Australia has many long rivers well suited for Marathon canoeing with races conducted over distances of (usually)10 km or greater. There are various levels of competition for marathon paddlers, at all levels , from new paddlers to experienced veterans. Races range from local club events, to inter-club events, State Championships and National Championships to the pinnacle: International events.
National Championships are raced over various distances, depending on age categories. The races are organised in traditional canoe classes: e.g., K1's, C1's, K2's, C2's; Recreational; Ocean Skis, etc.The 2015 National Championships were hosted by Burley Griffin Canoe Club and were conducted by Australian Canoeing (now Paddle Australia), PaddleNSW and BGCC. The Nationals are traditionally held in autumn; the 2024 Nationals will be held 5 - 8 April, at Encounter Lakes, South Australia.
Coming Races in 2024:
The Frank Harrison Interstate Challenge: on the Murray River - finishing at Albury, allows for some friendly NSW - Victorian rivalry to be featured. The weekend of 10th & 11th February, 2024. Enter at: Frank Harrison Interstate Challenge Entry More information at: Paddle Victoria Information
The Paddle NSW Marathon Series is conducted by PaddlNSW and is a series of races held in eastern NSW. BGCC were the series champions for 2012, 13, 14 and 15 and again in 2019, with the bonus of winning the ICF-boat category as well in 2019. The calendar for the 2024 series is below, with more details on the PNSW web-site. This series is Divisional, based on your previous results so you are always competing against paddlers of similar ability. This is a good format for both novice and experienced paddlers.
The Burley Griffin Bash is usually held on the Sunday of the weekend of our Marathon Series race, but with the NSW State Marathon Championships being a two-day event in 2024, the 45th Bash will have to wait till 2025. These races are a great way for newer paddlers to "have a go" at racing with distances of 30 km and 3, 5, and 13 km for the Mini-Bash, with all but the 3 km going out onto Lake Burley Griffin - weather dependent!
BGCC is also aiming to conduct the 2024 BGCC 24 hr Challenge. This race is paddled over a 3 to 4 km course on the Molonglo River, at Molonglo Reach. Paddlers have a choice of competing as individuals or in various relay teams. The race is open to all forms of paddle craft. Date: 7th - 8th December.
BGCC members have a long history of attending a number of classic long-distance races, which include -
The Murray River Marathon of 415 km over 5 days, usually held over the last full week - Monday to Friday - in November each year. This race has taken place annually since 1969, but was cancelled in 2020 and postponed in November 2021 to February 2022 because of Covid-19 and again from November 2022 to February 2023 because of the flooding of the Murray River. There are options for full-distance or 1, 2 or 3 days or in relay teams to paddle the Murray River from Yarrawonga to Koondrook. Dates for 2024 are November 18th to 22nd. See: Massive Murray Paddle
The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic of 111 km overnight on the last weekend in October each year. Once again, paddlers can travel on the Hawkesbury River the full race distance, from Windsor to Mooney Mooney, or the 65 km "Dash", from Windsor to Wisemans Ferry, or take part in a relay with changes at Sackville and at Wisemans Ferry. The date for 2024 is 26th October. See: Hawkesbury Canoe Classic
The Myall Classic is a race which is often used as a practice for the Hawkesbury and Murray Marathons. It starts and finishes at Tea Gardens, Central Coast. This year's race is to be held on 21st September, with race distances of 12, 27 and 47 km. See PaddleNSW for details.
Riverland Paddling Marathon, hosted by the Marathon Canoe Club of SA, starting back in 1988. This is the "coolest marathon race on the calendar"! This is because it is held over the June King's Birthday weekend in the middle of winter. This is a 3-day event, paddling 208 km from Berri to Morgan. Once again, there are options for full-distance, half-distance of 100 km or the short course of 50 km. See: Riverland Paddling Marathon