Brisbane Waters Open : Luke Eltham reports

What  a day! What a Location! Race 7 – PNSW Harbour Series – Brisbane Waters

With close to 100 competitors on the water, we couldn’t of asked for a better way to finish off the PNSW Harbour series then on the scenic and pristine waters on the stunning Brisbane Waters. Hosted by Brisbane Water Paddlers the pace was as predicted for the start with the Doubles Challenge Cup (first double to the first turn can) up for grabs.

With the film crew on the shore line everyone was keen to get a blade in the water. Congratulations to the ultimate duo of Cameron Tunbridge & Shane Tagliabue who not only took out the Doubles Challenge but held their blistering pace to take the win on the day.

The 15km long course was won by  Jamie Mc Crudden (Male) and was Georgia Sinclair (Female), the 10km short course was won by Tony Hystek (Male) and Chloe Hoy Daniela (Female). Once Again was great to the youth of the sport showing class with Fletcher Armstrong taking the win in the U/18 long course where he was setting the pace at the start for the opens along with Tamsyn Gould winning the U/18 Female short course.

A special thanks to the volunteers on the day, with the luxury of lead boat setting a clear course and outline for the race so all paddlers could return safely for the amazing cakes and fruit supplied by the host club.

Lucky paddlers were recipients of some great prizes including a Vaikobi prize pack, PFD’s kindly supplied by Nordic Kayaks, a restaurant voucher to Acqua Fresca from Allwave & GTG Living Water, super comfy and stylish thermal wear from AZUR ocean wear and gift vouchers to Pro Kayak. These gifts are greatly appreciated by everyone, Thank you very much to our sponsors for the series and events.  The event would not be such a great success without your ongoing assistance and attendance, we are all very grateful.

Congratulations to all competitors who attended races throughout the series and where lucky enough the get a trophy to present to their family and friends! J

Race Results


Stroke the Lion : Race No. 6 Michele Parker reports

“Stroke the Lion” at Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach was Race 6 of the 2019 Carbonology Harbour Series. Hosted by the Manly Warringah Kayak Club, a big day was anticipated with the Perpetual Mike Snell Trophy for the outright fastest singles male and female paddlers and the Carbonology Sport Ski draw both up for grabs.

The predicted strong westerly winds prevailed creating a challenge for all paddlers and organizers. This left no choice but to avoid “stroking the Lion” this year and running the long course inside Pittwater to try and make the best of the wind direction and runs.

The beach start created difficulties for some trying to jump into boats being blown around by strong winds which persisted to the first buoy. Some relief was enjoyed from here with protection by the headlands and then more challenges on the home run with cross chop, some runners and plenty of sun glare making it difficult to see the finish. Thank goodness for the lighthouse on Barrenjoey Headland.

The 14.5km long course was won by Cade Barnes 1:08:42 closely followed by Luke Eltham 1:08:48 and Jamie Mc Crudden 1:09:04. The female winner was Georgia Sinclair 1:16:27 with Carla Papac so so close at 1:16:28. Third went to Nicki Vesely 1:32:22.

The 10km short course was won by Todd Cunningham 56:16, second Riaan Bredell 58:14 and third Ziko Vesely 1:00:04.The female winner was  Sue Hobbs 1:04:47, second Jacque Grimes 1:06:50 and third Michele Parker 1:07:34. Sue had the thrill of being accompanied by a beautiful dolphin along Coasters Retreat creating a magical experience for her.

The Mike Snell Perpetual Trophy was won by Cade Barnes and Georgia Sinclair.

The Carbonology Sport Ski was won by a very lucky Jake Wilson. Thank you to Jill and Brett Greenwood for their sponsorship this year and kind donation of this beautiful ski.

Fortunate paddlers were recipients of some great prizes including a Vaikobi prize pack, PFD’s from Nordic, a restaurant voucher to Acqua Fresca from Allwave & GTG Living Water, thermal tights from Azure ocean wear and gift vouchers to Pro Kayak from Matt Blundell. These gifts are greatly appreciated by everyone, Thank you.

A big thank you to Sioux Fine who provided us with some much needed sustenance and warmth with her delicious pumpkin soup. And thank you to the Manly Waringah Kayak Club volunteers who did a great job of organizing this event and showing up in freezing conditions with a smile on your faces.

The final race at Davistown in a fortnight is going to see quite a few paddlers fighting it out for places in the series. Looking at the point scores to date, there are some very close paddlers which should make for some terrific times. See you there.

Race Results


The Iron Cockatoo : Race #5 Tony Ruane Reports…

This will be my first Iron Cockatoo and my 4th year paddling an OC1 so it’s all new to me. 

I’d be out paddling anyway so may as well race and have fun in a well run event with other like minded people in some of the best waterways in and around Sydney.

The outrigger season doesn’t start  until 31st of August so the Harbour Series gives us the chance to up the intensity for some solid winter training . 

Rough game plan is to pull in behind the ski’s then paddle like the clappers until I’m stuffed and the most important thing of all , have fun !

Today is the day. Weather is looking  good except for a thick pea-soup fog that has blanketed Sydney . Expecting it to warm up  once the sun burns through. Wind is almost non existent , tide going out. 

Got to Birkenhead about 6.30 , parking spots are filling up fast but it’s not too bad and free at least for a couple of hours. I scored a good  spot with an easy walk  to  Salton reserve.

 Set up , register, all set to go and looking forward to a great morning of racing. Coffee run at Birkenhead and I’m all sorted. 

Had to wait a while for the fog to lift before race start  . Race director was keeping a close eye on conditions which seemed to improve once he took his sunglasses off. 

 Still a bit foggy as we took off around Spectacle island then around the old cranes and historical buildings on Cockatoo island before heading down the straight , under Iron Cove bridge and around Rodd island . The sun had well and truly broken through by now and it was a cracker of a day. Head up past the marina at Birkenhead then do it all again. 

Congratulations to Georgia Sinclair 1:09:31 first female across the line in the long course surf ski and to Brett Greenwood 1:03:02 first male. 

And well done to Ella Beere 1:00:35 and Todd Cunningham 54:13 first female and male short course surf ski.

Fiona Rae and Grant Kretzmann snuck home on the double surf ski 1:07:28.2 with Darren Tye and Spencer Richards hot on their tail with a time of 1:07:28.8. What an epic tussle.

It was a really good morning of racing with near perfect paddling weather and I enjoyed every minute. So good to see a few OC’s having a crack. More of a race against the clock for us but all part of the fun . 

Thanks Pacific Dragons for putting on such a well run event. 

Looking forward to the “Stoke the Lion”race 6 of the Harbour Series , July the 13th . Bring it on.

Race Results

Photos and More Photos(Courtesy Kerry Davenport)

The Hacking Classic : Race #4 Justine O’Connell reports…

The Hacking Classic hosted by the Cronulla Sutherland Kayak Club on Saturday 15th June 2019 is an iconic event, steeped in history,  and one not to be missed on the paddling calender. And the reason for this, the pristine waters of Port Hacking make for a blissful mornings paddle. 

Unlike previous races in the Harbour Series, there was no weed, no dodging giant jellyfish or pesky ferries, no wind, no exorbitant parking fees, no parking meters, no parking rangers, did I mention the parking was FREE all day, no putting up tents at the crack of dawn for organisers(there is existing infrastructure) and a coffee shop with all the trimmings across the road. The sun was shining on this picture perfect day and when I saw the sweet little putt putt Curranulla 
Ferry, commissioned in 1939 and now the oldest commuter ferry in Australia, leaving the shores of Gunamatta Bay for Bundeena, it was like stepping back in time to the days of old. It truly is “God’s country” down here, as the locals say. 
The perfect location to host a paddle race.

The anticlockwise course snaked it’s way through crystal clear water, where you could see the sandy bottom most of the way, past beautiful homes of Burraneer, around the Maianbar sand bar and onwards to Lilli Pilli where the turn can for the long course could be seen in the distance. The short coursers had peeled off earlier just after Maianbar. The outgoing tide made the run back to the channel slightly easier but upon reaching the two turn cans off Bass and Flinders Point, the lack of swell outside, unlike the previous weeks, was slightly deflating as there was not a single runner to be caught on the way back in. It was a race where you had to paddle the entire 15km without any help from wind chop or ocean swell. 

We were all lined up at the start eagerly awaiting the MV Curranulla’s departure so we could get the race started. She goes at a top speed of 7 knots so the organisers made us wait a few minutes so no one could wash ride her down the channel. 

The doubles took off first with David Little and Pauline Findlay taking the long course win in a time of 1hr 6mins 59secs and Lee-Anne Anderson and Nigel Carson winning the short course in 59mins 15secs. 

Next up was the singles long course. It was a close race with the two lead paddlers splitting from the rest of the group and finishing with a gap of 3 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. The overall winner was again Luke Eltham beating Jamie McCrudden by only 5 seconds. 

The leading ladies stayed close to each other yet again with Georgia Sinclair taking out the women’s long course in a time of 1hr 10mins 22secs just beating Carla Papac by 9 seconds and Montannah Murray coming in close behind in 3rd place in a time of 1hr 11mins 5secs. These ladies are having a terrific time paddling against each other. Well done girls. 

The mens short course was won by James Haigh in a time of 53 mins 20 secs and the womens by Daniela Angela Torre in 57mins 36secs. 

A local dual was had between the two Cronulla six man outrigger canoe teams with both chomping at the bit on the start line. At various points along the course, the teams could be heard yelling at each other providing some light entertainment for the serene paddlers. The win was taken by the Myhill5 team(599) by 3 minutes. 

The youngest competitor in the race was 14 year old Isaac Moran who completed the short course and the oldest competitors were two 66 year olds Paddlepop Gillett, presumably an alias, and Gary Gilchrist proving that paddling is a sport to be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart. The sport offers paddlers the benefit of a cardiovascular workout with few injuries allowing you to paddle on into your twilight years. 

The next race in the Harbour Series is the Iron Cockatoo at Drummoyne on 29th June. Hacking Classic Race 4 : Justine O’Connell reports

Race Results

Series results

Race Photos


As the dawn broke on Saturday 25th May 2019 a dedicated squad of volunteers and sponsors could be seen erecting a little village of marquees for registration, paddling accessories and sparkling new skis for sale, ready for the steady flow of competitors arriving in keen anticipation of a great event which was about to unfold. Tony Hystek and Maya Gibson could be seen setting up the rego while Pat Langley was setting up the Vaikobi stand and Jill and Brett Greenwood were putting up the Carbonology and Vajda displays. A picture of energy!

Helen Morrow of Paddlecraft, the event director, welcomed the paddlers and Tony Hystek gave his usual stern warnings about fair play and not breaking the start.

The start was in the channel opposite Haystack Point. The course was clockwise across to the South of Scotland Island keeping outside all the moored boats. Skis took a course close to the boats all the way round the island and the conditions and chop changed slightly as you went around. Long course did a lap completely around Scotland Island first and then headed North to Woody Point and then on to Longnose Point. At each of those was the pink PaddleNSW cones. Then there was the long run back to Rowland Reserve with the breeze behind and some boat washes to contend with. The finish was between the two Carbonology banners on the beach at Rowland reserve. The short course was the same except the was no first lap around Scotland Island. A picturesque, different course and it was good to see a wide range of paddlers from the grizzly old regulars like Paddlepop Gillet and Gazza Gilchrist to plenty of keen newcomers. Apparently there were still opportunities to get lost and take the wrong course!

Long course doubles were first off and soon got into a cluster of 4 doubles, James Pralija and Matt Windon, Mario and Nikki Veseley, Cam Middleton and Tracy Wilson, Fiona Rae and Grant Kretzman and they eventually came in in that order. James and Matt came in second overall in a time of 1 hour 3 minutes and 53 seconds, 31 seconds behind the Overall winner, Luke Eltham.

The next start was the long course singles. The paddlers soon settled into clusters.

At the elite singles level Dave Coward noted that there were about 6 in the leading cluster and in the melee paddlers were getting spat out of the group every so often and left behind. That group was Luke Eltham, Brett Greenwood, Jamie McCrudden, Dave Coward, Paul Stone and Matt Rees. Luke managed to get away from the fleet by less than a minute and there was only a little over 2 minutes between the first 4 home.

There was a great competition in the women’s 19 – 39 ski class with Georgia Sinclair coming in 7 seconds ahead of Carla Papac with Montannah Murray only another 10 seconds behind that. All three came in in a very creditable 1 hour and 12 minutes.

We have to take note of the performances of the very young and the very old! There were 7 paddlers in the over 60s skis, led by Gary Hancock back at his best in 1 hr 12 minutes and 22 seconds, ahead of Peter Grimes and the irrepressible Paddlepop Gillett on the virtual podium. At the other end of the spectrum in the under 18 skis was Fletcher Armstrong in an amazing time of 1hr 9 minutes and 20 seconds over Ben Rees, Ashby Allen and Ziko Veseley.

There was a single start for all short course paddlers. Jana Osvald, who went on to do a time of 1 hour 16 minutes in the women’s surfski 50+ says the start was orderly and smooth. She said it was a lovely day for a race and she was intrigued at the number of jelly fish she kept on hitting with her paddle. She was pleased to be definitely not last. She was quicker than 3 others! Well done Jana.

First across the line in the short course was James Haigh in the surfski 19-39 in a very creditable time of 51 minutes 54 seconds, almost two minutes ahead of Isaac and Peter Moran in second place in a surfski double with Freya Alston, in the Open surfski 19-39 coming in third. 

Mike Lieberman who came in 4th out of 9 in the short course surfski men’s 50+ noted that quite a few short course paddlers, including himself, went for a swim because they were disturbed by the unexpected Westerly gusts and boatwashes.

Scott Powell, who came in 10th overall in the surfski men’s 50+ was just rounding the pink buoy at Woody Point when a combination of wind and boat wash unexpectedly tipped him in! He got himself safely back into the ski and shortly after, a girl also doing the short course paddled past him and asked him “Can you tell me where Scotland Island is?”  I’m sure she has benefitted from navigating this race! We can all reflect that you can’t take anything for granted as you gain experience in the Harbourseries.

Mike is managing the forthcoming “Stroke the Lion” event and suggests that paddlers use the time between now and then to hone their open water skills because the long course will be around Lion Island. “Stroke the Lion” will test our skills

Thanks to the Race hosts Paddlecraft, to the Open Water Committee of PaddleNSW and to the sponsors:

Carbonology Sports

Vaikobi Ocean Performance Gear

Azure Ocean Wear

Nordic Kayaks


Allwave GTG Livingwater

Banksia Arborcare 

See you all at the Hacking Classic on the 15th June.

Scotland Island Showdown Race Results

Scotland Island Photos

   2019 Dolls Point Classic Race : Mal Odgers reports…

The Dolls Point Kayak Club hosted their popular event again this year with 120 paddlers registered and 110 on the water. The weather was calm with light NW with expectations of increasing to 15Kn north. The morning started chilly as we all entered onto the well-located parking area for chat and prep.

Following the well organised registration some took to the water for a warm up and inspection of the much anticipated first turning marker with Jezza noting strong incoming tide. The well organised race briefing followed at 8am with the 10Klm short course turning can at Novatel whilst the 14Klm Long course turning 90 degree at entrance to Cooks river heading east along runway then turning 90 degree again for the straight run home.

Three starts were had with Long course doubles leading off followed by long course singles and lastly short course. Tony Hystek voice was a feature at the start successfully containing the line jumpers. With the doubles away the single long course contenders started in a flurry with Tony Haines noting he hit 20Klm off standing start, so the pace was on! The participants in all three starts settled well into their groups with wash riding and turning buoy tactics much considered during the long straight-line hauls.

Long course female line honours were Montannah Murray first 1:15:250, Danielle McMahon 1:17:26.9 second followed by Suzie Rhydderch third in a time of 1:22:17.0

Male long course line honours went to Luke Eltham 1:05:11.1 followed closely by Cade Barnes 1:05:35.0 and Brett Greenwood in third place with a time of 1:06:07.7.

Short course female winner was Samantha Johnson 56:04.4 with second place only 5 seconds behind going to Sue Hobbs 56:09.08. Third place Michele Parker with a very respectful time of 56:55.6.

Male short course was taken out by James Haigh on a spec ski in a very fast time of 49:44.08 with Mal Odgers hot on his heals at 49:52.2. Third place short went to Riaan Bredell in 51:33.8.

Many thanks to all the organisers for hosting what is a great event on a lovely patch of water, well all be back next year!

Pittwater Classic : Andrean Duffy reports…
Under wet a dreary skies, the 2019 Harbour Series kicked off with the Pittwater Challenge from Bayview on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
The rain didn’t impact the turnout or the enthusiasm however, with 110 paddlers heading out for the 8km short and 14km long course.
The rain eased and paddling conditions were favourable for a safe and fast race, with little wind and chop out on Pittwater. The local jellyfish population were out in force forming the bulk of the spectatorr crowd!. Paddlers were hopeful for a forecast northerly wind to help on the return leg, but it didn’t eventuate until much later in the day. The winning long course double crew of Byron Chadwick and Tinus Koekemoer brought home line honours in a fast 1.03.17, and Luke Elman was the first soloski paddler over the line in 1.03.39, followed by Cade Barnes and Jamie McRudden. Young kayak superstar Nicci Vesely won the female long course in 1.15.48, followed by Danielle McMahon and Caroline Marschner. The winning short course double crews of Colin Biggin and Luke Hayes brought line honours in 45.51 followed by by Ian Heath John Nicotra, then Isaac and Peter Moran. James Haigh was the first solo ski paddler over the line in 50.27 followed by Riaan Bredell then another young Vesely, Ziko. Michele Parker won the female short course in 58.17 followed by Joy Robinson then Leisa Aitken. Short course mixed doubles was one by Lee Anne Andersen and Nigel Carson followed by young Liberty with dad Matt  Blundell. The Series moves to the other end of Sydney on Saturday 6th, with #2 race taking place at Dolls Point. We look forward to another good turnout and an exciting race season ahead.

Pittwater Challenge Race Results

Pittwater Challenge Race Photos

Series Results

Webscorer Results

Harbour Series Results History