2017 Snowy Extreme Race, Australia
« Paddlers converge for Snowy River Extreme Race”
Last weekend saw the 2nd running of the SRER, the largest whitewater kayak event in Australia. With over 150 competitors from around Australia, France and the United States, this was the largest (and highest in terms of altitude) kayak race you have probably ever heard of in Australia.
It was celebrations a plenty at the Kosciusko National Park on 1 October with the running of the 2017 Snowy River Extreme Race (SRER) on the fabled Snowy River between Guthega and Island Bend.
Organisers were thrilled with how the event unfolded with over 150 paddlers from all across Australia competing on the day.
Paddlers could register in one of three different categories. These being ‘expert’ (grade 4 whitewater), ‘intermediate’ (grade 3) and ‘inflatable'(grade 3). For reasons of safety, teams of two paddlers raced along a nominated section of whitewater that had added safety personnel positioned at key rapids for extra support if needed.
Phillip Gibbons and Ben Hankinson took out the ‘expert’ race in 10.21. Chris Schmidt and Steve Muir claimed the ‘intermediate’ race in a sizzling time and new race record of 8.18 and Katy Desa and Raurie Johnson won the ‘inflatable’ class in 10.32. Along with the Snowy River, the region boasts many other world class rivers and see paddlers travelling great distances to challenge themselves on the rapids. This year also saw the biggest release from Jindabyne dam a few days after the race and paddlers stayed around to paddle what was, at a peak flow of 13000 megalitres, the biggest environmental release to date.
In only its second year, the SRER is proving a boon for the local economy with many paddlers and their families extending their visit in the Snowy Mountains and Monaro region. Organisers praised the efforts of Parks NSW and Snowy Hydro for their support as well as key sponsors ‘Random Adventure Gear’ and ‘Whitewater Adventures Nepal’.
Full race results can found via the Snowy River Extreme Race Facebook page, and SNOWY RIVER EXTREME RACE WEBSITE