2012 Currumbin Capers
The Currumbin Capers marathon on Sunday 30 September was the last race in the Northern Marathon Series and brought the 2012 season to conclusion in fine fashion. Although some of the Series’ most loyal paddlers were unable to attend for one reason or another there were 76 boat registered with 83 paddlers participating. The weather was not the best the Gold Coast can turn on but there was no rain and the strong, cool wind blowing across the start/finish area was more of a problem to the officials than the paddlers.
With such a large field the organisers decided to split the 15 kms starters into two groups so there were five starts in all, with the small group of Open paddlers doing 22.5 kms off first. Later it was fun to watch the Open paddlers do the two portages if you were down by the Currumbin RSL. K boat paddlers in the 15 kms course were also encouraged to do a portage because this is the way international racing is going (i.e. portage for everyone regardless of age) but only a few accepted the challenge. The most competitive classes were the K1 boats for Men’s Young Vets (i.e. ages 35 – 49) and Men’s Mature Vets (50 – 64), both with 6 paddlers in the class, the Men’s Mature Vets TK1 with 7 paddlers (these classes paddled 15 kms) and the Women’s Mature Vets TK1 with 4 paddlers (10 kms).
Matt Ingerman of Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club was a clear winner of the Men’s Young Vets K1 class with a time of 1:14:41 for the 15 kms, ahead of Paul Lange of Sandgate Canoe Club (1:20:38) and Damian Lovejoy of West End Canoe Club (1:23:19), but the finish of the Men’s Mature Vets K1 was much closer with only 39 secs separating the top three, who were led by Graham Barr of Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club (1:24:16), followed closely by Vincent Cross of Far North Coast Canoe Club (1:24:31) and Mark Rickard of host club Currumbin Creek Paddlers Club (1:24:55). The diversity of clubs represented amongst the winners continued in the Men’s Mature Vets TK1 class where the winner was Geoff Pearce from Sunshine Coast Kayak Club in a time of 1:28:40 for 15 kms, with Brett Fredricks of Varsity Lakes Paddlers Club second (1:31:13) and Brendan Bazzo of Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club third (1:31:20). Only 4 secs separated first and second in the Women’s Mature Vet TK1 class paddling the 10 km course with Colleen Hobdell of Sandgate Canoe Club just holding off Joanne Coad of Currumbin Creek Paddlers Club with times of 1:11:23 and 1:11:27 respectively.
It’s great to have an opportunity to put a face to the names so it was pleasing to see that most paddlers stayed for the presentations after the race and there was hearty applause as all competitors received certificates and a random-draw prize afterwards. In addition, Brad Restall of Far North Canoe Club (Open K1) received a special prize for paddling the fastest average speed. Thanks to all the CCPC club members and their families who put on this race which ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all.