The annual Burley Griffin 24hr Paddle Challenge takes place on the first weekend of December, challenging solo paddlers and relay teams alike to complete as many 4.7km laps of Molonglo Reach, Canberra as they can in 24 hours. All crafts are welcome, and the 2019 edition saw a solid turnout of kayaks, skis and canoes from NSW and Victoria. Despite the race being called off for nine hours due to severe bushfire smoke, the camaraderie and competition was fabulous as paddlers cheered each other on to achieve their goals.
The Paddle Challenge was also the final race of the 2019 NSW Ultramarathon Series, with five races of increasing distance from September to December on some of the state’s most iconic waterways. Paddlers who achieved a certain distance across any combination of the five races earned a T-shirt with their appropriate level award from 200+ kms to 400+! Awards were also presented for the ‘furthest and fastest’ across a range of classes.
Level awards for the series:
Furthest and Fastest Paddlers:
Female Double: Anne Moore/Charly Wellard
Female Single: Ruby Ardren
Male Double: Duncan Johnstone/Jeff Hosnell
Male Single: James Pralija
Mixed Double: Frank Kingma/Annette Boath