Hundreds race in Newcastle Outrigger Canoe Club grand prix

POWERFUL: The Newcastle men's long course crew.
POWERFUL: The Newcastle men's long course crew.

SHARKS did not keep the state's keenest canoe ocean racers out of the water at the weekend as hundreds of competitors lined up for the Pasha Dasha Grand Prix.

Hosted by Newcastle Outrigger Canoe Club in the harbour, the competition drew more than 1000 spectators and 350 competitors to Horseshoe beach.

Newcastle teams placed first in the 4.6-kilometre novice race and third in the 8.7km short course.

The city's juniors competed in the 12 years and over novice race as there were not enough junior teams to justify a stand-alone division.

Race director and coach Stephen Dawes said the club felt confident the juniors were up to the challenge.

"They really are past just a splash and dash. They need something more than that and they certainly proved they could handle it."

Other events included the women's/mixed and men's long courses, both 34km and nearly three hours long, which Port Stephens and Port Hacking won respectively.