Gatorade Clash of the Paddles - Paddle mania

2013 Gatorade Clash of the Paddles -Hamilton Island (Queensland)
Michelle Crowshaw
The 30th anniversary of Gatorade Clash of the Paddles will prevail sensational sport, sun and sweat on Hamilton Island over the weekend.

Over 650 surf skiers, outriggers, stand up paddlers, board paddlers and dragon boaters descended on the Island from 20-24th June to celebrate 30 years of the outrigging event. Formerly known as the Hamilton Cup, Gatorade Clash of the Paddles is one of the most challenging competitions on the Australian Outrigger Calendar, and also attracts some of the country’s top surf life saving athletes, Olympians and world champions.

Event highlights include first place for both the Surf Ski 16km and 25km marathons going to five-time Olympian and 15-time Aussies Single Ski Champion Clint Robinson OAM (Maroochydore SLSC). Robinson won the 16km race for the second year running in one hour, six minutes and nine seconds, narrowly beating Jeremy Cotter from North Burleigh’s one hour, six minutes and 23 seconds, followed by Swansea Belmont SLSC’s Greg Tobin in third.

2013 Gatorade Clash of the Paddles - Hamilton Island (Queensland)
Michelle Crowshaw

Robinson’s 25km Ocean Ski race time record of just one hour, 34 minutes and 30 seconds saw him claim gold convincingly with a three minute lead over Jeremy Cotter in second and Cory Hill of BMD Northcliffe in third. Hayden Quinn of Manly SLSC performed strongly against the professionals, taking sixth and ninth in the 16km and 25km races respectively.

World champion lifesaver Luke Cuff of Kurrawa SLSC took out the Men’s Open 8km Board race, narrowly beating Ky Hurst by a mere six seconds. With a number of Surf Life Saving sporting titles already under his belt, and Ironman legend Phil Clayton and top trainer Daniel Carruthers as his coaches, Cuff is set for continued success.

Ky Hurst said that he always enjoys competing on Hamilton Island. ‘Sporting events on Hamilton Island are perfect. It’s a great few days away where I get the opportunity to get some training in, as well as get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The Island’s also really family-friendly, so it’s great to bring the family along.’

2013 Gatorade Clash of the Paddles 2013 - Hamilton Island (Queensland)
Michelle Crowshaw

The marathon 42km Outrigger race again proved to be the most grueling on the event’s schedule with 58 crews taking part. Outrigger Australia Open Men’s won the event in three hours, two minutes and fifty seconds, followed by Mooloolaba OCC Open Men’s with three hours, nine minutes and 31 seconds.

Cronulla OCC came third in the open men’s, whilst Northern Beaches Masters Men placed third overall. Mooloolaba’s team largely consisted of juniors who have just stepped up into the open men’s division, with five of the team competing on Hamilton Island for the first time.

Northcliffe OCC came in fourth overall, with Clint Robinson onboard. Mooloolaba Senior Master Men won their division but also finished seventh overall, culminating in a sprint to the finish line with two Open crews, one being team Pacifica’s Hawaiian and Sydney crew.

In an interesting twist in the competition, outriggers took out the Dragon Boat flag race after Canberra’s Ice Dragon’s canoe took on water and sank mid-event, before being towed ashore.

Over 50 children took part in Nippers activities on Catseye Beach, hosted by surf legends Ky Hurst and Phil Clayton. Open to all participants, the Nippers clinics are designed to encourage grassroots growth of the sports. SUP Yoga classes taken by Charlotte Piho, Australia’s first and only SUPYoga accredited teacher, also proved hugely popular amongst competitors and guests.

The King of the Mountain foot race was also held, with Lynnen Birch crowned Queen of the Mountain with a time of 38 minutes and 42 seconds, and 14-year old Lloyd Clode-Roberts crowned King with a time of just 32 minutes and 41 seconds for the grueling 6.5km hilly course. Junior Queen of the Mountain went to Grace Booker, and Junior King of the Mountain to Ryder Harvey.

To see full results from Hamilton Island’s Gatorade Clash of the Paddles, please click on the following links to AOCRA.com.au and SLS.com.au. More information on the event can also be found on the event website