For anyone who wants to organise an Open Water Race be prepared for stress! You want good weather, clear skies are nice. The wind to blow from the right direction and some swell as well. I have tried to pray and use karma where possible it is often just a dream.
Today someone must have said the right words for us. We had sunshine, some light north east winds and even some east north East swell! The numbers were down on last year for some reason but those that came had a great day. I was surprised to see that some people still had the energy to race in the cash. It was also great to see Mark Sundin introducing his daughter to racing by getting her to co paddle in the dash for cash.
We were lucky to have Ray from NSW maritime to give us some great information packs on life jackets and was also on hand all day to assist anyone with questions on the new life jacket legislation. We are pleased to see that NSW Maritime want to continue to work with us into the future at our events. It should be noted that with the new legislation we are able to wear type 1, 2 or 3 life jackets when paddling in the harbours and rivers when more than 100 metres from shore. When you are paddling offshore you must have as a minimum a type 2 which is hi vis. For harbour racing events our requirement is type 2 minimum for all events. We do not want to see the manual inflating life jackets however as these require an annual service to be acceptable in the legislation. It is impossible for us to monitor this and therefore we have chosen not to allow them. Paddlers have advised of heat issues when wearing them and whilst we understand we are all in the same boat here and so it is something that we will just have to get used too. If you race interstate they have been a requirement for a long time.
We must thank the incredible sponsors who support us at each event and we hope that you the paddlers see their support as without them we could not continue to bring events such as this to you. This year we were lucky to have an agreement with Renault Alexandria who proudly bring some awesome new cars for us to see at every event. Along with Renault we continue to have Chris Murty from Rhino Roof Racks, Prokayaks, Vaikobi, Paddlecraft, Think, Fenn, Vajda Kayaks, Epic Kayaks, Bennett Paddles. Please support our sponsors as they support the development of our sport that we all love!
As an event organiser it is always wonderful to see a smiling face at the end of a race. Yes there is also that look of exhaustion and pain but you can also see the smiles which mean a lot. Any race such as this is impossible without the support of volunteers. These are people who choose not to race but to ensure that you all get to have a great day out. I would
like to make special mention to Mike Vitnell, John Mollard, Belle Bruce, Anthony Woodrow, Dean Akuhata, Sam Bugeja. These guys came down early and stayed back late to help us bring this race on. Their selfless support is very much appreciated. Thank you all. Our club has been running events in the shire now for 4 years with donations going to many local charities. Recently we donated to the Variety Club and today the funds will be sent 100% to Cronulla Surf Club.
I would like to thank the paddlers who continue to sport the series and a special mention to those paddlers who drove long distances to race with us today. I was very pleased to see so many paddlers from the Ulladulla – Makai club, Wollongong and Northern Beaches areas. True paddlers will go anyway for a well run event and we are proud to bring that to you.
We will have the photos up this week apologies to those that I missed with the camera on the water. I saw some big smiles on the downwind section of the course!
Next race is Rose Bay Challenge on Sunday 13th April. This is always a great day on Sydney harbour.