Race co-ordinator Kathy Barsby says the 2021 National Marathon Championships and Race 1 of the Ocean Downwind Series have attracted high-calibre paddlers from across the country.
Race co-ordinator Kathy Barsby says the 2021 National Marathon Championships and Race 1 of the Ocean Downwind Series have attracted high-calibre paddlers from across the country.

Country’s leading paddlers in action at Emu Park

More than 570 paddlers have descended on Fisherman’s Beach at Emu Park for the 2021 National Marathon Championships and Race 1 of the Ocean Downwind Series.

The three-day program is being hosted by the Rocky Outrigger Canoe Club.

The competition started on Friday and featured the 24km downwind race for singles (OC1/V1/Ski) and doubles (OC2/Skis), as well as the 11km short course event.

The short course 11.5km and long course 18km OC6 (six-person teams), going around Pelican and Pelican and Wedge Islands off Emu Park, will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Race co-ordinator Kathy Barsby said 42 clubs from across Australia were represented, with paddlers travelling from as far afield as Sydney, Darwin and Perth.

They would compete in multiple age divisions ranging from under-16 to platinum (70-plus).

“The downwinder course is well known in the paddling community as being one of the best and we can’t wait to show off the beautiful Capricorn Coast to those paddlers who have not been here before,” Barsby said.

“We have registrations from high-calibre paddlers who have national and international titles under their belts and our local paddlers from Rocky and Cap Coast will be defending their reputations and using their local knowledge to their advantage against their competition.”

ROCC president Andrew Crozier said it was great for the club to be hosting the nationals in its 30th year.

“We look forward to celebrating with paddlers on and off the water and hope all the paddlers have a great event,” he said.

Racing starts at 7.30am Saturday and 9am Sunday.