Set to be the richest week in ocean ski paddling history with a record $260 000 prize pool, entries open today for November’s Shaw and Partners WA RACE WEEK, boasting a five-event racing schedule with the finale, the holy grail of ocean racing, THE DOCTOR – the legendary 27k downwind race from Rottnest Island to Perth’s Sorrento Beach.
Last held in 2019 and subject to COVID “lockdown” for the past two years, WA Race Week returns for 2022 from November 19-26 with the 19th running of the Shaw and Partners DOCTOR on Saturday November 26.
The week will attract the world’s best paddlers from all corners of the globe including paddling nations like South Africa, the UK and America, the Asian ports of Singapore and Hong Kong, all ready to face a barrage of paddling and surf lifesaving talent from Australia and New Zealand. Entries are now open at www.oceanpaddler.com
International and domestic interest in the 2022 event is not only due to the spectacular location, downwind conditions and competitive racing. Interest has boomed due to the record $260 000 prize pool, making WA Race Week the richest event on the ocean paddling calendar.
The Shaw and Partners $260 000 pool sees $100 000 allocated to racing results, while the $100 000 bonus prize pool will be awarded on the basis of results over five races*.
|Shaw and Partners WA Race Week Schedule – November 19-26, 2022||Prize Money|
|Nov 19 – 2pm – Fenn West Coast Downwinder – 24 km Fremantle-Sorrento||$25,000|
|Nov 22 – 5pm – Dr Benjamin Hewitt Sunset Series Race 1 – 11km Fremantle-City Beach||$5,000|
|Nov 24 – 5pm – Dr Benjamin Hewitt Sunset Series Race 2 – 11km Fremantle-City Beach||$5,000|
|Nov 25 – 8am – Shaw and Partners Dash for Cash- Sorrento Beach||$15,000|
|Nov 26 – Noon – Shaw and Partners Doctor – 27km Rottnest Island-Sorrento||$50,000|
|WA Race Week Overall Points||$100,000|
|RACE PRIZE MONEY||$200,000|
|TOTAL PRIZE POOL||$260,000|
For 2022, there’s is a new incentive to spur paddlers to their ultimate performance – a $60 000 jackpot prize pool for record-breaking performances in The Doctor, with $10 000 allocated to the top three men and top three women that break the existing race records.
The marks for the Doctor are held by the Gold Coast’s Cory Hill and New Zealand’s Danielle McKenzie. Hill set the record in the men’s category in 2017 with a 1h33m20s time; while the DMACK machine, Danielle McKenzie, blew the field away at the last staging of the women’s event in 2019 with a 1h47m16s crossing.
“We’re excited to return to WA. It’s going to be an awesome week of racing, and we’re set to witness the greatest field of paddling talent ever assembled in Australia in action,” said race director and nine-time world paddling champ, Dean Gardiner, who won The Doctor way back in 2002.
“At the pro end, the massive prize pool will take the competition to a whole new level of intensity, and for the majority of our field, the passionate fitness fanatics who just love paddling for training and for fun, we’re planning a week of incredible competition and camaraderie.”
WORLD-CLASS FIELD Internationals racing include a horde from South Africa – previous Doctor winners Hank McGregor, Jasper Mocke and the legendary Oscar Chalupsky; talented youngsters Nick Notten, Josh Fenn and Kenny Rice; master paddler Sean Rice and current ICF world champion, Michelle Burn.
Leading Australian names will include paddling supremos Cory Hill, Riley Fitzsimmons, MacKenzie Hynard and the Norton brothers; Australia’s greatest ever ironman Shannon Eckstein and champions Ali Day, Matt Poole and Kendrick Louis; young guns the Morris brothers and Noah Havard, a raft of retired Olympians and from Perth, local star of skis and SUPS, Michael Booth. The Australian women’s field will be led by McKenzie, but the talent is exceptional and includes ironwomen Georgia Miller, Harriet Brown and Lily Finati and paddling sensations Jemma Smith, Georgia Laird, Hannah Minogue and Hannah Sculley.
RACE SCHEDULE Shaw and Partners WA Race Week kicks off on Saturday November 19, with the 24 km Fenn West Coast Downwinder from Fremantle up the coast to Sorrento Beach. Mid-week action features two short-course races on Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm, with the 11km Dr Benjamin Hewitt Sunset Surfski Series from Fremantle to City Beach.
Friday’s action moves to Sorrento Beach for the early-morning Dash for Cash, where paddlers race in a knock-out series to make the final 15 for a mad paddling dash from the cans to the beach and a bolt to the finish line.
Saturday is the finale, the ultimate ocean paddling race, the Doctor. A maximum of 500 paddlers, men and women, will contest the iconic 27km downwind race from the calm waters of Rottnest Island and Thompson Bay. Once they leave the island, the field faces the crossing to the mainland negotiating the fast-moving ocean chop, whipped up by the south-west wind, the event’s namesake, the famed Fremantle sea-breeze. For 90 minutes plus, paddlers will hook into the steep surfable chop, before turning at the Centaur Marker for the final 6km up the Perth coast to the Doctor finish arch on the pristine sands of Sorrento.
ENTRIES OPEN August 5 at www.oceanpaddler.com Earlybird rates close August 8.
Released for OceanPaddler by Ingrid Roepers at firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 04 111 989 44
*see oceanpaddler.com for full details – to eligible for the $100 000 bonus prize money you must compete in all WA Race Week events applicable to your category and there must be at least 5 competitors in each category.