Port pad­dlers rise to chal­lenge

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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

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