What a feat! Do you know of any regional sporting events that can coax people to travel hundreds of kilometres to participate in a sport that ordinarily, they would never consider trying? The Gregory River Canoe Marathon does just that.
While the majority of paddlers are novices who are entering the race purely for fun, the serious competitors are also catered for with the opportunity to win some major prize money.
The overall race record stands at 2 hours 43 minutes and 23 seconds set by Matt Flower and Chad Meek in 2001. $2000 is offered to anyone who can beat this time.
The event now is in its 45th year at the Gregory River in the township of Gregory. The Gregory river is a crystal clear spring feed river which flows all year round.
The event has two distances, 18 kilometre recreational race and the marathon 40-kilometre race. Both races are open to all types of plastic kayaks through to the serious racing K1 racers and anything in between. Both races can be made up of teams or individuals. Event competitors numbers range from 80 to 120.
The race is well supervised with four checkpoints along the way, SES boats, a helicopter in the air above keeping an eye on things, plus a sweep boat trailing behind to guide the slower craft.
Total prize money is $7,400.
While you're here
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