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Sites and Scenes

Thank you to our photographic partners: the City of Portsmouth Department of Marketing & Communications, which provided two roving photographers; the City of Portsmouth Department of Museums & Tourism; and Renee Russell, official Friends photographer.

Getting the Boats, Boards and Racers Ready

Paddle Battle prides itself for providing plenty of Volunteers to Help Our Racers Get from Their Cars and into the Water (for those who want the help)

Colin McGlynn back again for a third 1st Place finish

Left, Jeannie Diaz

Eda Wu back for her 3rd year

Rebecca Randolph

Mayor Shannon Glover has raced in all of the Paddle Battles

Andrew Scarborough

Michael Hillstrom

Heading Out to the Starting Line

Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover

Colin McGlynn

Christina Rayburn in red top

Waiting to Start

Eda Wu

David Mitchell (3-time Sponsor and Racer) in grey kayak; Michael Hillstrom in red/orange kayak

Eda Wu and Jonathan King

Far right, Jeannie Diaz


Mayor Shannon Glover and Jeannie Diaz

Emily Pauler


Katie Roberts

Lindsay Goodwin (rear) and Darren Kring in tandem  kayak and Colin McGlynn in single kayak. Lindsay entered solely for the opportunity to beat her good friend Colin.

Andrew Scarborough

And They're Off!


Racing at Last

Finishing and Relaxing


Trophy Time

Rebecca Randolph, 1st Place, SUP Female, Beginner-Intermediate, Age 50+

Andrew Scrborough, 1st Place, SUP Male, Beginner-Intermediate,, Age 50+

Eda Wu, 1st Place, SUP Female, Age 20-35. Eda has raced in all three Paddle Battles and last year finished 1st in the Navy v. Coast Guard Challenge Cup.

Michael Hillstrom, 1st Place, Kayak-Male,Beginner-Intermediate, Age 36-50

The custom made Portsmouth Paddle Battle trophy

Doing it Safely

The Paddle Battle is known for its focus on the safety of our racers as they race on the busy commercial Elizabeth River. Thank you to the Portsmouth Fire Department, the US Coast Guard, Freedom Boat Club (Sponsor) and the Portsmouth Boat Club (Sponsor) for providing  on-the-water safety boats.

Above, Portsmouth Fire Department Fire Boat crew getting ready to hit the water.

Left, 2 Safety Boats, on the left from Freedom Boat Club (Sponsor) and the other manned by Portsmouth Boat Club Volunteers

Andy Sutter, Paddle Battle Steering Committee, Freedom Boat Club (Sponsor) President and head of Safety Boat operations, heading out to the water. Andy is another 6:00 a.m. Volunteer.

A reason the Paddle Battle is so focused on safety. These two tug boats are escorting a large tanker down the Elizabeth River just outside of the Race course. The Safety Boat head stays in constant contact with commercial ships transiting through the Race course.

The next to last heat was cut short, and the final heat was canceled, as thunder and lightening appeared over the southern end of the Race course. Safety Boats quickly instructed racers to get off of the water and to seek shelter at the nearest land point.

Paddle Battle is Also About Land Fun

Thank you to Tidewater Maritime Living History Association, Sprinklez Face Painting, Guitarist Dan Rosnato and DJ Eric for adding to the day's fun.

Face painter extraordinaire Sprinklez with Sprinklez Face Painting & Balloon Twisting

Left, Dan Rosnato. Dan has performed at every Paddle Battle so we forgive him for his choice of colleges.

Olde Towne Portsmouth resident Bert Haneman (in chair) with Steve Milner

Left, Steve Turner (PBC) showing off his Hammerhead Crane t-shirt

Right, Ross Turner, former Assistant Curator, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Ross has since moved on to The  National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Thank You Volunteers

It takes as many as 60+ volunteers to put on the Portsmouth Paddle Battle, with the first ones arriving on site starting at 6:00 a.m. Shown below are a few of these intrepid souls. A special thanks to the Portsmouth Boat Club (PBC)(a Paddle Battle Sponsor) and to Jim and Kathy Cullen with the Portsmouth Farmers Market (also a Paddle Battle Sponsor) for "loaning" us volunteers from their organizations.

Also a huge thanks to the Paddle Battle Steering Committee, which meets starting in January of each year to begin planning for the Paddle Battle: Gary Bahena and Jeannie McCoy
, Co-Chairs, Nettie Fischer, Michelle Wren, Andy Sutter (Sponsor), Tom Butt, Keith Toler (Assistant Director, Portsmouth Department of Museums & Tourism) and Sheila Janes.

Above from left, Jeannie McCoy (Paddle Battle Steering Committee Co-Chair) and Brenda Turner (PBC)

From left, Portsmouth Farmers Market for lending us some of their volunteers HA Chantelle Gonzales (USN), HS3 Justice Badgley (USCG), Braelea Badgley (USCG Veteran), HS3 Tyquise Parker (USCG) and HA Kirian Bisong (USN). Not shown, A1C Seth Michael Erickson (USAF) and A1C Casandra Durden (USAF).

Front row from left, Dina Butt and Andi Hutt; rear row left to right, Mark Stearns (PBC and Paddle Battle Sponsor), Brenda Turner (PBC), Jeannie McCoy and Gina Fremeau (PBC). Also pictured, two terrific Coast Guard guys who manned the Coast Guard RIB safety boat)

From left, Mick Kuaffman (PBC), Mark Stearns (PBC and Sponsor) hugging Jeannie McCoy, and Dina Butt

From left, Gina Fremeau (PBC), Merritt and Maureen Mizelle (Portsmouth Rotary Club and Sponsor) and Georgianne Mitchell (Sponsor)

From left, Keith Abernathy and Robert Fogel, Board of Directors, Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, and 2 of the 6:00 a.m. Volunteers.

Tom Butt, Paddle Battle Steering Committee, helping directi land Volunteer activities. Another 6:00 a.m. Volunteer.

From left, Gina Fremeau (PBC), Maureen Mizelle and Georgianne Mitchell

Far right, Janet Sutter (Sponsor)

Jeannie McCoy, Paddle Battle Steering Committee Co-Chair, looking concerned about some detail no one thought of in advance. Another 6:00 a.m. Volunteer.

Maureen Mizelle, Steve Milner (1st VP Friends) and Merritt Mizelle

Steve Milner and Renee Russell (official Friends photographer and Wheelhouse newsletter Editor)

Gary Bahena, Paddle Battle Steering Committee Co-Chair, Race Committee volunteer and Friends President, asking for quiet as he makes real-time race finish scoring entries: "Shhhh, I'm old and can only concentrate on one thing at a time"

From left, Race Committee members Jeff Fremeau (PBC), Gary Bahena and Russell Gettier (PBC)

From left, Race Committee Chair Matt Arel (PBC), Russell Gettier (PBC) and Jeff Fremeau (PBC)

Friends Board Member Steve Milner

Thank You Sponsors

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