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Regular coaching and training sessions are held for members of all abilities. Please get in contact for details.

Dolls Point Paddlers

 

5km Time Trials

Handicapped time trials are held approximately monthly on the Woronora River. Start lists and results are published on our Webscorer Profile. The course map and description is below. Registration is handled via email (timing [at] shirekayaking.info).

Courses

The 5km Time Trial course start/finish line is between the green channel marker and the eastern shore downstream of the Burnum Burnum Boat Ramp and before the end of the spit.

  1. Start downstream, soon turning right through the “slot”.
  2. Turn anti-clockwise around the island and follow the river upstream. It is recommended to stay central or on the eastern side under the bridges, especially at low tides.
  3. Follow the river upstream until reaching the footbridge and parklands on left. The far turn is 180 degrees anti-clockwise around the middle pylon of the footbridge.
  4. Continue downstream past the start/finish line. Again, turn right into the slot and turn anti-clockwise around the island.
  5. Finish heading upstream between the green channel marker and the shore.

Satellite view of the 5km time trial course

The 10km Time Trial course is largely the same as the 5km Time Trial course, except it initially continues downstream past the island.

  1. Start downstream at the same start/finish line as the 5km Time Trial course.
  2. After the start turn right through the slot at the end of the spit. Turn left and head down river, past the island, toward Como. Look for a red/green pair of channel marks. You must stay within all the red and green channel markers when downstream of the start/finish line.
  3. 180 degree anti-clockwise turn around the first Red channel marker in Thompsons bay Illawong.
  4. Return towards start following the channel markers until you get to Bonnet Bay boat ramp. At this point you can take the path on the western shore of the river opposite where you started if you wish (eg., tide is high), taking care of rocks on the western side of the lower road bridge.
  5. Continue all the way up river to the footbridge and turn anti-clockwise around the middle pylon.
  6. Return is basically the same as the 5km TT. Come back past the start/finish line, turn right through the slot and anti-clockwise around the island. Finish between the start/finish green channel marker and the eastern beach.

Satellite view of 10km time trial course

Close view of downstream turn:

Satellite view of 10km time trial course - downstream turn

The 2 km TT course start/finish line is between the green channel marking and the eastern shore downstream of the Burnum Burnum Boat Ramp and before the end of the spit.

  1. Start downstream, soon turning right through the “slot”.
  2. Turn anti-clockwise around the island and follow the river upstream. Head towards the bridges, cautious of boat traffic in the channel.
  3. At the first (highest/biggest) road bridge, go under the bridge on the right side of the middle pylon. Turn left around the pylon and head back downstream through the next span. Notes of caution:
    • There are shallow and rocky waters under the other spans of the bridge, especially at low tide.
    • Approach the bridge close to the middle pylon to stay in deeper water. Start the turn close to the pylon.
    • Keep at least a couple of metres clearance around the pylon. The concrete slopes outwards a bit under the water. The tide can also create eddies around the pylon.
    • The whole middle span forms the deep channel so can take the second half of the turn wide. Caution of boat traffic.
    • Turn well before the low bridge.
  4. Continue back downstream, past the start/finish line.
  5. Again, turn right into the slot. Then turn anti-clockwise around the island.
  6. Finish heading upstream between the green channel marker and the shore.
Satellite view of 2km time trial course with overlay showing route.
SSCC Short Course 2 km Time Trial TT Course Map

Woronora River Hazards

“The Slot” separates the spit extending north from the Burnum Burnum Boat Ramp from the mangrove island.

Whilst the northern and western shores of the spit (southern side of the slot) are sandy beaches, there are a number of rocks partially submerged (tidal) along the shore. There are a number of shallow rocks that extend off the north-western tip into the slow. The red circle on the map below shows the approximate location.

Paddlers are advised to give this corner a wide berth, staying in the middle or northern side of the slot and making wide turns to/from upstream.

Rock outcrop in “The Slot”, Woronora River

The tall, large road bridge crossing the Woronora River (“Woronora Bridge”, River Rd) has a number of large pylons and crosses the river at a wide point. The western half of the river is very shallow, especially at low tide with sand banks exposed. Yellow oval in below image is approximate location.¬†Along the eastern shore there are some shallow rocks, approximate locations in red circles.

Best passage is through the span east of the middle pylon.

The small, low bridge (Menai Rd) has shallow rocks and submerged objects in both the edge spans (red circles). Note the rocks on both sides extend south (upstream) of the bridge some 10-20m. The two middle spans should be used, keeping towards the middle of the river when approaching and departing the bridge. Note that there are ~1m of rocks on the west side of the middle-west span. Fishing lines are sometimes handing from the bridge.

Approximate location of rocks, rocky shallows and sand bars near the road bridges crossing the Woronora River.

The pedestrian bridge crossing the Woronora River at Prince Edward Park has a shallow sand bank extending from the southern shoreline. Loftus Creek is muddy and shallow with a muddy/sandy bank extending from its mouth into the river. The northern bank is rocky around the bridge, but does not extend far and drops off pretty steeply. A couple of metres clearance should be sufficient. Watch for fishing lines.

Approximate location of a sand bar and rocky shore at Woronora River Pedestrian Bridge.

Motor boats are common on the Woronora River. Due to the speed limits, low bridges, shallow waters and restrictions on water skiing, the vessels are generally not overly large. The speed limits are not always adhered to, and some skippers don’t always pay much attention or know the maritime rules. It is advised to take clear evasive action when a boat is spotted approaching, moving to a side of the channel (generally turn starboard but use judgement) and clearly hold a line where safe. Some boats will slow when approaching, which can increase the wash they trail.

Upstream of the pedestrian bridge is a public pontoon serving the houses in the upstream stretch which are only accessible via the river. Tinnies are almost constantly traversing this stretch as the only practicable means of transport from house to road/shop/etc. General principles of turning towards starboard, keeping out of the middle of the channel and holding a clear line where safe should be followed.