Ben Allen beats Jeremy Cotter in the Byron Bay Ocean Paddle (Aus)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 10:06 | Written by  Lance O'Conner
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Jeremy Cotter and Ben Allen sprint to the finish Jeremy Cotter and Ben Allen sprint to the finish Credits: Byron Bay Ocean Challenge

Starting the first round of any series early is a hard job - it's been bitterly cold in the south this winter! But the first event in the AORS went off with a bang, with a huge, highly competitive field.

Dash for Cash

To get things going with a bang, the weekend started with a dash for $500 cash.

Being a short sprint race, the start had to be sorted and in a Byron Bay way it was - anyone in front of the line got run over by the jet ski - a hard lesson for 3 or 4 paddlers!

The 2 EOS boys Brad Rodgers and Olympian sprinter David Rhodes teamed up to fill the wallet with Brad taking the first lead to the 200, sling shooting Rhodes for the win with Ben Allen and Caine Eckstein close behind.  The field then settled in for the 9km short course with Eckstein showing his fitness so early in the year to pull away from Ben and the rest of the field to take the win.  Zane Holmes filled the 3rd spot and the 300 strong field trickled in after that

Caine Eckstein

Caine Eckstein on form!

Weather Forecast... NOT!

The main event on the following day saw a slight south easterly that was forecast to swing north at 1.15PM, so the call was made at 9am "North to South".  But... the wind stayed firmly in the southeast.

Byron Bay Ocean Challenge


So it was a grind and all the kayakers and ironmen in the field were happy chappies.

The main pack soon consisted of Ben Allen, Jeremy Cotter, Brad Rodgers, Dane Sloss, Tommy Woodriff, Bruce Taylor, David Rhodes and Mick Waide with Ben and Jeremy pulling a small lead away during the middle section.

Byron Bay Ocean Challenge

GP Finish

The finish was like watching a close GP, Allen and Cotter turning the last can 50m out from the finish flags side by side with Allen just making it onto the small wave and Cotter sitting on the back of it till he turned blue driving over the top at the last minute to almost  pass Allen who just won  by a split sec.

Sloth finished in 3rd place 2min back, closely followed by Bruce Taylor and Rhodes (another GP finish) both again rounding the turn can side by side. It was almost a re-run with Taylor .62 of a sec to take out Rhodes who came 5th and 6th respectively.

Brad Rodgers  and Mick Waide finished 7th and 8th.

First Spec ski was a lightning fast Alastair Day who was able to wash the LD skis for half the race.

Women’s Race

Kate McGrath won the women's race for the second day running with Kim Chapel coming in second.

The race was run very well and although without a major sponsor they managed to come up with some cash and some fun prizes.

Thanks to Kurt, Hoges, Byron Bay Surf Club and all the club members for 2 days of hard work to organize such a great event .

(Thanks also to the weather forecast for up the report – again - and sending the guys into it.)

For more information:

A small note to all competitors that next year we will be offering

  • a $20 fee for transport of skis from Sydney and return covered by EOS skis.
  • $100 full weekend Accommodation
  • Flight concessions through Regional Express to attract more Syd paddlers to the event

Results Summary – Byron Bay Ocean Paddle 2010

Click here for full results

Dash for cash 500-metre

  1. David Rhodes EOS
  2. Ben Allen THINK
  3. Zane Holmes DOLPHIN

12km Warm Up

  1. Caine Eckstein FENN
  2. Ben Allen THINK
  3. Zane Holmes DOLPHIN

20km Main Event

  1. Ben Allen THINK
  2. Jeremy Cotter FENN
  3. Dane Sloss EPIC

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