For all the upcoming Canoeing Victoria events including downriver, check out the calendar.

Getting started is easy as any craft can participate in Downriver.  Simply find a club close to you via the Paddle Victoria or Paddle Australia websites, join and learn some basic paddle skills and safety protocol.

In all Downriver and Wildwater events safety is paramount and forms a key part of each particular event.

Downriver paddling is considered an important and natural pathway to participation in Wildwater racing.

Wildwater Racing

  • Wildwater is one of the most physically demanding canoe disciplines of the World International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) sports.
  • Wildwater canoeing is a usually timed event across two courses, Classic and Sprint.  These courses are usually natural rivers containing class 2 to 4 rated Whitewater.  The ICF is experimenting with mass starts and longer races
  • In the Classic race, athletes race for four to seven kilometres (15 to 35 minutes) and in Sprint races for 200 to 600 metres (one minute).
  • Wildwater kayaks are lightweight constructed from carbon fibre and kevlar to achieve a minimum weight of 10kg.  They are 4.5m long and narrow making them fast but also less stable.
  • Races are run to ICF rules.  Paddlers are required to wear mandatory safety gear including helmet, buoyancy vest and with buoyancy bags in all craft.
  • Paddlers compete as individuals and in team events.  Teams are made up of three competitors in the same class.
  • This racing requires strategic insight to pick the fastest lines down the river and balance power and speed with considered execution and timing to achieve maximum speed through wild and daunting Whitewater rapids.  Athletes need peak fitness and endurance to be strong and fast yet calm and calculating.
  • The attraction to the sport is its attachment to nature and the exhilaration of successfully paddling fast flowing Wildwater at high speed.

Downriver Events

  • Downriver is a broad international term encompassing a range of events held on river courses.  A downriver event is open to all craft (unless stated) and may be leisure and / or competition.
  • Some events are called classic river races, but they are  essentially a race or paddle down a river from point A to B.
  • Internationally, downriver events are usually held on grade 1-3 rivers.  There are many famous events with 1000’s of paddlers, e.g. Sella Descent, Spain; Liffey Descent, Ireland; The DUSI, South Africa.
  • A K1 kayak specific to downriver is usually a K1 strengthened for whitewater with a trailing rudder. Wildwater kayaks are often used in downriver events however any craft may participate.
  • In Victoria we have Downriver events (including schools)where river kayaks, slalom, creek boats and others all participate.   All events require mandatory safety gear.

There is a range of good information on the web. The following 3 are very good and the committee hope to add to this list.

Dave & Robyn Hints

French Program

Committee Members:

Chairperson Roy Farrance
Vice Chair Damien Guthrie
Secretary Tony Misson
Treasurer Neville Humphry
Warren Elms
Wes Hurrey
Tim Flowers
Dita Pahl
Lyne Strmecki

Please contact the committee via the secretary email ‘Tony Misson

In Victoria we have a number of river races from the Yarra, Goulburn to the Mitta
Please contact  Tony   0411605239

 Goulburn Bash: Goulburn River-Keresdale to Trawool. 10km

Usually first weekend in March.

This is a lovely stretch of the Goulburn River and the event is suitable for all craft. Canoes, Tk1/2, skis, marathon K1/K2, wildwater and recreational boats. (You should have some experience on moving water and check water levels if using an understern rudder).

We also include a community Fun paddle for those who just want to enjoy the river

Goulburn Classic: 

The Goulburn Classic is Australia’s oldest canoe race. It was originally 100 miles non-stop with heroic stories of paddlers negotiating the fast flowing river at night.  In the 90s the race morphed into the Tour De bloody goulburn, a tour that used staged sections to highlight the beauty of the Goulburn River. The event will have 3 Stages over one day with stage 1 and 2 being mass starts (in waves) with stage 3 being a unique time trial event.  The yellow jersey will be awarded at the end of each stage. This event will cater for all classes however it is ideal for canoes, ocean skis and river kayaks (tk1s, tk2s, k1s & k2s).

You can paddle 1, 2 or all 3 stages, it’s your choice.

Mitta Mitta Challenge River Race and Community FUN Paddle

Usually held in the first weekend in January

A lovely flowing section of the Mitta River. No rapids as it is below the wildwater course, the distance is 13 km starting from the Witches Garden and finishing in the township of Mitta.

Suitable for all abilities and  craft (sit ons, plastics, canoes, touring kayaks

Fantastic spot prizes

The E2A Classic River Race

Usually held in the first weekend in April.

Whether you`re chasing a personal best or looking for a fun and challenging river journey, the e2a classic river race on the lovely Goulburn River is for you !

What is it?

A 34km river race, from Eildon to Alexandra. 2 stages on Sunday the 4TH April 2020.
You have the Option to complete just one stage or both stages.
Start from Eildon below the gates, paddle 14km to Thornton for a stage one finish. Short break at Thornton then start for stage 2, a 20km stage.
Stage 2 is from Thornton to Alexandra finishing at the boat ramp by the Maroondah Highway over the Goulburn River.

It is a beautiful and scenic section of the Goulburn River perfect for kayaks, skis and canoes.

Highlights include:

  • Coaching and practice at blue gums.
  • A lovely fast river with most people taking less than 1 hour for stage 1 and about 1.20 (s2)
  • Stage 1 Running the blue gums rapids or choosing the fast easy portage option
  • Stage 2 flat and fast runs with constant bends [no rapids], Lovely scenery