Inaugural Mandurah Canals Marathon a hit with canoe racers

Mandurah Canals Marathon took place on December 16, in a new course for the WA Marathon Canoeing Series.

Wind gusts of over 45 km/hr were predicted, but that did not deter 82 racers from turning up.

Racing kayaks used to be the norm but ocean racing skis has become popular for river racing.

Most paddlers opted to use their skis as conditions in the estuary was expected to suit craft where you sit on top and can climb back on if you fall out.

Kayaks need to be taken to shallow water, where you can empty it and get back in.

The marathon caters for all ages and paddlers under 12 use small and stable racing kayaks called Guppy boats.

There were four courses laid out: a long course of 12.4km, short course of 9km and the under-10 and 12 Guppy courses.

Usually Division 1 starts first, but with the rough conditions the organisers thought it would be better to keep the paddlers together on the water.

The paddlers had access to a YouTube video and a course map to get to know the course and small maps in plastic were handed out, which they could tape to their boats.

Ramon Andersson, at age 55, finished second in Division 1.

He won a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and a silver in the International Canoe Federation sprint world championships in Paris in 1991.

Josh Kippen won in this Division. He was last year's Australian marathon champion and finished second in Adelaide this year.

Nobody swam, nobody got lost and the paddlers loved it, so it will become a regular annual event in Mandurah.