Four Weeks to go till the 5th annual Byron Bay Ocean Paddle 2012

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 06:10 | Written by  Kurt Tutt
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Jeremy Cotter storms to victory in the 2009 event. Jeremy Cotter storms to victory in the 2009 event. Credits: www.byronbayoceanpaddler.com

Now into its fifth year, the Byron Bay Ocean Paddle has proven itself as a welcome winter’s get together for East Coast based Aussie Surf Ski paddlers.

Location, Location, Location

Byron Bay, situated about an hours drive south of the Gold Coast, and an hours flight north of Sydney, has some of most naturally beautiful coastline on offer for paddlers, with relatively calm waters protected by the Cape Byron Headland.

The race in previous years has been a lap race “dice”, only about 10km’s long and usually won in around 40mins. Previous winners include names such as Jeremy Cotter, Ironman Caine Eckstein and Ben Allen, who is the only paddler to have won the race more than once.

This year the weekends’ events are held on July 14th and 15th. The first race is the annual BBOP, this year extended to 16 kilometers racing off Main Beach Byron Bay.

A Relay Race of a Different Kind

The second event of the weekend is a first: The “Epic Kayaks Cape Byron Random Relay” sees a two person relay held with an out and back leg of 5km’s for each paddler.

What makes this event different though is that paddlers will enter as individuals and be randomly drawn their teammate from the pool of entries. To open up the event, paddlers who are placed in the top twenty in Saturdays event will be re-drawn another team mate if drawn together. This is literally a race anyone can win.

Organizers expect the relay to be a hit with each leg heading out to the Most Easterly Point of Australia, Cape Byron and returning along in the green swells of Watego’s Beach and one of the best right hand surf breaks on the east coast, The Pass where paddlers can reach speeds of over 20 km/hr.

The Booty!

Organizers are fortunate enough to have a prize pool for the weekend so far of over $6000 in cash to giveaway along with $4000 in prizes. Major Sponsors for the event include Epic Kayaks, NAB and Mt Franklin water.

Entries are now open at www.byronbayoceanpaddler.com and a program is below. Proceeds to Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club

The Program: Saturday 14th July

Annual Byron Bay Ocean Paddle

  • 1:00pm Race Start, Main Beach Byron Bay
  • Distance: 16km (note 6km longer, new course, lap race)
  • SUP Paddlers 8km course, lap race 
  • Safety Equipment: PFD’s compulsory, leashes optional 
  • Le mans start , Main Beach Byron Bay 
  • Race Categories: See “Enter” page on www.byronbayoceanpaddler.com
  • Online entries can be made on this site, online entries close Friday 13th July 4:00pm
  • Entry Cost: $50 per person
  • Late Entries: $60 per person on the day between 10:am and 12:00pm

RACE DAY REGISTRATION: Between 10am and 12:00pm, @ Byron Bay Surf Club, Bay Street Byron Bay

RACE BRIEFING: 12:30pm

RACE START: 1:00pm 

RACE PRESENTATION: 3:45pm

You must be present at the Race presentation to claim a random draw prize.

The Program: Sunday 15th July

“Epic Kayaks” Cape Byron Random Relay

  • Two person relay race 2 x 5km legs
  • 8:00am Sunday 15th July: Teams announced, (team pairings will be put on display on the deck at Byron Surf Club)
  • 8:30am to 9:15am Team Sign on, registration (meet and greet your team mate) 

RACE BRIEFING: 9:15am

RACE START: 9:30am

RACE PRESENTATION: 11:15am


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