South Australia River Paddling Marathon Report 2023 – Put it on your 2024 Bucket List
If you want to try a 3 day paddling race that tackles the amazing Murray river, the weather, wind & wildlife then for the June long weekend 2024 lock in the Riverland Paddling Marathon (RPM). The RPM is hosted by the Marathon Canoe Club of SA race details can be found here https://riverlandpaddlingmarathon.com.
This year 12 Lane Cove River Paddlers (30% of the RPM 200 field) drove the 13 hours over to race Waikerie (race HQ) to compete and paddle the 208 km of the Lower Murray River between Berri and Morgan, over 3 days. Familiar Lane Cove NSW paddling names include Ruby Arden, Don Johnstone, Wade Rowston, Duncan Johnstone (Club President) & Tony Hystek. The kayaks that paddlers used in the race ranged from Horizon Rockets through to a Mirage Double.
Each of the 3 days the race starts with handicapped waves paddling a shorter section to a river Lock, where all paddlers then regroup. Once the lock opens all paddlers commence the second stage of the day with the competitive (faster) paddlers literally racing out of the lock all the way down river to the end of the days final section. There are a range of paddling speeds across the field and most paddlers wash ride with similar paced paddlers. Each turn of the river can present a head wind (cool) or a tail wind, with the scenery and cliff walls breath taking.
This quote from Esther Wheeler (pictured below) sums up her post race out take “It’s not easy, but it is doable – and you should definitely come along next year and have heaps of fun while you are there!” Esther will also tackle the Yukon 1000 on July 15!
- By Chris Johnson