Australian Ocean Racing Series Form Guide

Saturday, 10 July 2010 17:49 | Written by  Dean Gardiner
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Australian Ocean Racing Series Australian Ocean Racing Series

With the series opener of the Australian Ocean Racing Series (AORS) bearing down on us I thought it might be best to put together a form guide based on last year’s results and potential newbies to the AORS.

This year will see unprecedented exposure of the ocean racing events due to the sports alliances with Australian Geographic Outdoor Magazine and Yahoo 7. Most events will also host novice and entry level races to encourage more competitors to venture out into the wild blue yonder and experience these races.

Australia Geographic Outdoor



Byron Bay

Byron BayByron Bay will host race 1 on July 17 and 18 featuring a bunch of new events and culminating with a 25 km downwind race on the Sunday. A further 11 events will follow over the summer months with The Doctor and Finn Kayaks Coastal Challenge in Perth wrapping up the series.

Byron will attract around 300 paddlers with a host of new players ready to upset the established names in the sport. Byron Bay stalwart Kurt “sunblocker” Tutt  is confident that his event will see a solid start to the year. “We are getting tonnes of entries and enquiries” he said. “There are a lot of paddlers coming up from Sydney and with the Gold and Sunshine Coast contingents it should make for some great racing”. “The courses we have selected are first class and should some phenomenal downwind racing” said The Blocker.

Some of the top paddlers will miss the first race of the season due to kayak commitments in Europe. They include Murray Stewart, Dave Smith and Kenny Wallace. While the kayakers will be absent a fairly large contingent of SLSA competitors will be getting some mileage up for the up-coming Coolongatta Gold by competing in the longer race.

Form Favorite - Jezza Cotter

Last season saw Jeremy Cotter almost clean sweep the series with a narrow loss to Saffa Dawid Mocke in The Doctor ruining his unblemished run. So with this in mind and based on current form Cotter will start as season favourite.

Jeremy Cotter

Jeremy Cotter at the 2010 Perth Doctor

Last Year's Top Ten

  1. Jeremy Cotter
  2. Tim Jacobs
  3. Dean Gardiner
  4. Murray Stewart
  5. Dave Kissane
  6. Mark Anderson
  7. Dave Smith
  8. Michael Locke
  9. Ian Timbrell
  10. Adam Mckane

Last season’s top ten tells a bunch of different stories. Three over 40s feature in the ten along with those that made the effort to get to the required number of events. Last season there were 10 events with 6 counting towards the pointscore.  The 10/11 season will see 12 events with 8 events counting towards your overall score. Each event will also put $5 per competitor towards and overall prizepool for the series for the first time creating a financial incentive for the leading competitors.

The likes of Bruce Taylor, Tony Shumacher, Nathan Smith, Shannon Eckstein, Zane Holmes, Brendon Sarson, Reece Baker, Dane Sloss and of course the return of Caine Eckstein to paddling will make for an interesting top ten. For Cotter to repeat last year’s performance in such esteemed company will be a mighty feat.’

A number of internationals are also expecting to dabble in some of the events so this will definitely put some heat in the fire. One who will be on the line for Byron will former Molokai champ Clint Pretorious from South Africa. While not in the best shape at the moment Pretorious in my opinion is the best downwind paddler in the world today. Given the right conditions the South African youngster will ruffle a few feathers.

The Ladies

Kirsty Holmes (to quote the berger paint add) “just keeps on keeping on”.  While wins were elusive for the Queensland Firefighter, her consistency through the series brought her out on top. A solid trip to the East Coast from WA by Ruth Highman saw her move onto the dais with Manly’s Mel Pelly capitalising on some solid results in the local Sydney events putting her in the top 3.

Kirsty Holmes

Kirsty Holmes

When you browse over the list there are some very well credentialed competitors competing. The return of Naomi Flood to completion along with a host of new former ironwomen should see the ladies fighting out a very competitive season.

Last years top ten

  1. Kirsty Holmes
  2. Ruth Highman
  3. Mel Pelly
  4. Kylie Broad
  5. Lauren Bartlet (Haw)
  6. Yanda Nossiter
  7. Rebecca Keelan
  8. Julie Cammell
  9. Jasmine Kelly
  10. Hayley Bateup


The under 20 category can always be a bit of an unknown. The cream of last years series will now have moved into open ranks but there are a couple that remain.

Last years top 6 under 20 men

  1. Hayden White
  2. Brendon Rice
  3. Bradley Taylor
  4. Brendon Simcock
  5. Sam Speer
  6. Jean-pierre Schalliee

Hayden White dominated last season but will now move into the open ranks. Predictions for this season include WA’s David Graham and NSW’s Sam Speer. Both these guys remain in the category and I am sure there will be a whole new fresh bunch of top competitors making themselves know this season.

Last Season’s under 20 ladies top 4

  1. Sarah Knapman
  2. Lauren Hall
  3. Sinade Whitehead
  4. Ashley Kiernen

Sarah Knapman took out last years series with consistent showings in the Fenn Cups. This season will see a host of new girls making their mark as more make their way onto ocean racing craft.

The oldies

The second most popular category on the program is the over 40s. Without doubt the most prestigious and worth considerably more for win than any other category. To be up there in the over 40s you must be extremely strong willed, skilled beyond belief and way more attractive than our younger rivals.

Dave Kissane

Dave Kissane

Last Seasons over 40 top 6

  1. Dean Gardiner
  2. Ian Timbrell
  3. Dave Kissane
  4. Kirk Jarrott
  5. James Mangold
  6. Peirre Langhoven

As the new season arrives the veterans are watching with interest to see who will join this illustrious group at race 1. The one thing is that no matter how hard we train or how good we are, every year a whole new bunch of youngsters are going to spill over the dam wall and into our age bracket. All we have to look forward to is when we reach the dam with 5o written on it and we can torment those guys. With 3 of the above in last year’s overall top 10 it will be interesting to see how many will crack it this season.

Over 40 ladies top 3

  1. Julie Jenkinson
  2. Angie Nicotra
  3. Deborah Dummett

A name synonymous with paddling in WA too out last years series. Julie Jenkinson just seems to get better with age and will be hard to beat again this season.

The real oldies

The guys and girls that inspire me to keep going are the plus half centurions. While we all want to remain young this is one age bracket that is coming at me and all of us faster than a Molokai run.

The names of many of this particular group have been around since I began all those years ago and it is fantastic to still have these guys and girls competing today.

Last years top 6 over 50 men

  1. Gary David
  2. Robbie Stewart
  3. Tim Hookins
  4. Damien Kelly
  5. Grant Hughes
  6. Robin Tedder

Woolongong’s Gary David dominated proceeding last season top it all off with a strong showing at Molokai. As some 40s make their way into this category this season and a host of the veteran Queensland competitors find their way into the sport all eyes will be on Gary to see if he can continue his almost unblemished record.

Top 3 Over 50 women

  1. Robyn Macdonald
  2. Teresa Johnson-White
  3. Sue Dorries

Like the men the ladies will be watching to see who creeps up into their category this season.

New Category - Short Skis

A new category to this season will be the less than 20 foot surf ski. This will cater for all SLSA craft and the shorter ocean racing craft( Fenn XTs, Epic Sports, Think Evos etc).  This should make for some interesting racing in both the open and categorized events.

The AORS will also host outrigger, paddleboard and standup paddleboard categories at most events.

For more info on dates, venues and event website visit Oceanpaddler

Ocean Paddler

AORS Events Calendar

1 18-Jul-10 Byron Bay Ocean Paddle Byron Bay NSW
2 18-Sep-10 OluKai Fenn Cup Downwind Series 1 Long Reef (Northern Beaches) NSW
3 02-Oct-10 King of the Cape Yallingup WA
4 09-Oct-10 Lion Island Challenge Palm Beach NSW
5 16-Oct-10 OluKai Fenn Cup Downwind Series 2 Long Reef (Northern Beaches) NSW
6 23-Oct-10 Burleigh Ocean Challenge Burleigh (Gold Coast) QLD
7 30-Oct-10 King of the Coast Sunshine Coast QLD
8 09-Jan-11 The Graeme Long Memorial Paddle Outlaw Paddling Torquay/Anglesea VIC
9 15-Jan-11 OluKai Fenn Cup Downwind Series 3 Long Reef (Northern Beaches) NSW
10 16-Jan-11 OluKai Fenn Cup 'The Twist' Long Reef (Northern Beaches) NSW
11 22-Jan-11 The Doctor World Cup Rottnest/Perth WA
12 23-Jan-11 Finn Kayaks Coastal Challenge Perth (All metro beaches) WA




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