Hamo’s Clash of the Paddles goes global
In a major coup for the Clash of the Paddles, the surf and ocean ski event has been included on the World Surf Ski Series, to be recognised alongside events in Hawaii, Mauritius, Canada, Tahiti and San Francisco.
Competitors in the 25km down-wind event will now by vying for points as well as prizes, with the top four results from the series contributing to the crowning of a World Surf Ski Champion.
Surf skis are a new addition to the Clash of the Paddles, joining the Outrigger Cup program four years ago.
During that time the program, managed by Surf Life Saving Australia, has flourished with more than 100 competitors alone expected for the 25km down-wind event.
Traditionally held from Lindeman Island to Hamilton Island, competitors are taken to the race start aboard the resort’s barge before heading home.
Defending champion Michael Booth will be back to defend his title this year, while four-time Olympian Clint Robinson and ocean racing guru Dean Gardiner headlined the field last year.
But you can expect similarly big names at this year’s event, especially now that the Clash of the Paddles is part of the World Surf Ski Series.
In addition to the blue riband 25km event, 3km and 7km races will also be held as well as a unique ‘dash for cash’ with teams drafted based on the aforementioned races.
For more information or to register visit www.hamilton island.com.au/sports-events/ clash-of-the-paddles.
STARS OF THE SPORT: Michael Booth and Jeremy Cotter during last year’s Clash of the Paddles.