Paddle boarders take to the water at Elliott Heads

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4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend competitors Chad O'Brian and Paul Stumer
4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend competitors Chad O'Brian and Paul Stumer.

Some of the best stand-up paddle boarders in Australia hit the water at Elliott Heads for the 4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend.

4670 SUP Club race coordinator Paul Stumer said the two-day event couldn’t have been better, with the flawless ocean and river conditions ideal for competition and the visiting competitors showed locals what they were made of.

“We have the top paddles in Queensland, and potentially in the country for their age groups, and they showed us why they are up there at the best,” Paul said.

“We have a local time trial and one of them, Tim Cyprien, was able to take 90 seconds off our fastest time around here!

“Tim completed the 4km in 23.02 which smashed our record.”

Paul also competed on Saturday and said he was the leading regional participant but came in sixth behind five of the southern counter-parts.

4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend
A bird's eye view of the 4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend. Photo: Facebook

“Yesterday was really about individual and you are racing the clock rather than each other,” Paul said.

“This morning (Sunday) we have 48 racers across 13 divisions which includes long and short courses and open men and women, with three separate boards choices.”

SUP competitor and SUP National Over 40s 2018 technical winner, Chad O’Brian, travelled from the Sunshine Coast to participate and said he found the sandbanks along the Elliott River were the trickiest part of the race.

“Yesterday I was fourth over the line and I found it fun but tricky – these guys have put all these little sandbanks in and us big fellas don’t like the shallow water!” Chad said.

“At the Sunshine Coast we race more out in the ocean, so it tested us – we don’t get these crazy banks where we travel!”

Bundaberg Region perfect for stand-up paddle boarding

Chad said he hadn’t travelled to the Bundaberg Region for a few years, but after the 4670 SUP event he would be returning more often.

“I would like to say 4670 have been extremely inviting and professional with their event to us southerners,” Chad said.

“I heard about through the SUP network and these guys have a big voice for a little town and it’s really great to be involved.”

Paul said having this sort of event in the Bundaberg Region was a positive on a lot of levels.

“As a club we are trying to build a community to look after each other, and supports each to achieve each individual’s goals and each goal will be different,” he said.

4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend
A 4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend competitor tests the water before the Sunday race.

“Some will compete at an elite level and some just want to have a paddle and be social and hang out with a network of like-minded people.

“We are really trying to promote a happy healthy lifestyle here in the region, where people can achieve their own goals and just get healthier, you know three or four years ago Bundaberg was the fattest town in Queensland and now we are seeing more and more people out and participating in events like this and getting fitter and healthier every day.”

Paul said anyone interested in taking part or learning more about stand up paddle boarding, whether it was for fun or fitness, could contact the group.

The 4670 SUP Club’s Ocean Addicts Clearwater Classic Race Weekend finished today after the 48 racers completed the main event of the flatwater distance race, which offered short and long courses of 5km and 11km starting at Elliott Heads and travelling upstream turning large inflatable buoys and returning to the start/finish line at the mouth of the river.

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