2024 Dolls Point Classic Race Report – Harbour Racing #2

Sunday 19 May

The Race Committee had their fingers and toes crossed watching the weather forecasts in the days leading up to the 2024 Dolls Point Classic. If the BOM had it right, the significant wind would abate just hours before the race and we would have good racing conditions.

The day before the race saw gale force SW winds on Botany Bay. While the wind had started to ease, the average wind speed at the airport was still 27kt at 6pm the night before the race. The Race Committee discussed numerous course modifications and hoped that the wind behaved itself and eased by morning so the race could go ahead safely.

A band of volunteers arrived early on Sunday the 19th of May, eager to get the course and event areas set up, oversee parking and general meet-&-greet duties. We were relieved to have sensational race conditions. Blue sky and a SW wind at around 12-15Kt meant we could conduct the race safely. The conditions were doable for all levels of experience but would still offer a bit of a challenge for the paddlers. Given the wind direction, we reversed the long course direction to enable the paddlers to have the wind to their backs as they headed across the bay towards the airport runway. The short course was not altered as the course hugs the shoreline and is largely protected from a SW wind.

This year we had a safety boat lead out each of the three start waves and two experienced paddlers on a ski and a kayak sweeping the course supporting the long and short course tail enders. We followed PD’s example and the safety boats all had large flags so they were easily recognisable to the paddlers. All up, 10 club members provided on water support to the paddlers.

Entries were down on previous years. The weather leading up to the event would have been a contributing factor. On the day, 64 entries competing in 57 craft were on the water. 25% of the paddlers were female. There were no juniors participating this year. There were six DNS entries.

  • Long Course: 44 paddlers in 39 boats (34 single skis, two double skis, one OC2 and two OCs). 23% of the paddlers were female.
  • Short Course: 20 paddlers in 18 boats: (14 single skis, two double skis, three OC1s and one kayak). There was 1 DNF. 30% of the paddlers were female.

58 (92%) paddlers registered as paddling for a club.

Long Course:

Fastest overall was Trent Martin with a time of 59:01, followed closely by Ben Constable then Cade Barnes.

  • The fastest:
    • Female (in a single ski): Montannah Murray (1:07:44)
    • Double: Bruce Moller / Lee Wright (1:03:54)
    • OC1: Damo Staunton (1:09:52)
    • OC2: Katie Oetsch / Brian Willett (1:24:23)

Short Course:

Fastest overall was Mark Moro / Robert Beilharz from the host club SSCC, with a time of 48.41, followed by Gonda and Charl Kellerman then Chris Matthews.

  • The fastest:
    • Female (in a single ski): Renata Bruynzeel (53:58)
    • Male (in a single ski): Chris Matthews (50:21)
    • Kayak: Tim Griffiths: (1:02:03)
    • OC1: Matthew Spies (52:43)

The full results can be found at: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=352354

Race photos can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/paddlensw/albums/72177720317097138/

Thanks to all the volunteers and host clubs Sutherland Shire Canoe Club and Dolls Point Paddlers

Entries are now open for the inaugural Jervis Bay Race in the Harbour Series – the JB Run – Race 3 on Saturday 29 June in glorious Huskisson hosted by Makai Paddlers. Enter here via WebScorer: 2024 Harbour Racing #3 – The JB Run | Registration admin | Webscorer

Annette Matthews, 2024 Dolls Point Classic Race Manager, Vice President Sutherland Shire Canoe Club

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