The Avon Descent is an annual, two-day, white water event involving both paddle craft (kayaks, surf skis) and small motor boats. It runs from Northam to Perth, Western Australia along the Avon and Swan Rivers, and is held in August of every year.
Sponsors and commercial support regularly changes, sometimes annually.
It is the only event in the world where both power craft and paddle craft race compete. The course has Grade 2–4[clarification needed] white water rapids and is 124 kilometres (77 mi) long. The first Avon Descent was held in 1973. There has been an increase in the prize pool from 2007 of $10,000 providing an extra $6,000 for 1st, $3,000 for 2nd and $1,000 for 3rd fastest single paddle craft. In 2006 757 competitors started the event in 459 craft.
The top class in the powerboats is the 10hp sports class. These boats are made from foam and fibreglass, and have hydraulic jacks that enable the motor to be jacked up. The motors are unmodified and run a surface piercing propeller. These powerboats can reach speeds of approximately 70km/h.
- "About the Avon Descent". Avon Descent. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- (1993) Avon descent - Colin Arcus talks about winning the first race in 1957 - Subiaco post, 20 July 1993
- (1991) Souvenir edition of the paper giving details of the Avon Descent race Avon Valley advocate, 31 July 1991, entire issue,
- Longley, Griffin.(2005) Take me to the river. Family groups talk about why they compete in the Avon Descent together. West Australian, 6 Aug. 2005, p. 14–16, West Magazine
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