Wrap-Up Paddle Week 2021

Paddle Week
I was pretty surprised by the amount of people participating in Paddle Week. I counted cars a couple of times rather than heads, and at the Mersey we had 40 Tasmanian cars and 6 interstate cars, and at Brady’s I counted 31 Tasmanian cars and 8 interstate cars. I think an average of about 2.5 people per car is reasonable, so probably about 100+ people attended Paddle Week.
I asked people to tag Hydro in any good Facebook posts they were making, so hopefully there was better publicity for Hydro this year? I have some reasonable photos and I’m waiting on more from Launceston City Council. Are you interested in having any?
Next year we plan to have a similar format, with Paddle Week in late January again. Many people still ask about an Ouse release, and as I’ve previously mentioned I can make myself available to participate in a risk assessment if Hydro would like to investigate the safety aspects more thoroughly.
Regarding the level for the Cataract Gorge releases, we had 30 cumecs one day and 35 cumecs the other day. The unanimous opinion of paddlers was that 35 cumecs is much better. It covers quite a few rocks without making the river too pushy, and it opens up a channel which avoids some of the harder rapids and this is good for intermediate level paddlers who now have a way to enjoy Cataract.
Hydro Tasmania Cataract Gorge Extreme Race
I think this was the best year yet for the race. There were 12 racers and the quality of the field was very high – meaning the racing was very close (good for spectating), and there were no racing mishaps (perhaps bad for spectating). The race continues to be popular with the best Tasmanian paddlers. We had 2 interstate entrants, but unfortunately we had 5 others cancel due to travel concerns about Covid. I didn’t try to count spectators but I think there were probably about 200. There was news coverage by The Examiner and Channel 7, where they also mentioned Paddle Week. In addition to my promoting of the race, Penny Royal (Accommodation and restaurant precinct close to the gorge) promoted the race as well as a discount they offered on accommodation during that time.
Geoff Macqueen
Tamara Canoe Club

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