Among the 22 fire fighters taking part in the event, Beaconsfield’s Cameron Famlonga and Derick Stevenson will be strapping on their helmets and life vests to compete against the waves and the scores of others for bragging rights.
Also a member of the Fremantle Fire Station, Mr Famlonga said he had done the Avon Descent a number of times because he enjoyed the sense of accomplishment he felt at the finish line.
‘Having your family and friends there to congratulate you at the finish line makes the hundreds of hours training worthwhile,’ he said.
‘Finishing the Avon Descent is a great sense of personal achievement and the training and preparation allows us to deal with the physical and mental stresses of race day but finishing the event still gives a great sense of satisfaction.
‘By the time you finish the first day you have already had enough but you always wake up the next morning ready to finish.
‘As the Fire and Rescue Finn Kayaks team we all camp tighter on the Friday and Saturday nights and the camaraderie and friendships taken and made on the river will never be taken away.’
The Avon Descent is an annual two-day event down the Avon and Swan Rivers in Northam.
Participants use paddle crafts or small power boats to travel the 133km course, with 57km to be done in day one and 76 on the second day.
Mr Famlonga said it was an important event for himself and his colleagues to take part in.
‘With the nature of our employment the duties we perform involve interacting with the community on a daily basis,’ he said.
‘Involvement in community events such as this allows us to foster our relationship with the community outside of our normal daily roles.
‘Our position as fire fighters also means we need to maintain a high level of physical fitness and using the training for the event is a way of continuing this.’
He said his biggest hope was that everyone who entered finished within their own personal goals.
The Avon Descent is on August 3 and 4.