Paddlers conquer 70kms of the Yarra in the inaugural Yarra Descent

Chris Humfrey after completing the arduous 70kms down the Yarra River

 

Race Report

September 30th saw Canoeing VictoriaÕs inaugural Yarra Descent start and successfully finish despite exceptionally low water.

In ideal paddling weather conditions, 11 Competitors started at Wittons Reserve at 8am with 9 crossing the finishing line 70kms down river at Bell Bird Picnic Area in Kew. The Fastest time of the day and taking line honors was Chris Humfrey with a finish time of 5 hours and 23 mins. Had the river level been higher, he believes he could shave up to half an hour of his time through the rapid sections.

It was a close competition between Chris who completed entire 70kms in a Down River racer and Bret Murray who finished 1 min behind using a Down River racer for the rapid section and a K1 for the flat sections. The Descent attracted a variety of craft, including a multisport (Finn) boat, a sea kayak, plastic Down river racer, K1 and TK1Õs as well as the traditional Down river racers.

However, some boats didnÕt fair as well as others with a K1 and TK1 having to retire during the rapid sections. Hats off to Jim Anderson who completed the 70kms in a down river racer who had to complete extensive repairs at checkpoint 4 and successfully limped the kayak to the finish Ð an incredible effort.

The race was well organized with 10 checkpoints, on river rescue both in Kayak and in a speed boat (with driver and assistant enjoying a hot lunch on the river bank) and fantastic support from Parks Victoria, GWS First Aid and the local councils. Thanks also to Strictly Thai in Kew for their support.

Final Results

 
  
Bruce and Eric at the finish