The Course

Shaw and Partners
Hells Gates 38

From a deep water start alongside the rock wall at the Mooloolah River mouth end of Mooloolaba Beach the course tracks north towards the eastern most point (Hells Gates) of the Noosa National Park. The most direct line takes paddlers about 800m east of Old Woman Island, at 8km into the race, before passing Mt Coolum (13km), Coolum Beach (16km), Peregian Beach (22km), Sunshine Beach (31km) and Alexandria Bay (31km).

At 32km competitors pass Hells Gates and for the next 300m to Granite Bay, under typical conditions, there will be a section of lumpy back wash (Noosa’s own “China Wall”). From Granite to Tea Tree and then on past the Boiling Pot the ocean can be expected to be reasonably calm all the way to the finish on Noosa Main Beach.

Typical weather conditions in July on the Sunshine Coast are temperature maximums in the mid 20’s, minimum’s in the mid-teens and a moderate to mild wind from the south (hopefully!).

Competitors must be capable of completing the course in less than 5 hours. Subject to the conditions on the day, intermediate course cut off points / times may be implemented

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Gallery Old Woman Paddle58

Event Schedule

Date / Time Activity Location
Friday 16 July 2021
3.00pm – 5.30pm Race Pack Pick Up and Welcome The J, Noosa Junction
Saturday 17 July 2021
09.00am – 10.15am Race Pack Pick Up and Safety Equipment Scruitineering Mooloolaba Spit
10.30am Final Race Instructions Mooloolaba Spit
11.00am Race Start Mooloolaba Spit
1.45pm Expected First Finisher Noosa Main Beach
3.45pm Expected Last Finisher Noosa Main Beach
4.30pm Presentations and After Party Noosa Heads SLSC

Schedule subject to change.

Event Categories

  • Male Junior Ski (18yrs and under)
  • Female Junior Ski (18yrs and under)
  • Male Under 23 Ski (19 to 23yrs)
  • Female Under 23 Ski (19 to 23yrs)
  • Male Open Ski (24-39yr and includes all ski age categories and SLSA Ski)
  • Female Open Ski (24-39yr and includes all ski age categories and SLSA Ski)
  • Male Over 40 Ski (40-49yrs)
  • Female Over 40 Ski (40-49yrs)
  • Male Over 50 Ski (50-59yrs)
  • Female Over 50 Ski (50-59yrs)
  • Male Over 60 Ski (60-69yrs)
  • Female Over 60 Ski (60-69yrs)
  • Over 70 Ski (70yrs+) – Male only
  • Male SLSA Ski
  • Female SLSA Ski
  • Male Double Ski
  • Female Double
  • Mixed Double Ski
  • Male OC1
  • Female OC1

(Age category determined by age at 31/12/2021)

For prizes and awards there must be at least 5 entries in the category. Where there are less than 5 entries then those competitors will be moved to the next most relevant category.

Entry Fees

What’s included in your event registration;

  • Shaw and Partners Hells Gates 38 T-Shirt & Cap
  • Race Timing and Results
  • GPS Tracking
  • Competitors Pack
  • Complimentary Beer
  • Bragging Rights!

Single Ski – $125

Double Ski – $175

OC1 – $125

Entry fees are inclusive of GST but do not include a 3% booking fee which will be added to the total entry fee during the online “Check Out” process.

Entries close at 5pm on Thursday 15th July. There will be no late entries on the day.

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Sunshine Coast Ocean Race

Prizes & Awards

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Male Open Ski $2,500 $1,500 $1,000
Female Open Ski $2,500 $1,500 $1,000
Male Junior Ski (18 and Under) $300 $200 $150
Female Junior Ski (18 and Under) $300 $200 $150
Male Under 23 Ski (19 – 23 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Female Under 23 Ski (19 – 23 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male Over 40 Ski (40 – 49 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Female Over 40 Ski (40 – 49 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male Over 50 Ski (50 – 59 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male Over 50 Ski (50 – 59 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male Over 60 Ski (60 – 69 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Female Over 60 Ski (60 – 69 yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male Over 70 Ski (70+ yrs) $300 $200 $150
Male SLSA Ski $600 $400 $200
Female SLSA Ski $600 $400 $200
Male Double Ski $200
Female Double Ski $200
Mixed Double Ski $200

First, Second and Third in each Category also receive a unique Shaw and Partners Hells Gates 38 placegetter medal.


Competitors must comply with the following requirements at all times during the race:


PFD (Lifejacket) – wear an approved minimum Level 50 Lifejacket which is Hi Vis or brightly coloured for visibility. A Hi Vis shirt may be worn over the top of non Hi Vis (approved) PFD’s.


Leg Leash – must be connected to the paddlers and craft.


Race Number – Will be applied by marker pen at Check In and must remain visible.


Craft Number Sticker – this will be distributed at Check In and must be placed in a clearly visible position near the nose of your ski.


Electronic Timing Chip – this is also allocated at Check In and must be worn on your ankle.


Mobile Phone – Carried in a water proof pouch and running the prescribed GPS Tracking App which will be advised prior to the race. Paddlers will be advised of the Race Support number which must be entered in their phone.


Hydration and Nutrition – Competitors should carry adequate hydration (minimum 1ltr) and nutrition to get them through the duration of their race.


Course Time – Subject to conditions on the day intermediate cut off points and times may be implemented and communicated prior to race start. Competitors not at the intermediate points will be escorted by boat from the course.

Race Rules

Competitors must comply with the following event rules at all times during the race:

  • Comply with all Safety requirements as listed.
  • Check in for the event either on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning per the Event Schedule.
  • Attend the compulsory pre-race briefing held prior to the event start.
  • Stop and help any other competitors in difficulty whilst on the course.
  • Follow the instructions of Water Safety officials at all times when on the water.
  • If withdrawing from the race at anytime either prior to race start or during the race competitors must notify the Race Director. Event contact numbers will be available at registration and published in the Paddler Race Guide.
  • Minimum Age – the minimum age of competitors is 16 as at 31/12/2021

Support Boats

Support boats and jet skis are permitted in the Shaw and Partners Hells Gates 38 however they must not provide any assistance prior to their competitor passing Old Woman Island at approximately 8km into the course.

Assistance is limited to passing hydration or nutrition to their paddler and any other form of assistance will result in disqualification.

When providing assistance, the support craft must be in neutral

Good Questions

What is the Refund Policy?

Entry withdrawals can be made up to two weeks before the event date when a refund (less 20% administration fee) will be made. Refunds will not be given after this date. Requests to withdraw from the event should be made in writing to [email protected] If the event must be cancelled due to weather conditions or natural disasters or any other reason so deemed by the organisers, the event will be rescheduled where possible and no refunds will be issued.

What if the Race is affected by COVID-19 restrictions?

Any interstate competitors that have registered for the Shaw and Partners Hells Gates 38 and are unable to attend the race due to border closures or travel restrictions will receive a full refund of their entry fee.

We encourage all interstate competitors to familiarise yourselves with the recently introduced Queensland Travel Declaration system.

Will there be a Shuttle Bus service taking competitors from Noosa to Mooloolaba for the start of the race?

Yes, however there will be limited seats available which must be booked and paid for prior to the race. Further details will be distributed.

Will there be a service which returns competitors pre-race gear bags to the race finish at Noosa?

Yes, however all care but no responsibility will be taken by the race organiser.

Does the event have a Sustainability Policy?

Yes, the Hells Gates 38 Sustainability Policy is built upon the following pillars;
• Minimising the use of fossil fuels, non-recyclable waste and use of non-renewable energy.
• Commitment to a single use plastic free event.
• Contribution to CO2 offset program through the Trees for Tourism initiative.