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2016 Avon Descent a success

For more information, contact Mia Davies (Leader | Member for Central Wheatbelt).

Local MP Mia Davies has congratulated the Northam Avon Descent Association, volunteers, local governments, competitors and all those involved for another successful staging of the State’s premier white water event.

Ms Davies said she was pleased combined competitor numbers across canoe, kayak, ski paddle and power dinghy categories were up by 100 on the 2015 Avon Descent.

“Well done to the winning paddle and power craft teams and individual paddlers who took on the might of the Avon in a particularly large field this year,” she said.

“I know paddlers and crews trained very hard for this challenge and it was great to be part of the excitement.

“I’d also like to pay special tribute to York man Gary McNamara, who completed his 40th Avon Descent, an unrivalled achievement in the history of the event.”

Ms Davies, who officially launched the 2016 event, said competitors like Gary McNamara made the race iconic.

Mr McNamara, alongside his son Glenn, was among 467 competitors to take on the 124km race.

A community stalwart and 26-year veteran of the York Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service, Mr McNamara completed his first Avon Descent in 1977 and has tackled every race since.

“It was a great honour for Glenn and I to lead the field away on Saturday, and to be a part of the tribute to one of our recently passed club members, Ian Williamson,” he said.

Mr McNamara said although water levels were not as low as in 2015, he enjoyed the challenge of low water racing.

The Avon Descent is supported by the State Government, including Royalties for Regions.  A $155,000 cheque from Lotterywest funded five community events at locations along the Avon and Swan rivers from Northam to Bayswater.

Ms Davies thanked the support crews and spectators who continue to play an important part in the race each year.

For more information and results visit

For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 08 9041 1702 (Merredin office), 08 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email