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The Bevan Dashwood Dash

This marathon race is hosted by the WA Slalom Technical Committee in March each year and is an old favourite.  The upper reaches of the Canning make for a twisty-turny course with tree lined banks and much birdlife with a portage at Kent Street Weir. It’s easy to get lost if you haven’t done this course before so photocopy the street directory of the relevant pages and do a practice run.

There is a course for everyone;

  • Long Course 12km: Kent St Weir to Shelley Bridge, then to Hester Park & back to Kent St Weir, portage at Kent St Weir.
  • Short Course 6km: Kent St Weir to Shelley Bridge & return.
  • Guppy Course: 3km

The floating (rather pretty) “weed” you see may slow you down, but it’s harmless. The following paragraph comes from a February, 1999, edition of Canoe WA, the canoeing association’s former magazine:

“According to a scientist at the Water and Rivers Commission it (the “weed”) is a harmless floating fern called azola which helps to keep the blue-green algae at bay (competes for the nutrients). Currents and the wind cause it to collect in certain places. You can paddle through it; it’s not toxic and will wash off your boat.”

Who is Bevan Dashwood?

He’s one of that group of pioneering canoeists who started it all in Western Australia in the mid sixties. And he’s still paddling! He started up Darling Range Canoe Club whose home waters are this section of the Canning River.  He has made an important contribution to canoeing, in particular, slalom, and is a life-time member of the state canoeing association.  In 2014 Bevan’s 50 years of continuous paddling was honoured.