Lion Island Challenge


The Lion Island Challenge is one of this country’s premier ocean races with categories for ocean racing and spec skis, outrigger canoes and stand up paddleboards.  It has two competitive courses – 14km and 8km which take in some of the most spectacular coastline Sydney has to offer.  The race starts from the Pittwater side of Palm Beach, travels around the spectacular Barrenjoey headland to the southern end of Palm Beach (kiddie’s corner) and then returns around Lion Island in Broken Bay.


COVID CANCELLATION: Lion Island Challenge 2020 and 2021

With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 health restrictions and the challenges we faced to host a Covid safe event for our competitors and volunteers, both the 2020 and 2021 Lion Island Challenge were cancelled.

Thank you to our major sponsors Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Avalon and Carbonology Sport as well as all competitors for your support of the LIC over the years. We hope to be back, bigger than ever, in 2022.



2019 Lion Island Challenge – Race Results
Race Summary (by Event Manager, Volker Klemm)

After initially cancelling this year’s Lion Island Challenge, we were overwhelmed by a wave of support that encouraged us to subsequently rescheduled the race.

And last Sunday this feeling of great community support continued on race day. Paddlers from all over Sydney came up to Palm Beach to keep the tradition going to race the 14km around the Island.

But it’s so much more than just a 14km race. The paddlers coming back are exhausted and exhilarated. They bring back stories of towering cliffs, of sea lions basking on rock platforms, of catching great runs on a southerly swell with the wind behind them and of dolphins next to them and of a hard slog home into an ever-increasing headwind.

Back at the finish line a lovely atmosphere greeted them.

A friendly group of volunteers looked after their boats. There was up-beat music, water, fruit and fresh muffins freely available for all. The volunteers at the BBBQ cooked up a storm and the coffee van did a steady trade.

There were groups of paddlers everywhere exchanging stories of great adventures far and wide. There were the Stand-Up Paddlers having a laugh while cooling their sore legs in the shallow waters. There were the ocean ski racers talking about high tech equipment with Brett and Jill from Carbonology and many picked up the latest performance gear from our sponsor Vaikobi. A big thank you to all our sponsors for some great prizes for our paddlers.

For all the lovely memories created, it was still a race, with a new Lion King being crowned in Fletcher Armstrong and Montannah Murray as the first female over the line.

The 8km SUP race was won, not unexpectedly by James Casey.

Thank you for being such an appreciative bunch of paddlers this year. Thank you to all the IRB crews and other rescue craft for making everyone feel safe and thank you to all our sponsors and volunteers for making the event possible.