2022 Marathon Series


Above: Marathon Series results for LCRKers and regular TTers

Sat 15 Oct - Burrill Lake

Race 10 of the 2022 Marathon Series was run on Burrill Lake, hosted by Makai Paddlers on Saturday 15 October 2022.

Report soon....

Above: Results for LCRKers and regular TTers

Above: Paddling location

Sat 10 Sep - Marathon Series #9 Narrabeen (MWKC)

Race 9, the penultimate race of the 2022 Marathon Series, was run on Narrabeen Lake, hosted by Manly Warringah Kayak Club on Saturday 10 September 2022.

Report soooon.

Above: Results for LCRKers and regular TTers

Sat 13Aug - Marathon Series #8 SwallowRock

Race 8 of the 2022 Marathon Series was run at Swallow Rock Reserve hosted by Cronulla Sutherland Kayak Club on Saturday 13 August.

Tom Simmat
5 starters in Division 5. A double from Canberra, 2 ocean skis, my arch rival Bernie in a long K1 and myself. There was also a late starter in the form of an OC1 which did not turn up till just before the finish.

The two ocean skis took off and I managed to hang on about 20 meters behind by dodging the out going tide.

On the second lap managed to catch and pass the slower of the two skis.

But I was over smart and on the third lap thought there was less current going over the bank, than against the rocks. Over stretched myself and was taken by the double and Bernie.

Again on the last lap took the wrong side of the river and the ski passed me.

Strongly felt the lack of training, nearly run down by a speed boat and the ski also passed me and the OC1 whizzed passed on the finish line.

What a great place to paddle. Lovely clean water and bush all around.

Tony Hystek
There was no excuse for forgetting Naomi’s paddle and lifejacket, so fortunately I didn’t. Not long after I arrived, Naomi and Andrew cycled in within 5 minutes of their predicted arrival time. I suspect Andrew has so many cycling km under his belt he can time his trips to the minute. Which says something for Naomi’s draughting ability. I’m told draughting is similar to washriding, just without the rinse cycle.

Being my first marathon of the year, I had no expectations for anything, even finishing!

Still, a good pre-race briefing by Michael McKeogh, a couple of decent gouges in my K1 from some hidden oysters, a T-bone opportunity avoided with some errant juniors and I was ready on the Division 3 startline, along with a good contingent of LCRK crew…Tim Binns, Daniela Torre, Rodrigo, Pete and Karen (P&K) in the double, and a few past members like Stokes Snr and Jnr.

Lachie (Stokes Jnr) bolted away, with Tim B in hot pursuit. I found a place in no-persons water, while a big bunch formed up behind me clinging on to the wash of the P&K double. The gaps gradually widened, some of us had visions of grandeur imagining we were making ground when really we were really just holding our own.

Some very thoughtful jetskis came through the middle of the race to mix things up a bit, scattering paddlers in all directions. Half a lap later, another powerboat was luckier and scored full points upturning me while nonchalantly proceeding downstream. Fortunately, I was close to an oyster-covered old mooring, and equally fortunately, had chosen to wear booties. Having rehearsed my re-entry, I promptly repeated the whole exercise, and knocked a whole minute off my re-entry process….5 mins down to 4! Yay!!

It was an equally lonely final two laps as I witnessed a huge effort from Tim catching the leaders, and the washriding bunch fight it out to the finish. Presentations for placegetters at the finish marked the end of Covid restrictions, and the chance for truth and lies to intermingle.

A nice re-aquaintance with the marathon.

John Duffy
Another well organised and friendly marathon race. The Cronulla Sutherland club have a very nice setting, the course is a good one (including for spectators) and conditions were great. A bit of wind upstream and a handful of pleasure craft but just enough to keep you on your toes. A very nice touch by the host club to re-introduce certificates for placegetters in all divisions which promoted paddlers sticking around a while longer for a chat, as well as putting a face to a name of those collecting points. Good representation by LCRK and all went home with a smile, especially Harry who was very upbeat about his Div 4 ranking race. My regular longer Saturday sessions with Rodrigo paid off as on lap 2 I started putting some distance between myself and the rest of the Div 4 field after sharing the first lap lead with Kaveh from the home club – I was waiting for their usual lap 3 burst but thankfully it never eventuated and I was fortunate to cross the finish in first place. A quick glance at Sportsbet for Div4 has me and the Lowe boys from Penrith all at $3 for the next event at Narrabeen but it has me out to $100 if there is wind greater than 5km/hr or conditions like last year.

Chris Dickman
This was my first time paddling the Shallow Rock area. I loved the layout of the course. That you could see each end of the course made it easier to wrap one’s head around. Pre-race on the pontoon, one of the guys from CSKC kindly provided a bit of course intel, pointing to the bits to avoid.

Paul van Koesveld and I were representing Lane Cove. Fresh from their 52 min 10k at Woronora, it was clear that Div 10 wasn’t going to see Liz and Ian for very long. The game plan quickly became to jump onto their wash for as long as possible. At the last second before the gun, Josh from Penrith squeezed in between us. The only way to deal with that was to try and blast off the line and paddle across. Josh, however, was quicker off the line than the last couple of events and held in there on Liz and Ian’s wash. Second wash wasn’t helping so decided that taking a lead was the way to go. While I was moving to take a lead. Liz did one of her regular but random right hand turns taking out the young fella, pushing him into me. Blades tangled. Liz and Ian gapped us as a result.

Plan B became working with Josh. Shortly after the top turn, I dropped into his wash. His pace slowed. I tried to figure out if this was strategy or otherwise. So took the lead expecting him to sit in my wash. He didn’t. From there, the race became a solo time trial.

Happily the configuration of the course meant you could see how all of the other divisions were unfolding, particularly Divs 1-4. In Div 1, James Harrington and Brett Greenwood were motoring. A challenge was to not to be caught by them by (my) race end. Given Div 4 is my usual entry, it is of special interest. Pre-race I’d suggested to JD to focus on one of the Lowe brothers from Penrith in particular. There was a newby in the Division I’d seen earlier. "Don’t worry about him JD, you’ve got him covered. He’ll likely blow up too" was my counsel. Clearly I felt I’d given JD a very bum steer when Div 4 passed for the first time in the opposite direction. The newby way, way out in front.

For the next seven or so kilometres it was an uneventful grind. Bottom mark to top over the many shallow spots and now outgoing tide felt like a piano had climbed aboard. Liz and Ian kept moving further ahead. PVK was making some good ground up on Josh.

Towards the bottom mark for the last time, I confess that the sharp character assessment of a couple of jet skiers failed to remain an internal monologue. The jet skiers hit the accelerator about 10metres in front and to the left sending out n nice bit of side “wash” that interrupted the rhythm a bit.

PVK paddled well He gritted teeth and ground away. Between us, Lane cove won the division.

Post script:
JH and BG had indeed motored. They whistled through portage before the marshall had a chance to tell me not to pick up my boat.
JD didn’t need to worry about the newby. He won by about 600m and was heard praising his new paddle to those of us watching from the pontoon.

Above: Results for LCRK Members and regular TTers

Sat 16 Jul - Marathon Series #7 - Woronora (SSCC)

Race report building out below

John Duffy
It is a shame that the SSCC club is not closer to most of the LCRK members because many of us would no doubt choose to paddle there also, as it such a beautiful location. Even with the late course change, it was still a great course and very scenic. There was a bit of debris about from the flood 2 weeks ago and a few paddlers were seen reversing up to release rudder gunk.

The forecast in terms of cold weather was accurate but we were all prepared for it and anyway I find as soon as the starter says “go” you forget about the cold. It was good to see Pauline and Jeff H back doing Div 4 20K after so long and Mike L lamented getting his 4th booster shot in a marathon week (not a race booster...). Watch for these paddlers moving up the ladder in races to come.

For my own race, Matthew Lowe from Penrith gave me a scare after he made up about 10 lengths on the 3rd lap and Warwick Nichols Hunter Valley was a surprise package. My first Div 4 win was a real thrill and I figure those who was I fortunate to beat will be out to restore the normal order at the next race.

Pete Manley
The marathon series is not attracting as many people as it did pre-Covid, which is quite disappointing, but there is still a regular group who will turn up in virtually any conditions. Lane Covers are used to the cold (and dark) but Woronora managed to turn on a particularly chilly morning for us on Saturday. We all trudged up in thermals, Ugg boots, fleeces etc and debate veered towards "what are you going to wear in the race?. BOM is only forecasting 12C at the time we finish!". Nonetheless we all shrugged off the warm kit and put on PFD's and headed to the water's edge. My start was only 5 boats and headed off at a gentlemanly pace, all hoping to get a ride from each other, but I slipped back a couple of boat lengths as we went through the slot. Thankfully I managed to stay in touch. Perhaps the rubbish in the river slowed the others enough for me.

We reached the very tight turn at the Bonnet Bay buoys which gave me a slim chance to hold ground and, lo and behold, we picked up a lovely incoming tide to give us all a push, and I caught up to my rivals. Bang, crash, crunch, we went through the next clump of debris. As I felt a log collect my rudder I feared another visit to ProKayaks was coming for a replacement. By this stage I had taken the lead but had 2 leeches attached for the next 2 laps, with a 3rd (Cassie and Steve) sneaking up and joining the flotilla. Unfortunately for Craig MacFarlane he had dropped off the group but his excuse was fair - recovering from Covid and overseas travel. Under the bridges to the turn towards the end of lap 3 we came upon a Div 6 double. I fortunately decided to go outside them, figuring they would be tight on the bend, which they were and this caused Mike McKeogh and Mick Carroll to lose my wash, at which point I was able to power away and ultimately claimed the prize a minute ahead of them. Not a bad day's work considering how little paddling I've been doing. Perhaps that is the secret.

Race was well organised, and congratulations to the Sutherland group for the effort they put in to have the course ready on the back of the disaster that befell them less than 2 weeks ago. Gareth told me as we were leaving they recovered dozens of written off cars from the river during the week (washed in from the flash flood) plus tonnes of other rubbish.

Jeff Hosnell - A very cold and wet Jeff is back racing in Sydney
I always planned to do this race it’s a beautiful part of Sydney and Sutherland always put on a great race and a lot of there members are welcome visitors to our club time trial.

The weather for Saturday was cold 🥶 we had 18 paddlers representing Lane Cove it was looking like we had all the 20km Div’s covered but we had 3 late withdrawals, health and I think the cold.

It was again a great day for Lane Cove 3 Winners, 2 seconds and 2 thirds. Well done everyone.

Jeff’s Div 4 race: There were 6 starters 4 from Lane Cove, John D, Pauline and Michael L. I have just spent 4 weeks on the Gold Coast and the couple of paddles at Lane Cove not very cold. I decided to rug up 2 thermals and a paddling jacket and life jacket well I didn’t do a warm up because my watch decided to do an update just before start and I had to rejig it.

I started wide and had decided to get into the race slowly. John got a great start following Mark Sundin in the double ski doing a ranking race. This was Sundo's first marathon race since 2017 and I don’t think he will be in Div 4 next time - too fast for us.

I had Pauline in my sights and Michael behind me. I was going really will my watch said I was doing 7.3 miles an hour but I didn’t know what the hell that was so didn’t look again. Just when I was catching Pauline, I got a fright when a paddler from Div 8 came racing up on my inside. I looked and bang over I went - Michael said it was the slowest capsize he has ever seen!!! I just had no reflexes - too many clothes.

Lots of people offered help but I was ok 👍 good swim empty the boat get going again on my own now, everyone from the other divisions gone. I didn’t get cold thanks to all the clothes and just concentrated on not losing extra time when my Div 4 paddlers crossed on the opposite side.

I think I did a good job and really happy with the 20km race this was my first of that distance for a year. I must say well done John on your first win 🥇 you looked great, also great to see Warwick Nichols from Hunter Valley paddling in a 20k race in a single as he’s normally in a double and doing the 15km, also he was in his beautiful timber K1. He had a good 3rd even after stopping to clear his rudder.

All in all a great race and day thanks Sutherland

Dmytro Medvedyev
[Jeff H reached out to Dmytro to see how he and his family are doing given the War in Ukraine and how it’s impacted his life, and how paddling with friends and club mates has been a release for him]''

These events hit us all hard, I had to completely change my priorities and look after our families and friends in Ukraine. We were able to relocate some of my and my wife's extended family members to Sydney, and others are relatively safe for now. That all completely threw me off my training, sleep and diet routines; I was still training with my friends, but more to keep a mind off all that rather than preparing for races. And of course, I had to miss all major marathon events this year.

I'm still following what's happening in Ukraine very closely, but as human beings, we're all capable of adjusting - so I'm hoping to participate in future events.

Andrew Pearce
I set off from home on a very chilly morning heading to Woronora, set the GPS in my car to the site address and headed south towards Homebush drive, then noticed Wade and Naomi heading in the same direction, having not been to Woronora previously, I thought maybe they have a different/better way to get there (big mistake). As I now understand, Wade had opted to use the impressive navigation skills of Naomi and not the one in his car that uses the satellite system used by planes and ships as they move around the world, I understand Wades decision was simply that he preferred Naomi’s lovely English accent to the grumpy lady on his cars GPS. Suffice to say we had a very enjoyable scenic drive through all suburbs between Homebush and Woronora, we went through parts of Sydney that have never been in the 25 years we have been here so that is a positive. We did actually get to Woronora on time so all turned out OK.

Following this exploration, the race itself was an anticlimax, the air temp was hovering around 8.0 degrees which did not deter a good number of paddlers from all clubs, as usual LCRK was well represented. As we have come to expect over recent months, there was a lot of debris in the river although the SSCC had tried valiantly to clean up and move the debris out of the way, large logs, planks of wood, lounge chairs and shopping trolleys were still present, along with the sludge, drink bottles etc approaching the bottom mark, many of the K2 paddlers had issues with fouled rudders including Daniela who unfortunately could not finish.

Jeff Hosnell decided (inadvertently) to have a quick swim, his excuse was that he had too many layers on when he started, (so had to cool down). However, as you would expect Jeff continued on to finish

The race itself was very keenly contested, and I managed a very respectable 2nd place in group 6 after leading most of the way and a great tactical battle against a pair of Skis, they very kindly allowed me to hold the front position for 15lkms, I then rested for around 4 Klm bringing up the rear, got in front again with 400mm meters to go and was then overtaken inside the last turn by Graham Coffey (Penrith) and could not get back on a good line to hold him. In the end very satisfied to take 2nd place and my fastest 20klm.

Closing note, I used my GPS and inbuilt homing device to get back home safely although Wade and Naomi offered to assist.

Naomi Johnson
I always love racing at Woronora, though for some reason feel like every other time I’ve been down there has always been baking hot. Not so last Saturday, with a chilly eight degrees predicted by Willy Weather for the 10am start. Yes, I might have taken myself, Wade and Andrew Pearce on a scenic tour of some less-than-logical suburbs in order to get to the start line. I thought Andrew might appreciate the tactical washriding practice, and both his impressive tailing of Wade’s car through multiple intersections and his actual race result suggest it might have been good practice! No?

Div 3 has been among the most hotly contested this year, and it was great to see both a solid class of fab paddlers and four women (myself, Daniela, Fi and Laura) on the start line. Everyone seemed to have a reason why they weren’t in top form, ranging from recent overseas trips to floods affecting training courses. I performed my usual awful start, with several less-than-graceful zig-zags across the back of everyone’s wash before getting into a pack with Don, Fi, Roddy and Tim around the island. The top turn was a great test of close paddling, and I managed to get myself out of the way of Don’s larger ski turning circle in the nick of time, catching Laura on the way back down, then joining up with Tim by the end of the first lap.

Lap two saw us catch up to Gareth and Lachie Stokes, then a Div 8 double came out of nowhere, flying past us at a very solid pace. Tim and Lachie jumped at the opportunity for a quicker ride but I couldn’t quite match the pace, watching them speed off then picking up Lachie again half a lap later. I paddling most of the final lap on my own, aware that I had used up a bit too much energy trying to stick with Tim and the double but relatively confident that I had enough of a lead on the chasing pack of Don, Fi, Roddy and the Richard/Mary double from Canberra. Round the final turn, and Lachie was suddenly back beside me, kicking an easy sprint for the line that I knew I was never going to match. Then Richard and Mary were beside me as well, and true to form I revved up for a final effort despite feeling like I had nothing left in order to gain just a second’s advantage over the line. Big shout-out to Fi for her impressive 20km singles debut – she is absolutely a paddler to watch in the coming months!

Fun all round, and great to see so many friendly faces from Lane Cove and elsewhere. But please could it be a bit warmer next time? I had lost circulation in most of my fingers by the time I got back to the car!

Results for LCRKers and regular TTers

Sun 19 June - Marathon Series #6 - Penrith (PVC)

Race 6 of the 2022 Marathon Series was run on the Nepean River adjacent to Nepean Rowing Club, Bruce Neale Drive Penrith, hosted by Penrith Valley Canoeing on Sunday 19 June 2022

Above: Most of the LCRK contingent

James Pralija Report (K4)
'We’ve all been a bit flat after nationals, all with varying ailments and complaints. So we figured that a team activity wouldn’t go astray. James’ K2 was out of action and the two-part K4 was yet to be used in anger (beyond the trial runs).

'The boat is a unique bit of kit - a K4 with sealed bulkheads in the middle that bolt together. This makes it a practical boat that can be carried on any car, by virtue of the fact that each half is shorter than a K1. It takes a bit of lining up and effort to set up and pack down, but the benefits in practicality more than account for that.

'We fitted our respective seats, watch holders taped on and matching uniforms decided at the last minute, we figured we should get on the water earlier than usual in case changes needed to be made. Surprisingly enough, none were needed as we stretched on skirts and eased away from submerged dock. A couple of warm-up laps and a perfect practice start later, we rolled up to the line.

'Me being the nervous starter I always am, preempted the starter’s call and slightly overbalanced, then missed the first stroke. So the start was amateur hour. Thankfully, we got our shite together pretty quickly and wound it up to about 20km/h. Mitch got away very cleanly and got himself in a prime position to jump on the wash, but unfortunately, a K4 wash is an entirely different animal to wash ride and it was over before it started. Brett got us over to the right hand bank to stay out of the flow and we settled at 15km/h. We cut a fine line between the bank, fishing lines, and the flow, holding a steady pace until the narrows, only finding one small submerged log on the way.

'The narrows saw our speed drop to 12km/h - took some weight off the blades, tensed up the core and cruised through. We got nice and close to the banks as the flow was running faster upstream of the narrows. The speed dropped to 14.6-14.8 until we reached the top turn. Harry kept us in the loop with the predicted pace function on his watch - predicted time at the top turn was 1:22 - two minutes and one second outside our goal.

'The top turn was a little hairy. The boat is long and the river is not wide. Brett got us lined up right next to the right bank, then got the front three to sweep hard on the right, and the rear seat (Dimi) to put in some hard left backward strokes. We nearly made it…James had to help slow us up with the backward strokes as the left bank was getting way too close for comfort…

'Rocketing out of the turn, we wound up to 17km/h, with the flow giving us a good kick on the way home. We kept the pace up at 16-16.5km/h for the run home, doing lifts every kilometre for the first 5, then every 500m for the final 5. There were some steadfast minds but failing bodies in the final kilometre but we were able to wind it up and finish strongly at over 18km/h.

'I realised as we passed Ian near the finish that we’ve cocked up - never overtake the photographer!

K4 approaching the finish line (Photo: David Hipsley)

John Duffy Report
A lovely day, a really nice course, a good number of paddlers and a well organised event. The Penrith marathon was a good day out. A bit of effort required against the flow but no more than a typical against-the-tide Wednesday timetrial. Conversely the flow made for a reasonable quick return.

I did my best marathon time, thanks to washriding Penrith’s David and Matthew Lowe in their skis for the first 17k and I could not have achieved the time without their generous assistance. The LCRK K4 looked splendid (in their kit as well as their style) and I doubt their time of 1:18 will be bettered for a long time. A generous pub lunch afterwards with LCRK paddlers saw us swap race stories and generally exaggerate our modest abilities.

Paul van Koesveld
Penrith Valley Canoe Club organised a wonderful event on Sunday, 17th: the weather was sunny and much milder than forecast; the downstream wind was clearly evident and added to the water flow down from the dam, but the wind had no unsettling gusts; the Penrith club members looked after us excellently from the valet service for boats on arrival; to expert launch assistance off the submerged rowing platform and, most importantly, caring retrieval after the race (wherever is the edge of this submerged platform). One of our team said they must have learned from our LCRK marathon service; if so we must be excellent teachers. Equally helpful was the arrangement with Penrith Rowing Club to access the club café for pre-race coffee, pre-race toilet stop and lunch with a view over the river afterwards – thanks all.

My only “complaint” was that upstream the river looked wide but only seemed to have good depth for the middle 5% (ish), with the remainder getting rapidly shallower. Only two tinnies went through at some speed and right over the other side of the river but their wash seemed to build from negligible to big as it hit our side of the river. I shouldn’t complain as two of the Div 6 paddlers who had beaten me at Windsor and were just ahead of me were caught out by the sneaky wash as was another paddler in a masters K1 who had been right next to me. This put me well in front of them although well behind Windsor’s Jill-and-Judy long-rec double who didn’t seem to notice any wash. Even further ahead were three ranking paddlers but fortunately two were LCRKers, Michael and Chris, so our club will be well represented in Div 6 if they don’t move immediately to Div 9 or to 20km.

One advantage of only paddling 10km is the opportunity to see the Div 1 paddlers finishing. On this occasion it was the beautiful black LCRK (Brett, James P, James H and Dmytro) K4 which flew under the bridge to the finish line first. One of them told me “we weren’t actually going that fast at the end, maybe 17kmh+; we were a bit faster at some earlier downstream sections”. He did have a big grin on his face at the time. Equally amazing was seeing two weird half-boats sitting on top of Brett’s van then, seemingly no time later, they had turned into a beautiful K4 swan.

Sun 29 May - Marathon Series #5 - Windsor

Race 5 of the 2022 Marathon Series was hosted by Windsor Paddlesports Club on Sunday 29th May, 2022 at Macquarie Park, Wilberforce Road.

From Non Paddling Jeff
Hi everyone so great to see a good turnout of Lane Cove Paddlers at Windsor – 25, even without your Race Coordinator chasing bums on seats. We had 3 first places and a number of minor placing.

I’m sorry I missed it I flew back from Hawaii early to vote and paddle at Windsor. Well, day of election I was feeling very sick and went and got tested. Well Sunday, Positive result and Liberals got kicked out - bad day for Jeff and Australia ha ha.

I’m up on the Gold Coast for a month to get better and do some training for Worlds I hope I can find some energy soon.

So great to see the turnout for the farewell to Tom Burke. What a great Club member he’s been in the short time he’s been with us, I’m sure we all wish him the best in the future and he continues with the K1 paddling and I think all the training coaches need a big thank you from all us club members. I was lucky to watch Tom’s improvement from the beginning to just recently and you all helped him so much.

To see him putting so much into the races at Nationals never giving up and smiling all the time. Hope to see him back one day.

Don’t forget Penrith Marathon #6 on Sunday 19 June!

James Harrington
For most of us in division 1 this was the first time we have raced since nationals. Following nationals we tend to have a rest afterwards so this was going to be interesting to see who was still prepared. It was an amazing first race back for me with perfect weather, a good course and nice to be supporting the SES after the incredible work they have done in the last year. It was heart warming seeing the sea of orange turning out to support their cause on the day.

We had six people on our start line which for us normally means that there will be an early split to make a pack of four. On the start line Jason and Craig made the bet that the predicted tidal flow on the left side of the line would be the place to be, which should’ve given them the advantage. Unfortunately for them Warragamba dam released water the night before creating a net flow that more than cancelled the tide. The gun went and everyone got away cleanly, Brett and I took 50-100m to decide who was leading then the pack formed around me by about 100m. The first washes went to Kieran on my right and Brett on my left. About 500m Kieran was motivated to reduce the 6 person pack to 4 and took the lead at a strong pace meaning that Craig and Jason stayed out of the front four on the left. They lost contact with the change in pace. Once settled as a group of four the pack was working together nicely for the rest of the lap.

As we approached the top turn attention turned to the first portage. The stress in the pack started to build as everyone started to consider the long soft sand portage with a narrow exit and entrance. There were a couple of quick sprints as everyone tried to sort out positioning in the pack before the turn. One of which caught James P not paying attention and created a small gap. Once regrouped the pack formed with Brett leading, Kieran on the right, myself on the left and JP in the V. On the top turn the pace went up with Brett and I levelling out as an equal lead pushing JP to come to my left and opening a slight gap on Keiran. First portage was hard with each of us pushing the run to test how each of the others were feeling. This distanced Kieran a bit too far to catch back up who joined with Jason and Craig. The three of us continued for the next two laps sharing the leads holding a good pace. We took the opportunity to see how a number of the LCRK members races were unfolding and taking note of the damage around the river that we hadn’t noticed while the pack was still rolling without an order.

As we finished the third lap and came into final portage all of us were pretty content just rolling around not thinking we would be able to create any meaningful gaps and the results would be decided in a sprint finish. Coming out of final portage JP made a mistake with the angle of his boat meaning he got caught on the sand. Seeing this I took the pace up knowing that after a cold during the week my sprint was probably not what it could be that this could define second or third for me. Brett and I keep the pace high doing 500m leads to the bottom turn knowing that JP can grind at high pace. As we rounded the turn we took stock of the gap and saw it was too much to catch in the distance we had left to the finish. It was now down to a battle of the final 200m between us for the first. Brett was leading at a strong pace so I worked on trying to get better positioning like the inside of the turn to give myself the benefit. Come 150 m I lifted the rate to accelerate but Brett was too strong accelerating to a higher pace than I could gaining him a couple of seconds giving him the win.

Paul van Koesveld\\' First, the main story: the river at Windsor, which might have been a mess after the floods, was in great condition, excellent beach for launching and portaging, no mud when staggering back up the hill after the race. All I noticed was a few more trees in the shallows on the bend and softer than usual car park grass. To top it off, WCC had arranged warm, sunny weather with just a gentle breeze and ran the event excellently.

The secondary story: I had to do a ranking race, like I was a brand new paddler. Covid time flies and I soon realised it is well over 2 years since my last 10km race and nearly that since my last 20km race. Lower Divisions like mine still have fewer entrants so I had neither difficulty nor advantage from competitor wash and paddled a reasonable 10+kmh average speed, made up of good bits undone by periodic saggy bits. Overall, a good day for the strong LCRK contingent and for me.

Ian Hofstetter
I was feeling pretty good on the drive out to Windsor. I had missed out on the Nationals due to catching covid, but when I heard about the terrible conditions that they faced up at Surfers Paradise it eased the disappointment. Similarly, I missed out on the last marathon at Saratoga due to Mothers day being on the following day, but when I heard about the atrocious conditions I was very pleased to have not been there. Thanks Mum!

So when I arrived at Windsor to see calm water and almost no wind, I thought that this might be a very good day, and I wasn’t wrong. When warming up I kept a close eye on the time and with 5 min till the start I considered either going for another warmup loop or going to the start line. Fortunately I decided on the latter. As I got closer to the start area I could see that Div 1 had already gone and Div 2 was being called to the start line and it wasn’t even 10.00 yet!

The start of Div 2 was pretty brutal. Lachlan Stokes took off really quick and two of the faster ski paddlers managed to stay with him, but the rest of us were left behind. I jumped on Peter Manley’s wash as he came past and there I stayed for pretty much the entire race. I found the first lap very hard and at one point I dropped off the wash and was behind Pete. After a bit of a rest on the rear wash I managed to climb over and was back on the side wash. Whew, all it takes is a lapse of concentration and the whole race can be ruined. But I was back on the side wash and everything settled down and I started to relax and enjoy the ride. I was on the inside for the turns and Peter left me plenty of room and didn’t try to squeeze me out on the turning buoys, he was real gentleman.

With about 2k’s to go I put in a big effort to see if I could go clear but my move was quickly counted by Pete and so I dropped back on his wash again. I didn’t contest the sprint as he throughly deserved 3rd place after doing all the work and I settled quite happily for 4th.

After packing up after the race a group of us headed into Windsor for a well deserve pub lunch. One topic of conversation was the flow of the river. With a high tide at 12.30 we all expected to have a fast run to the top turn and a slog against the tide on the way back. But it was the opposite. Water releases from Warragamba Dam meant that the return leg was much quicker than the tidal flow.

Most of us were pretty happy with how we had paddled and there were no complaints about the running of the event, we all felt that Windsor club put on a fantastic race. After we had eaten, the band stared playing some 90’s rock, which was fun for a couple of songs, but the volume killed any chance of having a conversation, so we called it a day and all headed home. I’m looking forward to coming back next year

'Harry Janecek'
'was a quarter past seven on a cold Sunday morning, I walked down a stone flight of stairs to be greeted by the sight of dear friend Chris. We both exchanged grins that exploded with confidence and desire for achievement. We drove, and we chatted for what seemed like a century, a century of anticipation.

'A century later, my feet warmed the freezing soils of Windsor, very little chats to be had, many faces were those of strangers, never had I strayed past my brothers and sisters of the most magnificent LCRK, but don't get me wrong, I always have a hand to shake.

'The mission began, the mind of the captain Chris and myself became one, our mission was clear. Survive

'The intense torrent of what felt like hundreds of other craft tore up the Nepean river the water was murdered, but even with focus, it was difficult, but we tore through the torrent, until the first turn.

'The swarm had broken, and the mission changed there and then. there were forty, no twenty, less, where did they all go? Many threw themselves ahead, whilst others stayed behind, positions in the race still changing, but far slower than before, racing up to meet them, seeing them disappear in the corner of my eye, seeing others move past us, not so much as looking our way. until the beginning of the second Lap, where the droning procedure really began. Three more laps, probably an hour maybe more. The water evened out and the course was clear. The cycle of stroke after stroke felt like an eternity, however losing no energy, or focus.

But our said eternity of focus then was rewarded. Much like the indeed rich tradition of the Wednesday night delight, this race as well came to an end. My awareness of exactly what we achieved at the time was vague, I, we should I say were content enough with the completion of the mission

Above: Race results for LCRK Members and regular TTers

Sat 7 May - Marathon Series #4 - Saratoga (Central Coast)

Race 4 of the 2022 Marathon Series was run on Brisbane Waters at SARATOGA SAILING CLUB, 10 Willaroo Road, Saratoga, and hosted by Brisbane Waters Paddlers.

Chris Johnstone
In 2022 Harry Janecek and I teamed up to tackle the LCRK Wednesday Doubles Cup competition in a Stellar surf ski, we also completed the LCRK Round of Paddle NSW Marathon series Div 3 where we finished better than anticipated & we did the Australia Day Cockatoo Cup – where we finished at the tail of the field. Note we are not fluent in open water paddling conditions (yet).

Race 4 of the Marathon Series (moved from Davistown to Saratoga) was a 20 Km 4 lap circuit as shown by the map below. Arrival on race day at the sailing club provided the first dilemma where to park, get the double ski off, which gear to wear etc. We registered, listened to race briefing – posed for LCRK photo and were ready. Second dilemma when to get on the water to warm up (refer Paddle2Fitness #31 Why you should do a warm up Julian Norton Smith)

Once other paddlers started to head to the water we followed with the double ski and found we had to walk quite far out, through long reeds, to get the ski deep enough to sit in without the large rudder getting stuck – the wind was stronger than on land! A couple of other paddlers around us were falling in just getting in their boats so that was interesting. Harry is very calm person / where I am the stress bunny in our team.

To “warm up” we paddled around the yellow cans and back to the start finish at this stage we noticed the waves / chop were quite hard to deal with. Upon return to the start line we missed our start, plus a purple K1 fell straight in, but Div 3 were off and racing, whilst we were actually trying to keep balanced to generate go forward. The Div 3 paddling group were all in front and as we rounded left the first yellow buoy the following waves became a side chop (this is where things got interesting).

At this first buoy a K2 was in the water so we spoke with them and paddled over to the rescue dinghy to alert them help was required. Approaching the third buoy (red X) reeds started to appear and we kept the steering heading to the yellow cans (most direct shortest route) and ran aground (yes I am in the front of the ski steering). When this happened I was just thinking how much the repair bill would be if the rudder had pushed up into the ski, we got going again (post race damage was minimal). This buoy was the hardest to turn for us in the race (balance etc) and was a return into side chop (wavy line on map). Paddling to the top marker it was great to see the front of the race come past in the opposite direction, familiar LCRK paddlers Chris D, Greg, Pete, Rodrigo, Brett, Daniela etc all doing well. Rich and Keg were a long way in front of us – they were doing great in Div 3 – we were at the tail . But our race strategy had shifted from podium to completing the 4 laps.

Lap 2 we technically paddled better having some belief in the double surf ski that it was not about to fall over, but by no means were we putting any power down & often we would be bracing or coasting (lurching) through side chop. Call out to LCRK paddlers / photographer Ian + Lachie were going great in well chosen stable kayaks + Andrew Pearce. But some paddlers were falling in and the field was thinning out – esp the number of K1s. Post race some paddlers had said that was the point they withdrew from the event. This lap (I think) we stopped to help a fellow LCRK to get back onto his surf ski – I was grateful to know how to raft up etc (LCRK safety session at Narrabeen lake 2020), once that was complete we proceeded up to the start for the final lap.

Lap 3 our time on the Garmin was pretty slow but that was the easier part of the course from start to first turn left so it was good to be past half way of race. Harry provided encouragement & at no stage yet did we have a near swim. A highlight on this lap was Brett in Div 1 came paddling past in the K1 looking strong.

Lap 4 the field was quite reduced, but the side chop had not reduced and heading past the Red X (map) the double ski was doing good work of the chop. This was our final help to offer on the day to let the rescue boat know a double Sladecraft needed help & they got a lift back to the finish. We recommenced paddling and completed the event in 2 H 27 Min. Special mentions to Roddy + Daniela who finished in K1’s, as did Brett. Plus all that started the event on the day. Plus Rich & Keg who did super well – what is their secret?

Suggestions (for paddlers of similar ability to us) – Warm up before an event especially if you have not paddled at that location before. Review slight changes in items for diff conditions e.g. perhaps shorten paddle in chop? Help paddlers who might need help – the camaraderie on the water was great to see. Train in conditions to race in. Have a sound doubles partner - like Harry!

Thanks to Brisbane Waters Paddlers for hosting and all the volunteers + safety craft x 3 who worked hard all event. Plus Ian for photos.

Daniela Torre
Our paddling goals: We train to race. That might be to race and achieve a personal best time. It might be to win a race or a division. So, I was looking forward to the Brisbane Waters marathon race. Division 3 had the biggest field and I wanted to do well.

At the nationals a few weeks earlier, the conditions had deteriorated such that the organisers modified the course. The Brisbane Waters marathon had been moved to a different course than last year. This was a wide open course. The worst scenario was for the wind to be coming from the west. That’s where it was coming from.

It was challenging conditions for surf skis. Far worse for the ICF class. My objective changed the moment the gun went off. It was now to survive and finish. A local paddler in a K1 went in on the start line – a sign of things to come. At the bottom mark for the first time, Cassandra and Stephen were in the water. No matter how much one wanted to render assistance, it was near impossible.

By the first mark, the only time when the wind and waves were briefly behind you, Ninety percent of the race had the wind and waves hitting your side. So how to get through this? I focussed on my technique. I told myself..strong core..strong legs...sit up…let the waves roll under you, use short strokes…..just keep going. Slowing to a near stop was a great way to fall in

Those that could, yelled out encouragement to paddlers going in the opposite direction. We were all in this together. You could hear Chris Johnson and Harry Janecek were in the double. “C’mon Keg.” “Go Roddy”. “C’mon Daniela. Andale Andale.”

Things got tougher on the third lap. The wind lifted and the waves sat up more. The number of paddlers was thinning out. I drew inspiration from the Brett G, Craig Mac and Rodrigo. The only K1s left were my club mates. Craig had to empty his boat a couple of times. Rodrigo was paddling well. Brett was out on his own leading. But by seeing the guys each lap, you could say to yourself, “we can do this.”

At the turn to start the last lap, the water had become a washing machine. Having completed the hairpin turn, I put my blade in, except I was on top of a wave and my blade only found fresh air. I fell in. My boat was filling up with more water with every wave. I had to blow my whistle to call for help. No rescue boat.

After seven or eight minutes in the water – and panic – Duncan Johnstone and Craig Ellis didn’t even bother turning the buoy. They came straight to my rescue. Incredible selflessness. I was able to get back into my K1. Unfortunately they went in too. Now I was panicking as my boat was beginning to sink. After ten minutes, the rescue boat arrived so that we could empty our boats.

The last lap. Brett was coming up to the finish line. There were a few ski’s I could see in the distance. I was determined to finish. When I talk to myself when paddling, it’s in English. C’mon core, c’mon legs I was saying to myself..but my body must’ve been talking a different language. There was a lot of ignoring going on. I was paddling with determination but that’s about all you could say.

It was so satisfying to finish, given the attrition rate. The arms are covered in bruises. Nobody cared what time we finished the race in.

The Lane Cove camaraderie on the water was incredible. All the team mates who stopped for others – some who were in great distress. The verbal encouragement given and received always gives a lift

That night, I sent a message to Duncan and Craig to thank them. The response I got was incredible. “We did it gladly”. The water was cold and your safety was our priority”.

Don Johnstone
It seems like I was one of the few who really enjoyed the race at Saratoga. Yes it was windy. And the water was a bit bumpy. However I've been doing enough paddling on the harbour that neither of these bothered me. So after my traditionally slow start, I made my move on the 2nd lap and then stretched my lead on my key rivals to finish well ahead of the Div 3 median, which is my best ever finish - only 13% slower than Brett :-). I even entertained the idea of making a move on Keg and Rich on lap 3, but I didn't factor in Keg's mid-race chocolate gel which gave them a burst of energy that I couldn't match. Full credit to those K1 paddlers who ventured onto the course. I can't keep a K1 upright on a pond, let alone in a washing machine.

Ian Wrenford
They set a different course to recent years (with the normal start spot damaged by recent wet season) It was from Saratoga Sailing Club (which probably gives an indication of what was to come) and is apparently the same location use by BWP for their Harbour Series round. It’s basically a large open bay – of a similar size to Narrabeen.

In the best boy scouts tradition - I checked out the weather forecast the night before. It said ‘gentle WNW wind’. Now ‘gentle’ in BOM terms means 10 knots (~18km/h). And WNW means it would be blowing straight down into the bay. And to me that meant it would be a bit ‘lively’ for flatwater kayaking and so it proved to be. The evidence for that was that a couple of locals launched their ‘kite foil' – ie a hydrofoil surfboard thingy with a flying sail – and they were scooting along very nicely.

I packed my Marlin sea kayak for Lachie. And a trip to the LCRK shed to pick up the LCRK Marlin for me. So two Marlins – which were just perfect for the conditions. The waves were running maybe I guess ¼ metre to the odd ½ metre? Not that bad on the run, or face on. But tricky on the sidewash. Many boats were taking on water. Some people ended up paddling fully submerged boats. I reckon I had a cupful in the Marlin after 10km? And had a ball to be honest.

There were quite a few DNS (went out for a test paddle and decided it was not going to end well). But even more DNF (30 DNF’s vs 36 finishers). The Safety Boats were working overtime – bringing back boat after boat and helping others with re-entry. Thanks to Brisbane Waters Paddlers for hosting and all the volunteers.

Above: Results for LCRK paddlers and regular TTers

21-24 Apr 2022 - Marathon Nationals - Qld

Paddle Queensland hosted the 2022 Paddle Australia (PA) Canoe Marathon Championships on the Gold Coast from 22-24 April.

Jeff Hosnell
Will I finally got to go to an Australian National Canoe Championship, 4 years in the waiting. The venue was Coomera Lakes, I was so looking forward to racing on the course, I visited and paddled on it in February so flat and beautiful. Well, that’s not what the weather gods dished up. We got everything - heavy rain, changing wind direction and strong gusts, up to 50km/h.

I didn’t do the short course on Friday because I have such a hard time getting this old body out of the boat at our pontoon let alone in a race at a muddy beach. The short course racing was a great spectacle, especially the open men’s - lots of paddle clashing and even a protest third against second - the last sprint, buoy to the finish, big crash of paddles and boats lucky no one fell in.

My Race on Saturday 70-75, 6 starters but also under 16 doubles and some skis, it was an early start 8.30, lots of heavy rain throughout the race and strong winds in places. It’s a very exposed lake very shallow similar to Narrabeen so short chop when windy. I was paddling my new Vajda Apex 40 so it’s a lot more tippy than my Bettong and I was very happy with my race. I forgot to charge my Garmin so 1km into the race nothing. I started slow, last off, then gradually passed the other k1 paddlers by the first lap I was along way in front, so I just concentrated on leg drive, rotate, not worried about going flat out. Crossed the line well in front and became an Australian Champion! Bugger not NZ but I am proud to be representing this great country!

Sunday was K2 Doubles I entered the 65-69 only 3 boats but 5 ski’s plus Pauline and Fi , I paddle with Hal-Sutton Walker from Melbourne, we had a couple of training paddles before the race and thought we had everything right, I had to slow my stroke down by half. Well race day was terrible, everything that could go wrong went wrong, first the weather, heavy rain and strong wind, our start was really bad, first I had us positioned on the outside away from the bank will they made us go around again and we ended up in the middle. The front of the boat went so far under water it was up to my waist - lucky for spray covers, once I recovered we were well off the pace, by the bottom marker we were last, then turning to go back up the boat just wanted to go right all the way up I had to keep the tiller over to the left so no leg drive it was really hard going. After 1 lap my partner was wanting to pack it in I just said just sit there and take it easy I’ll do the work, after a while he said he felt better - Hal suffers from Asthma. gradually we passed a couple of the ski’s - it was really hard because they would pass us again on the upward leg. In the end we beat them home and came 3rd so a nice Bronze to go with the Gold, I must say double pairing has to be spot on or you end up battling each other the whole race. The 2 boats who finished in front of us have been together for years.

So I had a great time and thank you for all the support at the course lots of yelling, and texts from our great club members.

Worlds, here I come representing Australia Ha Ha Ha!!!

Allison Bilbow
David Young and Allison Bilbow teamed up for the Mixed Doubles 35+ at the Nationals. It was held during the 3rd session on day 3. There were 2 categories, those who were going to portage and those who wanted to slug the 18.5 kms without taking the opportunity to stretch their legs. David and I fell into the later and paddled the club Epic V10 Double.

We unfortunately arrived over the border without a rudder on the boat, but against all odds we crafted a board fin (supplied by our supporters The Surfboard Warehouse Miami) into a rudder suitable for competition. We allowed 48 hours for the glue to set and 48 hours to prepare for the final event on the National Marathon Paddling calendar for 2022.

After watching competitors portage like gazelles and paddle like real champions for 2 days I was ready have a good crack at the course myself by Sunday. David had already completed several reconnaissance kms on the lake and being the ultimate tactician, knew every corner and shallow, all the bull sharks by name and even managed a word or two to Thor. Sunday proved to be a challenging old afternoon with wind gusts up to 58 kms/hour with driving rain and snow predicted, right up our ally.

We set off with 10 other boats including the Mens 60 doubles - a competitive high-spirited bunch. We managed to hang onto the lead bunch for half a lap, with Daniela Torre and Darren Lee charging ahead to hold the lead throughout. We tried desperately to catch a ride after their portage but their lead only extended. Marc Brehin / Cathy Venning and Karen Tipping / Pete Conway pushed us the whole way not allowing a loss of concentration at any point during the 1hour 40min 35 seconds. The race was so much fun. It proved to be one of endurance, skill and tenacity, David and I demonstrating that it takes one hell of a special couple to work as a formidable team to win a gold medal at ‘The Nationals’.

Tom Burke
Nationals race report - the view from the back

Feeling very optimistic I signed up for both the Open men's Short and Long Courses. Not having paddled more than 15km since I did my shoulder in 5 years ago I reckoned the 29km Open men long course was probably a bridge too far but worth having a go at. I still have a very Irish approach to long car journeys (3 hrs being enough to get you from one end of the country to the other) so I was delighted to be able to load my boat up on Brett's trailer and fly out to Brisbane - it turned out to be a great opportunity to "experience" Sydney airport in the middle of the School Holiday rush.

Not recognising the non-LCRK names on the start list for the short course I had no idea what the standard was going to be like, although I suspected I was going to be firmly at the back of the field. About 2 seconds after the starter's horn my suspicions were confirmed - it was a very bizarre feeling to be paddling your hardest and also feeling like you were going backwards. The rest of the short course was over before I knew it, although it did highlight that I had a bad habit of swamping my boat every time I portaged. Something I'd have plenty of opportunity to work on in the long course the next day. Friday evening was a very pleasant dinner with the LCRK crowd in the pub trying to pack in enough calories to keep me going in the morning.

Saturday was a bright and early start at the lake with Kieran very generously giving me a lift out. Before I got to the lake I had a misguided hope that the conditions would have improved, unfortunately it was not to be with the lake looking even choppier and nastier than Friday. The start of the long course was very similar to the short course with the rest of the field becoming rapidly shrinking specs in the distance. It quickly turned into a lonely enough paddling session except for briefly overlapping with other LCRKer's in other starts. There was the odd bit of excitement, with one of the straights being surprisingly fun and reminiscent of a proper ocean downwind, this was very quickly offset by having to grind through the cross chop on the next couple of straights. By the time I got to halfway through the 6th lap I was suffering badly, with the cheers from the LCRKer's at the portages and startline being all that was keeping me going. By the end of the portage on the 7th lap my legs completely cramped up and it took me 2 mins to get back in the boat - given that by at this stage I had been lapped by the rest of the field, the rescue boat was on its way back in, and I was starting to get very shaky in the boat - I reckoned it was time to throw in the towel. A monster cup of coffee and brekkie burger were quickly procured on the bank - making the world look like a more friendly place again.

Considering the conditions I was happy to have gotten through 7 laps - especially since my shoulder held up the whole way around. I'll definitely have to get in a few 20km+ sessions before I have another go at a full length marathon race. Not doing the doubles I was slightly in awe of the folks who were back out on the water Sunday morning battling through unforgiving conditions again!

Brunito Colos
Trusting yourself is something that we all learn, and on the kayak, I honestly do trust myself, doesn’t matter what’s the result out of any particular race. Portaging is something that you become better and better at FALLING … and STANDING UP again and again and again 1000 times.

So to say, I’m glad I gave it all, I did not have any other option, and when you don’t have options you’ve got to give it all in every situation. And even the second last portage that I fall and missed the boat, there is huge lesson to learn… I’ve got to fall more times If I want to be faster. And that’s the only way I will get better and better at it and I will have the chances to do it cleanly and harmonious as everyone wishes. "PORTAGING" aside I have to recognise Australians are very good at it.

Brunito and James - gazelles!

Australia have very good Marathon paddlers, and everyone had showed it over the last weekend, I personally believe that Australia has chances to be in the top 5 of the World at Open Males in 1 or 2 seasons time If level continues to grow as it is now, I hope we can wish for a Medal for Australia in the Open males at Worlds for the near future, I'll be so gratefully inspired to represent Australia in the years to come at International level and I'm certain Australia can be in the top 5 at World Marathon Championship.

Peter Conway
I was asked by Karen Tipping (KT) to compete in the Kayak Marathon Nationals on the Gold Coast at Coomera Lake.

A very brave decision by KT as I have never competed in a flat water marathon race as I usually only compete in Harbour and Offshore races in surf ski’s. After a fun road trip up to GC we arrived in a not so sunny and very windy Coomera Lake.

We managed to get a in a quick 3.7k warm up lap which was great because it was only our third time in the K2, and previous to that I’d never even sat in one. Plenty of issues, and things to work on, but out of time so we were going with what we had, and would wing it, and rely on luck and a good attitude.

I supported KT in her single race on Saturday, their arvo race was postponed then shortened and run in reverse direction, as a uber strong gusting southerly was pumping across the lake. All the paddlers did an awesome job in the conditions, pushing hard and showing plenty of grit and boat handling skills.

Sunday was doubles race day and weather was pretty much the same, heavy rain showers and gusting southerly. Our doubles race was in arvo and the lake was full of wind whipped runners and white caps, which made me feel very comfortable, and just like offshore racing.

KT was beyond patient with my flat water racing rookie mistakes, and even saved us a capsize with a hail Mary brace, when I tried to cut left on a runner in a K2, ( I soon found out very quickly that K2 kayaks behave very differently to surf ski’s in a swell, and don’t like anything other than running completely square to the swell). The small Coomera lake meant the course had many markers and was only 3.7km long. It was hard to remember how many laps we’d done. It was a super fun race and we chased Dave Young and Allison Bilbow around the course.

I really enjoyed the weekend, and my first flat water marathon race. Everyone was super friendly and the race meet was well organised. The standard of paddling and effort put in by all the different divisions blew my mind, and the portage section looked beyond crazy, and never seen anything like it.

Massive thanks to KT for inviting (and putting up with me) and LCRK and organisers for making me welcome.


Above: Sunday Results for NSW. LCRKers in blue

Above: Saturday Results for NSW. LCRKers in blue

Above: Friday Results for NSW. LCRKers in blue

Start Lists

Above: LCRK members and events/sessions entered

27 Mar 2022 - Marathon Series #3 - Lane Cove


Above: Results for LCRK Members and regular TTers

Above: Team photo (some missing).

Jeff’s Thank you to all our members and family and friends
And the NSW Club Paddlers who came to support our event to make it again the best calendar event. What a turn out by our own members, the volunteers and paddlers so many.

I was on parking detail and loved it helping visitors with their boats, Laura was with all her friends on Canteen duty she seems to always get to collect the money 💴 the club knows what I know.

I must say the weather gods certainly kept busy all day. The downpour before the start of my race was so heavy then gone, we were so lucky.

Below are stories from Volunteers, Paddlers and Visitors. Take your time make a cuppa and read these great stories.
See you all next year.
Jeff Hosnell

Lane Cove doubles event - through the eyes of a newcomer
from Marnie Fitzpatrick - Newy Paddlers, & Hunter Valley Paddlesports Club
I never imagined I’d transition from recreational paddling to racing kayaks in my mid 50s, but there I was on a rainy Sunday morning at my first Marathon Series race at Lane Cove!

After a pre-dawn departure and a couple of hours on the road it was a pleasure to arrive at such a well coordinated event. The logistical arrangements were impeccable and the willingness of LCRK volunteers to help out with anything & everything other than actually paddling your boat was outstanding (and hugely appreciated)!

Paddlers are such a friendly group of people. Although it was my first race, I felt welcomed and supported by everyone I encountered. It was especially nice to feel part of the team of 11 Newcastle based paddlers present on the day. Both Newcastle clubs - Newy Paddlers & Hunter Valley Paddlesports Club were represented, with several of us being members of both clubs.

On par with the land arrangements, the course was well marked and it was a delight to look up (through my foggy glasses) mid-race and see the Harbour Bridge as our backdrop. Many thanks to my doubles partner Vicki Baker for 'showing me the ropes' and to all involved in the organisation of the event.

I encourage any interested new paddlers of any age to give the Marathon Series events a go - it’s not half as scary as it might seem!

Above: Marnie and Vicki - with obligatory Harbour Bridge backdrop

Chucks Birthday Paddle Report – Div 2 from David Little
So, it was my birthday last Sunday and as I was getting out of bed, Pauline wished me Happy Birthday and handed me an envelope. Great I thought, maybe a dinner voucher. I opened the envelope and it read ‘You have been entered in Round 3 of the PNSW Marathon Series, paddling in Division 2’. This is what happens when your partner is a paddler! I thought that I’d put my paddling on hold a couple of years ago in order to focus a bit more on running, but I seem to get dragged out of mothballs to fill vacant doubles seats from time to time. Still, a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday after the LCRK team photo got me psyched for our paddle.

I have to admit, that although I’m not paddle fit by any means, it was good to be in a marathon race again. We had a decent enough start for the first few hundred metres, but couldn’t keep up with the K2’s combos of Naomi/Laura and Gareth/John. Ian had an amazing first few km and stayed with the lead K2’s but eventually dropped into no man’s land for a lonely middle sector of the race. Meanwhile, we spent the first 12km with Tony and Alana engaging in cordial conversation and clashing paddles. Tony eventually tired of listening to Pauline and Alana chatting about the torsional rigidity of carbon fibre vs Kevlar and dropped back until the two girls were out of earshot…

We then managed to catch up to Ian and sat with him for a good while until we heard the approach of the lead Div 3 pack. Ian sped off, never to be seen again and we soon got swallowed up by the Youngster and Allison, James, Montannah, Craig and Chris/Harry. We diced with the pack for a bit, which Pauline found great fun, but eventually got spat out the back thanks to my lack of paddle fitness haha! Pauline and I managed to win Div 2 a few years back, but would not even be close now. That’s what you get for turning to the dark side and not paddling.

I have to say that I did enjoy the race, which was also my first marathon paddle for LCRK. It was also good to double up with Pauline again. We have spent so many years paddling together that it’s like second nature. I’ll regret what I just wrote when she asks me to get back into our Colt K2. Er, not so fast. I believe Fi or Nomes might be available!

Post-race was a great surprise with the magical appearance of an orange and almond cake for Post-Paddle Birthday Celebrations (PPBS for short). The cake was very tasty indeed and I can attest to its place in the pantheon of post-race recovery foods.

Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun day!

Above: Happy Birthday to Meeee, Happy Birthday to MEEEE

Bloomin Parking Lot from Jeff Collins
Firstly, a big thank you to all the carpark marshalls (too many to name) for a sterling effort on marathon day. From all the responses I received, Lane Covers went over and above all expectations. The valet boat service provided by Lane Cove is unique to this club. Some responses included “can you also park my car”, “could you paddle my boat” and “do you provide a window washing service”. Maybe something to think about for future marathons?

As the participants started to arrive our knot undoing skills were put to the test. Never have we seen so many varied and complex knots to attach boats to car racks.

By 8am it had become apparent that there was a hold up at the top gate. Dreading a tailender on busy Mowbray Road, I rushed to the top gate to see what the problem was. On arrival I realised what the hold up was. Richard Barnes was not a good idea for the top gate. As lovely as it was to have Richard as the welcoming face to the Lane Cove marathon, we realised everyone wanted to chat to Richard and he in return. After several warnings Richard managed to keep his conversations to a maximum of 5 mins per vehicle.

All in all the day went off with no glitches. There was plenty of parking for everyone. We can consider our club very fortunate to have had Richard as the first welcoming face to the marathon.

Safety Boat 2 Report
SB2: James F and Graeme J.
Posting: Sugarloaf Point
Craft: Fat Yak (comfortably stable with large turning circle)
The day started well. The deluge had just stopped before we left the pontoon - timing is everything. The tidal flow and rain was helping us as we paddled the Fat Yak downstream, taping off several hazards on our way. Arrived at SugarLoaf Point. Armed with two milk crates and a couple of umbrellas - we took up observation post on the beach. Graeme provided regular encouraging comments to paddlers as they passed - It looks so much easier from the milk crate. Impeccable organisation from Team LCRK ensured that there was nothing else to be done.

Observe, and regular check in with Safety Control, and time for a good chat. The highlight was Lunch - thank you to whoever prepared the sandwiches and rocky road. The fun started as the race finished. We got back into the Fat Yak, now paddling against the current, the boat felt very heavy. It was then that the heavens opened, the wind whipped up and drove the rain against us. We stopped to remove the tape from various hazards on the way. The deluge continued and the driving wind focussed our minds on getting back to the boat ramp. Reminder of how quickly a weather situation can change. Arrived back at the boat ramp just as the rain stopped - timing really is everything. Cleaned the boat and left for a shower.

Above: Graeme & James in the safety yak – ‘waddaya mean you’re not towing us back?’

Jeremy Spear - Start
It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the success of LCRK’s marathon. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with ALL paddlers - as the starter I did actually get a chance to see every paddler, even if briefly. What a terrific race – I took the opportunity after the starts to go and watch and cheer from the footbridge so was able to take photos of friends techniques from overhead – as well as cheer on the K3 – you missed it? That was a Double who had the front paddler with a double blade (K2) and the aft paddler with a single blade (C1). Didn’t know about that hybrid class – would have given Alan Newhouse a bit of competition I’m sure.

A great opportunity to catch up with everyone at the most excellent LCR Café afterwards – in spite of the occasional drenching. What a great days racing for all.

Derek And Tim – Div 5
A fantastic event again this year.

It’s great to be a part of the Marathon Series, and especially the Lane Cove round, when Derek Simmonds and I get together, in the old Vindicator (K2). This year, we had our first win in 25 plus years, in Div 5, admittedly in a field of only 3 boats. Our time was 2 minutes slower than last year, but was actually similar to some boats in Div 4.

You say, ‘remarkable’. Well you would have to expect, two old farts like us, to use some ‘rat cunning’ to achieve that. So, at the start, we couldn’t help noticing the strong flow in the river (supplemented by a showery blast), which promised tough upstream legs of the race. And so it was, that when the time was right, we shamelessly exploited our young opposition. We slipped in behind Kim Navera and Dave Hammond in their Supersonic, on the first upstream leg, and got a nice wash ride, against the heavy flow.

Thus, we were able (this time) to overcome the disadvantage of old age, to cross the finish line, 2 minutes clear. Danielle Winslow and Rob Collins from Burley Griffin, in their Supersonic, came in a bit later, after battling the stormwater outflow.

No doubt, next year will have a different outcome for Derek and me, however the Lane Cove round will always be fantastic, made so, by the friendly mob of paddlers and supporters.

Above: Derek & Tim at work

The day Dad asked me to paddle the double (Div 8 – Jeff and Rob Collins)
I was so proud when dad asked me if I wanted to paddle in the Marathon Series, Doubles Round at Lane Cove last week, I shed a tear. He never asks me to do anything………When he asked me, I knew I had graduated from novice to armature paddler, and in his eyes, we were able to be competitive.

I thought, Dad doesn’t just ask anyone to paddle with him, I can’t let him down. Having only paddled together twice prior we were both nervous about our performance, me nervous about trying to lift my cadence to keep up with his and Jeff (traffic/parking supervisor) nervous about a traffic jam spilling out onto the Epping highway because every paddler arriving wanting to talk to Richard Barnes at the carpark entry. Once the nerves settled and we examined the field of 13 paddlers for Division 8 15km, we both spotted the pairing of Warwick and Shane from the Hunter Valley Club, they were in a K2 and were going to be tough to beat. In the two times we had paddled together prior I was struggling to pick my cadence up and ran out of puff at the 10km mark so 15 was going to be tough.

Jeff assured me he was going to drop the cadence a bit to ensure we would make the 14km with enough in the tank to finish strong. I knew he had other plans. The thirteen boats lined up and the rain fell as the starter set us off, Jeff has always said a strong start is important and today was no different, Jeff started strong, very strong, I kept up as best I could with his cadence, knowing he would slow soon, maybe after 500m, at the foot bridge, maybe? We pushed forward and found ourselves in first place at the footbridge. We got to about the 1km mark and I said, “BUGGER, I didn’t set my Garmin, did you?” Jeff said, “Neither did I.” We must have both been too nervous. Who needs to know, heart rate, 250m splits, speed, etc, etc. just go!!!!!!!!!!

Sure enough the pairing in the K2 came past us about 3km in and continued to put distance between us. Through the 5km turn and back under the bridge we sucked onto the sand bank and it felt like we were dragging 10 bricks behind us. The K2 pairing put on about 150m on us, Jeff lifted the cadence after a 3km slow down and we were able to catch the K2 pairing by the 10km turn. At the turn all I could hear was my kids shouting, “Fall in, Fall in!!” Great support hey, because we almost did.

By the 12.5km turn we had passed the K2 pairing and I was thinking, “we’ve got this!” We turned and headed for home and I knew we needed to keep something, anything in the tank to bring us home strong, then the K2 pairing surged on us again at 14km, I was gassed, I knew they would be tired to and we just had to keep pushing them and hope that they would falter under the pressure of the father and son team. At the turn they were only a boat length in front and we pushed them all the way to the finish. We finished 3 seconds behind the K2 pairing in second place, we definitely put them on notice for the next doubles marathon race.

It was a great event and well organised, a big thanks to all the volunteers and organising committee. The volunteered time and energy that goes into the organisation of this event and our Wednesday night time trials is huge. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thanks again and see you on the water.

Above: Jeff & Rob

Safety Boats – Ian Wrenford
Safety Boat crew for 2022 were Oscar Cahill, Peter Harris, Tom Simmat, Trevor Nichols, Merry Sugiarto, Graeme Jeffries, James Farrell and Lachie Wrenford – big thanks! The day kicks off with arrival at Burns Bay boat ramp before the crack of dawn – with boats launched, loaded and setting off by 6:30am to lay the course.

The course consists of 43 buoys about ¼ tonne of weights and about ¼ of a km of rope – most of which is laid these days with GPS assist and Oscar’s depth sounder. There’s also hazard tape required for key obstacles and a bit of a debris run and course check.

All the Safety Boats arrive at the pontoon around 8:30am which gives enough time for a coffee, some breakfast – and to pick up the all-important safety boat lunches from the Canteen (including one for Wade at the portage)

The gloomy forecast of a day of rain wasn’t entirely correct. The rain mostly held off for course laying – with a passing shower on the way up to the pontoon, a shower at the start – then clearing up nicely as the race progressed. After the race though, as we were retrieving buoys on the way up to the pontoon (again) - the heavens opened and it bucketed down. Oscar was fine in his powerboat – nice roof to offer shelter under. Trevor/Merry and Ian/Lachie in the rubber duckies had no choice but to grin and bear it and be thankful for self-draining hulls. Likewise Graeme/James in the double kayak were probably wondering if the boat was going to fill up with rainwater before they made it back to dry land.

One bonus of the dodgy weather was that gin palace movements below Fig Tree Bridge was basically non-existent. The water was flat, calm and there was not a single rescue required (the best outcome). The only incident was a 10km double who ‘threw a blade’ on their brand new paddle near Fig Tree Bridge – and were initially up for a tow then decided they could paddle nearly as quickly with 1½ blades vs 2.

Thanks to the ‘many hands’ back at the shed who helped with the unloaded of the boats, rinsing off the kit, and once the boats were trailered back (about 2pm!) getting them washed, engines flushed, and repacked ready for the next race! A long day – but nice to contribute to an event that so many from LCRK also contribute to.

Above: Lachie and Ian Wrenford – wondering what just happened after weathering ‘THE DOWNPOUR’

5-6 Mar 2022 - Marathon Series #2 - Canberra (incl State Singles on Sat, State Doubles on Sun)

Above: Team photo (some missing). Photo: via Tim Hookins

Race reports
Jeff Hosnell
Hi Everyone - it’s with great pleasure I write about the amazing weekend Lane Cove Paddlers had at the 2022 NSW State Championship races held over 2 days in Canberra, I must say weather was amazing both days.

Saturday was singles and we had 30 paddlers lining up for lots of different age groups and categories, this was nearly a third of all entries, in the State Selection category we had 15 entries amazing, and we had 7 golds. On Sunday it was Doubles racing with 10 Lane Cove pairs of which Pete Fitz and Darren Williams came down just to team up with Pete Manley and Don Johnstone, and Trev did the driving, thanks guys

You can view the race results in the table way down below.

I would like to draw attention to club members the contribution made by a few of our marathon racers, Allison Bilbow, Tom Burke, John Lambert, Andrew Pearce and Craig Huthchinson they all did the club proud - some new to Marathon racing, or first timing in K1/selection categories. Welcome Tom to marathon racing he chose the 15km race paddling his new K1, he was in my start and he went out really fast, I was able to follow him for 50m then he was gone he had the race all to himself and finished 1st. Craig paddled in the 35 yr to 49yr K1 selection 22.5km with 5 portages he finished 3rd will done. Andrew paddled in 65 to 69 and really enjoyed the paddle, John paddled the 10km race and finished 5th of 17 starters.

The Champion of the day was Allison she paddled in the Female Selection Category 50 to 59 18.5km with 5 portages, amazing she is paddling her K1 Bettong now this is a true racing boat and did fantastic she was so determined, the top end of the coarse is very narrow so with over a 100 boats on the water it got pretty choppy but she handled it no problem. In the portages she was smiling and laughing I wish I could have seen more of her race.

Jeff’s race I have reached the golden age of 70 and since there was no 65 to 69 age group I entered the 70 to 79 race, only 3 starters but we were lumped in with 15km racers so we had 15 starters, I was paddling my new Apex 40 and had only paddled it a couple of times on my own so no race experience, the 11km distance suited me fine, I had a crazy finish I am not used to finishing 1st and was expecting to hear a horn sounding my finish and there was nothing, so I’m calling out to Bob and Marg am I finished or do I carry on! Nobody would answer me, Jill said keep paddling I crossed 1st and enjoyed finishing early and was able to cheer everyone on. At the dinner I found out from Bob that they can’t call out to racers it's up to the racer to know how far they have paddled even spectators can’t call out Laura was calling out and she was told to be quiet heh heh heh!!!

Saturday night was a dinner organised by Burley Griffin it was nice to chat and laugh with those who came, food was great!!

Sunday was Doubles so a lot of our paddlers were fronting up to race again, the club had a great day 6 golds. Special mention to Craig Hutchinson and Kieran in the open class both raced on Saturday, Craig nearly rang Kieran to say "mate I’m stuffed can you find someone else", but after seeing Allison on Saturday he knew he had to front up, 29.6km and 7 portages they finished on the podium in 3rd place.

The other special mention is Andrew Pearce and John Lambert never paddled together, John is a young bugger so they were in the 50 to 59yr group 22.5km, now John has never raced more than 11km, they were in the club Vulcan, with broken front seat. John was a mess at the end he found it very hard, both paddlers couldn’t get in time so it was a real slog, but again they kept going and came in 3rd.

I must mention Karen in the doubles, her partner didn’t turn up so she asked me if I knew anyone who needed a partner. I knew Neil Crabb from Central Coast was without a partner so introduced both. Neil said after the race he was stuffed after 2 laps, but Karen kept pushing and paddling hard, I know what she is like she’s Lane Coves Energiser Battery paddler and is so determined, and it was all worth it Gold Gold for Karen!

Jeff and Lee Wrights race, well our race has been a journey from lots of swims at Albury to State Champions, we were paddling my K2 in the 60 to 69yr race no other starters that suited me fine! in training we had tried Lee in the front me at the back, not good lots of near swims, a week before the States I went in the front, now I have never been in the front of a K2 and never used tiller steering. The race start was very crowded and the first turn I couldn’t steer nearly took out a number of boats. The foot strap was the problem half way up to the top mark I push the strap over the foot plate and it was so much better. At this stage we were way behind all the other starters in our group but each lap we passed boats that I didn’t think we would catch, we got our Gold which we deserved for all the pressure we put on ourselves, looking forward to Nationals.

Bruno Colos
It has been an amazing experience to be in states Champs over the last weekend,

An incredible 4 months since I joined Brett Greenwood team and Lane Cove club and started training K1 marathon with them, feeling like when I was a kid learning to paddle again enjoying and improving every day, learning so many different things, after 11 years of my last marathon race back in Argentina the country where I was born. I feel grateful of having the opportunity to be in such a warm and supportive environment with incredible and inspiring happy people!

Honestly it was amazing to share this race with such amazing paddlers as Mick Laverette, Brett Greenwood and Casey Haynes, it has been motivating to push my self and give my best as I was competing with world champions medalist who represented Australia in many international races, it added to the race an incredible sense of satisfaction just being there!

The day of the week I enjoy the most is Wednesdays at Lane Cove because of the 11,8km Time Trial where all the paddlers no matter the level, age or boat try to break their own personal record. It might sound a bit odd, but I enjoy making hard things look easy when it comes to kayaking!

I have always been inspired by great paddlers of the Olympics like Javier Correa that finished 5th in k1 1000- Sydney 2000, he has inspired lots of athletes in Argentina because of his achievements with low resources and lot of sacrifice! Kenny Wallace, Adam Vankoeverden, Knut Holman, Erik Veras Larsen, and others had been a big inspiration of mine throughout my career as an elite paddler.

I had the goal and a big opportunity to race Internationally from 2005 to 2009 in different Sprint International races and a World cup at Poland, I was able to achieve the 6th position in A final k2-1000mts Junior Sprint World Championship in Race 2007, the best result of my Career as a paddler until today. After the world championship I had a chest injury just before going to the qualification of Olympics Beijing 2008, luckily later on my double partner Correa qualified in Beijing 2008 and finished 7th in K1 500mts.

Today, after taking a short break from the great paddle community for some years, and moving to Australia for Work, I'm fully inmmersed in the Marathon Kayaking, training here on the Narrabeen Lakes- Sydney with Brett and his training paddlers who taught me the great majority of the marathon skills to be able to race and improve, we have the humble aim with my double partner James Harrington to go to worlds in mid September this year In Portugal, but before this we'll be racing to qualify in Nationals held on The Gold Coast from the 21-24th of April.

I still have questions to answer, for that reason I'm happy to enjoy training again and being a member of the Australian Canoeing also encouraging those who want to join the sport, I think is an incredible time and opportunity to be on the water!

Karen Tipping
Saturday Singles
Women’s 50-59 Non-ICF
There’s 3 girls in our start line, one has already beaten me at Wagga but I’m focused I’ve trained hard. There are 27 in our Start line - ICF, NON-ICF, Womens 50s, Mens 60s. This is an impressive line up of 27 boats, I’m nervous, excited but I got a great start. I’m paddling strong, I’m taking wash opportunities, I’m in front of my competitors or am I?
2 tight turns each lap so I don’t look the first couple of turns because I know she is on my tail but then I start stretching my lead, I can’t see her, Why can’t I see her?
Maybe she is in front. No. I can’t stop now. I gave it everything I beat my time from last year but have I beaten anyone or I’m doing a Bradbury?
I crossed the line solo with gold.
Sunday Doubles
Womens 50-59 NON-ICF
No Strike that
Mixed 35 - 59 Non-ICF
Yes sadly my Doubles partner had to withdraw but Jeff the Super Match Maker finds me a new partner. Neil from Windsor- his partner was cut off from the floods.
I've got blisters on my hand but let's do it, this is why we train.
He is apprehensive. 'I haven't raced much' he says. 'I don't think I can go too hard' he says.
I'm like there is 3 in our division, so I'm getting bronze.
We are in the Club Civet Cat (I now love this boat)
We start, so many boats, so messy but I know which numbers are our competitors .
We hit the first turn, I took it too wide, this TK2 takes the inside line and drops us. We fight back, get in front, top turn they do it again. On and on it goes for 3.5 laps, finally we start pulling away and yes we win.

2 Gold I am ecstatic
Bring on Nationals
Tony Hystek
While I was getting wet feet, my work clients were getting cold feet; a number of work cancellations meant Alanna and I had no excuse to miss the Marathon State Champs.

Most singles fields were well subscribed by Lane Cove paddlers with Lee Wright, Wade Rowston, Danielle Torre, Fiona Rae, Pauline Findlay, Alison Bilbow, Karen Tipping, Michael Lieberman, Tim Hookins, Andrew Pearce, Chris Dickman and troublemaker David Young in my start… and that was just wave 4! It may have been easier to count who wasn’t from Lane Cove. Other starts were equally decorated.

Alanna chose not to paddle on Saturday but to feed the LCRK crew instead. I missed out on a feed, as I wasn’t deemed worthy of portaging.

It was useful for me to be able to get a good start and share first lap leads with Danielle. She was content to keep me company till approaching the first portage I casually mentioned ‘old men don’t portage’. (Count that among the few positives of ageing). Danielle wasn’t impressed!

As has been the habit of late, my early enthusiasm turned to mid-race pain with dead leg and other fitness issues slowing progress. Added to that the clouds parted on lap 3, the blistering sun searing the rumps of many ill-prepared paddlers including mine. Things weren’t going to plan.

David Young was ready to pounce on lap 4, and it was a lonely paddle behind him to the finish. Perhaps the odd portage may have been beneficial…… Most other paddlers appeared to enjoy themselves, and the sizeable field meant plenty of action on the water, with plenty of medals to show for it.

Sat evening dinner was organised at ‘Rose Cottage’, an inappropriately named venue a few minutes from the course; the marquee we were given was only just standing upright. Think SummerNats and you’ll get the picture. However, the food was great and ‘couldabeens’ even better.

The doubles fields were a little smaller on Sunday, but the racing was good. I benefitted from being allowed to portage through association; Alanna qualified. This was a much better race all round, with perfect conditions, better behaved competition that didn’t overtake us, and the chance to stretch one’s legs along the way.

BGCC put on a great event, with the higher than usual water level proving beneficial for portaging even though the flow down the river was surprisingly fast.

'Andrew Pearce
As expected LCRK were very well represented for the singles races on Saturday and clearly were the largest group (20 plus) amongst the over 120 paddlers that had turned up from far and wide, unfortunately some clubs or individual paddlers could not make it due to the weather conditions and floods, and I am sure all the members of the LCKC club extend our best wishes to our fellow paddlers affected in any way.

The effort the good people of the BGCC put into organising this event was clearly evident from the moment we arrived at the carpark with people directing traffic, and the banter between the respective paddlers as they caught up and discussed past events set the scene for some very fast times in all categories.

All concerns about the weather in Canberra were put to rest as the sun came out in time for the start and once again the BGCC displayed the huge level of effort they had gone to, extending from the briefing through to the aligners, starters and course marshals strategically placed around the course watching for any indiscretion.

I do not have the finishing times close at hand, however the LCRK members featured very strongly in the medal count across most divisions and were clearly the dominant team, at one stage it was suggested that we may need to contact a security firm to safely transport the booty back to Sydney.

The dinner at the Rose cottage was attended by a few hardy souls who braved the heavy rain to drive out there, a great night and opportunity to catch up, most left early to get some well earned sleep.

The Sunday Doubles was also very well attended and once more the LCRK were well represented, with a few early dramas as Pete and Fitzy had a damaged rudder before they even got on the water (hastily repaired) and again with an errant rope from one of the markers before the start, Daniela and her Doubles Partner were also seen to be taking the scenic route back up from the bottom mark as a result of rudder damage on a log (we have all been there).

My highlight was stepping into the club Vulcan with John Lambert, for the 22.5klm race (a mistake in the registration process as we should have only done the 18.5. I had not paddled a double for over 8 years and had not paddled with John at all, it did not take long for us to realise our respective paddling paces were not very well aligned, so we both tried to adjust (me slowing down and John speeding up) I could hear John behind me saying if you keep this pace up I will not make it, but alas we did make it in a respectable time and I for one thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, we both came away wiser for the experience.

Tim Hookins
In the first few rays of sunshine that Sydneysiders have felt for some time, the Lane Covers gathered under the plane trees at Lake Burleigh Griffin for the NSW Marathon Championships at 10.30 on Saturday 5th March, 2022. It was a 3.5km laps course with the singles on the Saturday and the Doubles on Sunday 6th. The course currently features a wide turn almost in front of the start and then we went down the Molonglo River (which was flowing strongly) to where it opens out to the lake where there was a three-buoy turn.


The K1s started at about 11am in division one. But the important start was the 4th division featuring the 60 -70s doing the 18.5 kilometers. During lap one all the gun over 60 men and over 50 women disappeared ahead of us, including the ever-competitive Les Howard from Windsor and also our Karen Tipping who kept tantalizingly ahead just out of reach. After the first turn it became clear that our Lee Wright, Mike Schanzer from Manly Warringah and I were going to be fighting it out, lap after lap.

At each end of the course it was like the jousting stalls around the buoys with paddles as jousting sticks bashing and knocking each other’s boats. I usually don’t mind a bit of a tussle around the buoys but Lee and Mike showed such steely determination at each corner I decided on self-preservation and took the outside line. On the fourth lap I made my break for it and got ahead, averting the corner jousts for two corners. Then they caught back up and I had to brace myself for the final onslaught with the three of us panting away vying for second and third in the 65 to 69 years division! Neck and neck at the last corner Lee grimly held on to his lead, while I put in a final dash with Mike in hot pursuit. Try as I might I could not get past Lee at the finish and he crossed the line 0.6 of a second ahead of me. So Lee was second in 1:53 09.1 and I was third in 1: 53 09.7 closely followed by Mike at 1: 53.19.5. Winner of the 65-69 div was Les Howard in 1:50.52 and Karen finished in a very creditable 1:52.17, well ahead of us.

I have done many Canberra Marathons but I enjoyed this one as much as any of them. It is a pleasure to be in the Lane Cove team with the friendly competitive spirit we show on occasions like this.

Lost rudder before start – snapped off on sand - pit stop - missed start 1 min but won 50-59 age group … Fitz “Ouch in 1 week to Old for this race

3 things had to go wrong :)
1. Rudder broke off before 10 mins before start on sand - so quick pit stop big surf rudder
2. Rudder catches pontoon rope whilst emptying river sand from Fitz booties
3. Paddle offset slips 15 degrees when fixing rudder leaning on pontoon…only worked out 3 lap as shoulder sore !
Manley motor kicked in & we catch up to win age group - check out Video of the boys 'catching up'. Good job all done ! I was worried 3rd thing would be swim! Every paddle is a good paddle!
Pauline Findlay
A race on the Molongolo river in Canberra is always a lot of fun! A beautiful venue with plenty of greenspace for parking and gear prep including a well-equipped clubhouse (with hot showers!) I was looking forward to catching up with all my paddling friends and enjoying a bit of racing amongst us all.

After a serious amount of rain in Sydney we were all a bit dubious of the upcoming race, expecting it to be cancelled due to “severe weather conditions” but how lucky were we! The weather gods were very kind to us on both days. Saturday proved to be a lot warmer than expected and there were a few sunburnt faces while Sunday was pleasantly overcast and a bit windy to keep us on our toes!

I had registered for both the singles race on Saturday and the doubles race on Sunday; only to discover, on Friday night, that I was the only singles competitor in the selection class for my age bracket! Not much of a race if I was only paddling against myself so I decided to drop down to the group below me and form a class of 4 paddlers racing against each other. According to the ICF rules, with 4 paddlers, there would be a gold, silver and bronze medal awarded. If there had only been the original 3 paddlers registered, there would only have been a gold and silver medal awarded. I was now racing against Daniela Torre, Fi Rae and Allison Bilbow- all great female paddlers!

Being in a younger age bracket now required me to do an extra lap and…. 4 portages! This also applied to my doubles race on the Sunday so, all up, I paddled 37 km with 8 portages- no wonder my body was tired at work on Monday!

I really enjoy portaging- it’s a real test to run with your boat in a race with mixed ability paddlers all coming into a pontoon together and all I could think of was- I hope I’m not portaging at the same time as the opens!

I was in wave 4 of the singles race- a start consisting of 28 paddlers from various age groups and selection class (ICF boats), non-selection class, and non-championship 20km. A good marathon start!

We were brought up to the start line and we were off! Tony Hystek, Daniela Torre, Fi Rae and myself were the first boats off the line and the wash riding pack was formed. Throughout the race, there were many changes in placing according to who was portaging and who was not but, I must say, throughout the entire 18.5 km Daniela was out in front with Fi close behind, followed by myself. This remained consistent right to the finish with Daniela paddling 1.42, Fi 1.43.08 and myself 1.43.49. Great times for 18.5km with portaging!

Well done also to both Karen for her great time (1.52) and Allison (2.03-with portages) for their great efforts in paddling the 18.5km course. It’s so good to see woman paddlers in the mix!

Sunday doubles race began at 10am with Fi and myself in the 3rd wave start with 12 starters in age groups ranging from 35-69 years and a mixture of classes. We were the only female doubles in our wave but that didn’t stop us from putting on a good show! I call it girl power! Jason Ware and Daniela Torre were first off the line followed by Fi and I. We worked hard to stay with them, however, they were faster and eventually pulled away from us only to experience rudder issues on the return of the first lap. Tony and Alanna paddled over to offer assistance however the issue continued and they unfortunately had to pull out of the race. This left Fi and myself out in the lead with a finishing time of 1.36.20. Alanna and Tony followed close behind with a finishing time of 1.40.43 (take away time spent assisting and they would have been even closer!)

I personally love the feeling of racing a K1 amongst a pack of paddlers – the wash riding (which I am slowly mastering) hopping on and off washes as boats go past you is a lot of fun and exciting, especially as I am learning to push myself a little harder to go just that little bit faster! I love reflecting on my races learning from my mistakes and feeling proud of my achievements. The state titles in Canberra was a fun weekend! Finally, I just wanted to add how much Fi and I missed our travelling/paddling buddy Naomi who, unfortunately, had to isolate on the very weekend she had worked so hard for! Her times in our Wednesday night TTs have been progressively getting faster and faster and her extra curricula cross training with weights & running in preparation for strong competition in the Opens- a 25.9km course consisting of 7 laps and 6 portages! Go Girl!

What can I say- Bring on the Nationals!! See you on the water!

Above: Singles Results for LCRk Members and regular TTers

Above: Doubles Results for LCRk Members and regular TTers

Welcome to the 2022 PaddleNSW Marathon State Championships, hosted by the Burley Griffin Canoe Club. A BIG THANK YOU to the team at BGCC for agreeing to host two days of racing.

These State Championships was run under the ICF format of Age/Category, rather than our normal Divisional format.

These State Championships were run over two (2) days, with Singles events being run on Saturday, and Doubles events being run on Sunday.

Three race types were on offer:

ICF Championship races - for ICF K1/K2 & C1/C2 craft ONLY, with portage required for entrants up to 59 years of age. 60+ do not portage. Non-ICF Championship races - for all other craft types. No portage required. Non-Championship races - for entrants who wish to paddle their normal Division distances.

5 Feb 2022 - Marathon Series #1 - Wagga

Above: Team photo (some missing). Photo: Jill Greenwood

John Duffy sent a 'thank you' note through to the Wagga Bidgee Club and received this really nice reply. Thanks to all who made the trip:
Hi John,
Thanks so much for taking the time to send us your feedback and more so, for bringing a contingent of Lane Cove paddlers down to Wagga for the race last weekend.

We are thrilled you all enjoyed it, including the additional challenges experienced by those unfamiliar with a moving river and the down river format!

As you might be aware, this was the second year we have run with this format and it seems to be proving popular. Next year (if we get a race), we are planning to put on a shorter event early on the Sunday morning just to round out the weekend, for all of those who have made the effort to travel and stay in Wagga.

Thanks again for getting in touch John and please thank all of your members who came to Wagga. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Race Director and Commodore WBCC

Race Report

from Jeff Hosnell:
Wagga was the first race of the NSW Marathon series and what a great turnout of Lane Cove Paddlers 19 amazing. Sorry I couldn’t come this year but I know everyone would have had a great race and social time I know I did last year.

We had entries in all the 20km divisions great seeing Angie and David teaming up in Div 7 also good to see Scott Tyers paddling for Lane Cove and getting the valuable points in Div 2. Also Stephen Shelley in Div 3 was right in the mix first race for Lane Cove.

Next race is the State Championships single and doubles over 2 days in Canberra. It’s time to start looking for your partner for the doubles round. Remember both race days will be based on age unless you choose open men and open womens. Also up to the age of 65 is portage.

We will supply more race information over the next couple of weeks. It would be great to get a large team from Lane Cove and get as many paddlers into K1s and K2s Because these are the classes that are recognised moreso than skis and Long Rec.

We have a number of stable boats available and also we will ask members if they have any suitable boats that could be lent out to members. Please contact me or other club members anytime for help. Let’s make State a massive success.

from Lee Wright (Div 4) I first started paddling in Wagga and paddled with the Bidgee Club for about twelve years so it’s always great to go back to see friends and paddle on the river again. I like the one way paddle downstream from Oura, even though I now find the river currents daunting, particularly this year when the river looked higher and flowed faster than I can recall paddling on. My memories are more of trying to find the channels through the gravel beds during the winter months.

In the Division 4 race, John Duffy and the pack went out of sight pretty quickly so I paddled most of the race on my own until Wade went past me above Eunony. I didn't catch him but finished happy to be claiming a PB, regardless of the assistance from the river.

from Alanna Ewin:
Wagga is always a great race and probably a favourite of mine. I do miss the original format as it had interesting flow, obstacles and navigation challenges to get around the course upright and in one piece! The one way new format is tricky and fast with big eddies to contend with this year.

Curiously, Tony and I are still being allocated to Div One despite our Div 3 times these days. So we duly floated down to the start line and were once again promptly dropped as we watched everyone else head off into the distance! This year Div 2 were in our start so we enjoyed hanging out with them briefly, and had a Div 2 paddler settle onto our wash for the first part of the race. The company was great until we almost capsized and plunged our paddles in down to our elbows. We made an excellent recovery if I do say so myself, and duly put in an effort to rejoin our wash rider, at which time I expressed (and she agreed) that we weren’t sure if we were going to be of assistance to her or take her down with us if we had another ‘moment’. Our wash rider then left us to join passing paddlers from Div 2 and 3 who could give her a faster and safer ride to the finish! It was a challenging paddle with big eddies to contend with in a K boat, and without much fitness under our belt, but we made it and enjoyed the ourselves thoroughly.

And to top off the weekend we spent Sunday with Ruby and Caoimhín packrafting on the Goobarragandra River near Tumut. It was a great fun paddle, but I could do with a bit of whitewater training so I might have to hit up Richard Barnes for some clues now that he’s retuned to the land of Oz. Thanks Ruby and Caoimhín for filming and making a fabulous movie of our adventure: on youtube

All in all a really fun weekend of dining, racing and hanging out with LCRK mates. The only thing missing was a stop off at the Junee chocolate factory in the way home!

from Anjie Lees:
Dave and I decided the one way down river race was too irresistible to be missed.

We started at 10:30 on the Div 7 start and paddled with Ruby and Caoimhin most of the way. The river was higher than I have seen it before and the banks were grassy and green. We reached speeds of 15-16km/hr which was awesome the km ticked over very quickly. We did our best to stay in the main flow, the max speed changed depending on the width of the river.

The river was wide and the few obstacles were easy to spot and navigate. We didn't have too many people pass us only a couple in div 8 who did a shorter distance and Ruby and Caoimhin came in just in front of us.

At the finish Race Director Angela was looking for feedback on whether we liked the one way format and we definitely did. It was awesome WBCC had organised a shuttle which makes it an easy fall back position we managed to organise shuttles with other from LCRK.

All in all a 10 out of 10 from Dave and I. We drove straight back on Sat afternoon maybe next time we'll stay for the dinner. So nice to see so many paddling buddies after such a long time.

from John Duffy:
Paddlers how told me about the Murrumbidgee “swirls” in the fast moving water, but I gathered these were concentrated around the corners. Not true. They are continuous, they are everywhere and for down river novices like me, I found them very off-putting and mentally difficult. I’ll be better prepared next time and I was just happy to finish and stay upright. Certainly a thrill to be hitting 16km/hr at some points, with an average above 14km/hr so the kilometres clicked over very frequently. A well run event, fun to be part of (especially with so many LCRK members), and a beautiful drive down and back.

from Warwick Sherwood:
After a leisurely trip down the Hume we were very happy to find our Hotel was located between a couple of pubs and a brewery! Solid race preparation was the order of the day as we had a late race start the next day

Shuttling out to Oura Beach with Anjie and Jeff to find a large group of Team Lane Cove happily preparing for the 26k run. The current was whizzing by the start line and had to be somewhere near 4km/h .. even the starter buoy had to be rescued..

We started behind the Div 3 pack , with a tight group of K1’s and a couple of doubles clearing out quickly. The river was running differently to the Murray a few weeks earlier, and seemed deeper with less eddies and obstacles.

We ran most of the distance with Naomi and a couple of other LC K1’s before watching them slowly pull out over the last few kilometres. We thought the journey would be much more suitable as a day trip, as the scenery and weather was brilliant. Sausage sandwiches under the trees at the finish topped off a great event…. Then back to the brewery

From Don Johnstone:
Wagga is probably my favourite course of the season - the Murrumbidgee winding through the river red gums, as shown beautifully in this mural in downtown Wagga called "Murrumbidgee Flow":

The word Murrumbidgee is Wiradjuri for “Plenty Water” and there was certainly plenty this year, with a river depth of 3.1 metres, thanks to an overnight release from Burrinjuck Dam. I made the most of the scenery by camping the Friday night on the river bank near the start line along with Darren and our trusty landcrew Trevor. After joining the Lane Cove crew for breakie in town, the race itself was a blast. It's rare indeed for me to clock up a sub 4 minute kilometre but I managed that a few times along the way, and was very happy to finish not quite at the back of Div 3, enthused for another season of marathon racing.

Above: Results for LCRK Members and regular TTers

22-23 Jan 2022 - Frank Harrison Memorial - Albury

Race report from David Little:
It was a solid NSW (and LCRK) turnout. A bunch of us celebrated Paulines Birthday on Saturday with Pizza, Cupcakes and Champagne. The food of champions! On Saturday Pauline paddled her old Ranger which dates back to the 1980's and did well to stay composed and upright in the fast flowing water.

I was dragged out of paddling mothballs to steer our double Ocean Ski for the Sunday race and we ended up winning Div 3 for Team NSW. No doubt this was due in part to Pauline telling me to "leg drive and engage my core" for the entire 26k's, and her consumption of copious amounts of Birthday champagne the night before!

Tony and Alana obviously drank copious amounts of alcohol on Saturday night as they took a glorious win in Div 4 on Sunday!

Naomi and Laura took out Fastest Female K2 and each were presented with a large engraved red wine glass. Can you see a theme emerging?

James, still feeling the after effects of COVID red-lined and hit the wall in the Saturday race and decided to pull the pin at Waterworks after 16km so that he could regroup for his paddle with Casey in the K2 on Sunday. They ended up getting pipped by the strong VIC duo of David Cedia and Hamish Young by a mere 7.3 seconds after 26km of racing. A gutsy effort from James despite James crediting Casey for carrying him!


Above: Here are the results of the LCRK gang. I hope I captured everyone