Bongil Bongil Bash 2015 Race report by Christine Berridge

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Awaiting Start 3 at Bonville showing the lovely bushy setting. Photo Mary Buckley

The second race of the Northern Marathon Series was held on Sunday 26th April 2015 at Bongil Bongil National Park just south of Sawtell NSW.

The day dawned warm and sunny. Bonville Creek runs through the Bongil Bongil National Park, creating a beautiful backdrop for an exciting race.

102 paddlers in 82 single and ten double craft took to the water in three different race lengths – 6km, 9km and 18kms. There were 16 juniors which argue well for the future of the sport. The older age group was also well represented. Ages ranged from a 7 years old paddler (paddling with a parent) to two 78 year olds. You can’t keep an old paddler down – they just keep on going and going!!

There was also a wide range of craft, from the usual K1, K2, through TK1, TK2 to Recs, Surf skis, Unrestricted, OCI and even a SUP.

The elite open K1 category was won by Brett Greenwood from Manly Waringah, with Ryan Paroz from Kawarana Waters Canoe Club second and Daniel Jenkin from Bonville Creek Kayak Club third. All race results can be viewed on the Northern Marathon Series web page.

The major sponsor of the Northern Marathon Series is Vajda, who also had a very interesting display of paddling gear, skis and kayaks .Vajda has also supplied a set of new boat numbers which were “christened” during the race. Much appreciated and many thanks to Vajda and Brett Greenwood.

A lesson was learned the hard way by a young paddler in the 9km race. She was so focussed on following another paddler that she ended up doing 12kms instead of the 9kms. If you are going to wash ride chose someone doing the same distance. This paddler can be comforted by the fact she did a very good time for 12 kms.

The second half of the race saw the wind pick up and the presentation was quite “interesting” among the gum trees with gusty winds.

Many thanks also go to the local Lions Club for providing a magnificent BBQ and cold drinks. Well done Lions!

See you all again at Bongil Bongil National Park next year.

Christine Berridge

Secretary Bonville Creek Kayak Club