1-2 December BGCC 24 Hour Paddle

This year BGCC are again planning for a low-key event. BYO: everything. Shelter tents permitted in a limited area, not under trees. We are not trying to raise funds for any charities, but if you feel like donating to the BGCC Club Shed Building Fund – all monies will be gratefully received!

Entries: via Register Now, by Saturday 2nd December, 2017.

Entry Fee: $30 up to 26th November; $50 between 27th to 1st December

Course: 4.7 km loop course on Molonglo River

Briefing: 9:00 a.m.

Start Time: 9:30 a.m., Saturday 1st December, 2018

Finish Time: 9:30 a.m., Sunday 2nd December, 2018

Enter As: Solo; Team of maximum 4x boats (competitive); or any number of boats (fun)

Sep 2018 - Tony Hystek & Tim Hookins Life Members of PNSW

From PNSW:
Induction of PaddleNSW Life Members

Above: Tim and Tony receive Life Membership

Tim Hookins and Tony Hystek have been inducted as the 24th and 25th Life Members of PaddleNSW respectively. The huge accolade occurred at the 70th PNSW AGM held at Tempe in the presence of existing Life Members Helen Brownlee AM, Jeff Cottrell and Lynn Parker.

Both gentlemen have given magnificent service to PaddleNSW and their respective clubs for more than a decade - both being past Chairperson of PaddleNSW for many years. Tim was also the Chair of the PNSW Harbour Racing Committee and the champion driver behind the PNSW Harbour Series. Tony is still a PaddleNSW Director and coordinates the state iconic events Myall Classic and Parra Paddlefest, as well as chairing the PNSW Safety Committee.

The conferring of Life Membership is the ultimate honour in any organisation, and Tim and Tony are thoroughly deserving of this highest possible recognition

Sep 2018 - ICF Canoe Marathon Masters World Cup in Portugal

Day 1 Results - Australians K1 Men 65-69 19km (27 starters) 12th Ron Clarke 18th Geoff Baggett

K1 Men 55-59 19km (37 starters) 12th Stuart Bryson 25th David Little

K1 Men 60-64 19km (28 starters) 6th Peter Currie 10th Mark Lawson 17th Peter Clyne

K1 Women 35-39 19km (7 starters) 4th Laura Lee

K1 Women 40-44 19km (9 starters) 2nd Cathy Venning 3rd Jenni Bateman

K1 Women 50-54 19km (12 starters) 5th Daniela Torre

K1 Women 55-59 15.4km (7 starters) 3rd Pauline Findlay

K1 Women 60-64 15.4km (7 starters) 2nd Lorraine Harper-Horak

K1 Women 65-69 15.4km (3 starters) 2nd Ann Lloyd-Green

K1 Men 45-49 22.6km (32 starters) 11th Mario Vesely 27th Darren Tye

K1 Men 50-54 22.6km (36 starters) 4th Brett Greenwood 7th Darren Lee 16th Dominic Scarfe

K1 Men 40-44 22.6km (33 starters) 9th Brad Hagan

Day 2 Results - Australians K2 Men 50-54 22.6km 5th Darren Lee / Elio Henriques 12th Dominic Scarfe / Stuart Bryson

K2 Men 60-64 19km 2nd Peter Currie / Mark Lawson 12th Geoff Baggett / Peter Clyne

K2 Women 40-44 19km 1st Jenni Bateman / Cathy Venning

K2 Women 60-64 15.4km 3rd Dallas Newman / Lorraine Harper-Horak

K2 Mixed 40-44 1st Darren Lee / Cathy Venning

K2 Mixed 50-54 1st Brett Greenwood / Daniela Torre

K2 Mixed 55-59 2nd David Little / Pauline Findlay

K2 Mixed 65-69 1st Ron Clarke / Ann Lloyd-Green

8 Sep 2018 - PNSW AGM and Annual Forum

The PaddleNSW Annual Club Forum will be held at the clubhouse of River Canoe Club of NSW on Saturday 8th September 2018. Location is Richardson’s Crescent, Marrickville. Park at Concordia Club or Tempe Railway Station next to Unwin’s Bridge.

The Forum will include the AGM, Annual Awards presentation, Club/ State/ National Forum, all preceded by a social paddle if interested.

  • 9:30am - Social Paddle (Cooks River - boats supplied)
  • 12:30pm - BBQ for the hungry.
  • 1:45pm - PNSW Club Forum
  • 4:00pm - PNSW AGM and Awards
  • 5:15pm - Close

22 Sep 2018 - Myall Classic

As stated on the Myall website: The Myall Classic is a major ultramarathon event on the NSW paddler's calendar. It is held on the Myall River at Tea Gardens each September on the last Saturday before the school holidays, taking both competitive and recreational paddlers up the Myall River and return.

There are a range of distances and starting times, intended to see all paddlers complete their chosen course by early afternoon, and in time for Presentations at 2:45pm.

Distances offered are 12km, 27km and 47km, the longer course being a perfect shakedown for the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic held in late October.

Above: Results for LCRK associated paddlers

4-5 Aug 2018 - Avon Descent

RACE REPORT - from Richard Barnes

5am Sunday, race day 2. Its been raining on and off all night. River height 2.1m. It hasn’t been this high since who knows when. Michael Laloli, our host in WA, has finished the race three times before and run the rapids at many levels, but never this high. He decides to pull the pin and opt to stay safely ashore. Dave Hammond has already had his share of swims on the river at lower level on Day 1. His decision is also sealed to stay on land. My partner Chris Stanley has to decide whether the risks outweigh the thrills to continue our doubles run in our cacky green plastic 515 named Gangrene. Safety rules, and Chris too opts out.

To Plan B, and Michael is willing for me to press on solo in his Wavehopper downriver racer. A quick switch of gear, aided by Michael and I being similarly sized, and I’m off on a flood-fuelled dig-dipper ride of exhilaration. All goes just fine up to 40km, and the last rapid of the day, Bells, before the flat run into Perth. There is a long low footbridge across the river, and its full of hundreds of spectators. We’ve run it two days prior in practice, unlike most of the other rapids I’ve just run blind. The safe route was just to the left of the second yellow pole. Or was that just to the right? But now there seem to be 5 yellow poles. Which one? Indecision freezes my mind, and instead of making a rational choice, I run squarely straight into the closest yellow pole. If only Chris was still in the back being my memory. The bow of Wavehopper wedged into a gap between the pole and a bridge pylon, and then the rest of the kayak proceeded to be swept round at 180 degrees to its bow. Things were looking grim. I was able to step out of the cockpit and onto the cross-bracing of the bridge, underneath the crowd, and rest my paddle on the underside of the bridge. From there I wrestled the kayak upstream to unjamb the bow, restraighten it and then empty some of the water out of the cockpit. With cold hands I held onto the kayak with one and fumbled for my paddle with the other. I gave up on trying to refit my spraydeck. I knocked the paddle off its safe perch, then watched it bob out of reach and disappear downstream. That left only my hands to help negotiate the second half of the rapid in a submersible craft. Luck played a hand, and we washed down a few drops then safely into the far bank. With a lot of duct tape, I was able to wrap the bow of the kayak sufficiently to plug a 70mm crack in the hull. At that point, Dave, who’d been watching the drama, popped up with a spare paddle. After eating a slab of fruit cake, I was on my way again to the finish with no further dramas.

Above: Exemplary host, Michael Laloli shares lunch break

Above: Riverside repairs below Bells Rapid to the Wavehopper

Some of you will remember Michael Laloli from last year’s Hawkesbury Classic. As part of his quest to complete Very Big Year, he flew over to Sydney, and LCRK took him under our wing and landcrewed him to his first Classic finish. He was so encouraging for LCRK members to fly over and join him in WA’s big race. It was only with his help and encouragement that Dave, Chris and I were able to enter. Michael arranged a fabulous plastic double for Chris and me to paddle. Gangrene had been paddled by its owner John Hayes in previous Descents, so it was a proven reliable finisher. Gangrene is also lighter, faster and more manoeuvrable than our usual Wednesday night racer Kermit. Mike and his partner Christie arranged all our weekend accommodation, food and transport.

Dave and his family Maria, Tommy and Areti took two weeks holiday and drove across the Nullabor to get an Epic V7 to the start line. Dave’s parents were to drive the rig and caravan home, whilst they flew back to school and work.

There was plenty of excitement for all on Day 1 of the Descent. The motorboats screamed off first from the start at Northam, and had to cope with the worst of the morning rain. By the time we started, the powerboats were almost at the finish 52km downstream.

Kayaks are started in grids of around half a dozen craft. It makes the pile-ups on the concrete ramp of Northam weir 300m from the start slightly less hectic. By chance Dave and Gangrene were in the same start. Dave won that initial flatwater duel, and successfully led us down the ramp. Dave’s Epic had legs on Gangrene on the flats, whilst swims on the rapids turned the tables. Next meetup was a picnic break on the bank for morning tea. Dave stopped only briefly; then sped off not to be headed before the day’s finish.

Michael also caught us from his late grid start at morning tea. We were to spend the rest of the day in close proximity. This was to be particularly advantageous at Extracts Weir. We’d surveyed this signature trouble spot prior to the race. Chris was in control of deciding whether Gangrene would run or portage the 5m drop. At race start the verdict was to portage, as around 50% of the field opted to do. Yet with Michael alongside, and confirming he was a runner, Chris made a last minute decision to give it a go. It turned out to be the highlight of the day. Memory has a way of blotting out big fear, like on a bungy jump, and Chris doesn’t remember the middle section of the run. He knows our approach was according to plan, and the elation of still being upright in the ripples and foam at the bottom of the drop. There was also a huge smile to accompany still being alive. We had avoided being part of the reported 40% swimmers who tried Extracts. Chris was even able to share the moment of triumph with his wife Judy back in Sydney whilst paddling on from Extracts via the whiz-bang technology of a wristwatch mobile.

Above: Pre-race practice for Dave on Waylunga

Above: Chris Stanley in heaven after safe descent of Extracts

Ti-trees are a unique feature of the last 10km of Day 1. Alien to eastern state paddlers, the paddling experience is like following the edges of a jigsaw piece. Twist and turn to wind through tree vegetation that chokes the whole river. Throw in high level flow, and this game is played on a swiftly moving baseboard under the tree canopy. We had Michael part time as a guide. There was the need for some swift coordinated manoeuvring, and a fair bit of ducking and weaving. Gangrene took on a fair bit of barky debris and displaced spiders in the closer calls. But we didn’t tangle with any other kayaks, or any solid trees. We didn’t get scooped out of the cockpit by any ultra-low limbo branches. And we didn’t run out of water on a dead-end eddy. We felt like apprentice jigsaw masters by Day 1 finish line. Who knows how the powerboats get through ti-trees?

Our thanks in bucketloads to Michael Laloli, Christie and John for their hospitality and support. We’d highly recommend other LCRK head west August 2019.

RACE REPORT - (from our WA correspondent Michael Laloli)
*Michael Laloi 13 page report PDF - wow!

Sat 4 August - Update on the LCRKers at Avon... Dave Hammond slogged through a big day and beat the rest of us into cobblers pool. Didn’t see much of him so seems to be going well.. Chris and Richard are having a great time of course , asked me if I was shooting extracts 500m out... so they agreed , and nailed it! Hilarious because of course the plan was to portage and river levels came up significantly overnight... They were buzzing for about the next 10km.. river is big, flooding in parts and fast, now flooding at 2m. But a lot of enjoyment and a big day tomorrow;)

Above: Rich n Chris

Above: Michael and Dave

Sun 5 August' .... Wow, wheww , OK where to start ... It was off the charts, almost literally! The water gauge didn't have much height left on it!!

OK yesterday and overnight the rains continued... I woke up and the river was at 2.25m at Walyunga. We had paddled it the day before at 1.3. I had previously paddled the valley at 1.3 and a small sect at 1.9. I made the decision I would not start day 2. Which was a big call. We were feeling , fit , skilled and had total control during day 1. But I was aware of the severity of consequences of small mistakes and while waiting for baby number one to come next month decided this risk was unnecessary. Dave Hammond made the call the night before of the same. And so at breakfast both Richard and Chris were surprised but understood. We discussed the situation and Chris then decided he was best to stop... And so left was Richard.....

With absolute zero hesitation, Richard still wanted to run it and I agreed for him to switch into my WWR k1 "short plastic wavehopper".. we got to the start , adjusted the boat.. The water had now lapped into the boat holding area and so organizers had changed to a land based start given you could not hold your boat in a fast running river.

We had "acquired" a valley access pass and managed to follow Richard through the valley, speed checking him with the car speedo, Richard was cruising at a gentle 20-25km/hr, looking in total control and carving through the rapids.

Richard had no opportunity to recce the valley rapids and was reading the river at speed.. I could not recognize anything... Rapids I was looking for were gone, rapids I did not know exist had surfaced, and the river in flood was forking into unknown territories.

We saw Richard hit Moondyne through the chicken chute, see several skis, switch to a separate flow and carve past with ease..

We lost sight of Richard and witnessed the angriest , most bad arse avon I have ever seen.... Such a contrast to Richards personality but he was slaying this monster.. Syds had turned into a multitude of rivers with rapids, containing plastic skis wrapped around trees, a diversion to a waterfall which looked like a monster standing up and turning the river over upside down... To our dismay we could see paddlers being sucked against their will through it and prayed Richard knew to KEEP LEFT!!!!

We could not stop at Bells but Dave Hammond was on the bridge. Bells is one of the few man made obstacles in the race and few rapids we had reviewed on Friday . Richard knew what to do here and the lines to take to avoid the jumbo stoppers that had developed...

We received calls from Dave Hammond... Richard needed a spare paddle... But how could this be , he had one tucked up into the wings of the boat? How did he not know this... Then we started getting messages about the story..

Above: One bent boat

Above: Down the creek without a paddle

Richard, had crashed into bells going under the bridge, wrapped the boat. Climbed out of the boat. placed his paddle on the bridge. Spent 5min removing the boat from the pylon, the commentator had not seen him come out the other side.. The bridge covered in people could not advise as could not see what was going on... And so Richard then loosing his paddle while perched onto the pylon, climbed back into the mangled boat and proceeded to paddle the swamped wreck 500m down bells ... What the hell??...

He hit the shore , re grouped, gaffa tapped the boat and paddled it into Bayswater a further 30km to the finish..

So while we were all disappointing not to complete the race , we made the right call and expect everyone was happy with what we got.. the storied are flooding in , and numerous top level Perth paddlers had very rough days.. But we saw some amazing paddling from Richard today... Give this guy a microphone when he gets back to Lane Cove he has some stories to tell!

3 August 2018 - LCRK AGM

LCRK held their Annual General Meeting on Friday 3rd August - which was well attended by 44 members, partners and guests at the North Ryde RSL. Good venue, good food, good company.

Named roles for the Committee are:

  • Alanna Ewin - President
  • Tracey Hansford - Vice President
  • Duncan Johnstone - Secretary
  • Ian Wrenford - Treasurer

with extra ordinary committee member roles taken by Oscar Cahill, John Duffy, Phil Geddes, Jana Osvald, Wade Rowston, Louise White, Rich Yates.

Thanks are due to the outgoing committee, particularly now ex-President Phil Geddes who had reached the 2 year limit for that role. Phil also made special mention of Paul van Koesveld who after many many years on the Committee including a stint as President is now stepping back just a little (although we expect he'll still be in the thick of it).

Above: The 2018-19 Committee

A number of awards were also made:

  • The Frank Harrison Memorial Prize for literary contribution went to Naomi Johnson for her continued contribution to Marathon Series, Myall, HCC Race Reports. Always looked forward to.
  • Awards were made to our regular photographers - Lesley Manley, Ian Wrenford, Jana Osvald, Tom Holloway and Oscar Cahill
  • The award for best 'Vivid' light display went jointly to Oscar Cahill (for the great lighting around the shed and pontoon) and Ian Wrenford (for his Sydney Harbour Bridge themed boat)

Zambezi River Trip – July 2018 – John Duffy

When planning a holiday in Africa, I was interested in including a 4 day/3 night canoe safari down the mighty Zambezi river that I had heard about from a friend who did it some years ago and assured me it was safe. Natureways Safaris conducts these guided tours down the river which borders Zimbabwe and Zambia.

While Jessica and I got back in one piece and so you could deduce it was safe, some of the risks were probably a bit understated but I would do it again in a flash. In fact I would propose the longer 10 day version.

The wildlife was plentiful, especially the thousands of hippos, hundreds of crocodiles, many elephants, buffaloes and antelope. The beautiful array of birdlife was something we learned to appreciate more as the days progressed. Scenery was spectacular and it was a great feeling to be on a river which I had heard about since childhood. Many times I just stopped to fully appreciate the environment and where we were.

Above: Did we mention the scenery?

The river runs at about 5 km/hr and so covering 70km was not a strenuous undertaking. You needed to be alert at all times to spot and dodge the hippos, and to ensure the boat went parallel to the river and in single file (again to reduce the risk from hippos).

The camping aspect was really roughing it, except for the three hearty meals a day which were prepared by the two guides. These river guides are very experienced and their qualification includes a minimum 1,000 hours of day time guiding. Our lead guide had 20 years experience and the second guide was well and truly qualified. We become very close to these fine men. They were very appreciative of us doing the trip as it provides them more continuous work opportunities in a country where the official unemployment rate is around 95%.

Jessica commented one day that “Lane Cover River won’t cut it after this”. It certainly was different and terribly exciting but I will always point my bow to Lane Cove.

Above: But can't hippos swim?

Above: John and Jessica with guides

27 Jun - 1 July - Yukon River Quest

Per the official website: The Yukon River Quest is an annual marathon canoe, kayak and stand-up-paddleboard race. Paddlers come from around the world to test their endurance, racing day and night to the Klondike on one of North America’s great rivers. It is open to solo and tandem canoes and kayaks, solo SUP, and C4 and Voyageur canoes.

It's summer in the Yukon which means average min/max temperatures in the 8-23 celsius range (although 36 celsius was experienced back in 2004). Summer that far North means they days are looooong with a ~4:30am sunrise and a ~11:30pm sunset. And civil twilight runs from ~11:30pm to ~4:30am which means it never quite gets dark! That's why they call the YRQ the "Race to the Midnight Sun"

LCRKers Tony Hystek (Team #41 Sheepstations) and Peter Fitzgerald (Team #5 SHockers Lane Cove) are both heading over to tackle the Yukon River Quest. Details will be added here as reports come in. The tracker above will give you their current locations once the race starters (find them in numerical order by Bib #)

Above: Google map showing general location of event - and proximity to Alaska. Blue path is showing the walking route - it's shorter than the paddle!

Putting iconic Australian paddling events into perspective - the race briefing for the YRQ includes the following snippets:-

  • If you are lucky you will see “charismatic mega-fauna”: moose, bear, sheep, fox, etc. Nine times out of 10 they see you, you do not see them. They are not interested in the race, or the racers. Don’t make them interested in you, keep your distance.
  • It can be hot: Drink enough, watch your electrolytes. If you are hot, dip your hat in the water. If you run out of water, drink the river. Dehydration is an immediate threat, giardia takes much longer to affect you
  • The YRQ is a RACE, not a trip down the river. Be good sports! No interference with another team’s progress or you could face disqualification. Do not dawdle. Drop out and become a tourist if you have to, but do not waste safety boat and volunteers’ time. You have 14 hours to reach the end of the Lake, 35 hours to get to Carmacks, and '84 hours to get to Dawson.
  • Lake Laberge: The lake is long - 49 km. In good weather, crossings take 6-7 hours (faster teams) to 8-10 hours (slower teams). Teams must make the crossing by 2 a.m. Thursday to remain in the race. The lake can be rough with waves up to 2m (6 feet)
  • If the lake becomes too rough and unsafe for passage after teams are on the lake, an airplane will signal teams by waving its wings (weather permitting). Use good judgment! Teams should pull off at the safest spot possible. Watch for a return of the plane waving and dipping its wings when it is safe to resume. If weather is too bad to launch a plane, use your own good judgment and stay on shore until it is safe to proceed.

Live Reports

Tony Hystek 180624: Been a few days without WiFi so a bit of catching up to do. Now, where were we…oh yes, the search for sheep stations in Hawaii. They’re here somewhere (evidence), but no substantial sightings. We must abandon… Off to Vancouver, which is remarkably similar to Sydney, only more compact. We met our travelling companions Eric (Alanna’s brother), and partner Liz. A nice feel about the place. Bit of shopping at the HUGE outdoors shop MEC (could have spent a week there), and off to Whitehorse. We collected our land yacht (RV), and attempted to get a local phone connected, without much success. Left it too late to get a spot in an RV park for the night so we joined the multitudes in Walmart carpark for the night. We sure did feel trashy! A sleepless night, with the street sweeper circling the carpark most of the night. Day 2 and we are off to Skagway for a ride on the White Pass train following the route of the gold rush prospectors to the headwaters of the Yukon…spectacular scenery, and 2 brown bears thrown in for wow factor. Back to Whitehorse and the first test paddle today…after doing an hour’s work sanding the shoddy repairs in the rented Epic 18x sport. One saving grace…the boat is incredibly light for this model….maybe they forgot a layer of fibreglass? It’s a roughie but a goodie. Hire company is a bit lackadaisical but nice nonetheless.

Peter Fitzgerald 180624: Fitzies have arrived in the Yukon - carb loading at the Dirty Northern Pub first - then off find kayak which looks like Barnesy Kermit ! Green and white

Above: Kermit

Above: Carb loading

Above: Found Tony!

Above: Fitzys best ever photo of Tony - following!

Tony Hystek 180625:We were entertained by a local band at the council rotunda..apparently a free concert every day from 6pm - 7pm. Now that's community! Test paddles are definitely a must, especially with a moose sighting. Not quick enough to get the camera out, unfortunately.

Peter Fitzgerald 180625: After Tonys cross training hike he / Alanna took us on the Fitzgerald’s more beer carb loading at Gold Pans Saloon with some country and Western

Above: Aussie flag flying

Above: Kermit on the water

Tony Hystek 180626: Yesterday’s paddle was in interesting company. One woman paddling a timber boat she made off the plan...very similar to Alan Newhouse’s boats. And Wolfram from Germany who brought his boat over in the plane... a folding rubber skin boat he designed himself, looks very sleek. Unfortunately he hadn’t finished a Yukon yet. Hope this is his year. Will send photos when I can get my technology to talk to each other. One double set off today with the paddler in the back seat, paddle back to front. Didn’t notice... Another said the test paddle today was their first time on the water. Then there are the fast ones! Heaps of 18X sport kayaks here. Almost half the fleet of single kayaks I think

Above: More carb loading

Above: The lake to be paddled tomoz

Alanna Ewin 180627: Along with my trusty personal crew, brother Eric and his partner Liz, we are arrived in Carmacks! Had a win on the RV site - powered and looking straight down to where the paddlers disembark! Tony will be pleased - a 50m walk to shower, tucker, bed. We were super organised this morning and had our first ever truly relaxed race start. Tony got off well - he did run to his boat and was in his boat pretty fast and off! Photos are a mix of the trip so far including a day trip to Skagway Alaska, a little canoe trip Eric Liz and I took from Whitehorse to Takhini Bridge and race prep and race day. And off I go now to cook up a bolognaise storm for Tony to eat when he arrives at Carmacks some time tomorrow (after 24hrs or so on the water!). Weather is all looking good for the entire race. Maybe some rain last day but we could be lucky. Temperatures good. Cool, but maybe a 24 degree day into Dawson. I'm a bit buggered so just can't think what you'd like to hear so if you have any questions just ask! I'm on the net for a while now. All is well, and as Emma Llewellyn-Jones observed at the tender age of nine, after her father entered the HCC: Eat Sleep Kayak Repeat!

Above: Bol test in the RV

Above: Miles Canyon suspension bridge

Above: Positioned for start

Above: Ready for Le Mans start

Above: Tony (middle of pix) is off!

Above: 50km Lake Laberge (YRQ FB picture)

Above: 50km Lake Laberge (YRQ FB picture)

Alanna Ewin 180629: Tony left Carmacks not feeling great, noisy campsite and didn't get a lot of sleep. Saw him at Minto and he was looking pretty good and in good spirits. Pleased to see some Aussies! Now sleeping at Coffee Creek and we will see him at Dawson about 11pm our time. Tony was coming 1st in the solo kayaks for most of the way to Carmacks but had to get off the water for an hour or so and slipped back to third. Internet awkward and I'm just busy. I'll post from Dawson with pics and full story.

Above: Carmacks stopover (YRQ FB picture)

Above: Carmacks approach

Above: Tony comes in

Above: Charismatic mega-fauna?

Above: Fitz's at Carmacks with landcrew

Above: Tony's hands after ~23hrs paddling

[Progress - some 52 hours into the race (of which circa 42 hours of paddling) Tony is currently 5th in the solo kayaks, and John & Peter Fitzgerald 7th in the double kayaks - with Tony about 12km (one Time Trial!) ahead of them. Distance to the finish line looks like another ~150km, a HCC and a bit]

Above: Proximity to finish line 2 days and 5 hours into the YRQ. Scale shown on map

Alanna Ewin 180629: Carmacks was noisy! Tony had a problem with the water after Lake Laberge, along with several other paddlers, leaving him crook and losing time. Some helpful paddlers gave him some immodium but according to the race doctor it was a double dose and knocked him out for an hour. Anne at one of the checkpoints (pictured here - black jacket) saw him struggling to stay awake, and kindly helped him out of the water, laid him down next to the fire, woke him after an hour and told him to get back in his boat and finish his race! He was very grateful (as am I) and I've spent some fun times with Anne since.

Above: Anne

Above: 2nd day Bol is best!

So he came into Carmacks disappointed by the forced delays having lost his well earned first place to two other solo kayakers (Lake Laberge was pretty tough so he really nailed it on that flat water), and woke even more disappointed as he really didn't get much sleep at all with the noisy campground. He came into Minto looking content and with a double that I think he may have been sharing stories with? I think he's been slowly catching up to boat 57 AlaskaEileen. Look her up. She is a delightful cheery lady (like a dignified version of Mad Mick chatting to the crowds as she passes by) and I believe she made the boat she is paddling. It's beautiful and clearly pretty quick in her trusty hands. So it's now up to Tony to see what he can pull out of the bag. Expecting him at Dawson in the wee small hours (around 1.45am) As support crew it has been busy. Just when you think you can have a moment there is something that needs doing - cooking, driving sleeping, washing, leaning, sorting. It's run smoothly in our RV and been an interesting journey. The company of my family has made all the difference and it would have been a bit stressful first time around if I was on my own. Lovely country and lovely people. The Canadians I have met have all been very gentle, kind and helpful. There is a contented relaxed manner about the volunteers and it seems everyone is a friend. It's the 20th Anniversary of the race and there was a party at Carmacks and the Coal Mine Campground did the catering from the menu for everyone for free! Lots of fun and we even got ice cream! Photos attached describe the trip best [see the Flickr link above]. Thanks to everyone for your support and sorry to not do much updating. I don't think I've had all that much more sleep than Tony! There is no darkness and mostly just a dimming of the sun from about midnight to 4am and that's about it. Quite bizarre and has us all having very late nights and odd eating habits! we wait....... I just checked again he is dropping back a bit I think. Not sure how accurate the race tracker is but looking like a 55 hr race for him at this stage

Above: Dawson City - the finish!

Alanna Ewin 180629: He is in and pretty content! Third solo overall. Loves his thermal skins! In pretty great shape really and said the scenery on the paddle is beautiful. I asked him if he'd like to say a word to you all but he declined suggesting he couldn't think of anything funny to say :) It's now 3am, he is now sound asleep and I will be following close behind him! Goodnight :)

Above: Done!

Above: Can I sleep now?

Above: Tony - 3rd in the Solo Kayaks!

Above: Peter & John Fitzgerald - 7th in the Double Kayaks!

9-11 June - Riverland Paddling Marathon

Above: Results for the LCRK team]]

Hosted by the Marathon Canoe Club of SA since 1988 the Riverland Paddling Marathon (RPM) is not just a marathon it is a festival of paddling marathons with 6 possible events over 3 days on 1 weekend in the chilly month of June each year. Every June long weekend paddlers from all over the country gather on the Murray River in South Australia’s beautiful Riverland to meet, greet and most importantly to paddle.

The Six events which run consecutively over the weekend include –
The Murray 200 – a 208 km continuous paddle over 3 days from Berri to Morgan
The 200 Relay – the same 208 km course from Berri to Morgan but paddled in relay with baton exchanges
The Murray 100 – a 93km course over 3 days covering sections of the longer Berri to Morgan course
The Murray 50 – a 49km course over 3 days, sharing day 1 and 3 with the Mini and day 2 with the M100
Single day paddle – on Sunday of the event weekend, 26km from Devlins Pound to Waikerie
Mini-marathon – an opportunity to try the event by paddling 11 or 12km on any single day or on multiple days

From LCRK for 2018 we have a number of paddlers - including Kyla Johnstone, Duncan Johnstone, Ruby Ardren Rich Yates, Keg D'Andretti, Craig Ellis, Tony Hystek and Alanna Ewin

Above: The LCRK team

Fri 8 June

Ruby: After the first day's racing I'm behind Kyla by a nose. Duncan Johnstone hasn't yet found his boat or his team and Tony Hystek is way behind because he's elected to take the scenic degustation route.

Alanna: On way to RPM, some of us on the Hay Plain, some of us in a plane over the Hay Plain and Craig Ellis just plain old waiting for everyone to arrive. Breakfast involved a few different carb loading strategies....

Above: On the road again...

Above: Rich n Keg - carbing up?

Sat 9 June

Alanna: Kyla will get cracking soon on her RPM100. She got to sleep in unlike the full distance bunnies up before dawn. Everyone off to a good start and the sun has come up now after some very welcome rain overnight.

Above: Tony making sure he paddles downstream

Above: Rich helping get the boat off the kayak stands

Sun 10 June

Alanna: Day 2 catchup- all well and happy and did some great times. Tony Hystek not particularly enjoying the 18x as he can’t really race, but then it’s all about Yukon prep right??

Ruby: Absolutely wrecked tonight because I stayed on wash rides all day that really pushed me. 69km today (7:00:05 so again about 10km/hr), running total is now 145km in 14:49:38. Have to get up again in the dark tomorrow to do another 63km and then start the drive home. I’m in the blue kayak

Above: Another lock - another day.

Above: Ruby - wrecked, and relieved!

Mon 11 June

Alanna: Last day of the RPM and everyone’s feeling it. With a headwind dampening the spirits and the relay suffering rudder problems they’ve been doing it a bit tougher. Happy landcrew though with coffee cakes and brekky at The Claudo sangria winery checkpoint! Oh and Kyla is out. Pulled up sick this morning with her cold returned.

Above: check out that backdrop!

Alanna: All done! Ruby Ardren second lady home - not by much and a good record set! The relay team hammered it home after yet more rudder trouble steering them up the garden path. Although Sally Ellis said the lads didn’t try hard enough because they didn’t puke when they got out of the boat! I’m just hoping they didn’t beat our time from last year or I might have to do the race again! The big fella Tony Hystek managed yet another of the prized orange caps for fastest vet 55 in the 18x (that gave us all a bit of a giggle). Kyla Johnstone enjoyed her day 3 as landcrew. Soaking up the sun we chatted the day away as we waited at riverside checkpoints for our paddlers to come through. All in all a great club and family weekend as usual. Fabulous to have the Yates and Ellis partners and kids along again. They visited the zoo and wineries and cheered on the paddlers from the winery this morning! Thanks everyone for the well wishes and support. We’ve all had a ball.

Above: Tony coaches a K4 (Photo: Carolyn Cooper).

Above: Duncan and Kyla - tis done!

31 May - LCRK does VIVID (as part of our normal TT)

This event coincides with Sydney's annual VIVID festival. It's an opportunity to light up your boats, yourself and the river with a bit of a light and sound show. Contributions range from the simple (recycled Christmas lights, glow sticks etc) to more extravagant programmed LED light shows and kayak modifications.

Check out the Flickr album and Youtube footage at the links above ....

Above: 2018 LCRK Vivid - the pontoon walkway - Photo: Oscar Cahill

4 March 2018 - Clean Up Australia Day Report

Clean Up Australia Day 2018. We had a great turnout for Clean Up Australia Day this year with nearly 20 folks turning up for a few hours on Sunday Morning.

Feeling empowered in my official fluoro vest, I quickly put folks to work in various different parts of the river. Double kayaks, canoes and skis were dispatched upstream as far a Wirrong Boat Ramp while Adrian Clayton towed his garbage kayak downstream for others to fill with Crudslime accoutrements. Others took to the carpark and banks of the river on foot.

Bags were quickly filled, particularly around the carpark. More than once Jeff Collins was seen lugging a bulging bag of rubbish back to the shed, like some Anti-Santa, despite the smile. The boats returned with mother lodes of rubbish including sofas, tyres, bottles and rusty boat snaggy bits of metal. Most of it from downstream.

Oscar and Daughter Emer turned up with the widest canoe I have ever seen. Great for this type of work. It fit better sideways on the roof of Oscars car. As well as Emer, we had Dave Hammonds two kids Areti and Thomas plus Chris’s son Robert. What a good parent and child bonding opportunity!

Out of interest it seems the most common rubbish type was bottles, both glass and plastic. I was encouraged (but not surprised) to see a distinct lack of tape remnants, Gu sachets and other paddling mess around the shed and river.

Not much in the way of treasure, Oscar found most of a $5 note and has generously offered it to the person who finds the missing corner next Wednesday night. Johns number remains at large somewhere on the river. On a barter system of 30 seconds per kg of rubbish found, the following folks should have PB’s of around 53.30 next Time Trial:

Chris Johnson, Rodrigo, Jeff Collins, Adrian, Don, Kenji, PVK, James P, Duncan, Warwick, Wade, Oscar, Dave H, John D and Pete M (55:30). Being supervisor I’ve awarded myself the course record, sorry Matt. (I told you the fluoro vest was empowering).

Thanks everyone involved. It’s a satisfying job. Well done.

Rich (Thanks John Duffy for all lead up organising work)

22 Apr 2018 - LCRK Marathon Series #5 - Special Doubles Round

Lane Cove Marathon – paddler options Our Lane Cove Marathon, Round 5 of the 2018 Marathon Series is on Sunday 22 April. This Round has been nominated as the 2018 Doubles Round with the intention of attracting additional paddlers to try the joys of competitive doubles paddling and maybe even to try competitive Marathon paddling itself while sharing the effort, risk and reward with a mate. If you haven’t tried a Marathon Series event or haven’t competed for a number of years, this is a great way to get a taste of competition AND help our club compete for the Brian Norman Club Trophy for the most successful club in the 2018 Marathon Series.

What does this offer on 22 April? In additional to the up-to 50 club points that participants can earn depending on their race position, a further 80 club points is offered for each doubles craft that finishes, irrespective of position in the race. The usual rules apply to the competition for the up-to-50 points: paddlers need to enter the correct Division – PNSW will police this, especially for new Marathon Series combinations.

Unlike in any other Round, a doubles combination does NOT need to have completed a ranking race beforehand to earn club points on 22 April. A combo can come together just for that day (but, hopefully, some will really enjoy the experience and continue to compete together).

What does this mean for you and LCRK? Points up for grabs - 80 Club points per double that finishes PLUS - 40 Individual points to each individual doubles paddler that finishes PLUS - Individual place points as normal

Here's where we are currently at - firstly the almost definitely (subject to any late shuffling):

Paddler 1DivPaddler 2DivDoubles DivBoatBoat sourceEntered?
Suzie Rhydderch4Mitch Coffey11Carbonology BlastOwnyep
Tony Hystek1Alanna Ewin61K2ownyep
Tim Binns2James Pralija31Epic V10Ewin/Hystekyep
Mark Hempel2Caroline Marschner81V10Ownyep
Trevor Nicholls-Brendan Trewartha-1Red 7 skiFitzyep
David Young3Peter Manley32CarbonologyLCRKyep
Craig Salkeld-Peter Fitzgerald-3Carbonology skiFitzyep
Naomi Johnson4Alex Brown43Vadja TornadoLCRKyep
Richard Yates4Keg D'Andreti63Sladecraft SLR2Ownyep
Greg Morris-Warwick Sherwood-3Zero ToleranceOwnyep
Don Johnstone4Jeff Hosnell53Stellar skiJack Kesbyyep
Stuart Reid-Johanna Diment-3Stellar S2E skiOwnyep
Rob Hiley-John Rowberry-4Knysna G42 skiOwnyep
Darren Williams-Graham Cleland-4Mirage 730Ownyep
Anjie Lees7Meg Thornton?6K2 ClubLCRKyep
Tim McNamara8Jana Osvald?8Simon K2Geddes/van Kyep
Kerrie Murphy-Wendy Andrews-8PopemobileLCRKyep
Tom Simmat4Tim Hookins58SladecraftOwnyep
Matt Swann6Bruce Goodall99Zero ToleranceOwnyep
Paul Burges10Dave Veivers?9VulcanLCRKyep
Duncan Johnstone5Phil Geddes59Stellar DoubleOwnyep
Matt Blundell1Liberty Blundell-13?Ownyep

NOTE: Master tactician Duncan Johnstone has been overseeing and addressing questions, giving advice etc - and is still happy to take questions..

Below is an evolving list of LCRK volunteers who are helping to make this all happen.

Here's the portage detail:

Here's the offsite parking detail for Avian Crescent Lane Cove:

and for Magdala Road North Ryde

Paul van Koesveld (LCRK Marathon rustler)

18-20 May 2018 - AC Marathon Nationals - SA

The Australian Canoe Marathon Technical Committee and Paddle South Australia hosted the 2018 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships between 18 and 20 May 2018 at Westlakes, Adelaide, South Australia.

Only a few LCRK members in attendance - but check out the results anyway!

January 2018 - Classic Bass Crossing

Nicole Bartels, Kevin Kelly and Richard Barnes (words by Rich)


When is an expedition to the summit of Mt Everest complete? When the expeditioner reaches the summit? When this person is within 100m of the summit? Or when the party has made it safely back to Base Camp? Did Andrew Macauley make it in his kayak to NZ when he was in sight of land? These thoughts went through the minds of the Classic Bass team as we waited for windows of calm weather around Flinders Island. We had made it across the “big” crossings, from Wilsons Promontory to Flinders, via Hogan and Deal Island hops. These legs were respectively 55km, 45km and 65km, or 9.5hrs, 7.5hrs and 12.5hrs paddling time. Then there were only the shorter legs along coastlines of the Furneaux Group Islands and a final crossing of Banks Strait to negotiate. We had waited a day on Hogan Island, as a storm with windspeeds recorded over 100kmh swept over us. It was hard even to walk up to Hogan Lighthouse, let alone be out in a kayak that day. Then we had waited 4 full days on Deal Island as winds over 20 knots kept us cosily off the water. There was plenty to see and do on Deal, including walking up to the highest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere, and sharing tea and scones with the current lighthouse caretakers, Jo and Justin and their seven year old son Murphy.

Above: 100kmh winds at Hogan Island lighthouse ..and.. Scones with Deal lighthouse caretakers

However five days waiting meant there were few spare days left if we were to make it to Tasmania in time to catch Spirit, the ferry to get us back the easy way across Bass Strait northward to Melbourne. Could we hitch a lift on the barge that services the little town of Whitemark on Flinders, or even fly out from one of the grass strips on Cape Barren or Long Islands, and still claim to have crossed Bass Strait?

Fortunately weather forecasting is more reliable now than ever in the past. On my first crossing in 2001, we tuned in on a crackly radio with a wire aerial strung between trees, to hear someone reading a forecast for the whole of Tasmania for the next day. Now forecasts come via BOM on the internet to mobile phones, with predictive maps for windspeed, swell and wind direction, in 2-hourly increments up to four or five days into the future. For our last week of paddling, they showed generally relatively strong winds, but with small windows of calm. And so it turned out.

Ultimately, we targeted two relatively calm weather windows to make the final crossings of Banks Strait, splitting the 35km distance from Clarke Island to the NE tip of Tassie into two with our final camping night midway on Swan Island. These were to be our two hardest paddles. Our one and only team capsize occurred on the leg from Clarke to Swan, just off Swan Island. Strong counter currents slowed our pace so the weather window became too short to reach Swan Island. Just off the lighthouse, the rising wind broke the top off big steep swells, and Kevin got caught by one of these breaking giants. However Kevin has a great party trick, a re-enter and roll. Whilst his kayak was upside down, he did an underwater somersault to get back into an inverted seating position in the cockpit, then proceeded to roll up. It would be impressive at Lane Cove, but it was doubly so in rough water.

Calm weather along Wilsons Promontory ..and.. Rough weather off Swan Island lighthouse

The very last paddle was a mere 7km direct from Swan Island to Little Musselroe Bay. The weather decided to have a final hurrah, and combined with strong adverse tide to thwart our expedition arrival. For the whole Bass Strait crossing, we covered just on 400km, in a total time in the kayaks of 76hours. That is an average of just under 5kmh. Not quite Matt, Dave, Brett or Stu’s 12km lap speed at Lane Cove, but realistic for Mirage kayaks each weighing around 200kg fully loaded. Our final 7km took 3 hours, an average just over 2kmh. As we wryly noted, we could have walked the kayaks along Musselroe Beach faster than we were able to paddle. The moral is that the journey is never over, until we step across the finish line. For us, that was a greeting from our invaluable landcrew Dee Taylor and Andy Singh, two of the original team from Rivers Canoe Club who had planned to be paddlers on this crossing. From a starting crew of ten or so hopefuls, just two, Nicole Bartels and Kevin Kelly, had made that finish line. Both are Hawkesbury Classic regulars, so perhaps that is a key step in training for a Bass odyssey.

I had joined Nicole and Kevin only a few months before the trip. One reason was to help make sure their dreams were realised. Another was to use this crossing as a trial for a prototype Tasman sea kayak. This prototype started life as former LCRK member Ken Holmes’ Classic-completing Mirage 730.

Above: Prototype One
With a lot of guidance from LCRKer Tom Simmat, I constructed a pod over the front cockpit large enough to potentially be sleeping quarters. It certainly solved all issues of lack of space for equipment, but did bring its own set of steerage problems in strong winds. In the time we waited on Deal Island, I constructed a fin out of our emergency fibreglass repair kit to try to help control my prototype kayak’s wayward wanderings.


Space is at a premium in a single Mirage. We set off from Port Welshpool with 15 days food supply, and about 20 litres of water each. Add in tent, sleeping bag, stove, clothes and spares, and the last of the equipment usually ends up sharing the final corners of the cockpit with the paddler. Food and equipment sums to around 75kg, and made the 580s float just below the deck join line. Both Kevin and Nicole still found room for luxuries such as sleeping mat and pillows. Oddly, Kevin pulled out a grater on Deal, along with real potatoes, and set about making us hash browns. Kevin’s occupation is chef, so he also couldn’t be parted from his creamer, a huge device which is pressurised by C02 cannisters and turns longlife cream into whipped coffee mousse. Kevin is not a camper, and borrowed a tent and camp chair from John Duffy. He commented on being woken by sore elbows when his arms slipped off his narrow camp mat and rested alongside on the hard ground.

Above: Chef Kevin and his grater

Inner Sister Island

One of the goals of this trip was to try to camp on Inner Sister Island, off the north tip of Flinders. It promises safe landings with beaches on both sides. This would be something new and a little unique, as this island is not part of a regular crossing being slightly north of the most direct route. We set out from Deal with our bearings set for Inner Sister. Along the way were the landmarks Wright Rock and Craggy Island. Wright Rock is only 20km from Deal, but is small and only visible from about 10km. At about that distance one’s sense of smell confirms its proximity, as the large seal colony there is very smelly. We’d aimed to paddle in amongst the seals. However tide had other ideas, and after battling counterflow, our closest pass to the seals was 3km before we turned away. Next waypoint Craggy, where the ebbing tide looked like it would sweep us past its northern rugged shore, on course for Inner Sister. After a few more hours paddling, we were closing on Craggy. The tide turned, and suddenly was flowing strongly SW, against our course and into the rising westerly breeze. I promptly got seasick and threw up. Nicole got nervous running downwind in the big swells that developed. Kevin chimed in with a preference to head for whichever was closer of Inner Sister, or the traditional Flinders landing at Killiecrankie. Consulting our GPS, Inner Sister was 22.3km northeast, whilst Killiecrankie was 22.2km east. Destiny diverted, Inner Sister remains an elusive goal for some future Bass journey.


Above: Flying porpoise show

The Wrap

Bass Strait remains a paddlers’ Mecca, combining so many of the features which create an epic journey. At 400km and 16 days, the time and distance are of grand proportions. Paddling is at times out of sight of land, so there is a real reliance on self to achieve the day’s destination. The campsites are pretty wild and special. Some, like Whitemark, are relatively suburban, with access to showers, a hotel, general store, cafes and a bakery. The wildlife is always interesting, and interested. Seals are abundant, and always inquisitive. So too are the gannets and large Pacific gulls, whilst albatross fly by imperiously. Penguins are so human in their characteristics, especially when their regular path from sea to burrow is blocked by one of our tents. We were particularly lucky this trip to have a pod of killer whales glide toward and around us. The sea can be wild, but with patience there is always a window through which to paddle safely. Scenery always amazes and alone is adequate temptation, in particular the red lichen-covered granite boulders and sculptures round Cape Barren, Clarke and Flinders Islands.


Above: Campsites at Thunder & Lightning Bay and Rebecca Bay

Sun 28 Jan - Paddle4Good - Newcastle

Newy Paddlers has shared details of a fundraising paddle event (~10km) being held Sun 28 Jan. Go to the link above for all the details.

“Paddle 4 Good” this year is supporting a local Women’s Refuge that is in need of appliances for their venue. The refuge is a community based organisation and is currently self funded which is why they are in seeking assistance. The Refuge helps women and families that are under enormous stress and do amazing work in finding these women and families support in housing, financial, counselling and legal assistance. Please note that all proceeds will be going to the Women’s Refuge

  • When: SUNDAY, Jan 28th, 2018
  • Registrations: will open from 8:00 - 9:00am
  • Race briefing 9:15am
  • Race starts 9:30am (slower boats will be sent first)
  • Where: Throsby Creek “Beach” - Tully Street Carrington (Newcastle)
  • Cost: A donation of $10 (entry fee) which all proceeds are going to the women’s refuge.

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