The 2016/2017 season of the AORS was by far the biggest ever since its inception several years ago. Over eight hundred participants across a range of different paddling and rowing disciplines took part in at least one of the series events.
The ten events on the series all went off without incident except for our friends down in Adelaide who had to cancel that leg of the tour due to sixty knot onshore winds and five meter swells.
The opening event at Coffs will go down as the most extreme downwind event in the series, the Gold Coast, the best new comer, The Fenn West Coast Downwinder, the easiest and The Bridge to Beach as the biggest.
All events during the season were well run and at times event organisers were overwhelmed with the huge numbers turning up to participate.
The competition was fierce this season in all categories and the depth of talent across the field can be seen in just how close the final points are.
Lincoln Dews, Sam Parker and Matt Montgomery were the dominant three in the SUPs this season finishing in that order. The ladies SUP saw Christiana Chessa, Tammy Montgomery and Belinda Stowell Brett on the dais for the series.
One hundred and sixty SUP paddlers took part in the series this season and we look forward to expanding this over the 2017-18 season.
Although relatively small when compared to the other disciplines, the big mover with regards to numbers over the season was the Prones. We see this area as a growth area in oceanpaddling as more water orientated people move to find something to do in the ocean.
Wesley Lonergran, Ryan Quick and Kevin Mehorter were the top three in the men’s with Abbey Brown and Issabella Dobozy representing the ladies.
Former swimming champ Michael Venis took out the OC1s with veteran single bladerGraham Groenveld and Russ Johnson filling the minors in the men’s. The ladies sawKaylene Eagles, Hope Grunsfeld and Robyn Daultry making up the top three.
Elizabeth Wise is our new National Champ in the ladies ski followed closely by Tegan Fraser and Dee McWhirter. In the men’s Cory Hill maintains his title from a back to formJeremy Cotter and surf ski journeyman Mark Anderson. All the categories in the skis were hard fought with great depth and talent in all categories.
With the final event only a couple of weeks behind us we are already looking towards a bigger and better series in 2017/2018. We can’t tell you too much at this point, but what we can tell you is our major sponsors Anytime Fitness and Shaw and Partners are back on board.
We can tell you that the series will start early September and more than likely finish up around late February.
The WA leg of the series will once again feature four awesome events the difference being that this year the Fenn Westcoast Downwinder will be the week after The Doctor. So that week will look something like this starting on 23rd November.
Thurday – Triple S Race #1
Saturday – The Doctor
Wednesday – Triple S Race #2
Saturday – Fenn West Coast Downwind
This condenses the week and it will follow on from Hong Kong with the Palm to Pines in Sydney immediately after. So in essence if you are planning on traveling and want to take part in a bunch of events at once you could start with Hong Kong around the 18th of November and end with The Palm to Pines on the 9th of December.
Six major races, five of which would be AORS enabling foreigners the chance to steal the title away from the locals.
Great sponsors make great events so to all of our sponsors thank you.
For us the enthusiasm that our sponsors have for this sport makes us keep wanting to invest the time to make it as good as we possibly can and we thank you for that.
To the many people that help along the way that don’t always get thanked, thank you.
To all our participants that take part thanks for being part of it all.
See you next season. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]