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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