Watch out Cairns, warn PD Outriggers
THE Port Douglas Outrigger Canoe Club shed 100kg of useless, non- competitive weight when it took ownership of its new OC6 lightweight canoe, which it showed off to the public on Sunday at the cove behind the Sugar Wharf. That’s how much lighter the new canoe is compared with the club’s other hulls, which it has been obliged to use in competitions so far, putting it at a distinct disadvantage. Despite this, the PDOCC has collected an impressive array of silver medals.
‘‘In every regatta in the past two years our top medallists constantly came second to the top clubs, usually one of the Cairns clubs,’’ former president Ingrid Juchem said. ‘‘We couldn’t beat them – but now we will.’’
Their eagerness was everywhere as club members and supporters turned up at the little cove for the commissioning ceremony.
There were traditional blessings of the canoe (Christian and Polynesian), Mayor Julia Leu expressed her admiration of the club and its can- do spirit, and Ingrid Juchem, on whose watch the club raised most of the funds and brought the acquisition to its finale on New Year’s Eve, recounted the effort to buy the new canoe.
It cost $25,000, which took about 18 months to raise, stemming from an initial donation of $1000 – a present from Doree to commemorate the club’s 21st birthday.
The money was expressly to buy a new canoe.
Ms Juchem opened a bank account called the New Canoe Account and over the next year or so the club held all sorts of fundraising events. Helping enormously also were a few sponsors in the town including the Courthouse Hotel, the Yacht Club and the Lions.
The new 130kg fibreglass/ kevlar canoe was built by Mirage on the Gold Coast and arrived on a truck, fittingly, at 7am on New Year’s Eve – keeping the club’s promise to have it in place before 2014. The clubs next event is on Sunday, with three teams travelling south to compete in the inaugural Sydney Harbour Challenge.