The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic is a famous paddling race in Sydney held every year in October. It started 40 years ago with a bunch of paddlers tackling the long stretch of the Nepean-Hawkesbury from Windsor to Brooklyn, and is a tradition that continues as strong as ever today.

Since it was the 40th Anniversary this year, we had the option to do the Wiseman’s Dash – only a 65km race instead of the full 111km. We started training a few months out doing 20km round trips, but nothing compared to the 65km we’d gotten ourselves into.

The race raised money for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation and fortunately, GYG sponsored us (as well as supplying burritos). We arrived early for boat scrutineering and rested up well. Our amazing support crew made sure that we were well fed and happy and helped us launch when we started. At the Windsor meeting point access down to the water edge was really straightforward, with ramp access right down to the water edge.

We started around 4pm in the afternoon, and quickly were overtaken by every other boat in site  – clearly our training and technique wasn’t quite up to scratched. This year, the moon set really early and we were paddling through dark waters, a really beautiful way to experience the national park space.

Ten hours later, we pulled into Wiseman’s Ferry and our amazing support crew greeted us with a bottle of champagne 🙂