FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hahira, Georgia, November 10, 2021 — The 2021 First Prize winner set a new record for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia into Florida and back: Lloyd Reeves of Crescent City, Putnam County, Florida, in the St Johns River watershed. He was also generous, handing back the prize money.
All seventeen paddlers had a good time on a cool, sunny, fall morning. The Withlacoochee River water levels were just right, so everybody floated right over the one shoal. Two college paddlers from Valdosta State University CORE were sponsored by Dry Pocket Apparel and Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). WWALS thanks those and other sponsors, the other paddlers, and the silent auction bidders, for a successful fundraiser.
Of the nine female and eight male paddlers, 12 were from Georgia, and 5 from Florida. Tallahassee’s Leon County, Florida, had almost as many paddlers (4) as local Lowndes County, Georgia (6), and Tallahassee had as many as Valdosta (4 each). The farthest paddler came from DeKalb County, GA, on the other side of Atlanta.
Lloyd Reeves drove 167 miles to win the six-mile course (3 down and 3 back) in 58 minutes and 43 seconds with his accurately-labeled fastkayak.com.
That beats the previous record of 1:16:42, made last year by Jackson Buttery of Tallahassee.
New record holder Reeves took the $100 bill First Prize and handed it back as a donation. He also did that when he won the WWALS BIG Little Paddle Race in April 2018, when he also set a record for that other WWALS race.
Second place in thttps://wwals.net/pictures/2021-10-23–boomerang/”>Fourth Annual WWALS Boomerang, at 1:09:36, was Grant Herring of Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, in the Withlacoochee River watershed.
That also beats the previous record.
Elizabeth Brunner, also Valdosta and Withlacoochee River, finished four miles down and back in 1:20:46.
Russell McBride placed third at 1:24:43. from Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia, in the Withlacoochee River watershed.
First Female Solo finisher of six miles, at 2:04:25 was Melanie Stornuster of Tucker, DeKalb County, Georgia, who drove 246 miles from the Ocmulgee River watershed, by far the farthest away.
First Place for the 2-mile course was Jennifer Singleton at 1:28:10, from Lake Park, Lowndes County, Georgia, in the Alapaha River watershed.
Second Place for 2-miles was Kim Zacher at 1:28:30 of Dexter, Laurens County, Georgia, in the Altamaha River watershed.
First All Male Kayak at 1:38:26 was paddled by Laquron Morse & Andrew Jacobson of VSU CORE, in Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, in the Withlacoochee River watershed. Thanks to PCA for sponsoring one of them to enter, and Dry Pocket for sponsoring the other.
First All Female Kayak at 1:38:36 was won by Karin Zawrotny and Connie Tessmer, from Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, in the Ochlockonee and St Marks River basins.
Second farthest away, at 165 miles, were Jennifer Kangas 2:29:29 and Adam Kangas 2:42:42 from Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, in the Ocmulgee River Basin.
Winning the Slowest prize at 2:43:43 was Joelle Henry of Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, in the St. Marks River watershed.
Winning the Wrong Way prize no time were Bird and Debi Chamberlain of Lake Park, Lowndes County, Georgia, in the Alapahoochee River watershed.
Thanks to all the other paddlers. David Singleton at 1:50:53 from Lake Park, Lowndes County, Georgia, in the Alapaha River basin.
Livia Naxon at 2:23:13, from Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, in the St. Marks river basin.
David Zacher at 2:46:46, from Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, in the St. Marks River watershed.
Thanks to the many Boomerang sponsors, including Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) and Dry Pocket, both of whom paid for a paddler to enter. Thanks to VSU CORE for bringing boats to lend. Thanks to Madison Outpost Adventures for volunteering to bring boats even thought that didn’t work out, and get well soon. Thanks to Olympia Bend Shooting Range Paintball, Sunbelt Running Club, Azalea City Music Academy, Okra Paradise Farms, and Dan Phililps for the silent auction items, and to everyone who bid on them. Thanks to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority for the permit to use their park at State Line Boat Ramp; sorry power boats, come back another day.
Thanks to Adel Outfitters for the discount on the raffle kayak: raffle tickets are still available.
Thanks to the many volunteers, especially Bobby McKenzie, the Boomerang mastermind.
Bret Wagenhorst brought and managed the timeclock.
WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman took the videos.
She also staffed the WWALS booth, assisted by Monica McKenzie, Sara Jay, and Shirley Kokidko. Scotti Jay helped Bobby fix the Finish banner posts.
Dan Phillips and Debbie Smith were sweep to be sure everyone came back.
And thanks to Suwannee Riverkeeper’s dogs, Honeybun, Blondie, and Arrow, for entertaining everyone.
Arrow required some calming down due to the nearby skeet shooting.
See you all next October!
Meanwhile, don’t forget the BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, April 30, 2022.
For more WWALS outings, see https://wwals.net/outings/. WWALS members get a list of outings and events in the Tannin Times monthly membership newsletter.
Gender: 8 male, 9 female, total 17 paddlers.
5 Withlacoochee River
3 Ocmulgee River
3 St Marks River
2 Alapaha River
2 Altamaha River
1 Ochlockonee River
1 St Johns River
States: 12 Georgia, 5 Florida
6 Lowndes County, GA
4 Leon County, FL
2 Bibb County, GA
2 Laurens County, GA
1 Brooks County, GA
1 Putnam County, FL
1 DeKalb County, GA
4 Valdosta, Lowndes County, GA
4 Tallahassee, Leon County, FL
2 Macon, Bibb County, GA
2 Dexter, Laurens County, GA
2 Lake Park, Lowndes County, GA
1 Crescent City, Putnam County, FL
1 Tucker, DeKalb County, FL
1 Quitman, Brooks County, FL
See also still more pictures.
About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. Since December 2016, John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.
Bobby McKenzie, 808-445-4503, firstname.lastname@example.org
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!