Rasdex Classic River Race this weekend


The Rasdex Classic River Race is all set for Saturday 16th January, with moderate river flows and lovely weather predicted. The race sold out in early December and it is anticipated that this will be the biggest field ever recorded in the race’s history.


The open men’s event will be hotly contested and could foreshadow results in February’s Coast to Coast event with Sam Manson, Dougal Allan and Steve Armstrong likely to be leading the pack. Sam Newlands, Ryan Kiesanowski and Sam Goodall are other open men expected to be challenging for the lead. The open’s women field continues to be stronger every year with some big names on this year’s start line including Fiona Dowling, Claire Bell, Elina Ussher and Kathryn Bunckenburg.

If the prologue events are accurate predictors for the Classic event, then the veteran male race should see Sven Zaalberg, Glen Fiery and Hayden Prattley hunting out the top three spots, although out-of-town competitors might upset this. Katie Cambie is considered the favourite in the women’s veteran race, and may be in contention for overall fastest women, however Rachel Schmack and Claire Le Grice are likely to be hot on her heels as both are paddling strongly this season.


With the legendary Ian Huntsman unfortunately injured and unable to race this weekend, the men’s Classic field is wide open for Paul Massie, John Leath and Tony McGuire to battle out for the top spot. Jenni Blyleven has had a consistently strong season in the women’s Classic field and if performs well again, should be in top contention for the overall Rasdex Classic River Race Series Winner.


The Novice field will no doubt hold a mixture of competitors - those fighting the clock and those aiming to make it down without a swim. There are rumours of an optional portage due to rock hazards which should keep things interesting. Amanda Robinson, has withdrawn from the Novice women’s race leaving it a guessing game for who will win top spot. Inside word has it that Caitlin Ruddle, Carly McMillian and Adele Macgregor are the ones to watch. The Novice men’s race is also completely up for contention with multiple paddlers performing well during the prologues; David Scarf, Craig Muir and Edward Hobson to name a few.


If spectators would like to see the finish, the first paddlers are expected in at Gorge Bridge from 12.30pm onwards.