Macleay Island – Race Results
The ocean racing season has opened with the first event of the Pacific Ocean Series held on the 22nd May at Macleay Island. As per last year, conditions were perfect with blue sky’s, some wind and warm Queensland sunshine.
The event had over 60 boats on the water with some 90 competitors competing in either single, double or the team relay. All competitors completed the 15km around the Island course with many paddlers still in groups of three or four at the end, racing to the finish line.
As this was the first event of the new season / series, the top paddlers did not disappoint with last years PACOS champion Matt O’Garey, top three paddler at last years Latitude 28 Michael Booth and current Australian Marathon Canoe member Tim Stenlake all ready to race and race hard for a chance to win the prize money on offer.
After the start, these three lead from the front, changing leads and trying to open up a gap over the field. Around the top of the Island Michael took a wrong turn and headed close to shore while Matt and Tim took the more direct line along the back of the Island. Michael quickly got back on track and caught up to the leads and it was on again.
After a solid series last year, Adam McKane was not letting the leaders get away and another paddler that learnt a lot from last years series, Michael Manton showed he will be a challenger this year in his new 40-49 category. Brad Hagan who has trained the house down over the past 12 months was hanging in with the front packs and it was great to see him enter his first PACOS event.
In the female category, Amanda Rankin, Antjeand Voeller and Sharon Kyme took it out hard to try and get on the wash of one of the male competitors. They soon all got in to their rhythm for the long paddle ahead. First timer Elin had a slow start on a borrowed ocean ski but found her rhythm after a couple of kilometer and started to paddle the leading females down
Coming around the final turn it was Michael Booth out in front with Matt second and Tim third. A solid paddle by Adam in fourth, Michael Manton fifth (first 40-49 category) and Brad sixth. An amazing paddle by the all female combination of Keilley Hunter & Karen Clarke who finished 18th overall but only 45 sec behind the all male combination in the same category.
Elin stamped her authority over the female field winning the 40+ and was the first female over the line in 20th position. Amanda won the 20-39 open female category and Leila Walker won the U19 female category.
Alex Mackenzie-Templar won the U/19 male, Grant Cook took out the 50+ category and Bob Clarke the SLSA 40+. Macleay Island local Digby won the sea kayak category and Neil English won the male SUP category. The female OC was won by Kathryn East and male by Des Mabbott.
This years Team Relay was won by the Macleay island firebirds who have bragging rights for the next 12 months.
It was great to see the support from paddlers all over Qld and NSW. The event saw paddlers come from as far as Coffs Harbour, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. All the paddlers racing are helping to make the Pacific Ocean Series the number one series in our region.
Another perfect timing display by BLAST and I am sure you have now all received the results. If not please contact me and follow this link
Event photos can be found at this link
We will let you know once the event video is posted.
The event organizing committee lead by Nev once again turned on a perfect racing event with organized ferry transport, a number of paddler check points around the course, medals for the winners and random prizes. On behalf of the paddler, I would like to say thank you for your efforts and we look forward in returning again next year.