Dolls Point Paddlers hold their inaugural paddle next Thursday, an event that will become a weekly twilight time trial run along the foreshore of Botany Bay.
Borne out of the idea of establishing a weekly paddle which encourages surf ski & sea kayak paddlers out on moving water, in typical summer sea breeze conditions, to foster friendly competition, and help participants develop rough water skills that they may not have the opportunity to develop on their own or with their regular paddling mates.
That's the on-water bit.....! Additional to this athletic & friendly competitive handicap race, I've always considered the post paddle meeting place, the fostering of a community, and the development of something that attracted members because it was fun, to be an even higher priority.
So, the DPP have affiliated to the 87 year old Georges River Sailing Club, with their spectacular premises on the sand at Sandringham beach, and their sunlit open air balcony for a post paddle gathering.
The idea is to provide an early evening race, something you can drop into on your way home, paddle your race, have a cold drink afterwards & slap a few backs, and still be home in time to preserve the peace.
The races are free each week to Paddle NSW members, who cover all on-water insurance & compliance. A one year membership to the Dolls Point Paddlers, including membership to the Georges River Sailing Club is $140. Membership of the club includes $35 in redeemable vouchers, use of the facilities including hot showers, a car park virtually on the beach, an excellent bistro with a mean $12 steak, and view to die for. Compared to playing golf or joining a gym it's a pretty attractive package....
The season program, at this stage running for the entire daylight saving period, will include several trophy races, novelty events & a monthly presentation after the paddle by a local paddling identity. DPP offers a single trial race for paddlers keen to try out the experience, which costs $10 (to cover insurance only), and then to take part in future races participants will have to join. Races will be run within strict safety parameters, including a sweeper boat to ensure the safe return of all participants. There will separate divisions for sea kayaks & surf skis, but all boats must be suitable for sea paddling. The DPP isn't an initiative of Expedition Kayaks, just something I & a few local paddling mates have decided to start up over the summer & see how it goes.
For now we're limited to just 50 paddling members, so please feel free to get in touch or simply come along & give it a go. Last summer a group of stand up paddlers started a SUP Race from the GRSK on Tuesday nights, and it has quickly grown into a strong & vibrant club with a big membership.
As someone who always enjoyed the atmosphere of the post game 'dressing room', I'm personally looking forward to being part of a regular gathering of like minded souls, and doing the thing I love.
For now I'm the contact person, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 0417 924 478. There is a FACEBOOK PAGE up & running & a website with full details coming soon. You can download the membership form HERE, but please note, you must be a member of Paddle NSW to participate in the races.