This years Be Active Avon Challenge saw 58 paddle craft lining up on the Start Grids at Middle Swan Reserve on the first Sunday in August. Craft ranged from the 18 person Dragon Boats, 6 person Outrigger Canoes, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) and range of single craft doing 2 or 3 leg relays and 20 paddlers in K1s doing the iron-person kayak event. Special mention of the Bayswater Sea Scout Venturer Unit paddling the distance as a 3 leg relay in a Canadian Canoe and one board paddler doing the distance, surf Malibu style (prone paddling). Overall there was 150 paddlers taking part in the event, which covers the last 15 kilometres of the Avon Descent main race.
Entries were received from Swan Canoe Club, Champion Lakes Boating Club, Bayswater Paddlesports Club and Ascot Kayak Club. Wavemasters Outriggers and Perth Outrigger Clubs joined the Pirates and Indian Ocean Dragon Boat Clubs to provide team racing. SUPs came along via the SUP WA Association and SUP Tonic.
The day was clear and sunny with a current in the river from the upper reaches, hurrying all towards the finish line at Riverside Gardens, Bayswater. The fastest paddler, Luke E. from CRCC was home in 79 minutes and the last paddlers in just over two (2) hours. At the finish line all paddlers/teams successfully completing the Challenge where presented with the Long Brothers Medal. Canoeing WA Board Member and surf legend Ken Vidler presented the prizes on the main stage at the end of the event. Swan Canoe Club won a Lightening Kayak, donated by the Yak Shak, to aid their training program.
The Be Active Paddle Challenge is run by Canoeing WA, in conjunction with the Avon Descent. Many volunteers assisted during the day, at registration, manning check points, driving rescue boats and most important doing the race timing, these people deserve so much thanks as the event could not go ahead without their assistance.
Please see attached full results (also available on WebScorer ( httpss://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=108619 ) and the story behind the Long Brothers Medal.