State canoe event this Sun­day

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Gri­er­son

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.

Pic­ture: Lawrence Greed

Ca­noeists take to the wa­ter.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d478125

Ca­noeist John Breed, of Gidge­gan­nup, is train­ing for the 10km State Marathon Cham­pi­onships.

Pic­ture:

Matthew Greed (18) rep­re­sented Aus­tralia in 2016 in the un­der-16 sprint team in Hun­gary. Lawrence Greed

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