by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : July 2012
There are plenty of wonderful stretches of water in Sydney for kayaking, but none more popular than Narrabeen Lakes. On Sunday May 27 it was even more crowded than usual – 153 kayaks turned out for the annual local marathon conducted by Paddle NSW. This is one of a series of 9 marathons held throughout the year, mostly in the Sydney area but also as far away as Canberra and Wyong. About two-thirds of the competitors race over a 20km course (four 5km laps) in six divisions. The remainder race over 15km and 10km courses. The major clubs sponsor and organise the marathons under the Paddlde NSW umbrella. At Narrabeen this means Manly Warringah Kayak Club, with its spacious clubhouse overlooking the lake, was in charge. While most of the competitors paddle single kayaks, there are lots and lots of doubles, some of them with two males, some with two females, and some with one of each. And there are all sorts of craft, from the lightweight, superfast K1s (which you’ll see our Olympic paddlers in soon at the London Games) and skis through to the latest generation of multisport racers and seakayaks, and maybe even a plastic or two. Even the single outriggers join in the fun. And this year three K4s – the battleships of the fleet – turned up. These big kayaks make a splendid sight as they surge across the water with four blades flashing in unison. Lane Cove River Kayakers fielded a pickup team of Tom Simmat, Nigel Colless, Matt Swann and Tim Hookins in their K4. They had a good contest for the first part of the race against a mixed Manly Warringah crew of Meagan Rolls, Pat Ryce, Angus Stuart and Jack Bryant but then pulled away as the MW team tired. A third MW subjunior team of Andy Ross, Nathan Rolls, Max Morgan and Jack Rose struggled in difficult conditions and failed to finish the 20km course. The fastest paddlers of the day were in division 1 and this had the unusual result of the first two across the line not being placed in provisional results. This was because of a new Paddle NSW rule that paddlers making their first appearance in the series are “ranked” according to their times and not given official placings. This system puts paddlers in the division appropriate to their race times and is aimed at preventing unknown paddlers racing in a slower division than they should first up and unfairly gaining individual and club points. MW’s John Diggin had clear water behind him in division 1 as he finished in 1h 36m 30s and Damien Daley was next in a sprint finish in 1h 38m 16s. Both were “ranked”. John was paddling an Epic V10 ski he holed a few days earlier when, in the darkness of a pre-dawn paddle, he crashed into an obstacle where repair work is being carried out under the bridge on Pittwater Road. He managed to get the ski repaired in time for the race. Damien started the race in a K1 but because of the rough conditions swapped boats in mid race and finished on a ski. Provisional first place went to Illawarra Canoe Club’s Darren Lee, a veteran of the series, in 1h 38m 19s, ahead of MW’s Brett Greenwood (1h 38m 30s) and Irishman Tadhg de Barra (1h 40m 42s). Normally the race course takes competitors under the bridge to a turning point near the caravan park but this year, because of the bridge works, the course was limited to west of the bridge. It started at the small island in front of the ProKayaks shop and went towards the bridge to a turning point, which brought competitors back on the opposite side of the lake, through the “slot” behind the big island and around to “Wimbledon”. From here paddlers went west to a point known as “split rock”, then returned via the southeastern corner of the lake. A fresh south-westerly wind brought in a testing chop which hit competitors diagonally and made paddling difficult, particularly for the narrow unstable K1s. There were lots of capsizes and an unusually high number of withdrawals. While all this was going on there was the usual large number of recreational kayaks out enjoying Sunday morning on the lake. Everyone was on the same stretch of water and there was a bit of weaving in and out, but no-one complained The lake is there for the enjoyment of all. 153 KAYAKS IN NARRABEEN MARATHON The Manly Warringah mixed K4 crew in action Lane Cove’s K4 is carried from the water Fastest paddler John Diggin crosses the finish line among the recreational kayaks