Paddlers preparing to clash on Hamilton
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