Paddler to compete in ocean race

Byron Bay’s Kurt Tutt will compete in ‘The Doctor’ Australia’s richest ocean paddling race on Saturday.
Byron Bay’s Kurt Tutt will compete in ‘The Doctor’ Australia’s richest ocean paddling race on Saturday.
Veteran Byron Bay paddler Kurt Tutt will line up against some of the best surf ski paddlers in the world as well as an Olympic champion when he competes in ‘The Doctor’ – the richest ocean paddling race in Australia to be held on Saturday (Jan 16).

With more than $30,000 on offer, the 24 kilometre marathon downwind paddle from Rottnest Island to the Scarborough Beach auditorium has attracted a who’s who of the ocean paddling elite, as well as a host of top kayakers led by Beijing gold medallist Kenny Wallace.

Included in this year’s field alongside Wallace is 2009 ‘Doctor’ runner-up Jeremy Cotter; 2012 Olympic kayak hopeful Murray Stewart; veteran world- ranked ocean paddler Tim Jacobs and Wallace’s Olympic team-mates, Tony Schumacher, Jacob Clear and Dave Smith.

Australia’s elite will shape up against a raft of international stars including leading South Africans Hank McGregor and brothers David (third in 2009) and Jasper Mocke, as well as paddlers from New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong and Europe.

None of those stars will intimidate Tutt, who has a long history of success in both sprint and long-distance surf ski paddling events in the ocean – particularly in downwind races like ‘The Doctor’.

In the 2009 race Tutt flew home over the closing stages to finish sixth, just one minute behind the second placegetter and this year’s race favourite Jeremy Cotter.

‘The Doctor’ will be followed up by a 25 km team relay from Fremantle to Sorrento Beach the next day, Sunday.

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