Ocean racing is a massive part of Mackenzie Hynard’s life, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Growing up on the NSW South Coast is Wollongong, Hynard was an avid surf lifesaver, competing in ironman racing.
When he found ocean racing, initially it was a way to improve his ironman racing. Now, it’s a sport that’s taken him all over the world.
“I first got into this sport as an offshoot to improve my paddling for surf life saving ironman racing,” Hynard said.
“I was in the right place at the right time and a couple of years later I was given the opportunity to go overseas to compete for a few weeks.
“On return, I had a realisation that I sank better than I could swim and therefore made a decision to stay with this new sport of ocean paddling.
“Saying this sport has transformed my life would be a serious understatement…ocean paddling has given me the opportunity to travel the world, meet lifelong friends, create lifelong memories and live an active and healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Looking back at his career so far, Hynard said it’s the people and friends he’s made along the way that have made it so memorable.
“My first World Championships was in 2013 in Portugal. Evidently, a lot of the people I met and hung out with are now my best mates,” Hynard said.
“I roomed with Sam Djodan, we now run the Paddlers Pod together and speak nearly every day. I raced current world champion Kenny Rice and we have since travelled the world together on both the same and different teams.
“I also met two-time world champion Cory Hill and have since become the godfather to his first child.
“I sometimes reflect on the fact that a result next to your name can and often does determine your happiness. In those moments I have to remind myself it’s okay to be upset but you should never lose sight of your friends, family and how fortunate you are to be able to do what you love.
“This feeling is always strongest for me when I am given the opportunity to don my country’s colours for a World Championships,” he said.
With the opportunity to represent his country at a home World Championships later this year, Hynard urged others to join him on the start line in Perth.
“Don’t think too long on it…move fast and make it happen. I may be a little biased but I truly do believe that this World Championships has the opportunity to be the best one yet,” Hynard said.
“The World Championships themselves and all the activities planned are going to be something to remember.
“If I could sum it up in a sentence – you’ll be kicking yourself if you have the chance to come and don’t,” he said.
Entries are now open for the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships and 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing Masters World Championships, to be held in Perth, WA from 27 November to 3 December 2023 with the race window starting from 30 November.
The world’s best ocean racers will compete along the 20km downwind course from Fremantle to Scarborough Beach.
Both World Championships will be open entry, meaning that paddlers will not need to qualify to participate across the Junior, Under 23, Senior and Masters age divisions, they will only need to be members of their National Federation to participate.
As a special offer for early entrants, those who register before 17 July 2023 will go into the draw to win their entry fees back, with one winner drawn every fortnight (see the competition terms and conditions HERE).
To stay up to date with the Perth Ocean Racing World Championships, click ‘interested’ or ‘attending’ on the FACEBOOK EVENT.
Find out more – click here