Out­rig­gers off to Sun­shine Coast

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE out­rig­ger ca­noe rac­ing sea­son kicks off this week­end with the na­tional sprint ti­tles at Kawanna Wa­ters on the Sun­shine Coast.

Dou­bling up as qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the world sprint ti­tles later in the year, a record num­ber of club and in­di­vid­ual en­tries prom­ise for an ex­cit­ing three days of rac­ing, among them a small group of lo­cal pad­dlers.

Danielle Bellero and Lili Jansen were called up for the Far North Queens­land squad and are rac­ing in the Open Women OC6 (6 pad­dler Out­rig­ger) cat­e­gory over 500 and 1500 me­tres.

They then will join up with the FNQ Mas­ter Crew to en­ter the V12 (2x 6 pad­dler ca­noes rigged to­gether) 500 me­tre race.

“We have been in train­ing for this for al­most 12 month now and ex­pect­ing a tough cou­ple of days of rac­ing,” Danielle said.

“Only the top three teams will qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally for the world cham­pi­onship “

“It’s very ex­cit­ing,” Steerer Lili Jansen said. “Our 1500- me­tre race in­cludes five 180 de­gree turns and a lot can go wrong and you can win or lose a race there.”

Fri­day’s rac­ing will see the crews com­pete for a sport in the World Cham­pi­onship, while Satur­day and Sun­day rac­ing will be for Na­tional Hon­ours.

Kevin Bellero, Ver­non Car- pen­ter and Mike Schuck com­bined forces with pad­dlers from the 2 Cairns clubs, Hek­ili and Cairns Beaches, and Co­conuts from In­n­is­fail.

“We went through all sorts of prob­lems to get this team to­gether,” Kevin said, “but when we are lin­ing up at the start on Satur­day for the na­tional ti­tle races as Team Port Dou­glas. We will cre­ate a bit of his­tory. Our club is op­er­at­ing in its 24th year but never had a male team at this com­pe­ti­tion”

The seven men will com­pete in the Open and Mas­ter OC6 r Cat­e­gory,and in­di­vid­u­ally, joined by In­grid Juchem, in the un­usual V1 (sin­gle out­rig­ger with­out a rud­der) cat­e­gory.

Port Dou­glas Out­rig­gers Open Women crew get­ting ready for the start of a sprint

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