Twilight 200s

on Mar 20 in Kayaks, mackenzie hynard, Races, Racing, Sean Rice, Skis, Surfski, Think, Uno Max, World Champion by

Racers

 

Paddling daily on Sydney Harbour is definitely not something to be taken for granted (especially if you come from Ireland and spent your youth paddling up and down cold, narrow canals!). As paddlers were are very fortunate to call Woollahra Sailing Club our home, and where we do all of our training from. It’s an incredible facility with a huge number of paddlers as members. Yes, it’s a sailing club, so with that in mind, the board wanted to engage with the paddling members more and run some events. Now we’ve all raced the usual distance races around the Harbour, but I thought, why not change things up a little? How could we attract some fast paddlers and utilise the fantastic facilities at the club all in one go? The idea for the Twilight 200s was born in my head, but I needed assistance to get it off the ground. I proposed the event to Adam South and Kim MacIntosh at the club, and both could have not been more eager and accommodating with their help. The club already had an exciting points score system for their sailing regattas, so we simply applied that to 200mt surfski races. The great thing about the system was that we could offer every paddler a minimum of 4 races, where they collected points, and then progressed on to semi finals and finals as a result. To make things extra special, we had Think Kayak’s own world surfski champion, Sean Rice in town, and he lined up against some of the fastest ski paddlers in Sydney such as North Bondi stalwarts, Luke Michael and Jim Walker.

 

Briefing

Just before 6pm, after a race briefing from Adam South, a bunch of pumped up paddlers jumped on the water and headed across to the 200mt course set out, ready to start the first of their 4 races to see who would progress to finals. Racing was fast and furious with some serious pace being shown early on. In the mean time, friends and family enjoyed the racing from the balcony of the club cafe, making a big impression on the bbq and beer fridge.

Racing

Down to the nitty gritty, and a final contested by Luke Michael, Mackenzie Hynard, Greg Byrnes, Jim Walker and Sean Rice showed some blistering speed, with Jim getting up for the win, Sean in second and Luke third. In the ladies, we had a race off between our 4 entrants, with local Rozanne Green claiming the win. Pat Langley from Vaikobi kindly donated a prize pack called the “Punters’ Prize”, with a final between the highest scores after the heats, so everyone had lots to race for throughout the night.

We’ve had some tremendous feed back from everyone who took part and are excited to be able to host the event again in the future with the backing of Woollahra Sailing Club. Off the back of that feed back we’ll make adjustments to make the next event even bigger, slicker and more fun. We’ve also got a format we can attract some new sponsors with and increase the prize pool, with the aim of attracting even more racers.

The event couldn’t have happened without the sailing club getting right behind it, so a massive thank you to Adam and the rest of the team on the night who worked so well to ensure the event ran smoothly. Thanks also to a bunch of the local Shark Island Paddlers who rolled up their sleeves and helped out with things like the bbq and cleaning up. And finally thanks to all the paddlers who rocked up on the night and made the racing what it was. I really appreciate your support and hope we can punch on with the concept of 200mt racing on the Harbour and continue to bring something different to the paddling community. You can keep up to date with the Twilight 200s on our Facebook page.

Keep those paddles flying fast, 200 style!

 

Stewart O’Regan

Think Kayak Australia

Mob:     0404 236 638
Web:     www.thinkkayak.com.au
Skype:  stewieor