New: Shaw and Partners WA Race Week world's biggest cash prize for paddle racing
Ocean Paddler has upped the ante with a new initiative, the Shaw and Partners WA Race Week, a series of five ocean paddle races surrounding the iconic Doctor surf ski race to create the world's richest prize purse with $100,000 up for grabs.
The pinnacle event, the Shaw and Partners Doctor is a 27-kilometre paddle race from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach and will be held on Saturday 23rdNovember. It's expected to attract 450 competitors, most of whom will compete on surf skis but there are categories for Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), outrigger canoes and prone paddleboards.
Race Director and owner of Ocean Paddler Dean Gardiner said that since The Doctor's inception in 2002, there has never been a bigger field or such a big prize pool.
"We've made it really attractive for competitors to travel to Perth to compete by clustering five events in the space of a week and increasing the prize pool made possible thanks to the support of Shaw and Partners," Gardiner said. "We believe it'll be the biggest open water surf ski race in the world by competitor numbers.
"We have athletes registered from South Africa, America, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Portugal as well as hundreds from interstate.
"It's well known that Perth affords prime conditions for paddling and especially downwind racing thanks to the wind, the 'Fremantle Doctor', which the main race is named after," said Gardiner, himself a nine-time paddle world champion.
Shaw and Partners WA Race Week starts on Saturday 16thNovember with the Fenn West Coast Downwind followed by the Ben Hewitt Sunset Surf Ski Series Race 1 on 19thNovember and Race 2 on 21stNovember, the new Shaw and Partners Dash for Cash on 22ndNovember with a $15,000 prize, before the Shaw and Partners Doctor that has a $50,000 prize purse. There is an additional $35,000 in bonus cash and prizes for points scored across all five events.
Financial Services firm Shaw and Partners chief executive officer Earl Evans said that sponsoring WA Race Week is a fulfilling way to support a community and a sport he loves.
"I've been paddling for four years and I love the connection with the water, the healthy lifestyle that paddling offers but more importantly, the people involved in this sport are fantastic," Evans said.
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