Creek canoe marathon

THE Gunbower Creek is set to become the venue for Australia's first creek paddling marathon.

CREEK RACE. A paddling marathon is planned for the Gunbower Creek between Gunbower and Cohuna.

CREEK RACE. A paddling marathon is planned for the Gunbower Creek between Gunbower and Cohuna.

Competitors in next month's event will cover a 46-kilometre course downstream from Gunbower to the finish line at Cohuna.

The Black Swan Creek Marathon is scheduled for March 23 and will involve competitors in canoes and kayaks and on stand-up paddle boards.

Gannawarra mayor, Cr Lorraine Learmonth has welcomed the addition of a new paddling event.

"It's just such a positive event for our area, (I'm) so pleased that they're running it. And we look forward to it being really successful," she said.

The event is being organised by Shannon O'Brien of Sydney Harbour Kayaks, a business that runs guided tours on Gunbower Creek through its subsidiary company Murray River Adventures.

Sydney Harbour Kayaks is experienced in running paddling events. It is also the driving force behind the Massive Murray Paddle, a 404 kilometre marathon.

For those tackling the far less daunting Gunbower Creek race, any kind of paddle craft is welcome.

"The Black Swan Creek Marathon is the first of its kind in this country and offers Australian paddlers a style of racing that is huge in the USA," Mr O'Brien said.

He anticipates attracting in excess of 100 entrants for the inaugural event.

Whilst he hopes a healthy number of locals will enter the race, Mr O'Brien said that there will be a substantial contingent from further afield.

"There's a lot from interstate which is the real main purpose for promoting the Gunbower for paddling," he said.

Such is his enthusiasm for the area, Mr O'Brien bought a holiday house in Cohuna.

The race commences at 10am on Saturday, March 23 at Felix L'Huillier Park in Gunbower.

There will be a dinner and presentation evening at the Bower Tavern in Cohuna.

Free camping will be available at the Gunbower recreation reserve, with a free outdoor movie to be shown on Friday evening. Gunbower Primary School will provide a fund-raising barbecue dinner.

For more details on the event or to register for the race, visit or call Shannon O'Brien on 0413 005 787.

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