St. James City prepares for Battle of the Paddles
With a $1,000 cash prize up for grabs, this year’s annual Battle of the Paddles is sure to attract an overflow crowd of spectators and a vast field of competitors.
Participants will take to the waters of the Monroe Canal in St. James City in homemade plywood boats to race to the finish line in hopes of taking first place.
The battle will take place Saturday at Woody’s Waterside Restaurant. All proceeds benefit the Greater Pine Island Little League.
The grand prize will be divided between the winning adult paddler and spectators. Half of the $1,000 will be presented to the winner, and the other half will be divided among those who participate in a special chance to guess the outcome of the adult races.
Prize money will be determined by the number of race entries. As of May 8, a dozen adults and children had entered to participate.
“This is a great charity that benefits the kids here on the island and we are pleased to keep it going,” said Eric Zeisloft, owner of Woody’s Waterside. “It is our hope that this event will continue to grow, and more kids and adults will get involved to support Little League.”
With a heavy focus on the children’s race, Woody’s is offering special incentives for youths. The challenge has no entry fee for ages 17 and under, and lunch and a commemorative Battle of the Paddles T-shirt will be presented to each young contestant.
The children will compete for trophies, and the participants will be honored with having his or her winning boat hung in a prominent location at Woody’s Waterside for all to admire.
Any child who wishes to participate, but is unable to construct a boat, can enter the competition as Woody’s will allow them to reuse a boat raced in a previous battle or borrow an adult boat used in the competition.
They may also use a children’s boat raced in a previous year, or seek sponsorship for help with building materials and construction.
The races will begin at noon with the children to compete first.
In addition to the race, pulled pork sandwiches and beer specials will be available in the back yard.
“We have been fortunate to get the food and beer that we will be selling outside, so all of the money from those sales will be donated to the Little League as well,” said Zeisloft.
Music will be provided by the Mango Boys beginning at 2 p.m.
There will be several 50/50 raffle drawings, with the proceeds also going to the Little League.
For more information, call Woody’s Waterside at 283-5555.