The Paddle leg

Details of paddling leg

From the transition, competitors paddle down the swift-flowing Swampy Plains River for 11 km, to its confluence with the infant Murray River. The characteristics of the Swampy Plains River change significantly depending on the volume of flow. At high levels (which is normal in spring) there are 0.5m high standing waves in places and a couple of tricky ‘chutes’ to negotiate.

From the confluence, competitors continue for another 15 km to the transition at Towong Bridge. The whole paddle is not usually suited to craft with an understern rudder. Kayaks and other craft, including K1, skis  (Endorphinn etc), sea kayaks and Down River Racers, with trailing rudder, are recommended if you have experience in swift-flowing conditions. Paddlers not experienced with turbulent eddies should exercise caution, particularly on corners.

For paddlers who mainly practice and compete on lakes or slow-moving rivers (Murray River below Albury/Wodonga, Barwon River, etc), it is recommended that you gain some experience on a river with some current OR sacrifice some time in this event and use a more stable craft. A capsize will make self-rescue of your craft difficult, due to the volume and power of the freezing water.

Total distance is approximately 26 km and will take between 90 and 150 minutes to complete.

Kayak hire is available at, and includes hire of a kayak and transportation to and from the event.