Outlaw Paddling   Victorian Race Series

Race Report: Outer Edge Crit Race # 5 - the final showdown

Thursday, 5 April 2012 by Jarad

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Well, we didn't quite get the glassy conditions some paddlers were hoping for, but the weather for Outer Edge Crit Race # 5 was calm enough to shake up the field a bit and let the flatwater specialists flex their muscle.

Not that it made a huge difference at the pointy end of the field. The water whisperer, Tim Altman, claimed yet another convincing win in the men's ski race, beating out an in-form Garth Spencer, who has steadily moved up the field during the course of the series, followed by Ivor Morgan. Tim's five-from-five result naturally saw him take out the Series Championship in the Men's Ski. Well done, Tim - you really are an inspiration to the younger lads who you consistently wallop on the water.

In the OC1 competition, it was once again Jason Shepherd's day, with the big man dominating from go to whoa. Like Tim, Jason was undefeated in all his races, and earned himself the well deserved title of Series Champ. But perhaps the unofficial champs in the OC1 field were the Echuca crew led by Rod Clarke. We are always so stoked to have you guys make the long journey down to our races and you really add to the colour and atmosphere of the event. We can't wait to have you back next season with an even bigger OC turnout.

In the SUP race, it was SUP Vic's Paul Harrington who took out the first-place honours, and the SUP Series Championship too, ahead of his fellow upright comrade, Con Toronis. Paul and Con have been consistent competitors at this year's series and are to be congratulated for their commitment. Admittedly, we had some pretty tough SUP conditions at some of our races this season, and it took only the most fanatical SUPers to step up to the start line. Thanks guys and well done.

But the night's most anticipated showdown was in the women's ski field, and it didn't disappoint, with an in-form Di Bloom narrowly snatching victory from an otherwise undefeated Chloe Hardman. Di had been putting in a heap of hard work to secure this victory, with three-plus training sessions per week, and it clearly paid off. Still, she had to work for it, with Chloe sitting on her tail the whole way. And it was ultimately Chloe who took out the Series Championship, with an impressive four-from-five. Well done Chloe - with all that you juggle, you truly are superwoman!

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Di and Chloe battle it out.

Now for a few honorable mentions. Well done to Lucy Bell, who took out the women's SUP race; Lisa Spain who once again romped it home in the women's OC1 (beating the ski girls in the process!);  our first-time OC2 team, Humphrey and Murgatroid (love the name) - we hope you inspire some more OC2 teams to get involved next season; and  Jacky and Mimi from Team Thule Adventure, who managed to squeeze in a strong mixed double paddle between training for continued world domination in the adventure racing scene, and helping us set up and pack up Race HQ. Thanks!

Finally, a big congrats to Serge Kurov, who snared the random draw prize of a Sunny King SUP and paddle. We can't wait to see our favourite Russian don his board shorts and sunnies and hit the bay for these last days of our Indian summer.

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Nick King congratulates Sergey Kurov, winner of the Sunny King paddle pack.

Last, but not least, a huge thankyou to our sponsors, without whose support the Outlaw Crit Series would not be possible: Outer Edge Magazine, Stellar Kayaks, Go Natural, Sunny King Paddleboards and SUP HQ. And thanks also to our supporters, Sandridge Life Saving Club and Williamstown LSC for providing water safety, Blast Paddlers for prividing our super-dooper timekeeping system, Surfrider Foundation for fighting the good fight for clean beaches, and Jon Barter our awesome photographer.

I think you'll agree that this has been our best Crit Series yet, and, with your support, we look forward to making it even better next season. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve the series, please email emma@peakadventure.com.au - your feedback is very important.

For full results click here.

Adios Outlaws!

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