Port paddlers rise to challenge
PORT Douglas will be well represented in the race to the Four Mile Beach finish line in this year’s Hekili Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge.
The challenge will kickstart the Cairns Adventure Festival along with two other Port Douglas events and local outrigger legend Faye Lilley and her team are prepared to fight for first place.
“It’s a great little team, we’re mainly senior masters women, I just wanted a good strong happy team and we’re going to have fun along the way but we’re also all pretty competitive,” she said.
“Port Douglas has two teams competing and a couple of guys are doing it on single canoes, including Ingrid our president - all up there’s 14 Port Douglas members going.
“We’ve been training hard, putting in some good runs of 25km without stopping and pushing it all the way and we do expect to do well, we’ll definitely give the other crews a run for their money.”
Lilley has been outrigging for several years, winning gold in World Outrigger Sprint Championships in 2010 and cleaning up this year at the Gold Coast Cup.
This is the second year running for the event but will be the first time for Lilley who was unable to compete last year with her teammates Wendy Morris, Danielle Bellero, Jan Ward, Mia Messenger and Jacky Cook.
“I was on the beach to welcome the crews in and the atmosphere was fantastic with the bikes coming in, the beach looked amazing and they were blessed with perfect weather conditions last year,” she said.
“The race gives everyone a goal to aim for, gets everyone on the water training, showing camaraderie and competing in a great event showcasing our beautiful coastline, you would be crazy to miss an event like this right on our doorstep.
“We’re really looking forward to it, the numbers have grown considerably from last year and I hear a hot men’s team is coming up from the Gold Coast and will be giving everyone a runn for their money.”
The gruelling 40km race starts from Palm Cove and finishes on Four Mile Beach on the first day of the Adventure Cairns Festival on Sunday, May 27. For more information visit www.usmevents.com.au.
Ready to paddle: Outrigger legend Faye Lillee