November 9, 2023

Impossible paddle primed

A popular paddling event will test about 100 endurance water athletes from all over the state for a ninth time as it returns to the Surf Coast and Bellarine.

The Impossible ocean paddle race launches from Torquay on November 11, with organiser Pete Currie hoping for a favourable headwind this coming Remembrance Day.

“The last seven years have seen great downwind conditions and participants will be hoping that the tradition continues,” Mr Currie said.

“We’ve always managed to put on the event each year since 2015, even during COVID-19, but it’s just such a fun event for paddlers to be a part of, which is why we keep getting returning paddlers each time round."

“This year is no different and I’m excited to get the race going again in 2023.”

The 18km paddle begins at about 10.20am when the first ski paddlers start their journey from Torquay’s Fisherman’s Beach to Barwon Heads Bridge via Point Impossible.

Mr Currie said the event will conduct staggered starts in an attempt to condense the paddling group as much as possible.

The Impossible is an excellent opportunity for athletes attending the Ocean Racing World Championships in Perth from November 30 to take part in a sanctioned race in the lead-up to the end of the month.

“It’s the first time ever the championships are being held in Australia, so we’re expecting several high-calibre athletes to use The Impossible Paddle as a shake-down race for that,” Mr Currie said.

“We attract top-elite paddlers from all over Victoria; perhaps we can expand that to internationals coming down to Australia for the next month."

“If the weather stays good, we expect over 100 paddlers to be out in force.”

Seasoned paddler and dubbed the Kelly Slater of ocean ski paddling, Tim Altman, claimed quickest time at last year’s event, while Torquay SLSC champion Matt Gilling began his summer season by taking out the open division crown.

For more information of this year’s paddle or to enter, start here.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Paddlers get briefed prior to The Impossible Paddle in 2022. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

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