In a surprise announcement this week, Fenn Nelo Doctor Ocean Race Director Dean Gardiner announced a shift to the timing for this iconic annual event on the World Surfski Series calender, with the race being brought forward to late November instead of it’s current January fixture.
I had a chat to Deano about the reasoning behind the change, who listed the following:
– it’s far cooler in November
– there’s more wind that time of year
– it’s an easier time of year for international paddlers to travel
– it’s not in the peak of the Australian summer race season
Like the current format, the race (this year looking to be 29 November 2014) will be part of a bigger series of races to make it worth while for travelers. The Mandurah Duel will be shifted to the weekend before the Doctor, whilst the weekend after gives paddlers a crack at the Epic West Coast Downwinder, a 24km downwind race between Fremantle and Sorrento hosted by the Indian Ocean Paddlers.
There’s considerable excitement amongst the crew from team Fat Paddler as the date works much better for most of us. Hopefully the changes will add a new dimension to this already iconic west-coast race and will help attract more international and interstate paddlers to take part. Cheers, FP