The efforts of paddlers from The Armidale School in this year’s Hawkesbury Canoe Classic didn’t just finish at Brooklyn Bridge, with the team winning a swag of awards at the official race presentation in Sydney on Saturday (13 November).
The team of 69, made up of students, parents and staff from TAS, New England Girls’ School and PLC Armidale, was recognised for its size, speed and fundraising, which benefits the Arrow Bone Marrow Foundation.
For only the second time, TAS won the Commonwealth Bank Cup for the best performing team, with points allocated for kilometers completed, number of craft that finish overall, and number of craft that finish within an hour of a class record. TAS previously won the award in 2009.
It also took out the Macquarie Cup for the lowest handicapped times for the three fastest boats, and the Arrow Cup for the company whose paddlers (employees and their families) collectively raise the highest sum.
In addition, TAS landcrew members Peter Hall and Cam Banks won the Landcrew of the year award, recognising decades of support to the school’s participation in the event.
“Peter and Cam have poured their heart and soul into the preparation of hundreds of TAS, NEGS and PLC paddlers over a 10 year period and have continued on even though they have no family ties to any of the schools anymore,” TAS kayaking coordinator Tim Wheaton said.
“As well as attending all of the weekly three hour Sunday morning trainings sessions at Malpas Dam they worked tirelessly to get paddlers better equipped both physically and mentally for the event and their knowledge and passion has been invaluable. Once again they were with the paddlers through the night, and loaded boats onto the trailers at the end before driving back to Armidale. Without their support this event would not be the experience or success it has become.”
The TAS contingent was not just the largest team in this year’s event, but made up 20 percent of all paddlers. Included in the team were eight father/son entries, six father/daughter crews and one mother/daughter combination. Together they also raised more than $30,000 for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. This was the 35th year TAS has participated in the event.