Outrigger hosts fifth challenge on ocean
A record number of 72 crafts including 12 surf skis took to the waters last Saturday to compete in the fifth Marlin Coast Challenge Outrigger event.
The 38km race, catering for single/double canoes and surf skis, started at Ellis Beach with the first leg ending at Wangetti followed by stages to Oak Beach and South Four Mile Beach and finishing in front of Rex Smeal Park.
Leading the first leg, Chris Maynard (Outrigger Australia) while surfing down a swell hitting some debris and broke a part of his canoe, leaving the door open for Rhys Davies (Mooloolaba) to take out the overall OC1 Men event .
Lee Senent (Coral Sea) took out line honours on his surf ski.
Novice Kim St Pierre and Kelly King teamed up with the experienced Danielle Bellero and Jan Ward to form the Open OC2 Changeover team which finished third.
Lilli Jansen, paddling with a crew from Mission Beach won silver in the Open Mixed Changeover division.
Mia Messinger/Glen Thorp took silver in the Open OC2 Mixed Iron race, Faye Lilly/Grant Davis (Hekili) placed second in the OC1 Mixed Change over event and Monique Matthews/ Karen McClure placed second in the OC1 Women’s Division.
The growing event attracts top paddlers from all over the country and has become a real test of water skills for the competitors.
“I have only been paddling for 10 months so I was very happy to finish an event like this,” said Lee Foster, who teamed up with Ross Watson (Hekili) to finish sixth in the Open Men Changeover Division.
In 15 to 20 knots wind and swell up to 1.7m, entering and exiting the water became a real challenge but created perfect surfing conditions along the way.
“I did not think we would make it of the Beach at Wangetti to start the second leg, it was that rough, but when we got our there we caught some cool swells to surf on it,” Kelly said.
“All I could think of was, now is not a good time to fall off the canoe.”
The race is the club’s main annual event and has grown from its humble beginnings with 23 crafts.
Other Results of Port Douglas Paddlers were Ingrid Juchem/ Peter Beitz/Cecily/Bill Ridderhof fifth in Open Mixed OC2 Changeover, Cecil Casey/Rhys Dutton fifth in OC1 Open Men Changeover, seventh Steve Johnson (seventh) and Justin Whyte (10th) in Open Men OC1 Iron and Connor O’Sullivan seventh in Open Men Surf Ski Iron.