State canoe event this Sunday
LAKE Leschenaultia will host the State Canoe Championships for a third time this Sunday.
Veteran Terry Bolland (67) will be on the water, along with 18-yearold Max Smith, Brett McDonald (49) and other international canoeists in the 10km challenge.
McDonald, a former winner of the Avon Descent, won gold in the 2017 Canoe Marathon World Championships and Masters World Cup in South Africa.
Organisers hope a fine forecast and calm water will attract a good turnout to the round, which last year saw more than 74 competitors paddle up to 10 laps of the lake.
Paddle WA volunteer Doug Hodson said the challenge was one of 15 competitions throughout the year held on different stretches of water in Perth.
“It’s a great opportunity to kickstart 2018 and get your exercise routine off to a good start,” he said.
Participants will compete in their age category and Perth canoe clubs will include representatives from Ascot, Canning River, Champion Lakes and Bayswater.
Among the individual challengers will be 11-year-old Gabriel Stevens in the under-12s and Jan Van Maann (71) in the 65-plus age groups.
Shorter-distance courses will be open to juniors and novices and there will be a team round.
Retired mechanical engineer John Breed said he and his wife Helen looked forward to the event near their Gidgegannup home.
“I paddle regularly with people in their 70s. It’s incredible really; I believe if you don’t do it before you retire you’re probably never going to,” he said.
The fitness enthusiast teamed with Bolland for a 66-day 2080km paddle from Rossport in Canada to the Statue of Liberty in New York and he regularly competes in the Perth Avon Descent.
“I took up kayaking on my 58th birthday and paddle about three times a week,” he said.
“Kayaking ticks all the boxes because you can enjoy the tranquillity of a solitary paddle and the sociable side of belonging to a club.”
Registrations closed on Thursday, with the possibility of a discretionary late entry likely to incur an extra fee.
Canoeists take to the water.
Canoeist John Breed, of Gidgegannup, is training for the 10km State Marathon Championships.
Matthew Greed (18) represented Australia in 2016 in the under-16 sprint team in Hungary. Lawrence Greed