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
SCOTLAND ISLAND SHOWDOWN 25TH MAY 2019: ANOTHER GREAT HARBOURSERIES EVENT……Tim Hookins Reports
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:
Vaikobi Ocean Performance Gear
Azure Ocean Wear
Allwave GTG Livingwater
See you all at the Hacking Classic on the 15th June.
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!