Author Archives: Sean Dunstan

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Avon Descent 2017 Grids

The Avon Descent Day 1 Grids are Now Available!



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2017 Belmont Belter Results!

The results for the first ever Belmont Belter paddle race are now available!



Congratulations to the place winners and all of the competitors. All valid entrants are eligible for priority grid placement on Day 1 of the Avon Descent

Results are available here or click Competitors > Results > Belmont Belter from the top menu



The Belmont Belter Paddle Race


Avon Descent Scrutineering has just gotten that extra bit more exciting in 2017 with the introduction of the Belmont Belter!


This Qualifier race pits the top paddle competitors of the Avon Descent against one another in an 11km sprint to claim the top grids on Day 1 of this year’s Avon Descent.

Only entries submitted during Early Bird that nominate are able to compete in the race.

If you want to compete next year then get your entry in early!



23 July 2017

Scrutineering Starts: 9:00am

Compulsory Safety Briefing: 9:45am

Race Start: 10:45am


Those competing in the Belmont Belter will proceed through a separate line at Scrutineering. Craft stickers will be provided on the day and will be attached to craft prior to their race. Race times will be based on your Avon Descent Race ID number. Without your stickers you will not be given a time and therefore will be ineligible for a place in the top grids.


Course Map


The race will be a mass start beginning at the jetty at the Bayswater Paddlesports Club, where paddlers will race upriver past Garvey Park to the Guildford Railway Bridge checkpoint in the City of Swan. Competitors will approach and do a loop from right to left around the easternmost pillar of the railway bridge and will then head back downriver for a dramatic finish on the shores of Garvey Park in the City of Belmont.


Support crews may meet competitors at the finish line where winners will be announced, or once the presentation is complete, competitors may opt for a relaxed paddle back downriver to Riverside Gardens, Bayswater.


Grid Placements on offer

(taken from Event Rules)

Grid               Classes           # Competitors

6 Double Kayaks and Skis 8-12 Order of placement within each Class listed to be determined by a Qualifying race held in 23 July 2017
7 Single Kayaks and Skis 8-12
8 Single Kayaks and Skis 8-12
9 Single Recreational 8-12
10 Double Recreational 8-12
11 Team of 2 8-12
12 Team of 2 8-12
13 Team of 4 8-12



  1. Competitors must use the same craft they will be using in the Avon Descent. You will not be required to wear whitewater safety equipment.
  2. Scrutineering must be completed prior to the start of the race.
  3. After scrutineering and prior to the race, competitors must sign in at the start tent. Those who do not sign in will not be given a placement.
  4. All competitors will compete as individuals in the Qualifying Race but for teams only the fastest team member’s time is recorded. Teams are however free to nominate which competitor in that team starts on the allocated grid on Day 1 of the Avon Descent.
  5. Although only open to Early Bird competitors, where teams and doubles have paid their entry prior to early bird it will entitle all members of that team or double to compete in the Qualifying Race (as long as they have nominated).
  6. Those who are found to have participated in unsportsmanlike conduct on the river risk losing their grid.


Remember to arrive early!


For ALL Competitors:

Remember Scrutineering on 23 of July in Bayswater is COMPULSORY for all entries (regional and interstate exempt). Those who do not have a valid reason for not to attending will be subject to a late scrutineering fee.


Good Luck in the Race!

Safety Competency in 2017

Each year the Avon Descent brings with it many changes and news initiatives and 2017 is no exception. In addition to a revised system of paddlecraft classes and the new requirements for paddler helmets, we have also made changes to the rules regarding paddler safety competency.


What are the Avon Descent safety competency rules for paddlers in 2017?

As per our Event Rules:


In previous years our competency requirements allowed the consideration of experience from similar races to be used to qualify a paddler for entry. In consultation with local bodies, a revision of the rules has led to us requiring either a full completion of both days of the event in the past five years, an Australian canoeing Award System course or a safety skills assessment.

Safety Competency versus Paddling Competency

It’s very important to understand our requirements are not designed to look at whether or not the competitor can complete the race. We are aiming to ensure that those who compete have a set of necessary safety skills that will allow the competitor to react appropriately and save themselves in the event of a capsize or other incident during the race.

Competitor safety has always been of utmost importance to us and we consider this is a necessary part of our due diligence in conducting the race.



Scheduling a Safety Skills Assessment

A range of options still exist for competitors to complete a safety skills assessment in time for this year’s event and competitors have up until Friday Registration on 4th of August to be signed for competency.

  • Western Paddlesports will be scheduling another session between now and the event weekend, date to be announced. Enquire now to book your place.
  • Ascot Kayak Club will hold a training session for club members on Saturday the 22nd of July from 1:00-4:00pm.
    • This session will include an Avon Descent safety skills course and participants will receive a signed completion certificate.
    • A limited number of places will also be made available to non-members who are having difficulty organising a safety assessment (a fee of $100 per person applies). Bookings for this will be opening soon.
    • Visit for more information
  • The Avon Descent sporting committee will run a skills assessment on the Friday 4th August prior to registrations. This safety skills session will be suitable last chance opportunity for those interstate and regional competitors seeking assessment or those who have been unable to secure a safety assessment by other means.
    • Please send an email to to find out more. A fee may be applicable.
    • Another Avon Descent committee session may be scheduled prior to this, subject to competitor demand. We will make an announcement about this, if applicable.
  • Interstate assessors are available in Victoria and we are in the process of securing assessors in NSW and other states. Please contact us for more information or view the links below

Once you have completed a safety assessment then please forward (or ask your assessor to forward) your completed form to We will then tick this off in your entry form.


We are aware of the already significant costs and demands of entering and preparing for the event and have tried as much as possible to ensure that these safety changes do not cause unnecessary inconvenience for competitors. We hope that all competitors can find a suitable solution for their circumstances and we will continue to provide further assistance wherever possible.

If you have any further questions please contact


P.S. Don’t forget Scrutineering is from 9 am on Sunday 23rd of July, Hinds Reserve Bayswater. This is compulsory for all entries (if you cannot attend you must nominate a person who can supply appropriate ID to bring your equipment for scrutiny). Regional and interstate competitors must contact us for special arrangements.


Good luck in your training and in the 2017 Avon Descent!


Sean Dunstan

Sport Coordinator


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New Website Launched!


The new Avon Descent 2017 website has been launched!


You will find a whole new look, improved navigation and updates to many of the pages.

Some of the new features include:

  • Visual overhaul
  • Embedded Instagram Gallery
  • New menu layout to simplify navigation
  • New search function
  • Volunteer team photo gallery

Over the coming weeks will be adding more content, resources for competitors and many special features:

  • Comprehensive guide for newcomers to the event
  • Tips & Strategies for preparation and competition
  • New and exciting competitions for spectators, competitors and support crew
  • Interactive course map
  • Past Avon Descent TV Specials
  • Articles & interviews from past and future competitors
  • & much more!


Stay Tuned!


Let us know what you think of the new website on our Facebook page!


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