2024 PADDLE BATTLE - Save the Date! 
Saturday, September 21


Thank you for supporting us for the 15th Annual Paddle Battle

In support of our ongoing work to conserve, protect and promote the Appomattox River for all to enjoy, FOLAR has organized the annual Paddle Battle on the Appomattox River since 2007.
FOLAR has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2023 Paddle Battle. The weather forecast for Saturday, September 23rd is not optimal for paddling and river activities. Rain does not typically halt the event, however, the forecasted high wind and storm surge is potentially dangerous for attendees, paddlers, and volunteers.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. FOLAR has had to cancel the event only one other time due to similar dangerous forecasted weather.

Paddle Battle event t-shirts and pre-orders will be available for pick up at FOLAR’s office on the following days/times:

Tue. 9/26 & Wed. 9/27, 3pm-6pm
Sat. 9/30 10am-11am
FOLAR Office
1964 Wakefield Ave
Petersburg, VA 23805

Or stop by our booth at the Festival of Grapes and Hops (a ticketed event):
Saturday 9/30 
Festival of Grapes and Hops
Old Towne Petersburg Harbor
277 River St
Petersburg, VA 23803

Friday 10/6 10am-12:30pm
FOLAR Office
1964 Wakefield Ave
Petersburg, VA 23805

We do not generally offer refunds to registrants as the event is a fundraiser and much of the expenses are already expended. If you have any question or concerns, please feel free to e-mail us at [email protected].

DOMINION ENERGY presents the 15th PADDLE-or-BATTLE on the scenic Appomattox River! This section of river is flatwater and tidal, and this year we're paddling DOWNSTREAM, winding through beautiful marshy areas with lots of wildlife. We welcome paddlers of ALL LEVELS, and you have a choice of a 10-Mile Leisure Paddle, a 10-Mile Race (the battle!), or 2-Mile Shorty.

Registration includes shuttle, morning snacks, lunch, t-shirt, and handcrafted awards! Finish line activities include lunch with a scenic view at the pavilion overlooking the Hopewell City Marina where we are selling beer from Trapezium Brewing Co, King of Pops popsicles, and new fun merchandise!

Event proceeds support Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) conservation and stewardship programs.

NEW FREE Community Paddle! Come by the Finish Line Festivities at the Hopewell City Marina to experience one of the biggest sources of fun our region has to offer. Outdoor rec experts from RVA Paddlesports will offer a variety of free paddling experiences appropriate for all ages and skill levels.

KAYAK RENTALS available. This year the race is going DOWNSTREAM with the outgoing tide. Register today! The registration fee will increase $10 for day-of registrations.

Properly worn PFD's are required. All participants are required to complete liability waiver. Parent/Guardian signature required for all persons under 18 years of age. Under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

INCLEMENT WEATHER NOTICE: The safety of our participants, volunteers, and staff is our primary concern. As such, FOLAR reserves the right to cancel any event at any time if we feel that the weather or conditions present an unsafe situation. In the event of inclement weather, the Paddle Battle is RAIN OR SHINE and will continue under the following circumstances:
• Rain - the event will NOT be cancelled due to rain showers alone.
• High Winds and or High Water Warning - The event will be canceled in the event of a warning.
• Lightning - If thunderstorms/lightning is forecasted for the event start, the event will be subject to cancellation.

The day prior to the event, an inclement weather update will be emailed to participants by noon.  Event updates are available on the registration website and FOLAR's social media pages. If the event is canceled, an email notification will be sent regarding the pickup arrangements for event T-shirts and merchandise purchased. Please stay aware of the weather and dress accordingly.
start Location
Rotary Park, Pocahontas Island
181 Rolfe St
Petersburg, VA 23803
Hopewell City Marina
1051 Riverside Ave
Hopewell, VA 23860
Date & Time
September 23, 2023
7:00-8:30AM Registration/Shuttles
9:00AM Leisure Paddle
10:00AM Race Starts
11:00AM Shorty Paddle
12:00PM Awards & Lunch
12:30-1:30PM Shuttles
10-MILE LEISURE PADDLE:  9:00AM start at Rotary Park on Pocahontas Island in Petersburg and finish at Hopewell City Marina. This paddle typically lasts 2-3 hours depending on the paddler and boat type. This section of river is flat water and tidal, and this year we are going DOWNSTREAM with the outgoing tide.

2-MILE SHORTY PADDLE:  RVA Paddlesports guides this easy out-and-back 2-mile paddle and a great experience for beginners. NEW this year, the shorty is hosted by our friends at RVA Paddlesports who will also provide your boat and guide. Shorty Paddle registration opens at 11:00AM at the Hopewell City Marina and finishes up in time for lunch.  REGISTER FOR THE SHORTY HERE

NEW FREE COMMUNITY PADDLE: Perfect for beginners and never before paddlers! RVA Paddlesports offers short hands-on demos between 11AM and 1:30PM by RVA Paddlesports. All equipment provided. PRE-REGISTER FOR FREE PADDLE HERE
Race Options
10-MILE RACE (THE BATTLE!): A 10:00AM start at Rotary Park on Pocahontas Island in Petersburg and finish at Hopewell City Marina. The finish line is marked by a string of hanging flags so turn the corner into the marina and keep paddling through the finish line! BEST TIME to beat is 1 hour, 20 minutes! First place handcrafted trophies will be given, one in each of the categories below. An additional trophy will be given for Fastest Overall, which anyone is eligible to win.
KAYAKS OVER 16': One person in a single that is 16 feet and over
KAYAKS UNDER 16’: One person in a single kayak that is under 16 feet
UNLIMITED: Canoes, SUPs, any craft with 2+ paddlers, skulls, rowing shells, pedal kayaks, etc. Must be human-powered and adhere to general race safety rules. Racers in this category (and in all of the above categories) are eligible to win the Fastest Overall trophy. Race director’s decisions are final.
Shuttle / Parking Options
Shuttles will run to and from the start and finish, 7:30AM - 8:30AM and 12:30PM - 1:30PM. We encourage you to take the morning shuttle.

MORNING SHUTTLE: Drop your boat at Rotary Park at Pocahontas Island in Petersburg in the morning. Drive to Hopewell City Marina to park and take the shuttle back to Petersburg to start your paddle. Shuttle starts at 7:30am. Last shuttle for leisure racers leaves Petersburg at 8:30am.
AFTERNOON SHUTTLE: Park at the launch/registration site at Rotary Park at Pocahontas Island. At the finish in Hopewell, a shuttle will take you and a trailer will return your boat to Petersburg. Last shuttle and trailer leave Hopewell at 1:30PM.
ON YOUR OWN: You leave a second vehicle at the Hopewell City Marina and proceed to Rotary Park at Pocahontas Island in Petersburg for the start with your boat. No shuttle required.
Thank you to our sponsors
Thank You to our Partners
 Join us September 23!
Paddle to preserve the Appomattox River!

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