Watch out Cairns, warn PD Out­rig­gers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

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.

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