City Lights


The Event is held is held each long weekend in March on the Sunday. It has 30 km of everything from the tranquil isolation of the Canning River to the sometimes turbulent Perth waters. Near the Narrows Bridge at sunset, the looming city comes to life casting a spectacular backdrop as a myriad of luminous lights cast a magical setting across the moonlit waters to the South Perth foreshore. The hard slog of the homeward paddle is ‘lessened’ with the realisation that awaiting paddlers is the luxury of the AKC Clubrooms where a lavish meal, hot showers, band and most importantly a captive audience waiting to hear the tales of yet another race accomplished.

It is a unique challenge. It is not a novice race – you must have the skills and experience to cope with the course length, the exposed waters in the the middle of the course, and night paddling. The relay option allows you to divide the distance between two teams: The first tackling a 13km daylight leg and the second a 17km twilight/night leg.

Start is at Canning River Canoe Club, Riverton Bridge Park.
Paddle on Canning and Swan Rivers into Perth Waters and upstream via Burswood.
Finish is at Ascot Kayak Club, Garvey Park, Ascot.

Long distance Marathon racing for competent recreational paddlers.
Paddlers either form pairs or race in team boats. No solo entries.
Relay option available – teams change at Narrows Bridge

Kayaks, Skis and Canoes.
Singles (in Pairs), Doubles, Triples or K4.
Possibly Outriggers and SUPs-from-Narrows-only

Sunset and after-dark paddling
Paired or team paddling
Live music and food at the finish
Held on a Long Weekend
Great preparation for National Marathon Championships, and a good way to check out combinations and skills for the Avon Descent
Well Spaced Grids keep the field closer after dark and facilitate 9:30pm presentations

Prizes for First place for all constituted classes and spot prizes for all competitors.
The presentation ceremony will occur at 9.30 pm, irrespective of whether all competitors have finished.
Prize winners must be at the presentation to receive any prize.

The start is in the late afternoon at Canning River Canoe Club. Paddlers track the setting sun and wind their way along the Canning River and into the wide expanse of the Swan. As the sun descends over Kings Park paddlers head for the checkpoint at the boat ramp of the Narrows Jet Ski area. see UBD Map5, H5. If you are in a relay team, here the 13km daylight leg hands over to the 17km night-time leg. All paddlers light up Glow Sticks and white lights and head for Heirisson Island and the eastern span of the causeway bridge. With the island on their left and Burswood on the right paddlers head for the Windan Bridge winding thier way to Ascot Waters. The course takes paddlers through the shallow channels of Ascot waters and a right turn rejoins them with the main river flow. Under the Garatt Road Bridge and paddlers are on the home stretch with 3 km to go. At Tonkin Bridge before Garvey Park Island paddlers will hear the music and smell the food for the last sprint to the finish line.

Start: The start line will be a line across the river from a flag on the shore passing through a Red Port channel marker. You must make a stationary start from behind the line. Breaking the start will incur a 2 minute penalty if a protest is made by another competitor. Starts will be video recorded. You will be checked off at 4 locations along the race course. This process is important, as we will mount a search for you based on checkpoint information. Kindly paddle close to the checkpoint, which has been placed near the racing line, and call out your number.

Checkpoint A Canning Bridge: Pass through the central navigation channel under Canning Bridge. The checkpoint will be on your right, with the official standing under the bridge on the fishing platform.

Checkpoint B Narrows: Head into the beach near the boat ramp prior to reaching the Narrows bridge. You may have taken a wide line to avoid shallow waters, so this checkpoint can be difficult to locate. We will have a coloured flashing light operating to help you locate the checkpoint. You will make a compulsory portage at this checkpoint, and ensure your lights are operating before proceeding.

Checkpoint C Heirisson Island: The course goes around the North Side of the Island, which will bring you close to the main boating channel. It is important that you are aware of this as along the front of the city boats can go fast. They must slow down to 5 knots once they get to the top of the island but this is not a given.  The checkpoint is adjacent to the Causeway bridge and a light will be used to identify the location.

Checkpoint D Ascot Waters: Be sure to paddle through Ascot Waters rather than along the main river channel. The checkpoint is located adjacent to the first bridge, on your left side. A flashing coloured light will identify the location.
Finish: The finish line will be between two buoys placed off the beach in front of the clubrooms at AKC, in the area with maximum lighting. You must pass between the buoys to finish, and take care to avoid other finishing craft as you exit the water.

Paddlers and/or Support Crew will need to arrange car shuffle between Riverton Bridge and Ascot Kayak Club.
Safety Checkpoints are at Canning Bridge (East side underneath Bridge), Narrows (West of bridge in carpark by boat ramp), Heirisson Island (South side under Causeway) and Ascot Waters (Tidewater Way West side of Bridge in car park). These locations make good spectator spots.
Suggested spectator viewing locations are at Riverton Foreshore, Deep Water Point and Maylands Boat Ramp. Support crew need to estimate when their paddlers will reach these locations in order to make sure you see them. Viewing locations are also on both sides of the river.
Make sure you are at Ascot in time for dinner and to cheer home your team!

Singles (entered in Pairs): K1, S1, Molokai, Sea Kayak, Short Plastic, Long Plastic, Double Plastic, DR Boats
Team Boats: K2, K3, K4, S2, C2, Double Sea Kayak
Outriggers and SUPs

Open, Veteran (45+), Mixed, Relay Team
Enter the age category you will be in on the 4th March 2018
Members of a pair must both be in the age category entered, otherwise enter in the open category.
Mixed pairs consist of 1 male and 1 female.
There are no Junior categories for this race. Where an Under 18 entry is accepted, they race as ‘Open’

Participants must be 16 years and over on the day of the race. Any competitors under the age of 18 years, on the day of the race, must have a parent permission. All juniors must wear a PFD during the event.

Previous distance event experience (ie Avon Descent, Marathon Races, Surf Club or similar). You will be asked to provide evidence on the entry form. If unsure of your eligibility please contact the Race Organisers.

As this is night race all craft must have adequate white lighting to meet legal requirements. Rules for non-motorised craft not capable of speed (ie not a yatch) are for a ‘white light shone in sufficient time to avoid a collision’. Most paddlers have an all around white light. We strongly encourage you to have additional lighting to make yourself highly visible, as you may encounter wine cruise boats and the like.

Lights must be lit before proceeding beyond the Narrows checkpoint. We will also provide glowsticks at registration – this provides additional lighting and enables checkpoint officials to identify those racing.

Number slot to enable race numbers to be seen clearly by safety checkpoints.
Bring your phone in water-proof bag[s] so you can call the emergency number
PFDs are highly recommended for all paddlers.

Craft must have sufficient buoyancy to float after capsize.

RACE TIMETABLE (subject to change as required)
4.00 pm Event Checkin Opens (Note: No race entries at checkin – must enter online before closing date)
4.50 pm Event Checkin Closes
5.00 pm Race Briefing – All participants must be present
5.30 pm Grid 1 Start (As a guide, this is likely to include all Plastics & DR Boats)
5.50 pm Grid 2 Start (As a guide, this is likely to include all other single craft)
6.10 pm Grid 3 Start (As a guide, this is likely to include all K2/S2, K3 & K4)
Subsequent grids at 5 minute intervals [slower first]
8:20 pm First paddlers due at finish line
7.30 pm Food available
9.30 pm Presentations and Prize giving. Person receiving the prize must be at the presentation to receive the prize. Paddlers will still be finishing during presentations, given the spread in the field by the end of the race. The presentation time will not be adjusted if paddlers are still finishing, in fairness to those waiting at the finish.
Note: Times may be adjusted on the day at the discretion of the Race Organisers. This will only occur if unavoidable for safety reasons.

These rules are in addition to the information provided above, which is not repeated here.
All single craft participants must paddle in pairs (ie within 3 boat lengths at all times).
All participants must assist any other participant in difficulties. If you require help, make it known. Failure to render assistance will result in disqualification. Your times can be adjusted if you stop to assist someone in difficulty. When stopping to assist someone in need, both paddlers in a pair must stop. You are not permitted to continue on alone.
Any loss of or damage to craft and/or equipment occurring as a result of participation in this event is the sole responsibility of the entrant.
The Event Organisers reserves the right to change the start times and course if they deem it necessary for event safety.
The Event Organisers reserves the right to disqualify and or remove any paddler from the water that places their safety and the safety of others at risk, or breaks any event rules.
All participants must attend the race briefing.
Look after our rivers, don’t leave litter on the rivers edge, and don’t leave any gel wrappers or drink bottles in the river.

Date:   4 March 2018

Fees:    $30.00 all entrants
Entry includes dinner at Ascot Kayak Club at the conclusion of the race.
Supporters are able to purchase their dinner at the club for $10.00 pp. BYO drinks, nibbles, mozzie spray, table, chairs

Online Entry Link

Race Director:   Leo Cockman        0412 101 949

Race Sponsors:

Next Events

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Tue 20

Tuesday Night Training Groups

March 20 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wed 21

Wednesday Club Race

March 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thu 22

Island Sprints

March 22 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm