A band of volunteers arrived early on Sunday the 7th of May, eager to get the course and event areas set up, oversee parking and general meet-&-greet duties. As the sun rose, the sky became ominous and the wind started to build. To minimise the impact of the SW wind, the Race Committee made the decision to alter the long course and change the wave start times. The short course was not altered as the course hugs the shoreline and is largely protected from a SW wind.
Despite detailed planning not everything went according to plan. A combination of bad weather, inexperienced paddlers, a film crew on the course, some long course paddlers going off course and a turning buoy breaking its mooring created some challenging conditions for the on-water safety team.
Regardless of the weather, despite the on-land volunteers standing in the rain, despite the on-water crews getting very cold, everyone made it the finish line safe and sound.
We would, however, like to acknowledge that there were a number of issues on the course that kept the safety boats busy, and some racers didn’t paddle the official distance. The conditions required us to prioritise safety above all else. As such, the results are what the volunteer timekeeping team recorded as boats came across the line.
The Race Committee and the PNSW Harbour Racing Committee are currently reviewing recommendations made by the Race Director and Race Manager.
Of the 101 entries, 96 paddlers competed in the race (22% were female)
- Long Course: 66 paddlers in 60 boats (54 single skis, 1 triple ski, 1 double skis, 2 OCs and 1 OC2). There was 1 DNF.
- Short Course: 28 paddlers in 28 boats: (26 single skis, 1 double ski and 1 kayak)
There were 5 juniors – 3 in the Long Course and 2 in the Short Course.
The Sydney CBD, Port Botany and airport backdrop make this race unique but, for the second year in a row, we had a special surprise for the paddlers. The highlight of the race for some of the long course paddlers was being escorted by a pod of Dolphins.
Another treat was a team from Manly paddling a triple ski.
Long Course – fastest paddlers:
- Junior ski: Stephen Carcary (1hr 5min 6 sec) then Julian Glew, Angus Jarolimek
- Female ski: Jasmine Locke (1hr 10min 31 sec) then Montannah Murray, Sara Hawkins
- Male ski: Ziko Vesely (1hr 3 min 45 sec) then Trent Martin, Tony Haines
- Double ski: Pauline Findlay / Don Johnstone (1hr 11min 19sec)
- Triple ski: Suzie Rhydderch/Ron Schroeder/S McKinnel (1hr 08 min 17sec)
- OC1: Matthew Spies (1hr 17min 17 sec) then Dean Akuhata
- OC2: Candice Heine / Norman Heine (1hr 22 min 2 sec)
Short Course – fastest paddlers:
- Junior ski: Tom Maker (55min 39sec) then Jayden Beaumont
- Female ski: Laura Lee (59min 39 sec) then Donnae Distin, Eleni Batten
- Male ski: Hubert Wiest (52min 43 sec) then Gary Hancock, Peter Grimes
- Fastest double ski: Gonda Kellermann / Charl Kellermann (55min 32) then Gavin Clark / Liam Clark, Justin Lennon / Peter Holz
- Other Craft (kayak): Tim Griffiths (1hr 12 min 8 sec)
The full results can be viewed at: 2023 Harbour Racing # 2 – Dolls Point Classic | Race results | Webscorer
The series results can be found at: 2023 PaddleNSW Harbour Racing Series Point Score | Series results | Webscorer
Race photos thanks to Mark Sundon, Brook Mathews & Annette Mathews can be found at: 2023-05 Harbour #2 – Dolls Point | Flickr
Enter now for Race 3, Iron Cup 17 June via Webscorer: 2023 PaddleNSW Harbour Racing Series | Series registration | Webscorer
Happy volunteers and race officials, happy event. We can’t put this event on without you. A very special shoutout to the boat crews who had a difficult time out on the water. Thank you.
An unsolicited message from SSCC club member and 1st time volunteer, Michael:
“The morning weather before the race was great, then just after the racing had started, Mother Nature decided to have a ‘hissy fit’ and unleashed her wrath on us, not happy Jan! At least us on the land could seek some type of protection, I pity the ones manning the safety boats. Low and behold, you wouldn’t believe it, after the race had finished, presentation was over and everything was packed up in the icy wind and rain……. Mother Nature really does have a sense of humour, so she decided to take a deep breath and calm down, she parted the clouds and stopped the winds. Mother Nature did not disappoint in her wrath, she claimed two anchors and blew a turning buoy against the airport runway, which caused [Race Manager] Annette to make plenty of frantic calls to authorities. Overall a great successful event considering the weather by Dolls Point & SSCC.”
A special thank you to the Marine Rescue crew from Botany Port Hacking (Solander). Your support was invaluable, especially in helping us figure out how to get permission to retrieve the buoy from the runway rocks.
2023 Dolls Point Classic Race Manager
Vice President Sutherland Shire Canoe Club