Upper Murray Paddle September 2021

An intrepid crew of Swannies met at the Dwellingup Hotel last Sunday, ready to tackle ten kilometres of the Upper Murray River from Yarragil to Baden Powell. Intrepid because with a few exceptions, most hadn’t had a lot to do with white water, albeit it was grade 1 and 2.

Colin Scully and Geoff Emery had done a paddle during the week with Baden Powell at the 2.0 metre level, to look for hazards such as logs and found it clear, apart from a few friendly thickets. In fact, the biggest hazard were the potholes on the gravel road between Baden Powell and Yarragil! Our group of twelve paddlers in seven vehicles bounced up to Yarragil where we left boats, gear, and non-drivers while the vehicles all made the return journey to Baden Powell. Geoff and Dave Gilbert brought the shaken and stirred drivers back to Yarragil and parked there.

Once on the water Colin and Geoff led the way with Gillian Henderson and Steve David while Des McLean and Colin Priest were our tail-end ‘Charlies.’ With the water level having dropped a little to 1.8 metres some rapids were no longer washed out and after a kilometre we had a pleasant rapid to play on. Everyone had a go at ferry gliding from side to side, remembering to lean or edge downstream and breaking in and out of the eddies. While there were a few wobbles there were no swims.

Emboldened by the new skill levels we all enjoyed navigating the next three or so kilometres, dodging small logs and large thickets and the occasional rock and arrived at Island Pool, a grade 2 rapid. I was impressed that everyone ran the rapid. Gillian did a great run through but celebrated prematurely and hit the eddy line and decided to swim. Once we were all through there was a bit of playing with Des and Colin Priest the stars, both rolling successfully in the rapid. Beck Wong and Steve David were feeling a bit hot and decided to have a swim to cool off, but everyone else was comfortable in their boats. Julia Davies was having fun in the Finnatic, and Dave was puffing along in the Corsica. Jocelyn Sisson looked relaxed and like she was enjoying herself, while Amanda Simper had difficulty wiping the grin off her face. Shantha David looked totally in control in a Dancer, even if it was the first time in twenty odd years!

After a lunch break and change of clothes for some, we pushed on another four kilometres to Bob’s Crossing where water was going over the road. We all portaged on the right and got back into the fast flow again for a little play before heading downstream. Baden Powell came into sight after a couple of kilometres, and we pulled up to the steps to get off the water. Geoff foolishly decided to try rolling his Mamba and failed! A second attempt with a Pawlata Roll also failed leaving him wet and red-faced. Des wisely commented that one needs to keep practicing. Thanks Des!

Back on terra-firma we all got out of our wet gear, tied the boats on and collected the cars from Yarragil. The drive home was a bit tiring and anti-climactic, after the long day on the water. I really enjoyed the paddle and was very impressed that everybody had a go and had fun, even those of us who got wet! I agreed with the sentiment that it was a paddle worth doing again. Thanks to Colin Scully, Colin Priest and Des McLean for all the help and advice.

Geoff Emery.

Murray Delta Paddle August 2021

Well done to the intrepid dozen Swannies who joined me for the first ‘winter version’ of the Murray Delta Paddle!

Driving down to our start at South Yunderup it did look a bit damp and we arrived to find Tony huddled under the door of Jetty’s Bar and Grill in an excellent impersonation of a drowned rat! So things could only get better from there on – and they certainly did – with cool and cloudy conditions, but otherwise rain free, for the rest of the day. Perfect winter paddling!

With an overly-cautious approach to sending our team into a potentially flood swollen river, this year’s paddle route was revised after a reconnaissance the week before, to reduce the total length and minimise the amount of upstream paddling. On the day however it turned out to be a very pleasant smooth ride as we cruised downstream from Jetty’s Bar and Grill past the riverside ‘shacks’ and their private jetties (now above water) and into the natural bushland environs of Wargooloop channel along the northern side of Cooleenup Island.

Emerging out near Coopers Mill we headed around Jennala Island and into the lower part of the Serpentine River (the Murray and Serpentine on one trip – what a bargain!). Heading into Peel Inlet your leader tried in vain to get a few paddlers entangled in the jaws of a dredging barge but we had to settle with a few dolphins for entertainment instead.

Going back into the Murray, we stopped for lunch at the well-appointed picnic spot (yes, with BBQs and loos!) on the southern side of Cooleenup Island, and revisited Coopers Mill to admire the local history artefacts and the flood level record on it’s side.

The return paddle up the main boating channel was against the river flow but of little significance to our battle-hardened team. After some detours into nooks and crannies looking for birds and more dolphins, most of us tackled the delicate landing manouvere near ‘Pelicans on the Murray Café’ and proceeded to balance out the health benefits of our exercise with coffee or hot chocolate, and a trough of chips!

A small contingent decided to stay on-water to explore the nearby canal development and were rewarded with more dolphin displays.  Given the unexpectedly benign river conditions we all paddled back upstream to Jetty’s Bar and Grill rather than the earlier planned car shuffle from ‘Pelicans’.

Some diehards stayed for a drink at the bar, and then we headed home to buy a lottery ticket to build upon our luck in having avoided the rain and wind that had most of us (not you Patrick!) in hibernation for some time leading up to the paddle.

Thanks all, a good day – with a great mob!





Epic V8 Care

Penguin Island Trip June 2021

If you ever doubted that we live in the windy west, the last couple of weekends with winds up to twenty knots or about thirty-six kilometres per hour, should have removed all doubts.


The club had planned a Palm Beach to Penguin Island paddle on the 30th May, but storm and tempest put paid to that, and we re-scheduled to Sunday 6th June. The forecast still wasn’t great, with the windspeed starting at ten to fifteen knots and working up toward twenty knots in the afternoon. The seas were going to be at least a metre high and the swell up to two and a half metres which implied that there could be waves about two and a half metres high. On top of that a front was expected and it was going to rain!


Maybe it wasn’t surprising that paddler numbers dropped from an initial sixteen souls down to eleven by Sunday! This included three new paddlers without a lot of ocean experience. After a briefing on Palm Beach, we hit the water and paddled west about three kilometres to John Point where there was a lot of surf breaking over the reef. We headed out to sea, behind the breakers and were paddling south when I heard Martin call out ‘capsize!’ Looking back, I was impressed to see Patrick successfully roll up from his unplanned capsize! Obviously, all that practice he had done at the club paid off when it really mattered.


We passed  Bird Island and paddled on to Seal Island where the sea lions were having a siesta in the sun, undisturbed by all the pelicans waddling about. After a break for a sugar hit, we paddled the final two kilometres to Penguin Island, landing on the East side instead of the usual West side out of respect for the conditions and our newer paddlers. After a leg stretch, sustenance and a toilet break, two of our members decided to wait on shore for pick-up at the Penguin Island café, while the rest of us headed back to Palm Beach. In retrospect they made a smart decision.


As we headed north, we were followed by a grey walled front that rolled after us. With the weather chasing us it was surprising to be paddling in sunshine and blue sky, with spectacular sunlit clouds in front of us. Out to sea on our left, there was a grey wall of rain, while on our right another wall of rain fell on the land. The few drops of rain that did fall on us, failed to dampen our enthusiasm. After six kilometres we were back at Point Peron and watching some big surf rolling onto the reef. It all looked a bit daunting, but our intrepid crew followed Colin as he picked his way around the point and then out to sea again, just south of Mushroom Rock. There was a large swell, waves breaking and a very disturbed sea so that our kayaks were slipping and sliding, and one had to stay focussed. After a somewhat harrowing trip behind the breaking surf, we managed to thread the needle between two patches of reef and get into shelter behind John Point, where we relaxed somewhat and paddled back to Palm Beach.


In retrospect I would have been wiser to avoid the mayhem off John Point and launch from Shoalwater Bay.

Nevertheless, it was an experience for everyone, albeit a bit challenging in places. Local Hero awards are deserved for newer ocean paddlers, Carol, Jocelyn and Peter for handling pretty marginal conditions. Patrick also deserves his own Local Hero award plus bar, for his spectacular roll near the reef. I would also like to thank my co-sea kayak instructor, Colin Priest for his calm approach and for looking after everyone.


Well done everyone for managing a very challenging paddle.


Geoff Emery

Paddle Australia Accredited Flat Water,

White Water & Sea Instructor & Assessor.


6th June 2021.

Winter Time Trial Series – 2021 Results

Weekly Time Trial Results

All individual time trial results are available on Webscorer.

Time Trial 1 – 20 May 2021

Time Trial 2 – 27 May 2021

Time Trial 3 – 3 June 2021

Time Trial 4 – 10 June 2021

Time Trial 5 – 17 June 2021

Time Trial 6 – 24 June 2021

Time Trial 7 – 1 July 2021

Time Trial 8 – 8 July 2021

Time Trial 9 – 15 July 2021

Time Trial 10 – 22 July 2021

Series Standings 2021

Learn more about the Winter Time Trial Series or checkout the 2020 results.

Registration Open throughout the Series – Register Now!

Watch live action on the river via SCC TV

AGM 2021

Please find below the full presentation from the AGM held on 25 May 2021 as well as the storage and ramp concept that was discussed at the meeting:

SCC AGM May_2021_Final_Version_250521

SCC Storage and ramp updated Mar 2021

Presentation by Rosalie Evans from PWA:

PWA Presentation 0521

Club Boat Auction

Update as at 11 May 2021 – The auction is closed. All remaining boats will be sold to the first bidder above the reserve price emailed to admin@swancanoeclub.org.au. Bidding is open to members and non-members. 


This is an early opportunity for members to buy used craft from the club via an online auction with reserve.

Auction Opens – Friday 23rd April 9am

Auction Closes – Friday 7th May 12noon

Auction Process:

  • Kayaks and skis can be viewed upstairs in the clubrooms.
  • Craft may be tested on the water on the condition that they are washed, dried and replaced in the upstairs clubrooms immediately after.
  • Bids can be placed via email (admin@swancanoeclub.org.au) from Auction Open to Auction Close, any bids received outside this time will not be accepted.
  • A new bid from the same person for the same craft will supersede their previous bids.
  • The winning bidders will be notified via email including payment instructions by 6pm on Friday 7th May.

Auction Conditions:

  • Bidding will be restricted to current financial members only.
  • Craft are sold ‘as is’, the club takes no responsibility for any defects or repairs which may be required.
  • Payment by the winning bidder must be made via direct deposit by Monday 10th of May. Details will be provided with notification of winning bid.
  • Craft do not come with any rights to boat storage and must be immediately removed from club premises (ie by Monday 10th May after payment), application for storage can be registered however there is no current availability.
  • Any craft that doesn’t meet reserve will be negotiated with the highest bidder or sold to the public via Gumtree or similar at the Boat Officers discretion.

Lot 1: Perception Contours 480 Sea Kayak SOLD

Plastic 4.8m length 25kg. Generally good condition, however has hd small hull repair below seat.

Reserve: $250


Lot 3: Affinity Surf Ski SOLD

Popular plastic sit on kayak / ski, 4.25 metre length. Easy and stable for river or ocean cruising.

Reserve: $250

Lot 4: Davenwoods TK1 SOLD

Traditional composite TK1 kayak, 4.6 metre length. Red deck and hull will polish up well, fixed seat and tiller bar steering. Strong composite hull and deck with no damage. Fantastic condition for age. Fast and stable flat-water touring or intro racing kayak. Suitable for beginner to intermediate.

Reserve: $175

Lot 5: Westcraft “The Gun” TK1 SOLD PENDING PAYMENT

Another traditional TK1 tourer / racer, 4.6 metre length. Red deck and hull, adjustable pan seat with tiller bar steering. This boat has been well used and has had several repairs, however it is still strong and watertight. Back in the day this was considered a fast craft and was used regularly at club time trials and races. Great for flat water touring. Suitable for beginner to intermediate.

Reserve: $75

Lot 6: Canoe Shop Mirage TK1 SOLD

Another traditional TK1 tourer / racer, 4.6 metre length. Black paint splash deck with white hull, adjustable pan seat with peddle steering. This boat has been well used and has had several repairs, however it is still strong and watertight. Back in the day this was considered a fast craft and was used regularly at club time trials and races. Great for flat water touring. Suitable for beginner to intermediate.

Reserve: $100

Lot 7: Canoe Shop Mirage TK1 SOLD PENDING PAYMENT

Another traditional TK1 tourer / racer, 4.6 metre length. Grey deck with white hull, adjustable pan seat with peddle steering. This boat has been well used and needs repairs to the cockpit coaming, however this will be quite easy for a handyman. Great for flat water touring. Suitable for beginner to intermediate.

Reserve: $50

Lot 8: Perception Dancer SOLD PENDING PICK UP

A traditional beginners, plastics white water kayak 3.5 metres in length. This boat has had a hull repair but is still useable.

Reserve: $15

New Club Craft

News on Club Craft

We are pleased to announce the club has agreed to the purchase of a significant number of new paddle craft for the use of members. They include:
– 5 Touring / Sea Kayaks
– 5 Ocean Surf Skis (entry level)
The size of this order reflects the growth of the club over the last 1-2 years from approximately 300 to more than 400 active members. It also recognises that the club can only provide approximately 170 “useable” boat spaces for members full size personal boats and that in addition to beginners training craft we need to provide quality paddle craft for all of our members, some of whom lack immediate access to a boat space. It also reflects that many of our members are interested in surf ski paddling and will increase the club fleet of ocean surf ski’s from 3 to 8 craft and enable us to run surf ski paddling instruction and training programs.

Introduction to the New Craft

The Wavesport Hydra and Surge Explorer 16 Sea Kayaks are already in the club racks. The EPIC Skis and Stellar Sea Kayaks are expected to arrive in late April / May – shipping dependent!

Selection Process

The club’s last purchase of new craft at the end of 2019/early 2020 focused on 5 new sea kayaks and touring craft, so we already knew that we would be buying some entry level ocean surf skis this year. We went to 8 local suppliers and asked for quotations on flexible packages of skis and touring craft. The quotations were reviewed by a subcommittee comprising Dave Gilbert (Boat Officer), John Williams (Club VP and Ocean Ski Racer), Geoff Emery (Chair Training and Development and Sea kayak Instructor), Rebecca Wong (Club Secretary and Guide), Martin Wells (Keen kayaker and Guide) and Ryan Davidson (Gun Downwind Ski Racer and Marathon paddler).

A number of options, which selected craft on cost and suitability for the club, were presented to the club committee in February at which time the committee agreed their preferred option for 10 craft and which split the order amongst 3 local suppliers, whilst maintaining significant bulk discounts to the club.


The club originally budgeted $15k in 2020 for new craft, however as the size of the order increased and because of timing we have been able to utilise some moneys from the 2021 budget. The gross cost of the new boat package after supplier discounts was  $26.7k. However, over the period since July 2020 the club has auctioned a number of elderly and unused craft which has raised $4.7K to date and we have an upcoming boat disposal program which we expect to raise an additional $0.75k. Therefore the net cost of this significant rejuvenation of the club fleet will be approximately $21k spread over the 2020/21 and 21/22 financial years (note club financial year is 1 March – 28 Feb).


Dave Gilbert

Boat Officer

Rod Fry Memorial Race 2021 – Results

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the 2021 Rod Fry Memorial Race. It was a fantastic turnout in windy conditions.

We had 100 paddlers in 90 craft – including SUPs, sea kayaks, surf skis, k1 and outriggers. It really is an all comers race with not only a fantastic array of craft but ages ranging from 9 years old to 80 years old.

Brendan Rice the defending champion from 2020 took out the cash prize for fastest finisher in the mens 12km with Natasha Leaversuch coming in first for the females.

Thanks again to all the volunteers. It couldn’t happen without you!

Guided Paddle and BBQ

New SCC members and ‘old’ members came together on Friday 19th February for a paddle and a BBQ.  Small groups set off ably guided by Jen, Marty, Carol and Elena.
We had 41 members booked in that night!  A few didn’t make it but nonetheless it was a fantastic turn out.
Our group took the scenic trip to  Chidley along the shoreline but avoided the strong winds at the Point. Given that we had two brand new members who had signed up just that week, it seemed like a really good idea to turn before the marker!!
Paddling a kayak with a rudder seems like childs’ play when you’ve been paddling for a while but it’s not always easy to start.  The Club in fact has had to repair the Stella kayaks more than once because people haven’t realised that you have to lift the lever to allow the foot pedals to be moved. Instead they’ve battered them down with their feet!  Fortunately Kerry was there to chat to new members about how we can look after the kayaks.
It was great to see our President Julia there too. She was able to do a demonstration to demystify the Ergo kayaking machine. It proved to be very popular with our new members.
The Social Committee, ably assisted by Kamisha, did really well in coordinating a very successful event.
We do need a few more people to support the Social Committee so let Lisa know if you would like to get involved. The more people we have, the less each person has to do.
Our next Social gathering a Fun Paddle Challenge on Saturday 27th of March.