Be Active Avon Challenge
7 August 2016
After several weeks of sorting out combinations, training hard, organising Escorts and Support Crew, the day finally arrived for the Start of this year’s Avon Challenge. It was good to see many paddlers going to other clubs to train with their teammates.
The event was supported by Ascot Kayak Club, Bayswater Paddle-Sports Club, Canning River Canoe Club, Champion Lakes Boating Club, Fremantle Outrigger Canoe Club, Hurricane Paddling Crew, Indian Ocean Dragon Boats, Mandurah Ocean Club, Perth Outrigger Canoe Club, Swan Canoe Club, SUP WA, Wavemasters Outrigger Canoe Club and West Coast Outrigger Canoe Club . Paddlers had a choice of 3 leg relay, 2 leg relay and Iron Person over the 15 km course on the Swan River.
On the Start Grids, 120+ paddlers spread across Guppy Kayaks, ICF K1s, SUPs, Outrigger Canoes and Dragon Boats. The SUP class racing over the full course was first away and they were joined by the 3 leg Sup team, they were followed 2 minutes later by the Guppy Teams starting their 3-leg relay. The Two leg teams classes had to share their start with Single Outriggers. The Dragon Boats (with 20 paddlers) and the 2 person Outriggers gave a display of controlled power as they too raced to be in the lead under the bridge. The 6 person Outriggers were off next, they take up a lot of space in the narrow channel under the bridge, which made fascinating viewing as the jostled for front position. The elite class of the day was the Iron Persons ICF K1 Class. This group of young paddles were “chomping at the bit” on the start line and took off in a flurry of spray as they raced to catch and overtake all that had started before them.
At Riverside Gardens all craft finished between the rotunda and a buoy before they had to do a right-hand turn into the beach to collect their Long Brother medals. Neil Long was there on the beach to present all finishers with their Long Brothers Medal. With the Finish line at the same place as the iconic Avon Descent and the City of Bayswater Family day, there were activities for all to enjoy at the end of their race. Paddlers received their Prizes and certificates on the main stage, presented by Neil Long and Richard Lowther, President of the Canoeing WA Board.
This event would not have been possible without the assistance of Peter Martin and all the Parents and helpers that manned the Registration, Checkpoints and Finish line as well as the on the water escorts and John Tomczack, Bronwyn Martin and Jess Hariss in the power boats providing back up. Judy Darbyshire and Ian Quinn for sweep kayakOur thanks to you all.
The Avon Challenge is sponsored by Be Active , The Long Brothers ( Finishers Medals )