Sydney Millers Run?

on Mar 07 in Training, Uncategorized, Uno Max by

The now infamous Millers Run in Cape Town, South Africa, is the stuff of legend, made all the more familiar to paddlers worldwide by the extensive coverage it has received through Website owner, Rob Mousley has written extensively about the course, enthusing about what is has to offer the avid surf ski paddler. It has all the ingredients we crave as downwind enthusiasts, great wind and superb runs with the added bonus of fantastic scenery. Paddlers across the world dream of such consistent surf ski conditions, where the combination of wind and swell align to ensure Mother Nature provides us with an environment in which to test ourselves and our equipment and ensure we get off the water excited about the next time we can do it all again. It seems the real beauty of Millers is that it is short enough to really paddle it hard, yet long enough to ensure you have to be fit to nail it. I recently read of a course in the south of England called the Cornish Millers, named by local paddling sensation Glen Eldridge, which replicates the course found in Cape Town and it got me thinking. I’d like to lay claim to a new Millers Run, this time in Sydney, Australia.

Located about 15 kilometers from the Sydney CBD is Little Bay. A small coastal village, just south of Maroubra, it has seen extensive development over the past few years with lots of new housing, and is home to some fantastic golf courses. And it’s at one of these courses that our adventure begins. The Coast Gold Club enjoys terrific ocean views of the cliffs and ocean from the South side of Sydney. Parking at Little Bay church, and quick dash across the 9th fairway and down to the small beach within the bay can often be a challenge with strong southerly winds whipping through. Once down on the beach, a small paddle out through the reef and the exposed ocean awaits the intrepid paddler. Conditions dictate how far out to paddle to ensure you have a clear line of Malabar Point. A South East wind will require a 2km paddle straight out, a South West wind means a shorter paddle of about 1km is required. Once out, you pick the point at North Bondi and head north to the famous Bondi Beach, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The paddle takes in the well know beaches of Maroubra, Coogee, Bronte and Tamarama before you arrive at Bondi after a solid 10km of downwind paddling. Bondi is South facing, so care needs to be taken landing on the beach, and is best done right along the rocks at the North end where a rip runs out and the break is normally very small.

When conditions are on, this course is second to none. A deep line out to sea will reward the paddler with clean runs, clear of any rebound from the many cliffs which line the course on their left as they head North. Winter sees lots of Southerly action in Sydney so most weekends from June until October allow for some fantastic paddling, before the more predominate North East winds of Summer kick in. Unfortunately Sydney hasn’t had a great Summer this year, but that has meant that some great conditions have presented themselves a lot earlier than expected. The past two days in fact have been sensational. Here are the Garmin files to my last two runs.

The first file is a standard course Little Bay to Bondi. The 10km course took 37 mins 30 seconds (with a small paddle back into the beach). The second file shows a longer course, where we paddled past Bondi and onto South Head, landing at Camp Cove. The 10km from Little Bay to Bondi in this file took 35 mins. Conditions were simply awesome. As a side note, my ski of choice both days was the Uno Max Elite.

Little Bay to Bondi, Tuesday 6th March 2012

Little Bay to Camp Cove, Wednesday 7th March 2012

Here’s a video of the run, done last year. Conditions were great this day, lots of runs to be had and some serious smiles afterwards. This paddle actually recruited some new members into our group, ex spec ski paddlers looking for a new challenge, and who fell in love with what downwind had to offer.

Little Bay

So with the evidence provided, can I lay claim to naming the Sydney Millers Run? I would like to think so. Now to recharge the batteries for the next day conditions line up.

See you on the water,