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W. A.   P A D D L I N G   N E W S ,  M A R C H ,    2 0 0 8

Week 1 /March
Thursday, 6th March, 2008

The Esplanade Freo to Rotto Big Splash Swim or Paddle
Saturday, 15th March
Here's a Leighton Beach to Rotto race for paddlers as well as swimmers. It's for solo or team single or double skis or sea kayaks (even paddle boards) for fun as well as for enjoying the challenge of a race. All details are on the <http://www.freotorottobigsplash.com.au/index.htm>websiteThis is the fifth annual Fremantle to Rottnest swim or paddle. 

For enquiries please contact John Guilfoyle, Race Co-ordinator, <mailto:vicparkp@bigpond.net.au>vicparkp@bigpond.net.au or 9384 2785. This is a charity event with funds raised going to Holyoake (Australian Institute on Alcohol and Drug Addiction Resolutions), Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue and Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club.
Sponsored by The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle.

Bevan Dashwood Dash
Sunday, 16th March

Meet at Hester Park, Langford for 12km paddle to Shelley Bridge and return with portage at Kent Street Weir. There's also a 6km short course and 3km Guppy course. Registration: 8.30am; race start: 9.30am.
Food and drinks will be available at the start/finish line - provided by the slalom group parents (it's always deliciious!); money raised goes towards sending the Slalom Junior Squad to 2008 Nationals. For more information please ring Nicky 0400 101 775. Hosted by AKC and DRCC.

Mainpeak Paddlesports Big Sidewalk Sale
This Saturday, 8th March, only!

Fantastic bargains for outdoorsy type people! There's clothing (including thermals), footwear and all sorts of other gear. Yes, the Paddlesports store is included in the sale - there's ex-demo and new boats going out, (some at half price) such as sea kayaks, touring and recreational kayaks and sprint boats. As well, there's paddles (racing, touring and white water), bladders and drink systems, cags and PFDs and more.  Go to Mainpeak in Jarrad Street, Cottesloe, 8am to 6pm.

Whitewater on The Murchison
The remnants of a recent cyclone passed over the catchment of the Murchison River making it fun paddling for playboaters, a contingent of whom made the trip to Kalbarri to enjoy some big water on the long weekend. Though the river level was past its peak there were some good playwaves. Water level was 11.4m at 10am on Saturday when one of the groups set off. More news on this in the next newsletter.

The Murchison River is now telemetred by the Department of Water - go <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/telem/702001/tel.htm>here. The telemetred site, Emu Springs, is about 20km downstream from the North West Coastal Highway, below Hardebut Pool.

Albany Canoe Club AGM
Here are the new office bearers for our southern paddlers:
President - Paul Robertson; Immediate Past President: Mike Palmer; Secretary: Crispin Travers; Treasurer: Andrew Laurens; Newsletter: Karin Baker

The new Pres says, "A big  "thank you" to Mike and Bruce who have stood down from committee for a while after many years, and "ta" to Andrew and Karin who accepted their first comittee roles."

Personnel Wanted
Administrative Assistant, Ascot Kayak Club

Ascot Kayak Club is seeking assistance with various administrative duties, in particular the processing of membership applications and associated basic bookkeeping functions. Go to Ascot Kayak Club's website to see details of the position, remuneration, etc.

Expressions of interest should be directed to the President of Ascot Kayak Club, Leonie Cockman <leonie@instepwest.com>leonie@instepwest.com or PO Box 86, Belmont WA 6984. In the first instance please provide a concise response to criteria and brief resume, totaling no more than 2 pages.

Applications close Friday, 14th March, 2008 COB.

City Lights Race
Daylight saving meant that most paddlers missed the city lights during the long weekend's 30km marathon on the Canning and Swan rivers via the City of Perth! <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/>Here's Glen Walker and Tony Fry from AKC with some company as they approached Perth Water. AKC have more pics on their website <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=14296>here. Results will be available there soon. Thanks to Michael Gerritsen for the pic.

"Just add H2O" kayak skirt/cover to suit Perception Contour - blue colour, black trim. Lost on 14th February on the Albany Highway between Williams and Mt Barker, WA.  If found please call Peter 0428 316 457.

Event Reminder
Sunday, 9th  March -
Marathon No. 5, Pinarra to Ravenswood
Meet at Henry Street boat ramp in Pinjarra for registration, 8:45-9:45am with race briefing at 10am. It's 17km to the finish at the bridge at Ravenswood. Car shuffle necessary.

Double plastic kayak suitable for mucking around on flat water. Ring Jennifer 0419 192 816.

Extra - 8th March

From Peter Armstrong, "Well after a long wait the Crossing the Ditch story on Sixty Minutes is set to air.

Be sure to check it out on Sunday 9th March at 7.30pm on Ch. 9 for those in Australia.

For Anyone overseas please check out <http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/>http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/ 
A transcript and Video will be up soon.

We'll be online on the 60 Minutes webpage to answer any of your questions."

Week 2 /March
Thursday, 13th March, 2008

Health Solutions Mandurah Island Challenge
Sunday, 16th March

There's two paddle events included in this Peel Health Campus organised event for all ages and levels of fitness: 4km or 14km races. All the details are <http://www.mandurahislandchallenge.com/paddle.htm%20>here .  The paddle events are sponsored by Kayaks 4 U, Western Foreshore, Mandurah.
To Register
1. Enter online @ 
<http://www.mandurahislandchallenge.com>www.mandurahislandchallenge.com or download the entry form.
2. Complete the attached Entry Form & return to the address stated on the reverse.
3. Contact 9531 8587 for further details.

Entry Price(s):
Adult - $20 
Under 18 - $10 
Family (2 adults + immediate children) - $50

Riverland Paddling Marathon - 21st year
June 7, 8 & 9

From Berri to Morgan (South Australia) - plus new 10km Waikerie mini marathon.  200km (relay or individual) or 100km
Organised by the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia: <http://www.mcc.canoe.org.au>www.mcc.canoe.org.au  . 
Enquiries: Martin Finn (08)8443 7881 or <mailto:Martin.Finn@spotless.com.au>Martin.Finn@spotless.com.au or Brad Butler 0408 846 422 or <mailto:brad@ppl.com.au>brad@ppl.com.au .

New Fluid Kayaks at Rivergods
Two new Fluid kayaks have finally arrived in Perth for you to try out -the Element  which is a unique surfyak which somehow still does playboat moves like blunts, cartwheels and loops -great for Perth beaches. Also the Nemesis which is their latest and highly praised playboat. To find out more about a try out call Tom at Rivergods on 9259 0749.

Murchison River in Flood
<http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe>Here's a pic of the rapid at Z-Bend - that's Lydia Formentin (in the eddy) and Tom Suffling at play.  The river rose 3m at one stage (briefly) after the cyclone but had fallen somewhat by the weekend when paddlers could make the journey to Kalbarri. Click on the <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe>front page pic to see a magnificent shot of the whole gorge. Photo by Noni Walker, courtesy of Tom at Rivergods.

Canoeing Calendar Updated
Apart from WA canoeing association and canoe clubs' events all other local events for paddlers (to my knowledge) are included <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/cancal.html>here with some major interstate ones as well.  The update is current from April, 2008.  Association events are current to September, 2008, only, when the new calendar for the remainder of this year and for 2009 is published.  Dates for ocean paddle events later in the year will become available shortly in April-May.

Kayaking gloves
, on 9th March after the Pinjarra to Ravenswood race. Found on Pinjarra Road near turn off to the finish at Ravenswood. If the owner would like to describe them (make etc) I will return them. They can email Tony or Cathy on <mailto:candtfry@bigpond.com>candtfry@bigpond.com.

Iceland Circumnavigation Sea Kayak Expedition 2008 - Marcus Demuth
Marcus Demuth is a New York City based sea kayaker who recently paddled our south and south-west coastlines. Starting 6th June, 2008, he will begin to solo circumnavigate Iceland by sea kayak. This estimated 2 12 month and 1,450 mile trip has been attempted solo only twice, but has been successfully completed only once. This is a fundraiser for the all-volunteer Icelandic sea & mountain rescue organization ICE-SAR, which coordinates 220 sea and mountain rescue teams, accident prevention divisions and youth sections.

Iceland is located in one of the toughest marine areas in the world, with exposure to large Atlantic swells. katabatic winds, scarcely populated jagged shores, cold temperatures and fast changing weather patterns.

To find out more about Marcus, this trip and to keep up-to-date with his progress check out the following links:



Kayak blogger "Wenley" of <http://www.onkayaks.squarespace.com>www.onkayaks.squarespace.com will be writing and updating the Around Iceland 2008 blog as he receives reports from Marcus by phone.

K1 ­ Intermediate to Advanced boat
 ­ e.g. Cleaver, Lancer, Sabre, Storm ­ maybe a Mustang, Eagle if I improve my swimming. Pref. good condition boat without repairs or major scratching. Fibreglass is good enough, footpump and splashy would be nice to have!
Contact Grant, 0406 084 779 or <mailto:grantr@wray.com.au>grantr@wray.com.au.

Week 4 /March
Tuesday,  25th March, 2008

Paddlers' Swap Meet
Sunday, 30th March, between 9am and 12pm, Johnson Pde, Mosman Park

Swan Canoe Club will be having a paddlers' swap-meet on the grass around the clubrooms. This is available for everyone - club members and others with paddling gear to sell, or come and buy! Gold coin donation to be a seller. 

2008 Canning Classic
Sunday, 13th April

12km on the Canning River, start and finish at the old Riverton Bridge Parking on both sides of the river, Riverton Drive East and Fern Road. Go downstream to Fifth Avenue, then upstream as far as Kent Street Weir and return to Old Riverton Bridge. There's a Guppy course as well - 4km.
Registration 7.30 - 8.30am on the East side of the bridge in the gazebo. Race starts 8:45am.
Major Lucky Prize draw for all entrants - two nights' accommodation at Preston Beach House for up to four people. BBQ and drinks purchaseable after the race, fund raising for Canning River Canoe Club. Enquiries: Christian, <mailto:christia@iinet.net.au>christia@iinet.net.au  .

Rod Fry Race - Date Change
Please note that the Rod Fry Memorial Race is now to be held on Sunday, 27th April - that's the Anzac long weekend. This is a 12km race from Swan Canoe Club to Stirling Bridge and return with a short course available as well.  More details closer to the date.

Congratulations, Josh!
Josh Kippin, AKC, has been selected as a member of the 2008 ICF Junior World Canoe/Kayak Championships to be held in Roudnice, Czech Republic, in July. Margaret Jeffery of the Slalom Committee says, "Success of this ilk is an extraordinary feat for West Australians as there is no white water within cooee of Perth, except for a few short weeks in winter when the Avon flows.  Instead, local athletes train in the surf or on flat water in summer or travel interstate to hone their skills on the Penrith Olympic course."

Mandatory Cold Storage of Kayaks Entering Australia
Yvonee Wallace sends us this note of her experience bringing back a kayak into Australia from New Zealand:
"Following a recent (awesome) whitewater paddling trip in New Zealand, we were shocked to have our kayaks impounded for mandatory quarantine by AQIS when re-entering Australia in Sydney. This is a new step taken by AQIS that appears to have been brought into force during late February 2008.

'Didymo' is a pest algae that has been rife throughout New Zealand rivers for several years. We took what we thought were the endorsed steps of cleaning all our gear thoroughly with disinfectant and leaving it to fully dry for over 48 hours, which has been the accepted practice up until recently. Unfortunately we had no knowledge of the new ruling and consequently now have to foot the bill of freighting our boats back to Perth from Sydney (cold treatment takes 24 hours and is free, but the pick up/freight is the importer's cost). More information can be found here ."

Robin Bell on Olympic Selection, 17th March 
"Olympic selection started for canoe slalom on the weekend. It was also the Oceania Championships and two Olympic spots were up for grabs, in men's C2 and also the men's kayak. Both the spots were won by Australians and so a complete contingent (C1, K1, Ladies K1 and C2) of Australians will represent at the Beijing Olympics.

Selection for the Olympic team and also the Australian Team will be chosen from the best 2 out of 3 races. The remaining 2 races are on Friday and Saturday this week. So by Saturday night I will know if I am going to the Olympics or . . .

There were several internationals at the Oceania Championships, not that I was worrying about them, I was more concentrating on the other Australians. I cruised through Saturday qualifications conserving energy and finished in 2nd behind the current world champion, Michal Martikan. The course was a lot harder for Sunday. There were some make or break risky moves. I decided to go conservatively in the semis, dust off some nerves and see what the other Aussie were capable of doing. Kynan Maley stepped up to the challenge and finished only half a second behind me. This added some more pressure for the final run. After doing some evaluation I decided to go for some moves, which paid off in the end, with Kynan doing another solid run and I improved by 3 seconds. Michal Martikan put down one of his best performances and won the race overall. I was not too concerned as top Aussie was my real goal, now I have one win in Olympic selection and only need one more win from 2 races.

I will write again early next week with the results.


Note: New readers may not be aware that Robin Bell is from Perth, his paddling career having started at Swan Canoe Club and Harvey Slalom Course. Kynan Maley also hails from Western Australia and Swan Canoe Club.

Go <http://www.wa.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=14402>here for the story on Robin Bell's selection to the Olympic Slalom Team after the Easter races.

Introduction to Flat Water Paddling - Canoeing Down Under, 9378 1333
Sunday, 13th April, 9am - 12pm
The course is a good fun morning of learning to kayak and mixing with others keen on learning to paddle as well. The course covers safety, forward and reverse paddling, emergency stop, turning and sideways strokes, a basic support stroke and a capsize drill.
$75 inc. craft or $60 with own craft. Booking is essential.

Avon Descent Training Package: Mainpeak Paddlesports
The Avon Descent Training Package includes the following: Information Night, 4 Thursday night sessions and 1 Tuesday night session. This course will be run by qualified Australian Canoeing Instructors, all having done the Avon Descent many times.
Information Night
This will cover all you need to know on preparing for the race, equipment needed and tips for the race itself.
Dates:Tuesday, 8th April
Monday, 5th May
 Monday, 2nd June
This will be held at the Paddlesports store, starting at 6:30pm and will go for approx 2 hours.
Cost: Free
Avon Descent Flatwater Training Sessions
From Thursday, 10th April onwards. 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. These sessons are aimed at novice paddlers needing to build their skill level and confidence with their craft. Also there is the benefit of having a group with an instructor to keep the motivation and personal challenge going!
From Tuesday, 3rd June onwards. 6 pm - 7:30 pm. The Tuesday sessions are fitness sessions aimed to provide a paddling group for you to train with alongside a qualified Flatwater Instructor.
Avon Training Package: $185 - Non Mainpeak Club Members
$160 - Mainpeak Club Members
Casual Tuesday Night Sessions: $10
Casual Thursday Night sessions: $55

The sessions will be held in Freshwater Bay, meeting near the end of Leake St.
For more details or to register contact Event Co-ordinator, Pete Saunders, (08) 9284 3759 or <mailto:paddle@mainpeak.com.au>paddle@mainpeak.com.au  .

Lost Kayak
Red and Yellow plastic - Dagger Crossfire play boat.
 Fell off the trailer Thursday, 20th March, between Wellington Dam and Pinjarra. It has a yellow Scripture Union sticker with phone number on it. Please Call Carly @ Scripture Union, 9443 5055, if found.

Front Page
<http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe>The new pic shows some of the birdlife to be found in the wetlands of the Mandurah area. (The "bird" in the boat is Allison Clifton.) Click on the pic for some more of these elegant creatures. Black Lake (and environs) is only paddleable at times of high water.

This paddle is one of many which are described in the "Canoe Trails" leaflets for the Mandurah area. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to PO Box 3188, Mandurah East, WA 6210, to obtain them.  There's also much info' <http://members.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/urbpadmanindex.html>here.

More on the Murchison
Paddling the rapids of the Murchison gorges is possible after good winter rains (with portaging), but best for skilled white water paddlers after a cyclone has passed through the catchment area upstream in summer. Apart from the white water paddling kayakers are treated to the stark beauty of the rocky landscape.

The pattern of the water level's rise and fall varies according to the rainfall amount and distribution.  In the recent cyclone, not an intense one, the level rose 3m, then dropped quickly back to 2m, then dropped more slowly again. Only one weekend was available to paddlers. In the mid-nineties, however, a strong cyclone caused the river to rise 5-6m and the gorge was flooded and available to paddlers and rafters for several weeks.

Trip lengths are determined by the access: at Hardabut, Ross Graham Lookout, the Z-bend and The Loop. Apart from at Hardabut it is necessary to cart kayak and gear down the gorges (at The Loop and Z-Bend about 100m) and then back up again. 

At high water levels the rapids largely consist of wave trains (series of waves below the drop). A reliable roll is necessary.  In lower levels  the paddling is more technical and more skills are needed to avoid rocks in the rapids. At lower water levels it is possible to scout rapids and portage if desired. There are long flat sections which are of course most noticeable when the water level is low.

Hardabut Rapids: the river is wide and rocky with big drops, not paddleable if the water is shallow. This is not a gorge section. The Power Dinghy Racing Club's <http://www.dinghyracing.com.au/Links/WA_Rivers/Murchison_River/murchison_river.php>website has a frightening description of this 1200m (drops 40m) rocky rapid in flood. 
Ross Graham Lookout to the Z-Bend: approx 22km with many rapids.
Z-Bend to The Loop: approx 16km. There's good play waves with eddies on the sides in lower water.  This is the most scenic section as the gorge is narrow.
Around The Loop: approx 7.5km. Mostly a flat water paddle but with a couple of easy rapids in the last third.

(With thanks to Tom Suffling of Rivergods and John di Nucci for much of the above info'.)

Circumnavigating Australia
Another female paddler is soon to attempt this mega- adventure challenge.  Kelvin Lewis sends us this:
"Starting in October, German kayaker, Freya Hoffmeister, plans to paddle around Australia. Here's a link to her blog: <http://freyahoffmeister.blogspot.com/>http://freyahoffmeister.blogspot.com/ ." She has paddled around the South Island, New Zealand, meeting Paul Caffyn, who may have inspired her to have a go at Oz!

Local paddler, Sandy Robson, paddled the entire east coast and some of the north-west coast solo last year. <https://netstorage.penrhos.wa.edu.au/slap/index.html>See her website.

Breaking Through the Surf Zone
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb1EjjAE6vM&feature=related>Here's a humorous short video clip on You Tube of some South African kayak fishermen with different methods of breaking through the surf zone: the "airport", the "briefcase" and the "frying pan"! If necessary scroll to: "surfski kayak Launch techniques in surf". And here's a more instructional one:  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8JyJolUrOE&NR=1>Sea Kayak Surf Launch .  

Bevan Dashwood Dash Results
These are available here .

Avon Double Ski
- preferably in good condition, repairs can be made if required. To suit medium leg length paddlers. Contact Shane on 0405 496 096 or <mailto:shane.tapley@ghd.com.au>shane.tapley@ghd.com.au
Stable K1 for DR paddler; eg Panther or Sprinter ­  Preferably fair condition & light boat without major repairs or scratching. Contact Patrick, 0414 370 145 or <mailto:pat.i@mac.com>pat.i@mac.com . 
Spray deck in reasonable condition to fit older DR boat ­ small cockpit. Dave Boldy <mailto:daveboldy@iinet.net.au>daveboldy@iinet.net.au 0413 986 248.

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