Pad­dlers pre­par­ing to clash on Hamil­ton

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

REG­IS­TRA­TIONS have opened for the 32nd an­nual Clash of the Pad­dles on Hamil­ton Is­land, with out­rig­ger, surf and ocean ski pad­dlers all set to con­verge on the Whit­sun­days in mid-June.

The sig­na­ture races of the re­gatta are the famed Hamo Cup; the 42km changeover marathon for six-man out­rig­ger ca­noes, and the 25km down­wind ski pad­dle from Lin­de­man to Hamil­ton Is­land.

Th­ese two draw­cards are high­lights of a spec­tac­u­lar four days of rac­ing and so­cial­is­ing, with events over var­i­ous dis­tances and crafts and a new V-3 Out­rig­ger to be raced com­pet­i­tively for the first time in Australia.

Out­rig­ger rac­ing starts on Thurs­day, June 11, with one and two-man events.

On Fri­day the sprints ac­tion heats up and there’s the stunning round the is­land 16km event.

Satur­day is high­lighted by the Keith Wil­liams Me­mo­rial Catseye Chal­lenge.

With loads of prizes based purely on par­tic­i­pa­tion; crews are en­cour­aged to dress up in theme, re­mem­ber­ing it’s all meant to be about fun and mate­ship on the wa­ter.

On the se­ri­ous side of things, Satur­day also has the six-man sprints and clin­ics hosted by vis­it­ing Hawai­ian crews, whose home is where the sport is still revered.

Sun­day is Fun Day with the 42km Changeover Marathon fol­lowed by a well earned cel­e­bra­tion.

The Is­land Tour – as the lo­cals lov­ingly re­fer to their testing 42km chal­lenge – gives vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike a taste of the vary­ing con­di­tions and is sure to test the tight­est and tough­est of out­rig­ger crews.

Surf and ocean ski en­trants open with the 3km event on Thurs­day, build­ing up over the re­gatta to the 25km event on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

A yet-to-be-an­nounced theme for the Sun­day night’s pre­sen­ta­tions will en­sure a fit­ting send-off to a fan­tas­tic week­end.

With vis­it­ing out­rig­ger crews from PNG, New Cale­do­nia and Hawaii, plus a grow­ing fol­low­ing of ski pad­dlers from across the eastern seaboard and many re­turn­ing pad­dlers who have taken part in the Clash for sev­eral years, the qual­ity of rac­ing for 2015 is sure to be high.

For full de­tails, visit www.hamil­ton is­land.com.au/ sports-events/clash-of-thep­ad­dles.

EPIC EVENT: Reg­is­tra­tions have opened for the Clash of the Pad­dles on Hamil­ton Is­land.

Photo: Steve Christo

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