Four Make History on the Chesapeake During the 2021 Bay Paddle

Record-breaking “Firsts” Traversing the Entire Length of the Chesapeake Include: The First Female to SUP, The First Person in OC1 Canoe, First in OC2 Canoe, and First to Surfski

Annapolis, MD – Four people made history on the Chesapeake Bay during the 2021 Bay Paddle, which began on Friday, August 27, 2021 in Havre de Grace, Maryland and ended on Saturday, September 4, 2021, where the Chesapeake meets the Atlantic Ocean along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Bay Paddle was founded in 2020 by Chris Hopkinson, who made history as the first person to traverse the entire Chesapeake Bay by standup paddleboard last summer. This year, Hopkinson expanded Bay Paddle as a multi-team paddle relay benefiting both the Oyster Recovery Partnership and Chesapeake Conservancy.

Nearly 100 paddlers participated, including a team of 30 teachers from Anne Arundel County Public Schools, a group of veterans from the Valhalla Sailing Project and all the Bay River Keepers from WaterKeepers Chesapeake. In addition, several paddlers made the 200+ mile journey solo along the same route Hopkinson took in 2020.

The 2021 Bay Paddle “firsts” include:

  • Nicole Stimpson, 43 of Severna Park, Maryland – First Female to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Standup Paddleboard
  • Alessia Faverio, 29 of Asheville, North Carolina – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Surfski (a type of kayak)
  • Brian Meyer, 31, of Annapolis, Maryland – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Solo Outrigger Canoe (OC1)
  • Mark McCulloh, 59, of Annapolis, Maryland – First to Traverse the Length of the Chesapeake by Two Person Outrigger Canoe (OC2)

Bay Paddle 2021 sponsors to date include Red Bull, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Flying Dog Beer, George’s Bloody Mary Mix, REI, T. Rowe Price, Chesapeake Bay Magazine and WRNR Radio.

While the original timing of the 200+mile, 8-day relay was adjusted to accommodate the significant effects of the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the participants were able to complete the entire length of the Bay either through the relay or individual participants.

Donations are still being accepted at