GATORADE BATTLE OF THE PADDLES – Hamilton Island June 14th – 18th, 2012
The infamous 42km Hamilton Island Cup continues to proudly uphold its status as one for the toughest outrigging canoe races in the world, and will always remain the “main event”. However this year Hamiton Island was pleased to announce 3 new sporting disciplines – Surf ski/Ocean Ski, Stand-up Paddle Board and Board Paddling.
Currumbin Creek Paddlers Amanda Rankin and Michael Booth took up the Challenge of both the 16km “round the island race” and the gruelling 25km downwind race. Both out-paddled their opposition claiming wins in both distances of their chosen category.
It was a big 3 days of racing beginning with the Friday afternoon 16km round the island race. Both Amanda and Michael cut if fine flying into Hamilton Island just 2 hours prior to the the 3.30pm race start. This race race saw paddlers circumnavigate their way around the island in rough and tricky conditions. The wind and currents were strong without much assistance.
Early the following morning the 25km downwind competitors caught a picturesque barge ride, along with their race craft to the start line at Linderman Island. From Linderman Island paddlers raced through the Islands of the Whitsundays back to Hamilton Islands Catsey Beach.
“I went into this race feeling a lot of pressure to win” Rankin said. “I was relieved to get the job done and win both distances”. “Overall it was a great experience and an adventure I would recommend to all paddlers”. “I will be back next year”. Apart from ulgly painful blisters and aching muscles both Amanda and Michael were delighted to walk away with cash prize money rarely offered for paddling races.
Paddlers then backed up again for a third day in the outriggers by teaming up for the 42km Hamilton Island Cup. This race was a changes race with teams of 10 paddlers rotating throughout the race. 6 in the canoe + 4 on the support boat. The support boat driver drops fresh paddlers in the water every approximately every 15 – 20 min. The canoe never looses momentum , with 2 – 3 fatigued paddlers racking their blades and jumping over the right hand side of the canoe, fresh paddlers grab ahold and pull themselves into the left hand side.
The date has been set for next year’s event… and it going to be big! 2013 will see the event celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary so we are starting our planning now. So lock these dates in your calendar 20 – 24 June 2013 because you are not going to want to miss this one!