Checkpoints are identified by a large letter, usually illuminated by a flashing light.
Details of each checkpoint can be found in this document
Paddlers can obtain assistance at the checkpoints. They are the only places that paddlers are permitted to withdraw from the event.
As you pass through each checkpoint your number is relayed by radio to the next checkpoint which then marks you off when you arrive.
If you stop between checkpoints for any length of time or do not call out your number you will be considered as overdue. This will result in radio messages trying to confirm your whereabouts and a possible search. Please keep the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic safe by making this only necessary in a real emergency.
Orange Lights - Flashing
Paddlers are required to call out their craft number to officials whose position is marked by an orange flashing light. The checkpoint officials may be on a boat or on the shore. The orange lights may be a short distance from the checkpoint identification sign. Remember not to call out at the same time as another paddler – leave a gap if possible.
Land-based checkpoints are sited to give spotters the best vantage point, so they may not be right at the checkpoint site.
Spectators on the river bank have been known to request craft numbers. Just think of it as practice for the next real checkpoint and report the incident there.
Major checkpoints D and I have an IN and an OUT station requiring paddlers to give their number twice. Please call out your number clearly and loudly to ensure it is recorded at both control points.
Toilets are available at all land checkpoints and the L - M low tide pit stop.
First Aid and Physiotherapy
Volunteers from the Australian Physiotherapy Association and VRA will be available at Start, D, I, O and Finish for any paddler problems.
Major checkpoints at A, D, I and O provide access for landcrew to their paddlers. Landcrew must visit D and I. Checkpoints A and O are optional.
Should circumstances affect the running of the event, organisers rely on the fact that landcrew can be contacted at the next major checkpoint.
Major checkpoint locations:
Start: Macquarie Park, Windsor
Checkpoint A: Riverside Ski Park
Checkpoint D: Ulinbawn Waterski Park, Sackville Ferry
Checkpoint I: NSW Waterski Grounds, Wisemans Ferry. Wisemans can be seen from 3km upstream. It should be easily identified by a strong white ashing light near the In-station and bright red flashing lights on the boat ramp. This is also the end of the event for paddlers entered in the Wisemans Dash
Finish: Deerubbun Reserve. North West side of Expressway Bridge, Mooney Mooney
Low Tide Pit Stop
About half way between checkpoints L and M, a pit stop with soup, tea and coffee, and a warm fire will be operating when the tide permits. The pit stop is the last convenient landing place and toilet before the finish if you do not wish to detour via Spencer.
Minor checkpoints are set up primarily as safety control points, while providing minor support to paddlers.
Landcrew access to minor checkpoints is prohibited except at the special request of Officials.
The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic relies on the goodwill of landowners for the checkpoints, so landcrew must respect this no-access rule. A landcrew’s failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification of their paddler(s).
Where land access is not possible, minor checkpoints are on board vessels owned by members of the Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW and staffed by them and volunteer officials.
Withdrawal at vessel checkpoints should only occur in an emergency as landcrew access is not possible and transfers are difficult.
The vessel’s position is largely determined by radio reception and anchorage places and may not be on the best paddling line. All paddlers are affected in the same way, so please detour as needed.
Paddlers must ensure that they are checked through all checkpoints. Paddlers not checking through Checkpoints F and I will incur a 15 minute time penalty.
These checkpoints are on the outside of bends in the river and not on the paddling line.
2023 Changes Checkpoint Location Changes
Since the Hawkesbury Classic was last paddled back in 2019, there have been a number of changes of location for our safety checkpoints.
These are the NEW checkpoint locations
"B" - Riverside Oaks Golf Club, 74 O'Briens Road, Cattai, NSW, 2756
"E" - Dargle Ski Park, 312 River Road, Lower Portland, NSW, 2756
"F" - Paradise Cafe, 766 River Road, Lower Portland, NSW, 2756
"G" - Cliftonville Lodge Resort, 1558 River Road, Lower Portland, NSW, 2756
"H" - Walkers Beach, 2470 River Road, Leets Vale, NSW 2755
"L" - Kobi Simmatt's property, 1187 Singleton Road, Laughtondale, NSW, 2775
Low Tide Pitstop, 1187 Singleton Road, Laughtondale, NSW, 2775
These are all “minor” safety checkpoints and land crews are not permitted to visit these locations except when advised by Classic officials.