The 18th year of PaddleQuest brings the Hoarders and trash collection to center stage in the Rise of the Heroes. Teams of two or three may enter to compete with early bird registration beginning March 1st. In the past teams of three were required to be coed but no longer—gender is no longer a factor when registering a team for PQ. Teams may be two or three paddlers in either canoes or kayaks. Teams may not split up during the event.
What is PaddleQuest? This article tells the tale best . To sum it up, it is a paddling team based adventure race involving summer camp style game competition, puzzles, navigation, fantasy characters and trash collection. While speed is a factor, PaddleQuest is certainly not a race. Teams paddle from the start visiting checkpoints along the waterway and may return to the start anytime before 6 p.m. Upon their return, teams choose an alliance. Scoring takes place Saturday evening followed by entertainment. Teams that want to camp may do so at Lakeside for a small donation fee of $10.
Day 2 of PaddleQuest on Sunday is optional. In 2019 teams may still participate in the games an NOT paddle at all since the games wil be taking place right at the start. Teams will have the option of paddling to hunt down the Hermit on Sunday for big point opportunities for both them and their alliance. In the field at Lakeside, the factions will group together and compete in a variety of games in the alliance battle. The winning alliances gain favor for the next year and teams that are aligned with the winners gain a significant boost to their score. It should be noted that the 2018 Protectors (winners of PQ) The Flying Sleuths, were aligned with Kajun's College and did not win the alliance battle
There is a underlying storyline that players will directly impact based on their actions. The four factions in play for 2019 are The Cosmic Hoarders, Kajun's College of Explorers, The Lewd Druids and The Pirates. In 2018 the Pirates lost the alliance games and as a result have splintered into different groups with Jolly Green Captain Matt stationed alone at the Red Bridge while the new coming Druids have gained favor and will be advancing. Kajun's College continues to thrive although they have lost some staff and budget cuts have been impacting their course offerings. The Hoarders, led by Cosmic who found the backwaters through the portal, squeaked out a victory in 2018 and as a result they are making some changes.
This summer The Hoarders will introduce a new system of acquiring treasures as they have acquired nearly all the treasures and stashed them away in their fort. Questers will have the opportunity to play a card game call Power Draw at stations throughout the backwaters. By winning treasure cards, questers may redeem these for treasures at the Hoarder camp or they may collect the Power cards themselves for points. This game is a lite version of Quester Party created in 2018 by Cap'n Matt.