Outriggers in mighty effort
ROUND 4 of the National Outrigger Grand Prix series was held in Innisfail at Flying Fish point at the weekend.
Port Douglas Outriggers Cecily Ridderhof, Faye Lilley, Mia Messinger, Jan Ward, Kim St Piere and steerer Ingrid Juchem competing in the open division were third in the 15km marathon.
With four of the five top teams paddling in new lightweight canoes, the local girls showed the competition that experience and strength sometimes can beat modern technology.
They were sitting in second position behind Outrigger Whitsundays for two-thirds of the race, paddling in a canoe more than 80kg heavier, when the crew from Magnetic Island passed them.
“Five of us stepped down an age group or two to compete with Kim in this divison so we really wanted to come home with a good result for her,” Ingrid said.
“I could hear the crew from Malanuka behind us getting closer, so I decided to cut across the sandbank two kilometres from the finish line rather than go around it - it was a bit of a gamble but it paid off.”
The team also finished fourth in the 500m sprint.
Racing continued in the afternoon with the single (OC1) and double (OC2) canoes.
Faye Lilley dominated the Women’s OC1 race and won the overall and senior master division way ahead of the master and open class.
Mia Messinger, in her first ever OC1 race placed fourth overall and third in the master division.
Ingrid Juchem and Kim St Piere in her first OC2 race finished fourth in the open women’s OC2 race.
Bill Ridderhof won gold in the golden master men OC1 race and together with wife Cecily competed in the mixed OC2. A strong finish secured them a place in the middle of the field.
The club is now gearing up for its 20th birthday party in September.