Paddle and Power

The uniqueness of the Avon Descent is in combining Paddling with Powerboat racing side by side in the one event. It is a little known fact that the power dinghys that race in the Avon Descent were designed and developed specifically for the Avon Descent and did not exist anywhere else in the world. We have since introduced a whole range of other craft into the Avon Descent including surf boats, stand-up paddle boards, dragon boats and more.


Compete as a Paddler

Find a paddling buddy to accompany you, this will make you more accountable for when you decide you would prefer to have a sleep-in rather than paddle and especially on the cold mornings that will lead into the first weekend in August. You need to get your fitness up and your paddling technique (basic strokes) to a good level, so you are ready for when the Avon River starts to run.

Compete as a Powerboater

Formed as the Dinghy Touring Club in 1977 by Avon Descent power dinghy competitors, the Power Dinghy Racing Club now boasts a membership in excess of 250 throughout Western Australia. There is no doubt that the biggest adrenalin rush is a Power Boat ride down the Avon River. There is still time for anyone to enter and it does not have to cost big dollars to experience the thrill of power boating in a white water classic. If you are new to power boating, the good news is that there is still time to qualify for this year's Avon Descent!

Compete as a Paddler

Visit the Paddle WA website to find out what the Avon is all about is joining a Club, there are eight in the metro area and three regional. At these Clubs you will find like-minded people that just want to talk about everything Avon Descent, such as what to paddle; what to eat; what to drink and anything else you can imagine that will help towards your goal of competing a successful Avon Descent. In WA we have paddling disciplines, and these can certainly help you to prepare for the Avon, the two main disciplines that will be most beneficial are the Marathon Discipline series and the Whitewater Discipline series, here is a link to race dates. If you have any queries in regards to the Clubs or disciplines please do not hesitate to contact Paddle WA office 9285 8501 or

Getting started

Firstly you must join a club - they are a friendly bunch and are especially keen to welcome new Avon Descenters. They will help you source and select a boat and motor, and guide you through the qualifying process required to enter the Avon Descent.

You will need to:

- Complete the Power Dinghy Racing Club swim test
- Undertake a written Power Dinghy Racing Club License Test (a non-threatening open book exercise)
- Compete in two qualifying Power Dinghy Racing Club events before the Avon Descent.

Boat and Paddle

Paddle a craft that you feel most confident in, stable and within your skill level. There are two kinds of paddles – winged or flat this is a personal choice but for most Avon Descent paddlers they use a winged paddle.

Visit the PDRC website for more information

Helmet, Life Jacket and Whistle

A helmet, life jacket and whistle will help keep you safe during the race. All paddler helmets must meet the CE 1385 certification (more information here), and life jackets must demonstrate 6kg of buoyancy. The whistle is used to call for help during an emergency and should be attached to the life jacket so as not to get lost along the way. Pea-less whistles (they continue to work even when wet) like those available in the myAvon Store are most recommended.

Safety Skills

The river can be throw many challenges and you need to be able to save yourself if you capsize or find yourself in a tricky situation. If you have: a. Completed both days of the Avon Descent in the past 5 years, b. Completed a safety training course in the past 3 years, or Then you already satisfy our safety requirements and will not need to worry!

Support Crew

You will need at least one other person to act as support crew to assist you from the bank. Your support crew must accompany you with a vehicle (this vehicle cannot be a bicycle or motorbike) Whether you need a drink of water, bite to eat, need help carrying the boat or want someone to monitor your times, a support crew will be an absolute godsend in times of need. For teams, each team member may act as the support crew for the other members of the team during the race. Everything is more fun when you have other people to do it with!