Marathon Series Race 4, Davistown (with downpour) 1 June 2024

On Saturday June 1st, 103 keen kayak marathon paddlers and their supporters from all over NSW and interstate made their way to Davistown on the NSW Central Coast to mark the first morning of Winter with a Marathon Race kindly sponsored by Redback Projects.

The weather conditions were varied, and it was the topic on everyone’s lips as Sydney and surrounds copped a drenching the night before. Upon arriving to Davistown, the water was calm and flat with a strong outgoing tide to help paddlers kick-start their race. There were also some grey, ominous clouds above which we hoped would let us stay dry until after lunch.  

After a race briefing and acknowledgement of country, the paddlers had a good understanding of the course. 103 paddlers were split into divisions based on the distance chosen and approximate speed they will complete the course.  

And then they were off!  

In quick succession the racing divisions listened out for the starter and in a flurry of whitewater and furious paddling the races were away. The course saw paddlers starting at Davistown Waterfront, heading west with tidal assistance down Cockle Channel, passing St Huberts Island to a turning mark and then back again to battle against the tide

Brisbane Waters is regarded among the marathon community as a ‘challenging’ waterway. We don’t have the flat as a tack, undisturbed waterways of Lake Burley Griffin, instead local paddlers need to deal with strong tides, wind, boat traffic (including the infamous tinnie teenagers) and seaweed which can cling and slow a kayak faster than a bag of bricks. It all builds resilience and confidence for newer paddlers. This waterway makes tough paddlers and exciting racing.

For those who opted-in, this course also included a portage option. A true test of fitness for anyone and a chance to make up some time on your competitors. The portage is always an exciting part of a kayak marathon. The spectators were lucky to witness the athleticism, thrills and spills up close.

As some of the paddlers began to finish their race, the sky opened up and the rain unleashed a drenching. Many of the paddlers still had 5-10km in their race when this happened, and many chose to paddle through the downpour – it is a wet sport after all.  

Despite the rain, it was an enjoyable morning for paddlers and supporters on Brisbane Waters with an excellent morning of close, competitive marathon racing. The Central Coast community spirit was alive as the Central Coast Marine Rescue were present in their jet skis and boat to support the event and keep a safe eye on paddlers. The Avoca Kayak Club also participated in large numbers; it was great to see many junior paddlers racing on local waters enjoying the day. 

Thanks to all Brisbane Water Paddlers and PaddleNSW volunteers and partners as well as Central Coast Marine Rescue. We would also like to thank Redback Projects for sponsoring our event. See you next year.

If you are interested in joining a local kayaking group or trying out kayaking on our beautiful waterways for the first time, please contact Brisbanewaterpaddlers@gmail.com or visit our website to find out more.  

Report by Brisbane Water Paddlers 

Fabulous video of the day available here: PNSW Marathon – Davistown (youtube.com)

Full Race 4 results via WebScorer: 2024 Marathon #4 – Davistown | Race results | Webscorer

Series results via WebScorer:2024 PaddleNSW Marathon Series | Series results | Webscorer

Images available on Flickr here: 2024-06 Marathon #4 Davistown | Flickr

Register here for the next race in the series at Woronora on Saturday 22 June via WebScorer: 2024 Marathon #5 – Woronora | Event registration | Webscorer


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