Local clergyman and organizer of the Annual Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam, the Rev. Themo Patriotis, Pastor of the United Methodist Church appeared before the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting held May 3, to brief the commission on the status of the 2015 event.
The Paddle Jam is a festival in its second year of celebrating the Forgotten Coast through paddle sports, music and food. Last year the event organizers attempted to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest floating gathering of kayaks and canoes to assemble in one place, but failed short of their goal.
The record to beat last year was set in Inlet, N.Y., in September 2011, where 1,902 kayaks and canoes assembled on Fourth Lake. Since that time a new Guinness World Record has been set by One Square Mile of Hope (USA) also in Inlet, N.Y. on September 13, 2014, where 3,150 kayaks and canoes rafted up together.
“Last year we held the first annual Paddle Jam; it was the third weekend in May. Our first attempt at this we had about a thousand people that came to the festival. There were 333 boats, we didn’t break the old record, but we had a fairly good time”, Patriotis told commissioners.
On Saturday May 16, 2015, Patriotis and the other organizers, which call themselves the Forgotten Coast Paddle Club will again attempt to set a new world record on the Apalachicola River. Their target is to attract and involve over 3,500 kayaks.
The event will take place at the confluence of the Apalachicola River and the Apalachicola Bay (1 mile from the Apalachicola High Bridge) Put-in locations will be spaced out at public landing and private marinas along the Apalachicola River. Kayaks will gather and be linked by boaters arm in arm or paddle to paddle and assembled for 30 seconds.
Proceeds from the "kayak raft" event will go to helping “at risk” children, youth and families in need through the Outreach Ministries of the ASGI Cooperative Parish.
For more information on schedule, times, dates and registration visit the Forgotten Coast Paddle Club website at www.paddle2love.com.