Paddle Battle Has Record Breaking Year
We could not be prouder of the 13th Annual PADDLE-or-BATTLE held on Saturday, September 25, 2021. We had a record turnout and record-breaking times. This event is FOLAR’s signature recreation program, and it has so many community benefits. We’re promoting physical activity, environmental stewardship and conservation, and tourism in our region. It wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors and volunteers – THANK YOU!
This is especially true for our co-host, Hopewell Recreation and Parks. Director, Aaron Reidmiller, made sure we had top-notch staff, facilities, and parking at the Hopewell City Marina. They provided morning and afternoon shuttle service and a fun guided tour including kayak rentals, led by Brad Flynn. We are so grateful to our long-time sponsor, Virginia American Water, and Christian Volk, Water Quality Manager, who brought a great team to support the event, free water bottles, loads of drinking water, and a new, fun water mister. Everyone loved having our sponsor John Randolph Medical Center on-site to greet paddlers at the finish line with goodies. Kayak rentals were provided by Crista Manieri with Eco Trek Adventures and FOLAR Founder, Richard Taylor. This service makes our event accessible to beginners, which is what we’re all about. The Appomattox River is a place for ALL to enjoy.
Thank you to the Reynolds family for hosting the lemonade stop on the back-end of the course – it was much appreciated by the paddlers. Lunch is always a high point of the event. Volunteers Shay Samuels and Kenny Moore cooked for nearly 200 paddlers, friends and family, and fellow volunteers. River City Pepsi generously donated lunch beverages.
VIEW EVENT PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK! We are so grateful to the support of Petersburg Area Regional Tourism for their video and advertisements. Daniel Jones Foto and Josh Vaughan with D-Tog Productions Drone Photography provided their services pro bono. Thank you to everyone who promoted the event online.
We received great feedback this year! Here is what kayaker Dave Dolak had to say on social media: “Thank you @folarva for running one of the best organized races with the nicest people in the state of Virginia. Y’all were warm and welcoming to a couple of outsiders. We will recruit many more to support your race and conservation efforts next year and for years to come.” Watch Dave the Kayaker’s video and review of the event on his website!
Here is a breakdown of our paddlers, who travelled from across the region for this unique, fun event:
- 161 registered – our biggest turnout ever!
- Paddlers came from across Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, and as far away as Michigan and Florida, with a total of 41 ZIP codes.
- 30 racers battled this year – another record!
Each first-place finisher in the categories below received a handcrafted wooden trophy made by our board member, Paul Reynolds, and his son Patrick Reynolds. It’s truly a treasured keepsake. Congratulations to our 1st place finishers!
- Dave Dolak, Men 50 & Over – 1 hour 20 minutes – the new record!
- Jim Gould, Men 49 & Under 1 hour 36 minutes – previous record-holder
- Shelli Schinkus, Women 49 & Under – 1 hour 37 minutes
- Sue Scanlan, Women 50 & Over – 1 hour 49 minutes
Thank you to our paddlers, promoters, sponsors, and volunteers for helping to make the 13th Paddle Battle a success! We can’t wait to see you all again next year!