

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On June 18th, 2011, Bend, Oregon will host a World Paddle Association (WPA) sanctioned stand up paddle (SUP) event. The first annual Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge will include three competitive events: a six-mile long course, a two-mile short course, and a judged “Expression Session.” Contestants and spectators will also have the opportunity to try out the latest gear from popular SUP manufacturers like KIALOA and Surftech.

The Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge will take place on the Deschutes River which runs through the center of town and is a vital part of the community. The spectator-friendly course will run from Riverbend Park, just past Bill Healy Memorial Bridge, through the 'Old Mill stretch' of the Deschutes River, and back (three times for the six-mile race and once for the two-mile race). Spectators will be able to watch from parks, bridges, and the popular Old Mill District, Bend’s unique outdoor shopping and dining development.

A gorgeous town known for its world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, Bend is an ideal spot for an inland SUP race. Although Bend is located roughly 180 miles from the ocean, the former mill town turned adventure playground has deep ties to SUP. Legendary surfer and SUP pioneer Gerry Lopez is based in Bend, as is leading stand up paddle manufacturing company KIALOA. "Bend is awesome," says well-known Portland stand up paddler Karen Wrenn, who has finished impressively in SUP events all around the world. "My whole family looks forward to our trips there. There's so much to do and it feels healthy and relaxing," she adds. Wrenn, along with fellow KIALOA team rider Chuck Patterson, will teach an SUP clinic in Bend on Friday, June 17th, so that competitors can learn new skills to utilize the next day in the Challenge.

Because the 2011 Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge will be one of the first races to count toward the WPA's recently announced Pacific Northwest championship (a qualifier for the overall WPA championship), many high-profile SUP athletes are expected to compete.

All proceeds of the 2011 Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge will be divided equally between the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) and the Bend Recreation Foundation Scholarship Fund. “It’s very important to us to give back to our wonderful community,” says Lainey Booth, one of the organizers of the Challenge and co-owner of local SUP shop, Stand Up Paddle Bend. “We’re excited to raise awareness about the BPTA’s efforts to improve the Colorado Dam and build a whitewater park at Miller Landing. That project will have a terrific effect on Bend’s economy,” she says.

Matt Purvis, Marketing Vice President of title sponsor Northwest Community Credit Union, says it was a natural decision to support the Challenge. “We celebrate everything ‘northwest.’ The Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge is the perfect place to meet our current and future members and support a great community event,” he says.

All contestants will be invited to attend a VIP pre-party, hosted by Northwest Community Credit Union, on Friday, June 17th.

Find more information about the 2011 Northwest Community Bend Paddleboard Challenge and the Paddle with Pros Clinic taught by Karen Wrenn and Chuck Patterson at http://www.BendPaddleboardChallenge.com.

The 2011 Northwest Community Credit Union Bend Paddleboard Challenge is proudly supported by Stand Up Paddle Magazine, Robberson Ford Lincoln Mercury Mazda, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, Clear 101.7, KTVZ, Fox Central Oregon, KIALOA, Premiere Paddlesurf, Stand Up Paddle Bend, and Stand Up Paddle Flatwater.

About Northwest Community Credit Union -
Northwest Community Credit Union is located throughout Oregon. We have 15 branches in local communities, but we are part of a national network that allows us to share thousands of branches throughout America. We even have 28,000 free ATMs. Our banking services range from business accounts to home loans; plus, we offer just about any savings tool or personal loan you can imagine.

Our credit union has a philosophy that local people deserve personalized, local service. So it’s only natural that we tend to sponsor local, community-involved events. When you join Northwest Community, you’re part of a not-for-profit financial cooperative, where members share resources to offer low cost loans to other members. Net profits come back to you as higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and better service. It has worked that way since the original 29 members founded our credit union in 1949. That’s Northwest of Banking.

About the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance -
The Bend Paddle Trail Alliance is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of the natural beauty of the Deschutes Paddle Trail.

About The Bend Park and Recreation Foundation -
The Bend Park and Recreation Foundation is a non-profit organization which exists to preserve Bend's livability by enhancing our community’s parks, trails and recreation programs, providing access and opportunity for all.

About Stand Up Paddle Bend and Stand Up Paddle Flatwater -
Stand Up Paddle Bend is a full-service, family-owned SUP shop. Whether you want to win races, surf big waves, shoot rapids, get in shape, just cruise, or do a little of everything, you can trust us to help you choose equipment you'll be stoked on. Located at the Old Mill Marketplace, 550 SW Industrial Way, #115. Telephone: 541.639.2655. Stand Up Paddle Flatwater is our online store: Website: http://www.StandUpPaddleFlatwater.com.

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