Floods, fields and those bloody fences: The ‘Big Clarence’ was a big river adventure

Have you ever paddled a flooded river? Have you ever navigated barbed-wire fences, dodged submerged trees and paddled around a farmer’s shed? Well after this weekend, competitors of the inaugural “Big Clarence” can tick all those items off their bucket list.

The Clarence River is a long, wide and rather beautiful waterway in Australia. The local indigenous name, Breimba, literally means “Big River” and it often lives up to that title — sometimes with deadly effect. The region was devastated by floods a few months ago where many people died and thousands lost their homes. This weekend’s race was supposed to pay respects to them. It wasn’t supposed to recreate similar conditions.   → READ MORE

Meet ‘Clarence,’ possibly the “biggest” new name in Aussie paddling

Australia has always been a curious paddling nation. The country that’s produced more talent than any other eternally struggles with events; the home of Travis, Terrene and Boothy hasn’t ever housed too many big races. With the exception of the 12 Towers (beloved but now gone) and King of the Cut (so far west it’s a five-hour flight), Aussie paddlers have generally looked to Europe, Asia and North America for opportunities.

But while the sport is squarely centered on the Northern Hemisphere, our Southern outpost has one thing going for it: The community.    → READ MORE

Who else wants to paddle 100km next week? Australia’s ‘Clarence 100’ ultra-marathon goes virtual

If you’ve been following SUP Racer’s coverage of the ultras and thought to yourself, “I’d also like to suffer,” then this is your lucky week. Because next weekend, October 8-10, there’s going to be a special, virtual edition of the Clarence 100 that anyone in the world can join.

The Clarence 100 is a three-day, ultra-marathon stage race in Australia. It’s usually held on the Clarence River in October and sees hundreds of skis and SUPs make the pilgrimage through the Clarence Valley through the inland farm country all the way down to the ocean. It’s a great event and a perfect distance if you’re an ultra-endurance rookie: The 100 is long enough to give you a real mental & physical test but short enough that any half-fit paddler can still complete it (eventually).    → READ MORE

“The Tour de France on water” — What can stand up paddling learn from the world’s biggest race?

“Remove from the heat, crumble in the cheese and stir until melted. Add the thyme then transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool a little, and then stir in the egg yolks and season.”

I was listening to a recipe for blue cheese soufflé with pommes frites, and I was also watching a climactic stage of the biggest race in the world. Bizarrely, this odd combination made perfect sense. Even more bizarre, I could see the future of stand up paddling coming to a boil as the Eurosport commentator ran through his daily recipe during stage 17 of this year’s Tour de France.   → READ MORE