Gatorade Hamilton Island Paddling Event

Outrigger Beach Sprints will be on again in 2012 at the innaugural Gatorade Battle of the Paddles

Outrigger Beach Sprints will be on again in 2012 at the inaugural Gatorade Battle of the Paddles (Photo: Jenni Shah)

The inaugural Gatorade Hamilton Island Paddling Event will be held on Hamilton Island from 14-18 June, in partnership with the Australian Outrigging Canoe Association (AOCRA) and more recently, Surf Life Saving Australia. Formerly known as the Hamilton Island Outrigger Cup, the event is run over four exciting days. This year competitive outriggers will be joined by athletes from three other popular paddle disciplines, surf ski, stand–up paddling and board paddling. Races include:

  • Downwind surf ski races for both junior and open categories, including a special long-distance course from Lindeman Island to Hamilton Island’s Catseye Bay;
  • Sprint stand-up (SUP) course;
  • Board paddling races for both junior and open categories;
  • Sprint, medium-distance and marathon outrigger races; and
  • the (in)famous 42km outrigger marathon, which will continue to proudly uphold its status as one of the toughest outrigging canoe races in the world.

Anyone who has been to previous Hamilton Island Cup events can verify that the action off the water is as good as on the water, with an extensive shore-based entertainment program. Paddlers often combine a family holiday with the event as there are many great activities for the kids. There are some great Hamilton Island accommodation options available too. Add that to an incredible Whitsundays location (and some hefty prizemoney) and you see what a great event it is.

Personally, I have some unfinished business to address, having had to withdraw from the 42km marathon last year due to injury. This year…