The Avon Descent is back in 2021 for its 48th year, with a new look “festival month” kicking off with a new community event in partnership with the City of Armadale.
Northam’s Avon Descent Association and the City of Armadale are proudly partnering in 2021 for the launch of a new community festival day on the 1st of August held at the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre. This international-standard sporting facility situated in the City of Armadale will host an event celebrating community, volunteering and sport in a single exciting day.
The Avon Descent Community Day – Armadale will showcase a host of great free and family-friendly attractions including food trucks and stalls, interactive games and activities. Alongside will be a schedule of on-water activity including kayaking competitions, surf boats racing and a come-and-try Dragonboating exhibition.
Mayor Ruth Butterfield said the Avon Descent white water race is world renowned and the City of Armadale is very excited to partner with Northam’s Avon Descent Association for the inaugural community festival event.
“Come and get the first look at the boats and competitors who will brave the highly competitive and gruelling race in 2021. The calm waters of the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre offer the ideal opportunity for people to have a go at paddling a kayak, joining a dragon boat team or cheering the racing surf boats!
“The City actively promotes healthy lifestyles to our community and the benefits of improving fitness, and this family friendly event offers an exciting atmosphere, fun activities and so much more,” she said.
Since 1973 the Avon Descent has been a fixture of Western Australia's event calendar. Starting in the Shire of Northam and finishing in the City of Bayswater, the event sees hundreds of competitors from all over WA, interstate and internationally competing every year against ever-changing river challenges. Whether in powerboats or paddle craft, in the 124km ultramarathon, the team relay or in one of the short racing formats, there’s something for everyone.
Avon Descent Executive Officer, Sean Dunstan said “The Avon Descent is more than a race and we are determined to showcase this event to the world. While sport is what launched the event, every year we see thousands flock to the festival days and spectator spots along the 124km river length to enjoy the family activity. There really is no other event like it.”
“2021 is a pivotal year for us relaunching out of 2020,” explained Sean Dunstan. “We will see the return of some old favourites including the seeding races for paddlers and the return of the adventure “tinnys”, a once iconic powercraft from the event’s early years.
“We will also see the introduction of some new initiatives including the first ever Avon Descent dragonboat race with a come-and-try dragonboating event as part of the new Armadale festival.”
Following the 1st August festival will be the event’s official practice weekend, then the main event weekend starting Friday 13th of August with the Northam Bilya festival.
Continuing Saturday 14th with the Toodyay International Food Festival and Family Fun Day and culminating on Sunday 15th with the City of Swan Avon Descent Festival, the City of Belmont Avon Descent Family Fun Day and with the City of Bayswater Avon Descent Finish Line Family Fun Day bringing the event to a big finish.
Northam’s Avon Descent Association has also partnered with Healthway in 2021 to promote the Act Belong Commit message through a new Avon Descent Volunteering program aimed at providing greater contributions and recognition to volunteers.
“Without our hundreds of volunteers, our events simply wouldn’t run,” said Sean Dunstan. “We rely on their support, and we in turn support them through fundraising opportunities, cash grants, and a range of other contributions and we’re making sure they’re recognised for the amazing work they do.”
Entries for the 2021 Avon Descent are still open, and the Avon Descent August festival month kicks off Sunday the 1st of August.