Marathon   (see below for 24 hour Challenge)

Australia has many long rivers well suited for Marathon canoeing with races conducted over distances of 10 km and greater. There are various levels of competition for marathon paddlers at all levels from new paddlers to experienced veterans. The pinnacle of Marathon Paddling is at an international level  and a good summary was provided by OTV's show Race Day. The show is on YouTube in two Parts:

National Championships are raced over various distances depending on age category. The races are organised in traditional canoe classes e.g. K1’s, C1's and TK1’s, TC2's etc. The 2015 National championships were hosted by Burley Griffin Canoe Club and were conducted by Australian Canoeing, PaddleNSW and BGCC. The Nationals are traditionally held in Autumn, with the 2021 Nationals to be held on 25 - 28 March, on the Barwon River in Geelong, hosted by the Geelong Canoe Club.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, most 2020 races were cancelled, but:

Coming Races in 2021:

Day Date Host Venue Event Name
Sat 13 February MMCC Albury, Murray River Frank Harrison, singles-boats
Sun 14 February MMCC Albury, Murray River Frank Harrison, double-boats
Sat 13 February Makai Ulladulla Makai Cup
Sat 20 February WBCC Wagga, Murrumbidgee River Marathon Series Race 1
Sat 6 March WPSC Windsor, Hawkesbury River Marathon Series Race 2
Sat 20 March BGCC Canberra, Molonglo River Marathon Series Race 3
Thu  -Sun 25 - 28 March PA/PV Geelong, Barwon River Marathon National Championships
 Sat  27 March SIP Rose Bay Tingira Cup
 Sat 10 April BWP Brisbane Waters Marathon Series Race 4
 Sun 2 May HVPC Hunter Valley Marathon Series Race 5
 TBC May BBPC Batemans Bay Batemans Bay Challenge
Sun  23 May LCRK Lane Cove, Lane Cove River Marathon Series Race 6
Sun 13 June PVC Penrith, Nepean River Marathon Series Race 7
Sat 26 June SSCC Janali Reserve, Woronora River Marathon Series Race 8
Sun 25 July MWKC Narrabeen Lake Marathon Series Race 9
Sat 14 August CSKC Swallow Rock, Hastings River Marathon Series Race 10
Ultra Marathon Series    
Sat 4 September CCP Wyong Ultra Marathon Race 1
Sat 11 September PNSW Myall Classic, Tea Gardens Ultra Marathon Race 2
Fri 24 September WPC Morison 50, Hawkesbury River Ultra Marathon Race 3
Fri - Sun 8-10 October PNSW Clarence 100, Grafton - Yamba Ultra Marahton Race 4
Sat 30 October HCC Hawkesbury Canoe Classic Ultra Marathon Race 5
Mon - Fri 22-26 November MMP Yarrawonga - Swan Hill Massive Murray Paddle
TBC December BGCC Canberra, 24Hr Paddle Challenge

Ultra Marathon Race 6


The Paddle NSW Marathon Series is conducted by PaddleNSW and is a series of races conducted in eastern NSW. BGCC were the series champions for 2012,13, 14 and 15 and again in 2019, with the bonus of winning the ICF-boat category as well in 2019. The calendar for the 2021 series is above, with more details on the  PaddleNSW website. This series is divisional, based on your previous results so you are always competing against paddlers of similar ability.  This is a good format for both novice and experienced paddlers.

The Burley Griffin Bash is usually run on the Sunday of the weekend of our Marathon Series race. 2021 will be the 44th time for the race to be conducted. With the smoke and fires and low water-levels over last summer, the Series races and Burley Griffin Bash were not held.  These races are a great way for newer paddlers to "have a go" at racing with distances of 30 km and 2, 5 and 13 km for the Mini-Bash, with all but the 3 km going out onto Lake Burley Griffin - weather dependent!

BGCC will also conduct the 2021 BGCC 24hr Challenge This race is paddled over a 4.7 km course on the Molonglo River from the club house. Paddlers have a choice of competing as individuals or in various relay teams. The race is open to all forms of paddle craft. The 2021 24 hour Challenge is to be held over the weekend of 11th - 12th December.

BGCC members have a long history of attending a number of classic long-distance races which include:

  • Murray River Marathon (404 km over 5 days) The Murray Marathon race, one of the longest annual ultra-marathon paddling events in the world, has taken place annually since 1969. The race is along the Murray River form Yarrawonga to Swan Hill. The Massive Murray Marathon Web-site for information about the race and how to enter. It is being conducted in the last full week in November (22 - 26 November, 2021), with full distance, half distance, 1, 2 and 3-day options as well as shorter distances for junior paddlers.
  • The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic is an interesting race held in late October each year (30/10/21) with most of the paddling taking place overnight. One of our founding members, John Harmer, has paddled in each of the 43 events held so far. See the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic Web-site for information about the race and how to enter. Since 2016, a shorter "Dash"option of 65 km (Windsor to Wisemans Ferry) is available, as well as the "proper" full 111 km from Windsor to Mooney Mooney.  In 2019 was the first time for a Relay option.
  • The Myall Classic is a race which is often used as practice for the Hawkesbury and Murray marathons. It starts and finishes at Tea Gardens, Central Coast. It is on the 11th of Sept, 2021 and has race distances of 12, 27 and 47 km. Go to PaddleNSW's event page for more details.
  • Riverland Paddling Marathon Hosted by the Marathon Canoe Club of SA for 32 years the Riverland Paddling Marathon (RPM) is not just a marathon it is a festival of paddling marathons with 6 possible events over 3 days on 1 weekend in the chilly month of June each year. Every June long weekend paddlers from all over the country gather on the Murray River in South Australia's beautiful Riverland to meet, greet and most importantly to paddle. The dates for 33rd RPM will be 12th, 13th & 14th June, 2021.


24 Hour Paddling Challenge 2021

Weekend of 11th – 12th December, 2021 (TBC)

Hosted by BGCC at Molonglo Reach, Morshead Drive, Campbell, ACT

This year we are again planning for a low-key event. BYO: everything. Shelter tents permitted in a limited area, not under trees.

Entries:         via Webscorer 

Entry Fee:       0 for U18   $20 for U23    $30 for over 65    $35 for all others

 These fees are for current financial members of PaddleNSW, Dragon Boat NSW or Surf NSW. Other paddlers must add a $20 surcharge. Minimum age for Juniors is 15.

Entries are per paddler, not per boat, including for doubles, multi-paddler craft and relay teams.

A late fee of $10 will be applied to late entries after 11:59 p.m., 24th November, 2020.

Enter:            Either the 24-hour or the 16-hour event. But, have the option of dropping from the 24-hour to the 16-hour event by advising the organisers before 8:00 p.m. on Day 1 of the event.

Course:           4.7 km loop course on Molonglo River

Briefing:         9:30 a.m. Saturday 11th December, 2021

Start Time:     10:00 a.m., Saturday 11th December, 2021

Finish Time:     10:00 a.m., Sunday 12th December, 2021

Allowable Craft:        Kayak, Canoe (including Outrigger canoes), Ski and SUP

Solo: one single or double canoe, kayak, ski or SUP with a single paddler or 2-person crew for the entire event.

Team: a relay of paddlers rotating over the period of the event:

  • 'Competitive', with up to 4x paddlers using single-craft or 8 paddlers using double-craft, in one or more canoes, skis or SUPs
  • 'Recreational' with up to 8 paddlers using single craft or 16 using double-craft in one or more canoes, kayaks skis or SUPs 

Note: Both Solo and Team entries will need a 'Team Name' when registering. Paddlers on a team must use the identical team name when registering.

                                          ***************  COVID-19 SAFETY  ***************

                                                                This event must be COVID safe.

All participants and spectators must abide by social distancing and all other Government restrictions applicable at the time of the event.

Burley Griffin Canoe Club will be restricting the use of the Club Shed facilities.

More information will be distributed closer to the event, when the COVID situation is known.

Early Morning Tranquillity, Molonglo Reach, 26th November, 2006.

Paddler Safety: A safety boat stationed at the start/finish area. However paddlers are responsible for their own safety and the safety of anyone in need of assistance on or in the water. When on the water, paddlers must at all times have a pea-less whistle, readily available to relay a message along the river that the safety boat is needed. Any time spent in assisting another paddler in difficulty will be allowed for.

Night-time Safety - 7:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.: all paddlers starting a lap at or after 7:30 p.m. must wear a life-jacket, with a torch and whistle attached. All paddlers must have lights on stem and stern of their craft. Cyalumes will be provided for paddlers to use. Paddlers starting a lap after 6:00 a.m. may choose not to wear a life-jacket (unless weather-conditions dictate their compulsory use) , but must consider safety factors such as fatigue when doing so.

Amenities: BGCC Club Shed has male and female toilets and showers. Molonglo Reach has public toilets and free public barbecues. The Club Shed kitchen has a fridge, microwave oven, kettle and pod-coffee drink-maker. No catering provided, but cafés and supermarkets are not too far away.

Use of the kitchen area is currently restricted to 4 people any any time; the meeting room to 8 people; make change room 3 people; female change room to 2 people. Social distancing applies.

Camping: is not permitted - but "Shelter Tents" are. (So nothing too elaborate please!) There will be designated shelter tent areas - please do not set up camp just anywhere. Cars must not be taken onto grassed areas - park in carparks only!

Given restrictions on use of the Club Shed, it will be even more important that paddlers bring shelter tents and other equipment they require.


Enquiries to: Helen Tongway  or    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.