PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – In just three days, you’ll witness a battle for the ages in Portsmouth! The 3rd annual Portsmouth Paddle Battle takes place Saturday, September 9. It’s a series of races on the Elizabeth River.
Participants race to the finish line on standing paddle boards, in kayaks, and even canoes! Gary Bahena is the president of the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. That organization sponsors the event.
He says there will be a number of children’s activities like face painting and coloring. There will be a band, a DJ, adult beverages, food, and much more.
“All proceeds go to support the Shipyard Museum and the Lightship Museum. The proceeds for the last two years have gone on a project that we’re very excited about. It’s our oral history project. We’re interviewing current and past workers of the Naval Shipyard. We’ve gotten people back to the late 40s, early 50s so far. We’ve interviewed multi-generations, moms and kids that worked there, dads and kids that worked there, and what’s so exciting about it is, all the interviewing, the taping, all your work, is being done by the TV production students at I.C. Norcom High School,” said Bahena.
He says it’s a great opportunity for students and the museum.
“The proceeds that we use go mainly to sponsor special workshops for (the students), so they can learn the difference between doing journalistic interviews and oral history interviews. The teachers for that include a Smithsonian expert.”
Bahena says one of the big races of the Paddle Battle is the Challenge Cup.
“We’ve invited the five military commands in Portsmouth proper, the Naval Shipyard, the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Coast Guard 5th Fleet, and Coast Guard Atlantic Area, to challenge each other and to come out and race against each other. The winner gets a trophy. The name of the overall winner goes on the permanent trophy that is displayed in the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.”
The Portsmouth Paddle Battle is Saturday, September 9, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 a.m. at the High Street Basin in Olde Towne. To register, click here.
It’s important to note that online registration closes Thursday, September 7, at 9 a.m.