SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE TO MANLY WHARF
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 20 – 8 AM START
ROUND ONE – 2022 SHAW AND PARTNERS AUSTRALIAN OCEAN RACING SERIES
Ocean paddling competition kicks off for 2022 this Sunday morning (February 20) on spectacular Sydney Harbour, with over 500 paddlers competing in the Manly Wharf Bridge to Beach, the launch round of the 16-race Shaw and Partners Australian Ocean Racing Series.
Set on the world’s most beautiful harbour and in its 22 nd year, the 11km Bridge to Beach is one of Australia’s largest open water paddling events. Participants marshal at Milson Park, Kirribilli, at sunrise in readiness for an 8am start off Kirribilli Point. Racing with the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour bridge, the city and the Opera House, the field hugs the northern shores of the harbour past Taronga Zoo and Bradleys Head, Clifton Gardens, North and South Head, before the final dash from
Dobroyd Head to the finish line on the beach at Manly Wharf.
Paddling single and double skis, SUPS, paddleboards and canoes, lead competitors in the 11km race are expected to cross the finish line at Manly in around 37 minutes with their reward, opening season points and first grab of the series’ $350 000 prize pool. Entrants can register until Friday February 18 at oceanpaddler.com
“We love kicking off the season with the Bridge to Beach. There’s a big paddling community in Sydney and this 11km course on the relatively flat-water of the harbour, makes the ideal first round hit-out for our fields, whether elite level or beginners to intermediate,” said Series organiser, Dean Gardiner.“There’s no more beautiful waterway in the world, and to paddle with the bridge and city as the backdrop is extraordinary.”
Favourites for outright winner include defending series champion, the Gold Coast’s Cory Hill (SA born) and Tom Norton (TAS) and Newport paddlers Mitch Trim, Greg Tobin and Luke Morrison; while the women’s division, Georgia Laird and Hannah Minogue should set the pace.
In the highly competitive over-50 Open Ski, legends of the ocean will feature including defending champion for the age class in the Bridge to Beach, North Bondi’s Jim Walker, ironmen of the ‘90s Manly’s Guy Leech and Sunshine Coast’s Marty Kenny, and wily characters of the sport, Tom Williams and Bruce “Hoppo” Hopkins.
But as with all races in the Shaw and Partners series, the Bridge to Beach is open to anyone who is handy with a paddle and expect to see male and female starters ranging from age 14 to 70 +, all keen to put their regular training to the test on the much-loved Sydney Harbour course.
In the 70 and over class, there’s Sydney paddlers Tom Simmatt and Ken Hyman ready to race; while the under 17 class features young Newport ironmen, Harry Taurins and the Morris brothers – Mitch and older bro Zach – in competition.
Entries close Friday February 18, with information and registration at oceanpaddler.com
Marshalling from 5.30am: Milson Park, Kirribilli
Deep Water Start 8.00am: Kirribilli Point – backdrop Sydney Harbour Bridge
Finish Line from 8.30am: Manly Wharf Beach – lead competitors expected to arrive 8.45am
The 2022 Manly Wharf Bridge to Beach is a supporter of the Fragile X Association of Australia. Via the event, the paddling community raises money to fund specialist family counselling for people who are affected by Fragile X syndrome – an inherited genetic condition which causes intellectual disability and is linked to autism.
ABOUT THE 2022 SHAW AND PARTNERS AUSTRALIAN OCEAN RACING SERIES
The 2022 Shaw and Partners Australian Ocean Racing Series is the richest ocean paddling series in the world, featuring 16 races in five Australian states and a $350 000 prize pool. Over 11 months, paddlers will face everything from the 11km Manly Wharf Bridge to Beach on Sydney Harbour to WA’s great Rottnest adventure dubbed The Doctor – a 27 km enduro. There’s also race weekends in Forster (NSW) and the Sunshine Coast(QLD), competitions on Sydney’s eastern and northern beaches, a mid-winter torture-test off Adelaide and a surf safari from Hobart. The series chase ends in Sydney, December 10, with the 20 Beaches Ocean Classic from Collaroy to Palm Beach.
For all information and entries go to oceanpaddler.com