Coming into its seventh year of succession, the 12 Towers Ocean Paddle Race has carved out an iconic figure of being one of the premier races in Australia for SUP, Ocean Ski, and Prone. With the 2018 event set for the weekend of March 3rd & 4th, the Gold Coast is certainly ready to turn up the heat of summer!
Extending the long distance course to 17km’s, the Open Ocean Race from world famous Snapper Rocks to picturesque North Burleigh Hill will provide a battle ground for the best in the business. Passing by 12 Lifeguard Beach Surveillance Towers (Hence establishing the race name) competitors will round an inflatable “turning buoy” approximately 200 meters from the centre of North Burleigh Beach, before making their final way to the dry sand finish line. Now with the added “short course” dash from Palm Beach SLSC through North Burleigh Hill in the schedule, this stepping stone to the longer distance is within many paddlers grip.
This race has seen many of the globe’s best SUP Paddlers go head to head. World Champion’s and duel winners of the 12 Tower’s Event Frenchman Titouan Puyo and Aussie Michael Booth will be back in 2018 to take on some of the country’s biggest talent such as Dews, Nottage, Casey and a host of international company to continue the history of high calibre paddlers making the 12 Towers a permanent fixture in their calendar. Not to be outdone by the guys, the ladies sure know how to make names for themselves. Dominating the past 5 years, Karla Gilbert is still showing why she is one of the Australia’s finest female athletes. Can her rein be put to rest from the likes of other national and world champions Angie Jackson and Terrene Black or rumours of a strong international female contingent hitting the Gold Coast may have their names etched on the Tower Trophy in early March.
The formula ones of the seas the Ocean Ski competitors were brilliant in the runs earlier this year. Mackenzie Hynard smashing the 14km record in 46mins with another 5 paddlers breaking the 50 minute barrier.
The traditional paddle sport of Prone has been an inclusion in the 12 Towers for a few years and the guys didn’t disappoint with some international pride laid on the line. Daniel Shade made it his own on his unlimited in just over 1 hour. We also saw the stock proney’s showdown of world champions Aussie Lachie Lansdown and Kiwi Sam Shergold with the Sunshine Coast local taking line honours.
Our 2017 event was played out in near epic down wind conditions. Warm Queensland sunshine, perfect wind direction and around 3 foot of swell which has cemented the sixth running of the 12 Towers as a historic year. Biggest field ever assembled in an Australian ocean distance race of 192 paddlers. 2018 will be huge!
If you haven’t done so before and you are a paddle enthusiast like us all, mark this one in your diary and set a goal to be part of Australia’s longest running SUP specific paddle event.
2018 12 Towers Ocean Paddle Race………get amongst it!