NSWSSC 2023 - Race 1 - The Shoal Bay Showdown  Was a success from the paddlers!

NSWSSC 2023 - Race 1 - The Shoal Bay Showdown  Was a success from the paddlers!




Congratulations to all the paddlers who took part in Race 1 of the NSW Surf Ski Championship series. The new and exciting series is designed by paddlers for paddlers. The Championship series is a platform where paddlers of all genders, ages, and abilities come together to compete in the sport we all dearly love. The platform provides manufactures and brands and equal opportunity to showcase their products to the paddling community. No matter where you paddle, what you paddle or how long you have paddle for, the Championship series is a place were we all come together to build our amazing community. 

Shoal Bay Showdown Wrap Up

We arrived to Shoal Bay on Friday 17th of March only to be greeted by the incredible waterways of Port Stephens. The comment made by many paddlers is "Wow! I feel like i'm in Hawaii". The water was a Hawaiian blue, with Mt Tomaree looking like a Diamond Head in the background. The large turtles freely swimming past and dolphins within 10m from the shoreline made for many photographic moments.
Saturday March 18th - Race 1 @ 9am (7km) and Race 2 @ 2:30pm (7km)
The day 1 qualifiers were the perfect setting for people to do their first ever ocean event or for people to get to know the course. The environment was relaxed and the energy was positive, everyone was supporting and encouraging. As the paddlers took off, some doing their first race event ever! the nerves quickly calmed as our support safety vessels followed and cheered all the paddlers on. 

As they headed around Mt Tomaree it was like the paddlers were riding the China Wall of the Molokai crossing, steep cliff walls making great rebound waves made for an exciting technical section. Paddlers approached the iconic Fingal Bay sandbar where a small wave was on offer as they rode in towards the sandbar, then a jump out, a lift of their surf ski and a "portage" across the sandbar made for a very unique experience. Paddlers jumped back in their surf skis and continued on to the beautiful Fingal Bay beach where the crowd of friends and family were there to cheer them in. You couldn't have ask for a better start to your ocean journey!
The race 2 Saturday afternoon brought the wind gods with Nor'Easter gusting up to 55km/h. Starting at the protected corner of Shoal Bay, paddlers made their way around Mt Tomaree for a downwinder to Fingal Bay sandbar, a quick "portage" then an even better downwind to Fingal Bay. Check out the video below to witness the wind speeds. 

Finals Day Sunday March 19th - comprised of the 7km Grand Final in the morning and the 14km Grand Final early afternoon. The strategies played in as some people decided to rest for the 14km Grand Final which offered more points to your overall NSW Surf Ski Championship ranking, while others backed their fitness and wanted a crack at both Grand Finals. 

We can honestly say that all paddlers were blown away with the stunning beauty of Shoal Bay, the courses were a winner and the overall community support was very much appreciated. To cross the finish line and be awarded a NSW Surf Ski Championship medallion together with the paddling community all wanting to get to know you, and genuinely wanting to hear about your race journey was refreshing to see. 

To wrap up the great weekend we had a presentation that saw $20,000 worth of prizes given away, which people couldn't believe. Every sponsor to the NSW Championship series donates their products as sponsorship which goes directly back to the paddlers.

Epic and ALLWAVE surf ski manufactures donated a $5250 surf ski each to the lucky door prizes, IPDA Office Fit outs donated $250 cash to the male and female winners of both Grand Finals and gave away in the lucky door prizes 2 x EPIC paddles valued $600 each. Greg Bennett of Bennett Paddles gave away a $880 paddle in the lucky door prizes and Salty Cheeks gave out their padded paddling shorts to the podium winners and gave out many cool t shirts and hats as lucky door prizes. 
It was amazing to see brands showcase their products and be able to give back directly to the paddling community. The whole point of a race series is for everyone to come together and give back! To share experiences together and for everyone in the event to feel part of the paddling community. 

The longevity of the NSW Surf Ski Championships will come down to paddlers entering into the events! Come and show your support with Race 2 - The Malabar Majors May 13th. 









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