Windsor Orange Paddle for the SES

The PaddleNSW Marathon series reached the halfway mark on a high with race 5 on the Hawkesbury River at Windsor on Sunday 29th May. The day started off a little misty with a slight chill in the air but when the mist lifted it turned out to be a beautiful autumn day with sunshine and no wind.

With the Hawkesbury region being heavily impacted by the recent floods, the host club, Windsor Paddlesports Club, decided to try to show the marathon paddling community’s support for the emergency services and specifically the SES, not only in the Hawkesbury but around the country for all their tireless efforts. This paddle was designated the Orange Paddle with the request to wear something orange and support the SES with a gold coin donation. In true paddler spirit, everyone went out of their way to support. There was orange on display all over the riverbanks and on the river. The SES provided two rescue boats and teams on the day. It was fantastic to have them at the race to help but also to witness all our support for their cause. The donations kept flowing in from all the generous paddlers and spectators on the day, raising approximately $280.

The race itself went off well with 78 boats taking to the water in 12 starts ranging from the 5km to 20km race options. The number of paddlers was unfortunately down on previous years, but the racing and enthusiasm of the participants made up for the reduced numbers.  The course consisted of 5km laps around a protected section of river which headed up stream from the start line for approximately 2km before turning back downstream towards the new Windsor bridge. The near perfect conditions provided for good speeds and overall fast times. Division 1 tackled the 100m sandy beach portage which provided additional action for all the spectators

There was a coffee van on site throughout the race. Many paddlers headed over to the Boathouse Café at the park for lunch or into the historic town of Windsor following the race to socialise and celebrate their success with their club mates.  All in all, it was a lovely day to be out on the water and to be able to support the SES at the same time was a bonus for everyone.

Next in the series is the picturesque Nepean River for Race 6 – the Penrith leg on the 19th June 2022.

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