CHAMPS TAKE ON HAWAII

Maroochy Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

HEAD of Year 11 at Sun­shine Coast Gram­mar School, Craig Eb­neter re­cently re­turned from Hawaii, where he and his team, com­pris­ing of pad­dlers mainly from Mooloolaba, rep­re­sented Aus­tralia and took out the 50+ di­vi­sion in the gru­elling Molokai Hoe for Outrig­gers.

The team was un­de­feated in Aus­tralia dur­ing this year’s out­rig­ging sea­son, be­fore go­ing on to win the Aus­tralian Marathon Cham­pi­onship. As na­tional cham­pi­ons, the team was in­vited to com­pete in the Molokai Hoe as Aus­tralian rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The renowned Molokai race is one of Hawaii’s largest an­nual sport­ing events and this was the 65th year.

Eb­neter said that Molokai Hoe, for Outrig­gers, was the ul­ti­mate test for pad­dlers and was con­sid­ered the World Cham­pi­onship of Out­rig­ging with more than 100 crews from across the world cross­ing the Kaiwi Chan­nel (Chan­nel of the Bones) from Molokai to Oahu and fin­ish­ing the 66km jour­ney on Waikiki Beach.

“The con­di­tions on the day were favourable and we com­pleted the event just out­side the record time for our di­vi­sion in five hours and 35 min­utes but only took the lead with 15 min­utes to go in the race af­ter be­ing placed third for the ma­jor­ity of the race,” Eb­neter said.

The team fin­ished 23rd over­all. Lead­ing up to the event they trained seven days a week on and off the wa­ter un­der the guid­ance of coach Danny Sheard and club pres­i­dent Ron Grabbe.

Out­rig­ging in the Pa­cific Is­land Na­tions, is a na­tional sport and a way of life with coun­tries like Tahiti dom­i­nat­ing the Molokai Hoe in re­cent years. How­ever, this year a com­bined team from Hawaii broke the 10-year Tahi­tian stran­gle­hold.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

PROUD WIN­NERS: Podium for vet­eran Molokai pad­dlers.

To­wards Di­a­mond Head.

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