Con­di­tions per­fect for rapid race

Kalamunda Reporter - - Sport -

HIGH wa­ter lev­els made for a nearper­fect week­end for the gru­elling 125km Avon Descent.

More than 370 com­peti­tors took on the 45th an­nual white­wa­ter race, with plenty of spills to chal­lenge even the most sea­soned par­tic­i­pants.

Hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors turned out in mostly mild and sunny con­di­tions to cheer on com­peti­tors.

Ja­son Gra­ham took out first place on the sin­gle kayaks, beat­ing William Lee by 7 min­utes.

Favourites in the power boats David North and Jay Bran­son did not dis­ap­point, cross­ing the fin­ish line in Bayswa­ter first only 20 sec­onds in front of ri­vals Per­rin Franks and Michael Prosser.

Ex­pe­ri­enced racer Bran­son al­most missed this year’s race af­ter a se­ri­ous mo­tor­cy­cle crash left him with a frac­tured neck.

Former ri­vals Bren­dan Rice and Josh Kip­pin teamed up this year, tak­ing out first po­si­tion in front of Matthew Dean and James Mor­fitt, who took out first place on the dou­ble kayak, while favourite Dar­ryl Long won the race on his sin­gle ski, which he built him­self.

Avon Descent mar­ket­ing man­ager Fran Di­et­trich said or­gan­is­ers could not have asked for a bet­ter event.

“It was a great event, with a very smooth run and lots of happy com­peti­tors and or­gan­is­ers,” she said.

“Wa­ter lev­els were nearly per­fect. Af­ter all the rain the last few weeks, we had a per­fect week­end up there with no rain and mostly sunny, which was per­fect for com­peti­tors pad­dling through the beau­ti­ful val­ley.”

Ninja War­rior semi-fi­nal­ist Paul Ranger took on the race, sign­ing up for the chal­lenge on his stand-up pad­dle board on Fri­day.

Ms Di­et­trich said Ranger’s per­for­mance was a high­light, with it be­ing the first year SUPs were in­cluded in the race.

“We only added the SUP cat­e­gory this year and no one be­lieved he would make it far, but he ended day one (52km) af­ter 08:23:17, which was ab­so­lutely sen­sa­tional and there were so many peo­ple who wel­comed him with a mas­sive ap­plause,” she said.

Pic­tures: Kelly Pil­grim-Byrne – Cour­tesy of City of Bayswa­ter

Bren­dan Rice and Josh Kip­pin win the dou­bles and (inset) power boat win­ners Jay Bran­son and David North be­fore cross­ing the fin­ish line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.