Batemans Bay Challenge

Round 5, PaddleNSW Marathon Series – SSCC Race Report

Saturday 27th April was the date for the third Bateman’s Bay Paddle Challenge. This year the event was also combined with round 5 of the PaddleNSW marathon series adding some additional interest. We had 19 SSCC paddlers take on the challenge, second only in numbers to Burley Griffin who sent an impressive near 50 paddlers to the event. Well done Burley!

The day started quite cool, however once the sun was well up it was nice and warm and a near perfect day for a paddle race. The “challenge” team had done great job in organising and promoting the event. Everything was well laid out and there were helpers everywhere. It was clear that this event had total community support. Our own Bob Turner had also done well to assist with the race direction and organisation, not to mention his skill on the spreadsheets. I should also mention Greg Robertson for his support including photography skills.

The club had paddlers in all distances; 6, 13 and 26km’s and as we headed upstream with a good following tide it appeared the only boats we might see were the multitude of SES, surfcrew and maritime boats supporting the event. The “challenge” was to pick the deepest and strongest running parts of the river to maximise the push up river. It was tempting at many places to take a short cut over the shallow flats, however the GPS quickly showed it was worth turning back out to the deeper water for a far faster run. In the 26km race we turned at the buoy just shy of the Nelligen bridge with a few onlookers cheering from the wharf.

For the return leg, as this was an out and back race, the strategy was to try and find a decent eddy line to maintain good pace into the tide the full distance back to the Bateman’s bridge. For the most part this could be achieved until we got within 5km or so from home and the river widened and the wind picked up. It then became a bit of a slog back against the wind and tide.

The club had great results in the marathon series format; four 1st placings, one 2nd and three 3rd placings, and an impressive 644 total club points. The club juniors did particularly well in the 13km race distance with only 2minutes between Rafferty, Carl and Lachlan and with Brant picking up third in Div 12.

In the Bateman’s Bay Paddle Challenge format congratulations to Nikki and Liz for winning fastest female for their distances and age groups and also to Rafferty for winning fastest junior (U18) in the 13km event. I can see some healthy rivalry forming with our juniors in the battle for fastest. Keep an eye out for this intriguing racing.

All in all a fantastic, fun (as always!) day for the club and a very well run and enjoyable event. I think we can expect another good turnout for next year, especially as word travels about how good the day was.

Oh and finally the “most chilled” award for the day goes to Jeff for proving there’s never a bad time to relax, have a beer and put your feet up.

Thanks to our own Greg Robbo and Ian Wrenford from LCRK for the photo’s.

The club results are shown below.