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Inaugural LifeFlight Ocean Paddle draws big names

Ironman Grant Kenny is just one of the many professional athletes getting behind the inaugural LifeFlight Ocean Paddle as part of the Australian Ocean Racing Series.

The LifeFlight Ocean Paddle is a 17km downwind ocean paddle race on November 4th on the picturesque Sunshine Coast, and is open to recreational and professional paddlers of all ages and skill levels.

There will be a variety of age categories for ocean skis, spec skis, stand-up paddleboards, prone paddleboards, and outrigger canoes.

The paddle finish line is at the Alexandra Headlands Surf Club where live entertainment will be running all day and night for family, friends, and anyone who wants to come join in on the fun.

The afternoon will include food, drinks, and cash and prizes up for grabs for competitors.

The LifeFlight Ocean Paddle is being held to raise funds for the much-loved iconic aeromedical service, LifeFlight, which last year performed a record 5,342 missions throughout Queensland and around the world.

LifeFlight is an organisation close to Grant Kenny’s heart as his father began the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Service in 1979, which later merged with LifeFlight in 2013. 

Grant, being a pilot himself and the CEO of Grant Kenny Aviation, has always had a strong affinity with all things aviation and knows just how important the aeromedical service is to Queenslanders.

“LifeFlight is such an essential service that rescues people from anywhere at any time of the day- people who are often too rural or too critical to get help by any other means,” Grant said.

Though he himself is a former Ironman and canoeing Olympic medallist, Grant is pushing for anyone and everyone to get involved in the action.

“I wanted to be able to give something back to the service that saves so many lives, and I know a lot of people would want to get behind this great cause.”

The paddle is the brain child of LifeFlight Training Academy Head of Operations and avid canoeist, Jeremy Ovens, who loved the idea of being able to raise money while doing something he was passionate about.

“After the success of the Tour de Rescue with cyclists earlier this year, I thought this would be a great way to get a different crowd of athletes involved,” Mr Ovens said.

The paddle will be run either north from Moffat Beach or south from Point Arkwright depending on the prevailing winds on the day.

As a part of the Australian Ocean Racing Series, competitors will be eligible for the prize money and points to contribute to the series.

Registration for the race starts from $75 with all proceeds going to the LifeFlight Foundation in support of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue.

For more information on the events and to register, visit www.lifeflightoceanpaddle.com.