Ben Maynard Wins Inaugural Tas Ocean Racing Title

The Inaugural

Tasmania Ocean Paddling Championships 2010

The Tasmanian Ocean Paddling State Championships were run and won on March 27th in somewhat benign conditions. A strong field including series leader Jim Stubbs, multiple Australian wild water representative Ben Maynard and Olympian Jim Walker lined up for the 16km race from Seven Mile Beach to Lauderdale via Whale rock in the middle of Frederick Henry Bay.

As the starting horn sounded it was Ben Maynard who showed the field a clean set of heels powering away with his trademark steam-train impersonation followed closely by Stew Lawless, Sprotty, and the Carlton Bushrangers Stubbsy and Ace. As the leaders rounded Spec Island Lester and Cooka were trying to get on terms with the lead pack closely followed by a hard charging Andrew Buckley and Marty Stephenson, they in turn were followed by a chase group with Disco Sargison in the front seat followed by Matty Watton, Pricey and a quickly gaining Andrew Palmer.

At Whale Rock Ben Maynard was still clear of Stubbsy and Ace whilst Sprotty had decided to wait for Stewy Lawless rather than try to catch them on his own. Behind them were Cooka, Lester and Bucks then another 30 seconds back on his own was Marty Stephenson about 20 seconds in front of Matty Watton, Disco, Palms, Pricey and now Jim Walker who had settled in to a steady pace after the fast start and quickly picked up most of the field. Behind this group were ones and twos with John Hitchens and Travis Woods steadily closing the gap to the group in front. As the only woman in the field Marjorie Morgan could have just been content to paddle in and collect the title after being asked by the support boat if she was ok she answered rather bluntly that she would be if she could catch that bloke in front of her – good stuff!

In the finish Ben Maynard was simply too good taking out the title from a fast finishing Jim Stubbs with Ace Petrie rounding out the podium. In the 40+ category Lester Nation won over Matty Watton and Andrew Palmer whilst Marjorie Morgan won the women’s and did manage to catch the bloke in front of her. Jamie Stubbs managed to overhaul Lester to take the coveted Ocean Series title with Stew Lawless showing his consistency in third. Matty Watton went home with a smile on his face after winning the Fenn 3 paddle and Cap spot prize that was generously donated by Tassie Fenn rep Angus Sprott. Ian and I would like to thank everyone that competed over the series and helped make the racing hard and close, the sport is definitely growing rapidly and heading in the right direction with the standard improved markedly.

We would also like to thank the awesome support volunteers that help make the events well run and safe – without you guys there wouldn’t be any races, cheers.


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