The History


The 20 Beaches Ocean Classic was initially instigated in 1990 by Manly Warringah Kayak Club founder Len Turner. It is the oldest and was at the time the longest ocean paddling event in Australia and the start of the current phenomena of ocean paddling in this country. MWKC ran the race until 2003 when litigation issues made it too difficult for the Club to run. After a year "on the shelf" the race was handed over to Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches who took on the task of running the event for the next 9 years.

The inaugural event was run from Manly to Palm Beach with seasoned ocean paddler Dean Gardiner taking line honours. It has since attracted the cream of Australia's ocean paddlers who vie to hold up the 'Steven Wood' trophy named after the MWKC member who won a bronze medal in the K4 1000m event at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. In earlier years this trophy was awarded to the first overall single SLSA spec ski. It is now awarded to the first single overall.


Whose name will be on the Trophy in 2018?