WWALS Watershed Coalition

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER® WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the surface waters and groundwater of the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary, in south Georgia and north Florida, among them the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds, through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.


WWALS: BLRPR 2017 paddlers and winners 2017-04-29 [Up]

Dwight Griner of Berrien County, Georgia won for the fifth time; see also the press release.

[Dwight Griner winner closeup]
Dwight Griner winner closeup

A dozen other boats received prizes, as a record number of people paddled in the Fifth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, April 29, 2017. Tifton and Tift County had the most paddlers, but the awards show more boats from Moultrie and Colquitt County. Lowndes had the second most paddlers, and there were two people each from Cook and from far-away Houston and Harris Counties, and one from Thomas County.

This year's BLRPR included three popular new attractions:

  • Lunch grilled on the spot
  • A silent auction
  • A kayak raffle

Perhaps the food was the most popular, since everyone was hungry after racing (or leisurely paddling) down the beautiful blackwater Little River beneath cypress and pines in the springtime.

These pictures show the start at Red Roberts Landing in Cook County on the Little River and the finish at the Colquitt County landing on the lake in Reed Bingham State Park, Georgia. Thanks everyone for helping WWALS educate the public about our fabulous rivers and conserve them for everyone to use.

[Under the cypress]
Under the cypress

This was an all-hands-on-deck event for WWALS: every board member and many others too numerous to mention helped in some way, and of course Friends of Reed Bingham (FORB) and the park rangers at Reed Bingham State Park.

I would especially like to call out the BLRPR mastermind, Bret Wagenhorst; the president of FORB, Diane Walters; and Phil Hubbard, who was involved in more ways than almost anyone else.

And of course the Sponsors, several of whom contributed items for the silent auction:

  • Cook Family Wellness Center & Convenient Care Clinic
  • Phil Hubbard
  • Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, eye M.D.
  • Wilson Eye Center
  • Wild Adventures Theme Park
  • Academy Sports
  • South Georgia Pecan
  • The Potters

Many people bought tickets for the kayak raffle. You can still get your raffle tickets online. The drawing will be at the WWALS Annual Meeting, 7PM Wednesday July 12, 2017, in Valdosta, GA. You do not have to be present to win, but you will be responsible for picking up the kayak if you win.

Table of Paddlers and Winners

Place Time Name Category Award City County State
2017 BIG Little Paddle Race Results
1. 40:38 Dwight Grinersolo M kayakoverallWest BerrienBerrienGA
2. 45:47 Jay Yorksolo M kayak1st SMKAdelCookGA
3. 48:17 Phil Hubbardsolo M kayakValdostaLowndesGA
4. 48:32 Tom Pottersolo M kayakValdostaLowndesGA
5. 49:53 Tim Robinsonsolo M kayakMoultrieColquittGA
6. 58:30 Ray Cummingssolo M canoe1st SMCMoultrieColquittGA
7. 58:55 Beatriz Pottersolo F kayak1st SFKValdostaLowndesGA
8. 58:56 Nikki Yorksolo F kayakAdelCookGA
9. 59:09 Jessica Brumfield & Kirby SmithMF tandem kayak1st MFTKMoultrieColquittGA
10. 1:01:50 Dan Phillipssolo M kayakHahiraLowndesGA
11. 1:02:50 Wes Hubbardsolo M kayakValdostaLowndesGA
12. 1:06:50 Woody Weeks & Anthony WeeksMM tandem kayak1st MTKMoultrieColquittGA
?. 1:08:40 F olive kayak pink shirtsolo F kayak???
13. 1:09:45 Marco Hur & Michael MagatMM tandem kayakMoultrieColquittGA
14. 1:11:37 Ray and Patty BarberMF tandem canoe1st MFTCTiftonTiftGA
15. 1:13:38 Kelly Dekle & Paul HorstMF tandem kayakTiftonTiftGA
16. 1:14:23 Winfred Dowdysolo M kayakValdostaLowndesGA
17. 1:14:33 Michasia Dowdysolo F kayakValdostaLowndesGA
18. 1:15:21 Glen & Mary HarrisMF tandem canoeTiftonTiftGA
?. 1:16:28 M olive kayak blue shirtsolo M kayak???
?. 1:16:45 F blue kayak black shirtsolo F kayak???
?. 1:17:07 M yellow orange kayak black shirtsolo M kayak???
19. 1:18:42 Judy Shiflett & Lily RobinsonFF tandem kayak1st FTKTiftonTiftGA
20. 1:18:52 Megan Robinsonsolo F kayakTiftonTiftGA
21. 1:19:52 Carrie Vickerssolo F kayakTiftonTiftGA
22. 1:19:59 Brentley Yamnitzsolo F kayakTiftonTiftGA
23. 1:21:20 Karen & Tom JohnsonMF tandem canoefarthestPine MtnHarrisGA
24. 1:21:40 John S. Quartermansolo M kayakHahiraLowndesGA
25. 1:22:55 Alton Burnssolo M canoeCoolidgeThomasGA
26. 1:23:10 Scott James & girlsMFF 3P canoe1st 3CValdostaLowndesGA
27. 1:23:26 Kailey Jamessolo F kayakValdostaLowndesGA
28. 1:27:02 Jaree Bushsolo F kayakyoungestLake ParkLowndesGA
29. 1:27:11 Dallas Bushsolo M kayakLake ParkLowndesGA
30. 1:31:26 Sam & Sherri WrightMF tandem canoeTiftonTiftGA
31. 1:32:28 Presley & Ashley VickersMF tandem kayakTiftonTiftGA
32. 1:32:15 Laura Kate Wrightsolo F kayakTiftonTiftGA
33. 1:32:45 Larry, Alex, Amber OgdenMMF 3P canoeValdostaLowndesGA
34. 1:32:35 Luke and Colt KeyMM tandem canoe1st MMTCMoultrieColquittGA
35. 1:34:17 Gonzalo Olguinsolo M kayakOmegaTiftGA
36. 1:56:39 Randy Wallsolo M kayakWarner RobinsHoustonGA
37. 1:56:58 Tracey Wallsolo F kayakWarner RobinsHoustonGA
38. 2:??:?? James & Jerry WalkerMF tandem canoeslowest & oldestTiftonTiftGA
Totals 31 M 
23 F 
12 SMK 
10 SFK 
  5 MFTC 
  3 MFTK 
  2 3C 
  2 SMC 
  2 MMTK 
  1 MMTC 
  1 FFTK 
  4 Moultrie 
  3 Tifton 
  2 Valdosta 
  1 West Berrien 
  1 Pine Mtn 
  1 Adel 
  1 Lake Park 
  4 Colquitt Co. 
  3 Tift Co. 
  3 Lowndes Co. 
  1 Cook Co. 
  1 Berrien Co. 
  1 Harris Co. 
18 Tifton 
13 Valdosta 
10 Moultrie 
  2 Hahira 
  2 Adel 
  2 Pine Mtn 
  2 Warner Robins 
  2 Lake Park 
  1 Omega 
  1 West Berrien 
  1 Coolidge 
19 Tift 
17 Lowndes 
10 Colquitt 
  2 Harris 
  2 Cook 
  2 Houston 
  1 Thomas 
  1 Berrien 
54 GA 

#? marks a paddler who was not registered in the race. Register next time and you'll have a chance to win while helping even more!

Curiously there were no entrants from Berrien or Brooks or Lanier Counties, Georgia, and none from Florida. Looks like WWALS also needs to hold a paddle race on the Suwannee River in Florida. Maybe we'll do that this fall.


WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) as the Member of the Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River basin. WWALS is a 501(c)(3) educational charity.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!


We do not actually have a picture of Dwight Griner crossing the finish line because he got there so fast nobody was ready with a camera.

First a few videos:

The still picture labels are:

  • #Place*
  • Paddle Time*
  • Name
  • Prize, if any
  • Time* of day from the photograph timestamp
  • Computed Paddle Time* calculated from the photograph timestamp.
    As you can see it compares closely with the Paddle Time, so identification of the pictures is pretty reliable for the people who are named in the table.

* for pictures of people clocking in

Pictures are by Kat Brim and Wes Hubbard, using equipment supplied by Phil Hubbard,
except as noted:
(BW) Bret Wagenhorst
(GQ) Gretchen Quarterman
(jsq) John S. Quarterman (more in previous post)


Dwight Griner, overall winner

Jay York, 1st solo male kayak

Hubbard, Potter, Robinson

Ray Cummings, 1st solo male canoe

Beatriz Potter, 1st solo female kayak

Nikki York

Jessica Brumfield & Kirby Smith 1st mixed tandem kayak

Phillips, Hubbard

Woody Weeks & Anthony Weeks 1st male tandem kayak

Hur and Magat

Ray and Patty Barber 1st male-female tandem canoe

Dekle & Horst, Dowdy, Dowdy, Harris & Harris

Judy Shiflett & Lily Robinson 1st female tandem kayak

Megan Robinson

Carrie Vickers

Brentley Yamnitz

Karen & Tom Johnson farthest

Quarterman, Burns

Scott James & girls 1st three person canoe

Kailey James

Jaree Bush youngest

Bush, Sam & Sherri Wright, Presley & Ashley Vickers, Laura Kate Wright

Larry, Alex, Amber Ogdens

Luke and Colt Key 1st male-male tandem canoe

Gonzalo Olguin

Tracey and Randy Wall

James and Jerry Walker

Bret Wagenhorst, mastermind of BLRPR

Friends of Reed Bingham


Phil Hubbard, who supplied the prizes, the raffle kayak, the food, grilled it, and he paddled!

More pictures

Lots of boats


All the starters (except those who joined in later)

Ready on the water

And they're off!

Past the bridge

Heading to the finish line

Time to eat and raffle