Clint Robinson dominates 20 Beaches (Aus) ** Rambo Video **

Thursday, 22 December 2011 09:08 | Written by 
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Action in the shorebreak at the finish of the 20 Beaches! Action in the shorebreak at the finish of the 20 Beaches! Credits: Jon Dibbs

Some of Australia’s best paddlers diced it out at the Vajda 20 Beaches Ocean Classic this year – but Olympian Clint Robinson showed overwhelming form and finished 1 1/2 minutes ahead of his nearest rival, Tim Jacobs.


Unfavorable easterly winds and choppy water made for challenging conditions as the paddlers made their way 26km down the coast.

Clint Robinson took a seaward line, while Tim Jacobs went inshore and by the time they’d reached Newport Headland, the three leaders (Jacobs, Robinson and Norton) were in a line with Robinson furthest out to sea; Jacobs inshore and Sam Norton somewhere in between.

Vajda 20 Beaches

Lining up for the start

Vjada 20 Beaches

The side-wind made for chop - and not much help for the paddlers - stunning beach conditions however!

Vajda 20 Beaches

Final Sprint

At Avalon, Robinson came inshore, catching some good runs to move 150m into the lead.  Tim Jacobs made some ground on flatwater paddler Sam Norton by smashing through the backwash, but Norton came back hard as the two men sprinted across the calm water 2km from the final turn buoy.

As they approached Palm Beach, Robinson caught another runner, gaining a further 50m to finish in 1:36:44.

Clint Robinson

Clint Robinson came inshore and caught some runs to set up a clear lead

Tim Jacobs

After a bad start, Tim Jacobs powered his way into 2nd place

Tom Norton

Sam Norton challenged the top guns in his first top class long distance surfski race

Jacobs and Norton crossed the line 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Ben Allen in 4th and Martin Kenny (42) showing his ocean experience to take 5th position.

"The race was hard," said Tim Jacobs. "Clint was awesome, he is such an exceptional athlete, he made it look easy.

"Conditions weren't the best but you have to race in everything, I felt good but not strong on the day which was the difference between me making it more of a challenge for Clint and the race that we had."

In the women's race, Lauren Smith led the field, with Lauren Bartlett coming second and Kate McGrath third.

Olympics Contender (for the fifth time...)

Clint Robinson plans to qualify for the London Olympics K1 1000m at the Australian Canoeing National Sprint Championships, which will double as the Olympic selection trials, in March.

Robinson took gold in the K1 1000m at the Barcelona Games in 1992 – and followed that up with a bronze in the K1 1000m at the 1996 Atlanta Games and a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the K2 500m.

Awesome crop of young paddlers

The future of Aussie surfski paddling looks good with the likes of Bill Bane, Michael Booth and Sam Norton (all under 20) in the mix.  Sam and Tom Norton (22) are cross-over paddlers from adventure racing.

Rambo's Video


Action at the finish!

(For more photos, click here for Jon Dibbs' smugmug page.)

There was a fairly fierce shore break at the finish and some of the competitors (or at any rate, their skis) took to the skies as they tried to negotiate the surf...

Vajda 20 Beaches

This isn't going to end well...

Vajda 20 Beaches

Hmm... that old sideways feeling...

Vajda 20 Beaches

...and over the falls we go.  Will the ski survive?

Vajda 20 Beaches

Whoops!  Free of the paddler, the ski heads sky-wards.  The bloke underneath looks apprehensive.

Vajda 20 Beaches

Both the ski and the paddler(s) made it!

Results Summary

Click here for the full results


  1. Clint ROBINSON 1:36:44
  2. Tim JACOBS 1:38:13
  3. Sam NORTON 1:38:57
  4. Ben ALLEN 1:40:14
  5. Martin KENNY 1:40:40
  6. Tom NORTON 1:41:06
  7. Bill BAIN 1:41:39
  8. Bruce TAYLOR 1:41:47
  9. Paul GREEN 1:42:05
  10. Cade BARNES 1:42:28


  1. Lauren SMITH 1:58:37
  2. Lauren BARTLETT 1:59:21
  3. Kate MCGRATH 2:03:42

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