Paddle Australia (PA) and the Australian Ocean Racing Series (AORS) are pleased to announce an agreement between the two organisations designed to enhance ocean racing for all paddlers.

From today, the results of AORS are to be used to determine the Australian Championships for Ocean Racing, with the winners of the AORS being recognised as the National Champions each year.      

AORS will also be used as the basis for the selection of the Australian Team to attend the ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships, where team selection is required.

“Dean Gardiner has done a great job in establishing and managing the Shaw and Partners AORS,” said Paddle Australia CEO, Phil Jones. 

“AORS is acknowledged as the premier Ocean Racing series in Australia, and it makes sense for PA to recognise this. The arrangement has the full endorsement of the PA Ocean Racing Technical Committee and PA Board.

“PA views this arrangement as leading to greater cooperation between the AORS and PA, to benefit the Australian Ocean Racing community, especially as Australia looks forward to hosting the ICF Canoe Ocean Racing and Masters World Championship later this year,” said Jones.     

“We have taken some time to get to this point, but I think this is a great outcome for the sport and the Shaw and Partners AORS”, said Dean Gardiner, organiser of the AORS. 

“We have a well-established and successful series which we want to keep building on. Paddle Australia has a broad remit and can’t do everything. The broader development of the sport is a matter for PA and this arrangement allows them to focus on this,” he said.     

Demonstrating the benefits of this new arrangement, the 14 Beaches Ocean Racing State Championships, organised by PA affiliate, Paddle Queensland, will be included in the AORS this year for the first time. This will see the AORS once again having a presence in Queensland with the date in July or August is to be confirmed. 

Under this arrangement, from 1 July 2023, paddlers in AORS will either need to be members of PA or pay a single event fee at each AORS event in which they compete. All the benefits of membership apply, with paddlers covered for personal accident third and party liability, as well as having access to Paddle Protect, offering ski and equipment cover for loss or damage. 

In line with all other disciplines, all paddlers in the AORS wishing to be recognised as the Australian Canoe Ocean Racing National Champions and/or wishing to be considered for selection in an Australian Canoe Ocean Racing Team must be full members of PA, either through a club or as a direct member. 

For those wishing to attend the World Championships in Perth later this year, it is an ICF requirement that paddlers are members of their national federations. Now is therefore a good time to be signing up. 

“While the first event in the Shaw and Partners AORS, the Bridge to Beach, has already having taken place, the AORS points score system means the Series remains wide open. 

“The initial arrangement is for the calendar years 2023 and 2024 with both organisations committed to looking for an extended the agreement that will see us working collaboratively well into the future,” said Jones.

Paddlers who wish to be a part of the AORS can find further information at the Ocean Paddler website , including details on how to enter the different events. Further information about Paddle Australia can be found at the PA Website.