PNSW Harbour Series 2016 – Pittwater Challenge Race Report

A clear sky and no wind greeted the MWKC race hosts at Bayview early on Saturday morning at setup for race 2 of the PNSW Harbour Series, with the Epic sponsor’s flags barely fluttering shortly after first light. The course was laid early and registration set up and managed really well by the MWKC volunteers. Over 100 registrations online prior to the event indicated a solid attendance. The Race Briefing was clear and the course and start procedure well outlined to all, giving a good 15 minute window for a warm up pre start.

There were two starts used – the first for long course with Short Course just minutes afterwards, ensuring all started with competitors in their own division only and no confusion. After the three short blasts as a prep signal and then on the single long start signal, the lead pack formed quickly with Vajda and Think Skis (Brett Greenwood, Sasa Vujanic, Stew O’Regan) quickly forming a diamond with Dave Coward and Tony Hystek right up there with them, leaving the remainder if the fleet In their wash. They continued in this way for quite a while with no one really wanting to lead out. The rest of the long course formed into about three main packs – each chasing the one in front. The water was flat with just a few lumps from passing boats to contend with and a very slight maybe 6kt cooling headwind to provide relief. Who knew it could be this warm on the water in autumn in Sydney? The first half of the long course was essentially a straight line drag race for 7km north to the large and highly visible pink race marker buoy off Sand Point. A left hand turn for the next leg of about1km gave a few passing opportunities. This leg presented small chop from the right and gave those on tippier skis something else to think about. The fear of losing the pack in front gave rise to many sprints and passing manoeuvres, before the course turned south again for the long grind home. Any assistance offered by the now slight tail wind was offset by the outgoing tide and a few lumps and bumps on the way. Some sprinted too early and died, to be passed by rivals. All were intrigued by the huge clouds of small harmless jellyfish encountered towards the end, highly visible in the really clear waters and bumping rudders, which could be felt through pedals. One or two must have been a bit captivated by them and chose that vicinity to fall off – and hastily remount. With the finish in sight, most pulled out all stops and belted for the line, with a few positions changing in the last metres and some close finishes ensuing. MWKC had organised a heap of fresh chilled fruit at the end and did a great job in handing this out to all – very welcome.

The presentation was held quickly after the last competitors had finished where many lucky paddlers received some great prizes from series sponsors ProKayaks, Vaikobi, the PNSW Committee. The Go Pro camera was the last big prize raffled. Every competitor entering every event receives one chance to win the ultimate series prize – an Epic V7 ski. Epic were on site with the amazingly light V10 Elite, recognisable by its bright orange fleuro end tips. For more information on this and the entire range of Epic Skis – see Epic Kayaks.

The Short Course was also a large field, with 54 competitors, to the Long Course’s 55 – a very even mix. A large contingent of female paddlers in this group showed just how sensible and appreciated the intended pathway to improved performance and fun these events can be. The largest Short Course division was the Female 40-49 group. It has always been the intention that paddlers can rise through the ranks from Harbour Series Short Course, Harbour Series Long Course, Ocean Series Short and then Ocean Series Long Course
events. This seems to be working and we urge all paddlers considering these events to turn up and have a go at the next event.

The PNSW committee thank all at MWKC for hosting an outstanding event. Their very professional crew made everything look so easy – but we do appreciate the many hours which go in to holding these events.

The next event in the PNSW Harbour Series calendar is Race 3 – the Tingira Challenge, to be hosted by Shark Island Paddlers at Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour on 16th April. Better get some more training in whilst this perfect weather continues!


Cronulla Bay Runner – Race Report

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.

Steve Newsome

Moon Island Ocean Classic

The Renault Open Water Series kicked off yesterday starting from Newcastle and finishing at Blacksmiths – Swansea Belmont Surf Life Saving Club. There was some real hot competition at the top. Winner was Cory Hill (Thanks Cory for coming down from Queensland) Second was local boy Greg Tobin and third was Northern Beaches star Mark Anderson. You can see the full results under the results tab.

The paddlers at the presentation were happy to see their correct results on their phones. Thanks to Alan Phillips  for continuing with the Etimeteam system and also to the timekeeping team on the day lead by Gillian Garde and including Steve Newsome and Tom and Christine Simmat. Great job! There were 63 boats starting and about 100 paddlers including 5 Outrigger 6s and 4 Stand-up Paddlers. Dean Little from Ocean Playground is the race director and he gave the briefing on the Nobby’s Beach at Newcastle. There was a deepwater start and we were off. Lovely bluewater conditions with a 15 to 20 knot wind behind us, swell also sort of behind us about 1m high, just enough to keep us catching the runners all the way.  Over the 23 km distance it got a bit lonely towards the back of the pack but the conditions were so beautiful you couldn’t get too upset. There were plenty of rescue people humming around including the lifesavers (Thanks) and also NSW Maritime (Thanks also) 

This race is first in the 2014 Renault Open Water Series run by PaddleNSW. The second is the Makai Cup on the 8th February down at Ulladulla. That race was the best of the year in 2013. The third is Cronulla Bay runner on the 26th March. There is a pointscore running for these events. Folks, try to get to all three of them. It’ll be worth it. Best wishes Tim Hookinsfor the PaddleNSW Open Water Technical Committee

Press release from Paddle NSW Open Water Committee

“With the Iceberg Series and winter now finished, many ‘Sydney & near coast’ paddlers are now focussed on the remaining Ocean Series events & Ocean Racing (AORS) events . The OWTC which manages the Open Water, Harbour & Iceberg Series has listened to feedback from the paddler and Surf Ski Australia community during the year and our objective has been to simplify and make it easier for everyone to attend our events. To this end we have decided to distil the previous three event series banners into one stronger series.

We will now refer to the entire series of events we run as the “Open Water and Harbour Series” with a season which starts with the Newcastle Open Water race in January and culminates with a Middle Harbour race in August.

The Committee would like to thank all our paddlers and sponsors who have supported us so well during 2013 and we look forward to an even more successful 2014 season”

Tim Hookins – post ICF World Champs race

Hi Guys,

Its sizzling hot at 6.10pm here in the Southern capital of Seville and though the siesta is still on I am writing here in my room while the mad Judy makes her way down the winding alleys to get a sim card for the iPad. She dropped it this morning and it has little cracks across the screen but it is still working fine. We are dreaming up ways of getting photos to you. This place is crammed with fantastic images and places and it’s just wonderful to be here, even though I’m sweating as I write in my hotel room with the sound of trickling water in the courtyard below. The cathedral tower and the cloisters were built by the moors (Muslims) in about 1100 when they controlled the place. The Christians took over in about 1200 and built the hugest cathedral in Spain, it’s wonderful, just to show the Muslims what they could do. The great thing was they were willing to keep all the best bits of what the Muslims had done. I thought that was very tolerant of them. The Christians of the time thought the Muslim construction style was all the rage and built the most beautiful palace (The original Alcazar) in the Muslim style. Still following?

Two nights ago we spent in Elvas, a Portuguese fortified city built to defend itself against the Spaniards in the middle ages. To make it hard for the Spaniards, they built fortifications like Cape Town Castle multiplied by ten (no exaggeration) We stayed in a hotel converted from the military hospital built in 1640. Its now 6.26pm. Jude is probably by now dancing Flamenco with a red rose in her mouth. We have plans to go to a Flamenco show tonight. Tomorrow we are planning to go to the Alhambra palace in Granada.

Sorry about the blog. We never quite got round to it. Internet is a bit suspect in Portugal and Spain. The World Champs were an absolute hoot. We had such fun. I have to report however that I came in 9th out of 12 paddlers in the 60 to 64 age group. That puts me 9th in the world. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done better. [Tim sells himself short – the results online show he was 8th in the world in his division].

It became clear that the South Africans are top dogs in the surfski business. They had this huge team, but we had the best uniforms. That didn’t seem to make us go faster. A Saffer won the champs followed by two Aussies in the open. The Aussie team had a whale of a time and some of our kids turned out to be absolutely hilarious in what they got up to.

On the last night we all went to a bull fight. More accurately a bull taunt. But they don’t kill the bull in Portugal and the horsemanship the picadors or whatever display is astonishing. What I really liked is the unique feature of Portuguese bullfighting. About 10 amateurs line up in front of the bull (500kg) and as it charges the front bloke grabs the bull by the horns and then the rest of them see if they can overpower it! Sounds crazy? You’re right. Absolutely petrifying! But the first bloke has to take the big thrust and he comes out of it with the seams of his clothes exploding, etc.

It’s now 6.50. I better go and see if I can find Jude out in the streets of Seville.

Best wishes

Tim Hookins reports 4 hours before the start of the ICF World Champs in Portugal

As the dawn slowly appears, it’s clearly different this morning. Thinner mist and a gentle breeze from the North! That’s what we want! There’s a red flag on a marker bouy about a half a km out there between the rocky islands and its fluttering in the breeze. The start will be at 4pm this arvo and hopefully it will build until then.

Last night we had the opening ceremony within the walls of the ancient Fort St Joao. The athletes were all gathered in their national groups with the Aussies possibly the most striking looking in the gold and green, but the South African Team is definitely larger. Quite a big group from United Kingdom, all buoyed on by unrelated victories in cycling and tennis.

The truth is we are all on edge, not knowing how our boys and girls will fare against the opposition.
There were team photos and the boxing kangaroo and the flags were there. The local Mayor, Mario and another guy from ICF each gave welcoming speechs. The Portuguese anthem was played and the flags of Portugal, the town and the international Canoeing Federation were raised. It is clear that

Andre, the event organiser, is trying his utmost to see that the event has true World Championship status. We were all told that national gear is to be worn on all occasions. Andre gave the briefing which included the usual things and the use of flares, the start and the finish. Then there was dinner inside the little castle which is used as a restaurant. People strolled around the battlements and looked out to sea from the turrets for any signs of wind.

Most things are now sorted for the paddlers. Everyone at last has a boat that I know of. Some have a vacuum fibre where they might have preferred a carbon. The young bucks are sizing up their opposition. Michaeal Booth knows his major threat is a young South African , I think a Van der Walt, and im guessing right now he’s thinking how he can finish ahead of him.

We have seen very little of Timmy Jacobs so far. He is obviously the incumbent here so the pressure upon him must be immense. He kept away from the limelight yesterday at the ceremony and I’m sure he’s planning his way ahead.

A few possible matchups to look at during the race:
Tony King Vets 60+ v a Pommie bloke called Smith
Jimmy Walker Vets 40-44 v Tommy Woodriff v Dave Tudor-Jones v a South African called Biggles.

It’s now 10.30am here in misty Vila do Conde and it’s time for me to get preparing for the race. So many other things to tell, it’s been such a hoot and our captain, Jimmy Walker has been great.
Wind is expected to be 20 kph Northerly, so it’s improving.

Think of all our boys and girls doing their best today!

Australian Surfski Racing Team in Portugal

Australian Surfski Racing Team: Wednesday 10th July. Today most of us registered for the race. Registration is in the shadow of a medieval castle guarding the entrance to the old harbour of Vila do Conde. What a setting. Pics tomorrow. I was too preoccupied today getting the boat organised. Actually got onto the water and paddled along the coastline, lots of little bommies, water quite cool but nice. Got my Vaikobi gear on and it felt good to wear. Thanks to Pat Langley of Vaikobi who sponsored all the on-water paddling gear.

Conditions better than I imagined the Atlantic would be. Cool and misty today.

It looks like the big race will be held on Saturday. Not much wind or swell around, we live in hope. I had imagined we would be paddling off this quiet, quaint Portuguese village, but of course, no. More like a far denser, older version of the Gold Coast. But the beaches are nice. As usual, all the actual water belongs to us paddlers.

This evening we had the team dinner, attended by the team and the supporters at an ocean facing restaurant. Jimmy Walker, team captain, gave a well aimed discourse on what it means to represent Australia at a world championship event and how to get your mind right for preparing a race plan for an event like this. You could just see how this hit the spot especially as far as the younger paddlers are concerned. Thanks Jim!

Tomorrow we are doing probably the last bigger training all as a team out there. We are all looking forward to it. Wish you were here! Tim

Brothers Tim and Pete Jacobs set to take on the world


July 2013 Sydney, Australia July will be an action packed month for the Jacobs family this year with siblings Tim and Pete Jacobs set to take on the world in their individual sports. The Jacobs brothers, both born and bred on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, have endurance accomplishments only most can dream of.

Brothers Tim and Pete Jacobs are both outstanding athletes
Tim Jacobs, current 2 x defending Dragon Run Champion ‐ Hong Kong, 2 x winner of the worlds richest Ocean Ski race in Dubai, and coach of recent Olympic K4 member Gold medalist Murray Stewart, will be part of the Australian National Team at the World Ocean Ski Championships on 12-­‐14th July at Vila Do Conde, Portugal.

The world renowned paddler is looking forward to getting back onto the European waters hungry to taste victory yet again after his win in 2010 at the ICF World Series Nelo Summer Challenge ‐ Portugal. Jacobs stating “The North Atlantic Ocean will provide some fantastic racing conditions and the field will be one of the best and largest ever assembled. The magnitude of this race being the inaugural World Championships will bring out the best of everyone.”

Tim Hookins, Australian Ocean Racing Selector and Manager said “We are hoping to match it with South Africa, the other world powerhouse in ocean racing. I expect that battle between Australia and South Africa to be as fierce as any rugby test”

The European Ironman Triathlon World Championships on July 7th in Frankfurt will see Ironman Triathlon World Champion Pete Jacobs front and center as the man to beat. The 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2 run has the crème de la crème on the starting list with the likes of Marino Vanhoenaker, Eneko Llanos and Sebastian Kienle. World Champion Jacobs explains “Frankfurt is definitely one of the biggest and most prestigious races. I need a strong focus to stay on track with my training and recovery throughout the year and the Ironman European Championship will definitely give me that. It’s going to be a very strong field and I’d love to show them how I’ve always performed well in Germany.”

The Jacobs brothers flying the Australian flag on the world stage is not new, although both endorsing the same product is. The duo will be donning Rudy Project eyewear both on and off their respective race courses in Europe this month.

A Nelo ocean ski and Braca paddle will be the older brothers tool of choice mid month. A Boardman Bike, Asics Hyperspeeds and blueseventy wetsuit will add to the armor of Pete come July 7

Tingira Teams Challenge | Background & Press Release

In 2011 Paddle NSW gave our newly formed club, the Shark Island Paddlers, the opportunity to hold a new event at Rose Bay. After doing some research into why Tingira Beach & Park at Rose Bay was such, we soon became hooked on the history of the Tingira ship, originally named the Sobraon which held the speed record for sailing ships from England to Australia. The interesting part is the Indigenous meaning of the word “Tingira”, which means Open Sea, as well as the way in which the ship, when it was moored in the middle of Rose Bay, was employed to train crews of young men for the Open Sea.

The parallels are obvious to our paddlers who spend a lot of time on the water and are familiar with the spiritual & challenging nature of being on the open water.

We then found that there is a Tingira Association which led to speaking to Mark Lee, the Secretary who had the association generously donate our beautifully crafted perpetual trophy. As the attached article outlines, John Diggins was the inaugural winner of the cup during 2011. We look forward to presenting this special trophy to the overall 2013 winner.

For this year we have decided to create a truly unique event on the paddling calendar, the first ever Teams Challenge, so the event has been re-named the Tingira Teams Challenge. This concept more faithfully follows the history here and will encourage our regular paddlers for the first time to put together a team. Our criteria is simple, there are 4 boats that make a team and these boats can be either single or doubles, there must be a minimum though of 1 x (One) Double in each Team. The categories are Men Open, Men Senior and Mixed, which is a combination of male & female. We are trying to encourage more females to paddle & would like to see an all-female team as well!

Start putting together your Teams now because as well as the glory of a Team category place, we’ll be looking for the most creative Team names.
Our lucky auction winners from the Rose Bay Challenge along with Clint Robinson OAM & Bruce “Hoppo” Hopkins will be joining & competing as part of a Team in Double Crews.

Proceeds will go to support NSW Marine Rescue who we have previously supported where our donation purchased a Defibrillator which has been housed on one of their boats. This device has been twice used in an emergency and credited with saving the lives of the patients involved.

The story of the history of the Tingira ship is here

We would like to thank Alan Phillips who has modified the Paddle NSW Timing system to suit this, the Tingira Association Inc, NSW Marine Rescue, Mal Odgers – our outgoing SIP Treasurer & Boat Captain, David Jepson – our new SIP Treasurer, Tim Hookins & the OTW Committee, Val Titov for her design work, the sponsors of the Rose Bay Challenge Auction prizes ie Epic, Clint Robinson & Hoppo, Paddle NSW & Woollahra Council.

If you require any further information:

Tingira Teams Challenge Race Director & Shark Island Paddlers President : Howard Bernsten 0412 618 220

Tingira Teams Challenge Race Organiser & Shark Island Paddlers Secretary : Tony Haines 0411 532 000

Tingira Teams Challenge Race Organiser & Shark Island Paddlers Committee : David Edelman 0425 280 879