Love canoeing? Love a challenge? Then join the Tinaroo Canoe Club for an exciting weekend on the water on May 11-12, mark the Barron River Challenge in your diary now!
What’s it all about?
Traditionally held on the second weekend in May, the BRC is a downriver race on the Barron River from Mareeba to Kuranda. The Tinaroo Canoe Club who hosts the race, positions it the weekend after the Gregory River Canoe Marathon to allow southerners to combine paddling pleasure with a holiday in the paradise on offer up North.
The race section of the Barron River is feed by Lake Tinaroo – a storage dam which is usually full after the seasonal summer wet season. The course has been won in composite K1 kayaks in 2011 and 2012 however the prediction is for the long plastics to take line honours shortly.
An appreciation of the technical aspects of the river can be gleamed from the Everytrail pictorial tracks, photo galleries and, more desirably, paddling sections of the course. The 13km section before the race start from the causeway on Henry Hannam Drive to Mareeba is also a shorter practise course that replicates the last 18 km of the BRC50. This is worth considering if you happen to be stationed around Mareeba for a few days.
One of the substantial developments with the structure of the race weekend has been BRC12 open race. The race is run over the first 12km of the BRC 50 course. It began as a junior race only in 2011 but it is set to blossom in 2013. Whilst there will always be a major emphasis on the novice and intermediate paddler divisions over this grade 1 river section – the BRC12 has already established itself as sprint distance down river race in its own right. With the record in the elite division being set at 57minutes in its inaugural race, organisers predict large competitive fields across all divisions. The junior division should provide the perfect testing ground for the slowly emerging school teams who strive on competitive meets.
Check out the gallery of 2012 presentation photos and explore the write ups by the southern visitors via the links.this post
A Junior and an Open race over 12km will be held on Saturday. BRC 12 paddlers will commence their event in Mareeba and finish below the Biboohra Bridge. It is expected that paddlers will have experience in a minimum of moving grade 1 water. There will be two categories of Junior competitors – single and double. The Junior event will have several experienced adult paddlers accompanying the junior competitors.
The Open BRC12 event is a sprint event catering for both elite and novice paddlers. BRC50 paddlers are welcome to enter the short event as well.
This event is scheduled to begin at 2pm Saturday May 11th. Registration and scrutineering will commence from 08:45 am Saturday at Centenary Park on the southern outskirts of Mareeba.
BRC 50 Course
Sunday’s race begins at the low bridge in Mareeba and finishes at the High Bridge in Kuranda. Depending on prevailing water levels, you may encounter two Grade 3 rapids and numerous Grade 2 rapids. From Mareeba, the Barron winds through close overhanging trees to near Koah, where the river opens to reveal a myriad of turbulent Grade 1 races where line selection is paramount.
It’s all downhill after the 31km Koah checkpoint, where paddlers will brace for the more challenging Oak Forest rapid. Three low bridges/ causeways bring the spectators close to the action, as the average paddlers race to beat the cut-off time at Russet Park. Six kilometres later, and 2km from the finish, the decision to (or not to) portage rapid on river left may make or break a paddlers dream.
With the High Kuranda Bridge overhead, the final smooth water sprint to the finish at Kuranda Beach completes the true “Barron River Challenge”.
Registration and scrutineering will commence from 08:45 am Saturday at Centenary Park (Heritage Centre) on the southern outskirts of Mareeba. The BRC 50 starts from River left below the Low Bridge in Mareeba from 8:00 am.
Where: Barron River, Mareeba to Kuranda
Organiser: Tinaroo Canoe Club Inc – Contacts Terry McClelland 0407 038 303 or Dave Maxwell 0408695835
Junior $15 p/h
Open $20 p/h
Race Entry Fee Sunday
Non member $65 p/h
QC/AC member $55 p/h
BRC 12 -2PM Saturday
(Junior followed by Open)
Mareeba – Biboohra 12.3km
5.00pm Course Closed
BRC 50 0800 Sunday
Mareeba – Biboohra 12.3km
Biboohra – Koah 18.7km
Koah – Russell Pocket 11.0km
Russell Pocket – Kuranda 8.0km 4.00pm Course Closed
2013 Poster BRC 12 Junior
Check the great Everytrail course map with course photos here
- Canoe / Kayak & Paddle
- PFD (Type 2 or 3)
- Food & Water
- Basic First Aid Kit, including 2 snake bandages are also recommended.
Events will commence in the proximity of the Low Barron Bridge, Mareeba.
Registration and scrutineering will be at Centenary Park, on the Southern Outskirts of Mareeba.
Rules, Registration & Notes
At Briefing & Rego
- Confirm the team / individual’s participation
- Collect race numbers
- PFD’s will be float-tested and tagged
- Boats, Paddles & helmets will be inspected
- Receive land crews maps and driving directions to checkpoints
- Attend the race briefing which will include starting arrangements, river conditions, course variations, weather, and other important safety aspects.
- It is compulsory for all paddlers (or a representative of the team / paddler) to attend the registration and briefing sessions with all equipment.
All craft must have positive fixed buoyancy, or be constructed of a material that will have the craft floating horizontal when full of water. No boat may be replaced or substituted after registration. A comprehensive repair kit is recommended.
Entries will not be accepted unless a Land Crew has been nominated. The Land Crew is responsible for all the paddler’s needs, and as such, a separate land crew should be provided for each team/individual.
Land crew must notify checkpoint officials as soon as possible if their paddlers withdraw from the race. Crews are advised to wait at the checkpoints until their paddlers have passed through and departed. Land crew access to some checkpoints will not be allowed due to restrictive access.
Paddlers MUST assist any other paddlers who experience difficulty. Failure to do so, or failure to observe any safety regulation will result in automatic disqualification. Paddlers stopping to assist are eligible to claim redress for the time taken to render assistance.
The lead craft has the right of way at all times; however, they must not intentionally block a passing craft. The overtaking craft is responsible for ensuring the manoeuvre is done safely, and reasonable clearance is provided to the craft being overtaken.
It is the responsibility of all competitors to ensure that their craft’s number is recorded at every checkpoint. Paddlers must shout out their numbers at each checkpoint.
It is the responsibility of every competitor to comply with the QC Sun Safe Policy and attire himself or herself appropriately.
Redress & Scrutineering
The Race Committee will consider requests for redress for paddlers rendering assistance in an emergency. Such requests are to be notified in writing to the competition Secretary within five minutes of finishing. This should state where and when the incident took place. Adjustments will then be considered. The paddler who was assisted requires verification. Paddlers must take note of what time they start/finish the rescue.
Boats will be scrutinized and checked for fixed positive flotation, such that the boat will float on an even keel when filled with water. Scrutineering will occur on the Saturday.
Withdrawals & Replacements
Paddlers withdrawing must notify officials of their boat number at the checkpoint of withdrawal. No paddler can be substituted with another.
The presentations will take place at 5.00pm at Kuranda ‘Bottom Pub’ on Day 2. Paddlers are encouraged to stay for the presentations and enjoy the camaraderie with your fellow paddlers.
Qld Canoe site has a web page as well.
Facebook Page here for all up to date river information and parking suggestions