Double Barkers Review

Canoe Marathon / May 22, 2014

With the promised rain over Perth holding back, but overcast skies, 100 craft assembled on the lawns of Ascot Kayak Club for the 23 km Double Barkers Race for a pleasant day's paddle.

While preparing their boats, most paddlers, some support crews and the odd passer-by visited the Bindi Nutrition ( ) stand to sample their 4 flavours of Natural Sports Hydration Drink. My vote went to the Apple and it was still tasting good after 2 hours, 23+km and 2 litres drunk. Many paddlers filled their water bottles to test the product during the race.  Bindi Nutrition is a Busselton based business run by well known local tri-athlete Belinda Dennis. The product is made locally from all natural ingredients and has no artificial colours or sweeteners. It is available online, via their Facebook page or at Canoeing Down Under.  

With 8 Start grids, our Jetty crew was kept busy making sure all were on the correct grid and away at the proper time. First away were the team boats followed by the top guys in the single classes. The start gradually worked down the 4 grids doing the 23 km Long course, followed by the 11.7 km Short course, 6.4 km Junior course and the final 4 km Guppy course. Most people did not bolt off the start, but saved their energy for later in the race.

In the team boat division, the K3 of Matt C., Buck C. & Ben D. ( AKC x 2, event ) took an early lead and just stretched it out the whole way in a display of controlled and powerful paddling to reset the record by 12 minutes. Peter T. &  John H. (AKC x 2) also had a clear break on the other boats in their division setting a new race record. The 2 mixed doubles of Sue Q. & Darryl L. (AKC x2) and Father/ Daughter combination Martin & Tess W. (AKC x2) were very close for the first lap but the greater experience of Sue & Darryl allowed them to pull out a comfortable lead on the second lap. The twins, Mathew & Nicolas G.(AKC x 2) finished in a good time and set the U14 K2 record for all others to chase in future years.

In the Division 1 race Simon R. (AKC), Joshua K. (AKC), Mathew D.(AKC) and Shannon S.(MOC) worked together as a group to maintain a clear lead over the rest of the Division. Mark L.(AKC) trailing a V14 ski tried to get back up to them but ended up on his own through most of the race.

In Division 2, Samantha P.(AKC), Bronwyn M.(AKC), Chris B.(AKC) and Mathew S.(MOC) took the lead from the start line, worked together for the first lap swapping leads until the 2 ladies decided to up the pace to stay with a faster paddler who was overtaking. Bronwyn reset the U18 ladies record on the way to taking Division Line Honours. Breaking the long standing Open Ladies record will be a hard task but the Juniors coming up and the current Open Ladies are up to the challenge. The rest of the division was strung out over 12 minutes (approx. 2 km) after the first lap.

Division 3 saw the two upcoming young boys, Caleb B.(CLCC)(U16K1) and Kye B.(AKC)(U14K1)( youngest competitor doing the long course) take a long break on the rest of the division early on, with Kye putting in the extra effort at the end to cross the line first. Further down there were several paddlers making sure their arch rivals stayed behind, leading to some very determined racing, while others just concentrated on finishing. There was spirited racing between the 5 Ladies on OS1s, Unfortunately one broke her rudder, so the battle will resume at the Paddle Challenge next Sunday.   

Division 4 saw Jason G.(AKC) at last master his multisport kayak and run out an easy winner and the much hoped for graduation to a faster division. Dallas R.(SCC) came in second and Craig M.(AKC) close behind. Further back in the middle of the division was Shania S.(BPC)(U14 LK1) who was the second youngest competitor doing the long course; well done. 

Division 5 was the Short Course of 11.5 km and a good proving ground for our younger paddlers wanting to do the Avon Challenge Iron Person Event or Teams Relay. Dylan S.(BPC) & Tim F.(AKC) won the class as a U14K2 with Zac A.(AKC) U16 K1 right on their tail. Yasmin R.(BPC) (U14 LK1 ) came in third.

Division 6 was a 6.4km Junior Course to allow those having a crack at the Avon Challenge two-person relay paddle the required distance. Tyler A.(AKC) (U16 LK1) lead them all home with Michael S.(AKC)(U14 K1) second and Mason K.(U14 K1) third.

Division 7 was a 5km course for our U10 and U12 Guppy paddlers. The U10s paddled the Guppy K2 while the U12s paddled a Guppy K1. The 4 craft had an enjoyable time and ended up only 5 minutes from fastest to slowest over the 2 lap course.

Four inaugural records were set and twelve previous records were broken on the day.

At the prize presentation, Bindi Nutrition donated a water bottle, visor and can of their all Natural Sports drink powder, with each class collecting the prize pack on a lucky draw. Matt Coutts as their Paddling Ambassador did the presentation. Many thanks to Bindi Nutrition, Belinda and Matt.   

Once again we must all thank the volunteers that manned the registration, the starts, turn markers and timing. They are improving their skills and are now able to give lap times as well as total time. The first lap was taken as you recrossed the start line after rounding the island.    

“Next time you register, paddle past a Marshall or otherwise see a volunteer at an event, say "Thank-you"! They are the true champions of our sport!”  – from the Canoe Marathon Chat Group on Facebook. 

Next Event :-  Sunday 29th June – Middle Swan Race. 27km long course, 12 km short, all starting at Middle Swan. Juniors and Guppies start at Barkers Bridge.  

Presentation Dinner :-  Saturday 19 July 2014 – at Swan Canoe Club, Johnston Parade, Mosman Park. Starting at 6:30pm. Catering by Classic Spit Roast. There will be a $12 charge per person, or $35 per family (parents and children) to cover the cost. Please RSVP by the Canoeing WA website ‘Marathon Presentation Dinner” in Future Events (same as registering for a race.) All Championship medals will be presented at this event, as well as Paddler of the Year, Schools Championship and Volunteer of the Year Awards.  

Results :- After quite a few warnings regarding unreadable race numbers, in this event paddlers where penalized 2 minutes if their number was not mounted vertically as per Marathon Rules. Results are corrected for all penalties. We are trying to make our sport look more professional and if 90% of paddlers can do things to make the volunteers' job easier the rest can fall into line. Many paddlers have set up ways of putting a number slot onto their skis or Avon boats without attaching it directly to the deck with through bolts.