Trio finishes Lake Mich. crossing

Three paddleboarders from Norton Shores completed their 80-mile journey across Lake Michigan on Monday morning.
Jul 8, 2013


Craig Masselink, 23; his brother, Trent, 19; and their friend, Ginny Melby, 21, left McKinley Beach in Milwaukee on Sunday morning and finished their trek across the lake in just under 24 hours.

"It was really hard at the beginning," Melby said. "It was a lot wavier than we had anticipated. We cut our shifts down from an hour to a half-hour, so that was a lot more doable. The last half of the trip I think we all kept the same pace."

"We are a little tired, but we feel good," Trent Masseilink said. "... It was a lot harder than we thought it would be."

The trio took turns paddling while the other two rode in a 40-foot support boat. Melby's mother and the Masselinks' father were aboard the support boat.

The last mile was especially challenging as the wind and waves kicked up just off the shoreline.

"We thought it would be a good idea to all paddle in together, but the board isn't made for three," Melby said.

The three friends are on summer break from college and were inspired to make the trip after reading a book about children sold as sex slaves in Uganda. This is their way of raising awareness and money to help save those children.

The money raised will go to the charity group Restore International.

"We are asking supporters to chip in $1 for every mile we paddled," Craig Masselink said.



40 foot support boat.... nice.


Initially when I heard about the proposed crossing I was impressed, I thought that each person was going to have his own board and paddle the entire width of the lake. I assumed they would wear a flotation device in case they fell and would rest by sitting on the board. It's not like there are lots of sharks or other dangerous creatures in our big pond. Paddling for 30 minutes at a time and then boarding a 40' yacht for dinner and drinks, video games, fun and jockularity doesn't sound like much of a "look what we did" challenging type of event. I have been involved with some pretty challenging and dangerous events over the years, this certainly was neither.

On top of really not doing very much, in my opinion, they want supporters to kick in over a $100.00 each, dollar a mile; that is ridiculous. It's nice you boys wanted to do something for the kicks of it but lets not make too big a deal about it and ask for this type of monetary support.

This was not the "Holy Cow" did you see what those guys did type of accomplishment, probably shouldn't even have made the paper in my opinion. My intention is not to rain on anybody's parade; but really...


They set out to bring awareness to child sex slaves in Uganda and they made their point. I truly don't believe that their intent was to make or break any records. I hope they raised some money and can at least make a dent in child trafficking. The size of the support boat probably should have not been mentioned in the article as it detracts from their mission.


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