The History of Canoe Ocean Racing in Australia

Australia's coastline, renowned for its beauty, has been more than a picturesque backdrop; it's been a playground for Canoe Ocean Racing. This thrilling sport,...

Meskauskaite ready to show off her new home to Lithuanian teammates at 2023 Ocean...

The 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships and Canoe Ocean Racing Masters World Championships provides the perfect opportunity for international paddlers to travel...


One year after jumping in a surf ski, Tasmania’s Kobi Mauderer is preparing for the race of a lifetime. The 16-year-old started paddling surf skis...


The 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships is set to be a family affair for Brisbane Paddling Club members Alex and Ben Lloyd. After...

Countdown to the 2023 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships and Masters Championships

Held in the stunning city of Perth from November 30th to December 3rd, this Championship promises to be the highlight of the ocean racing...

Canoe Ocean Racing consists of long distance surfski, sea kayak and sea touring races. A surfski is the fastest boat over long distances on ocean swells. The challenges canoe ocean racing can face include large waves driven by the wind, hurricane generated ground swells and paddling in wind speeds of more than 20 knots.

Surfskis originated in Australia in the 1900s when two brothers, Harry and Jack McLaren, used them around their family’s oyster beds on Lake Innes in New South Wales. They would also use their custom-made boats to surf the beaches at nearby Port Macquarie. The speed and versatility of the boats made them ideal for lifesaving, and in 1946 surfski became a part of the lifesaving competition programme.

Surfskis were initially similar to surfboards, laminated in light wood and sometimes covered in fabric, but modern, lighter versions can be made from composite layers of epoxy or polyester resin-bonded cloth such as fibreglass, Kevlar, carbon fibre or a mixture. As races have got longer, boats have become longer with sharply pointed bows and under stern foot pedal controlled rudders. They are usually five to six-and-a-half metres long and only 40 to 50 centimetres wide.

Canoe ocean racing initially started with short races of about 700m, but as these boat designs developed races would begin to go further out to sea. The first canoe ocean racing event took place in South Africa in 1958, with the 46km Scottburgh to Brighton race. Other famous events include the Southern Shamaal, also in South Africa, a 240km race from Port Elizabeth to East London that began in 1972, and four years later the inaugural Molokai Race was held in Hawaii. Canoe ocean racing was the most recent discipline to be recognised by the International Canoe Federation (ICF).


2020 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Team Selection Criteria Supplement – 5/11/2019


2019 Ocean Racing Team Selection Criteria – draft (15/1/19)

Paddle Australia Canoe Ocean Racing Technical Committee (PACORTC)

  • James Tomkins (Chair)
  • Quona Ross-Atkinson (Vice Chair)
  • Anthony Deague (Vice Chair)
  • Mackenzie Hynard (Athlete Rep)
  • Stewart Collingwood
  • Roz Barber
  • Jaime Roberts
  • Rob Jenkinson
  • Peter Leaversuch
  • Steve Dalton

Strategic Plan for Canoe Ocean Racing in Australia

Canoe Ocean Racing Championships -Official Results

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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 – 3 December 2023 with the race window starting from 30 November.

Entries are now OPEN and can be complete HERE.

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).

For participants who enter but can’t secure a boat rental, they will have their entry fees refunded, less a 10% administration fee. See the full refund policy HERE, or via the entry portal.

To stay up to date with the Perth Ocean Racing World Championships, click ‘interested’ or ‘attending’ on the FACEBOOK EVENT.

Bulletin 2 and bulletin 3 are now available to view. Further information about the event will be posted on the event website.