Queensland State Surfski Championships, Northern Marathon Series and Mentone Surf Life Saving Club

Over the past few weeks and months, I have been extremely busy, competing in surf ski and kayak events around Queensland and Northern New South Wales and also assist coaching in Mentone Surf Life Saving club’s (from Victoria) annual Maroochydore training camp.

Coaching the young guns from Mentone is something I will never forget, sharing my experience’s and knowledge that I have learnt over my short career thus far and working with Clint, has shown myself another side of the surf lifesaving moment. For the majority of the time, all the athletes had big smiles one their faces and were eager to learn and ask questions, and for the rest of the time we all were having a laugh and enjoing being at the beach. I could not be more impressed and happy for the group that I was in charge of because not only did they give me a nickname of Ryan the Lion, but they also improved and grew in confidents in what were tricky surf conditions. Well done and thank you to all of the athletes, parents, water safety, Clint and Greg for an incredible week, and I’m sure one day all of the athletes will be leading me out through the surf and around the turning buoys in races in the future (maybe I shouldn’t have taught you all of my tricks).



Over the past few weeks I have competed in the Queensland State Surf ski Championships and also rounds 7 and 8 of the Northern Marathon series. Firstly, the Queensland State Surf ski Championships were held on the Gold Coast, with small flat conditions made the race a challenge from the start. This race saw the current world surf ski champion Sean Rice competing against other competitors for the win, from the start Sean took off with his fellow team Think Paddler Mackenzie Hynard close behind.  Having a shocking start I turned the start buoy in 12th, working my butt off to get closer to the top end, I managed to work my way up to 8th position overall and 3rd place in the open men’s division. Overall I was happy with my paddle but I know I still have a few things to work on before I’m mixing it with the more experienced guys.



This season I started competing in the canoe/kayak discipline of marathon racing, 24 hour after I got off the plan from America, I competed in my first Queensland State Marathon Championships. Being faced with portages and doing lap after lap of paddling I was keen to experience it all. After paddling just over 6km (3.7 miles) I was then made to do a portage (hope out of the kayak and run) then hop into the kayak and paddle again, I’ll be honest it was definitely a challenge and test to my skills, but I learnt quickly how not to get into a kayak with speed, ending up on a few portages swimming and emptying out my kayak. I ended up getting 2nd place in the u23 age group and 4th place overall, after jetlag and fatigue hitting me hard in the 2nd last to last lap by being dropped for the battle of 3rd/4th. While I enjoyed that experience, it was time to stay inside my kayak and finish off a strong season of the Northern Marathon Series (NMS), in the NMS the majority of races consisted of 18-23km events over 8 rounds. After the 8 rounds I finished on top of the open men’s points leader board, after the final race in Currumbin I was awarded my medal for winning and a certificated for competing in the series. Overall I was stoked to win my first Open Men’s Northern Marathon Series championships, and I hope to defend my crown next year.





I want to wish everyone luck in this weekend 2nd ICF World Surf Ski Championships in Tahiti, please stop posting pictures because its making jealous, wishing I could be experiencing some Island paradise right now. Good Luck to all Team Epic Paddlers the new GT boats look awesome.

Enjoy your week on or off the water. 

Ryan

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