Biggest paddle challenge ever

Biggest paddle challenge ever

Last Saturday’s Gippsland Lakes Paddle Challenge was the biggest in its more than a decade of history.
The Paynesville and Metung to Lakes Entrance paddle, encompassing numerous paddling craft, attracted 210 entries, some 60 more than the previous best, and was held in near perfect conditions helping to make it the most successful event yet.
Seventy paddlers started out from Paynesville while more than 130 took the shorter route from Metung, finishing at the Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club.
The fastest competitor on the water for the longest leg was experienced paddler, Rebecca Mann, who paddled on an ocean ski from Paynesville to Lakes in two hours, 19 minutes and 55 seconds, ahead of Robbie Savage, who also came in on a ocean ski, in two hours, 22 minutes and 28 seconds.
There was a great variety of times, but the longest spent time on the water was around four hours getting from Paynesville, while another took around three hours from Metung.
Event orgaqniser, Paul King, said it was “by far the biggest event yet” and was thrilled to “see new faces from far and wide”.
A great range of different types of water paddle craft, from ocean racing skis, stand-up paddle boards, coastal rowing boats, standup paddle boards, and sea kayaks make this event different and each year it has gathered momentum and greater entries along with the people who have supported the event year-in year-out.
It is one of the most inclusive paddle events in Australia, catering for just about all levels of paddler.
The event would not be possible without the in-kind support from Coast Guard at Lakes Entrance and Paynesville, who donate their water safety component, Lifesaving Victoria and all contributing members at the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club.
Local sponsors again assisted generously with prizes to give the presentations a solid focus after the event.
Again this year, King, a pillar of the local surf lifesaving club, did an outstanding job supported ably by his event committee.
More coverage in next week’s Lakes Post.

IMAGE: The shore outside the Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club was packed with water craft nearing the conclusion of last Saturday’s Gippsland Lakes Paddle Challenge.


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