Sutherland Shire Kayak Club shine at state titles

Members of one of the shire’s leading kayak clubs are feeling proud of themselves after staging a gold rush at the recent state titles.

Eighteen members of the Sutherland Shire Kayak Club lined up for a variety of races at the State Championships which were hosted at Grays Point by colleagues and rivals from the Cronulla Sutherland Kayak Club.

Eight SSCC paddlers entered the various categories of singles races conducted in the morning, while five teams of two took on the doubles in the afternoon.

Among those taking honours were club president John Denyer and paddling partner Robyn Bingle in the 50 to 54-year-old category, Gareth Stokes and Peter Faherty in the open men’s doubles and club legend Bert Laurendet in the 85 to 89-year-old category of the men’s singles.

Seven of the eight entered in the singles races came home with a medal while all five teams in the doubles made the podium, proving in no uncertain terms that winners are grinners.

Members from the SSCC who weren’t competing helped out with race direction and time keeping on the day and club president John Denyer said it was an excellent result for the club on what was a cold, windy and challenging day for all teams.

Denyer, from Menai, is one of several club members who are chasing honours in the PaddleNSW Marathon Series. He and Bingle, from Bangor, are a new team with Denyer replacing Mr Bingle, who is taking a year off competitive paddling because of injury.

The Bingles are regular long distance competitors having tackled the Hawkesbury Classic and the Massive Murray in past years.

“We are doing pretty well so far as a club in the marathon series,” Denyer said.

“We’re currently sitting fourth out of 24 clubs in the points tally for the marathon series behind the powerhouse paddling clubs of Lane Cove, Burley Griffin and Manly Warringah.

“We’re also doing well on a more individual level with Peter Faherty and Gareth Stokes currently leading division two while Janet Small and Bruce Sherlock lead division nine.”

Club members are also ramping up their training for the ensuing ultra-marathon races such as the Myall Classic (September 22), the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic (October 27) and the Massive Murray Paddle (November 19-23).