Paddler Profiles

The following personal profiles should provide interesting reading for those passionate about Marathon Paddling in South Australia.

Some of the profiles detail specific information on our South Australian marathon paddling legends young and old while others give an insight into more recent paddlers. Either way the profiles are interesting reading and provide an understanding; why people paddle, how they train, what first bought them into the sport and why they’ve stayed.

There are of course many paddlers of note not mentioned in these profiles but be patient. Your name will possibly appear on these pages one do soon.

NB – We will update these profiles and rotate them from time to time. So keep returning for interesting news & updates.

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Ron Blum

 

Sport – Marathon kayaking

Club – Onkaparing Canoe Club & Marathon Canoe Club of SA

Gender – Male

Birth date – 6 Oct 1934

Residence – Oaklands Park, South Australia

Occupation – Retired Hydrographer, Instrumentation & Electrical Engineer: Author

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport –  1953 when I built my first kayak

Why this sport –  Love all water sports. Spent a lot of time on the water during 1940s. School holidays spent on the ketches sailing to outports picking up bagged wheat, barley or salt.

Favourite event –  Murray 100

Preferred Discipline / Event(s) –  Marathon

Training Regime – Regularly paddle (twice weekly) on the Onkaparinga River in the southern suburbs of Adelaide

 

General Interest

Hobbies – 3 Dimensional  photography,  historic photographs and walking.

Memorable paddling achievement – Murray 100 records TK2MV65 J.Hales & R. Blum 2003 9:46:14 And TK2MV70 J. Hales & R. Blum 2006 10:02:40  Held a number of Murray 400 doubles records in turn with various partners Rob Wight, Ted Jackson & John Hales. Records now broken

Most influential person in paddling career  – there are many. John Hales, Ted Jackson, Bill Robinson and of course wife, Karen

Toughest rival / opponent –  Nerves in a big race.

Sporting philosophy / motto –  Hang in there.

Ambitions –  To keep paddling as long as my aging body can hold up.

 

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John Hales

 

Sport – Marathon kayaking

Club – Onkaparing Canoe Club & Marathon Canoe Club of SA

Gender – Male

Birth date – 3 Feb 1936

Residence – Christies Beach, South Australia

Occupation – Retired Teacher and Educator

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport –  1949 Paddling on the Port River SA

Why this sport –  Because I built a canoe and had to paddle it!

 

Favourite event –

Preferred Discipline / Event(s) –  Marathon

Training Regime – Regularly paddle (twice weekly) on the Onkaparinga River in the southern suburbs of Adelaide

 

General Interest

Hobbies – Welding & handyman tasks, power boating,

Memorable paddling achievement – Murray 200 record FRT in TK2MV55 with Ted Jackson in 1997 as well as M100 records in TK2MV65 with Ron Blum in 2003 & TK2MV70 with Ron in 2006

Most influential person in paddling career  –  Bill Bennie, Ron Blum, Ted Jackson

Toughest rival / opponent –  Can’t remember

Sporting philosophy / motto –  To stay focussed

Ambitions –  To keep paddling

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Neil Richardson

 

Sport – Sea kayaking

Club – Marathon Canoe Club of SA

Gender – Male

Birth date – 4 Sep 1954

Residence – Seacombe Heights, South Australia

Occupation – General Practitioner (medical)

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport –  been involved in various outdoor pursuits for years mostly as a result of involvement with Scouts and Rovers

Why this sport –  well kayaking, particularly long distance kayaking provides an great challenge and I can do it in a double with someone else

Favourite event –  Murray 200

Preferred Discipline / Event(s) – Sea or Marathon

Training Regime – Regularly paddle (twice weekly)

Memorable paddling achievement – Murray 200 event with various friends and family

Most influential person in paddling career – well, just now, it is Jo

Toughest rival / opponent –  myself. I only really paddle against my own times

 

General Interest

Hobbies – Trekking, Mountain Bike riding.

Sporting philosophy / motto – “Give it a go, otherwise you will never know”

Ambitions –  retire to Tasmania with my beautiful partner Jo

 

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Cathy Venning

 

Sport – Marathon Kayak

Club – Encounter Paddling

Gender – Female

Birth date – 12 January

Residence – Encounter Bay, South Australia

Occupation – Teacher and Educator

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport – Started paddling in 2006 with Encounter Paddling, Victor Harbor, South Australia

Why this sport – Got sucked in by some very good friends

Favourite event – Murray 100

Name of coach – Marc Brehin

Training Regime –I wish each week looked like  three gym sessions and four paddling sessions plus some cross training each week, but unfortunately work often gets in the way of fun

Preferred Discipline / Event(s) –  Marathon

Memorable paddling achievement – Setting record in 2008 Murray 200 Relay, 2007 Lake Crossing,  2008 Hawkesbury Canoe Classic

Most influential person in paddling career – My coach Marc Brehin

Toughest rival / opponent – Stephanie Finn

 

General Interest

Hobbies – Basketball, Volleyball, Cricket, football,  Performing Arts, Music, movies, gardening and renovating, travel, Paddling  and hanging out with friends and family

Sporting philosophy / motto – ‘Participate and try my best’ and just like the little red caboose “I think I can”

Ambitions – To paddle and travel and combine the two!

 

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Marc Brehin

Sport – Sprint, marathon & ocean racing, sea paddling and expeditions.

Club – Encounter Paddling

Gender – Male

Birth date – 25 Dec 1962

Residence – Victor Harbor, South Australia

Occupation – Contractor

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport – 1994 in a 24h river orienteering marathon (ouch).

Why this sport – I love water. Making a K1 go fast is technically challenging, to be competitive in one is a significant achievement of athleticism. To paddle a ski or sea-kayak at sea is good for the body & soul.

Favourite events – Trainings, they’re always fun. Avon Descent, want to get this one right one day, maybe this year? RPM, always.

Preferred Discipline –  Sometimes sprint (a race against yourself). Sometimes marathon, there’s nothing better than a hard tough race, love to be fit and then race at red line. Ocean racing, this has to be the future, it has everything. Enjoy coaching.

Vaccinations – 24h marathons, C4s (Rocket, I haven’t forgotten)

Training Regime – Influenced by competition season but typically five on water sessions + cross training (some). Need to do more gym (keen).

 

My favourite and most memorable paddles (in no order) – K4 5000 in 2002 State titles with Nick Tucker, Michael Cooper and John Halstead. Paddling relay with Tim Symonds and Ben Gallard in the 2009 RPM. Paddling the North Coast of KI with friends. Paddling K2 with Mike Gallard at last year’s World Masters. Paddling K2 with Garth Tierney at last year’s World Masters (ouch). K2 with Ian Price at the 2003 World masters. My first Avon. Competing K1 at the 2006 World marathon.

People that influenced my paddling (in no order) – Nick Tucker, Jim Breeze, John Hales, Ron Blum, “Blinkin” Mick Cooper, Gabrielle Hurley, Mike Gallard, Steve Dalton, Sven Molinaar & John Halstead.

Paddling heroes – Knut Holman, Birgit Fischer, Luke Morrison, Clint Robinson, Chad Meek, Ken Walllace, Freya Hoffmeister & Oscar Chalupski.

Paddling demi-gods – Jim Murphy, Martin Finn, Ron Blum, John Hales, Derek Stevens & Brad Butler.

Pet paddling hates – weed, bad sports, ti trees, 8′ Ukranians, volunteers being taken for granted by selfish and/or ignorant types. Being asked how my rowing is going.

Toughest rival / opponent – Mako 6 out the back of Granite Island, Seven mile reach.

Paddling ambitions – For the juniors that we coach to learn and experience things of value, be it for paddling or life. Nail Extracts and Sid’s rapids at this year’s Avon. Become a proficient & competitive ocean racer.

Moto – Don’t have one but what about these paddling beauties? Mouths are like doors they should be kept shut (especially before thinking and particularly as leaving these open will lead to draughts). Nobody will remember your place or your times but they will remember your actions (nice, I said that). Winds from the West, fish bite best. Winds from the East, fish bite the least (rubbish). Booties should be banned (really, they smell a great deal and are very uncool).

Wish list – Participate in the Molokai, the Sella and other Icon events. To attend an Olympic games and cheer on a friend. To grow canoeing in Australia. To one day soon, again experience flow in the Murray.

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Bill Robinson

 

Sport – Marathon Kayak

Club – Vic Sea Kayak Club

Gender – Male

Birth date – 14 Feb 1944

Residence – Mt Eliza, Victoria

Occupation – Retired Veterinarian

 

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport – A long history of sea kayaking and recreational kayaking in particular the Murray 400, Hawkesbury and Murray 200

Why this sport – Started paddling and just never stopped

Training Regime – My training is simple I just make sure that I am paddling long distance on a regular basis.

Preferred Discipline / Event(s) – Marathon sea kayaking

Memorable paddling achievement – Paddling the entire length of the Murray in 2005. Paddling across Bass Strait. Completing 20 Murray 400 events.

 

General Interest

Hobbies – Travel

Sporting philosophy / motto – “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

Ambitions – To see the Murray 400 survive and thrive under the new YMCA banner