Paddlers on the big stage
Douglas competitors in sprint titles
PADDLERS from the Port Douglas Outrigger Canoe Club took part in the International Outrigger Federations (IVF) World Sprint championship at Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast.
They were among 2500 competitors from all over the world.
Races were held over 500 metre straight and 1000/1500 metres on a 250 metre course with turns.
Included in the Far North Queensland squad were Kevin Bellero, Vernon Carpenter, Mike Schuck and their three crew members from the Cairns who competed in the Master and Open Men OC6 500 metre race.
They advanced to the repechage in both age groups and set a new personal best in the process.
Although that was the end of their campaign, in the time of 1:58.94 min in the Master 40+ repechage they had cracked the two-minute mark for the first time.
“We were totally stoked with that time,” Mike said. “This was a word class field and we kept up there with them to the end.”
The team also joined up with the crew from Innisfail to make up an OC12 (two OC6 rigged together) and. placed 6th overall in both age groups.
Lili Jansen and Danielle Bellero together with their Open Women crew, also from Cairns, competed in the 1500 and 500 metre races. A brilliant start in their semifinal of the 500 metre placed them in a good position, only to be outmuscled by the more experienced teams from Tahiti and New Zealand.
They also made it into the repechage for their 1500 metre race.
The smallest international team, just one competitor, was made up by Port Douglas paddler Ingrid Juchem.
Representing Germany in the single crafts (V1) in the open, master and Senior Master category she made it through to the Repechage in the Open and Masters.
“We all had a great time,” Ingrid said.
“The atmosphere during racing and among the spectators was fantastic. I also acted as a race official. It gave me a good inside look on how a large event like this is run,” she said.
The highlight of the event for Douglas paddlers was the final of the Master Women OC12.
Danielle Bellero and the FNQ Master Women team won silver behind the hotly favoured team from New Zealand. ‘”We had beaten the top Australian team during the qualification trials in February so we knew we had a good combination. So much can go wrong on the day,” Danielle said, “but we had a perfect race. The New Zealand girls were so strong.”
Now the club is looking forward to the domestic racing series.
Anyone wishing to have go at Outrigger paddling is invited to the weekly novice session on Mondays at 5 pm or contact the club via the Facebook site for more info.
WS Open: From left to right. The Open Women's Crew “Far North Queensland” with Charlie McKillop, Elanor Bolawaqatabu, Stacey Brown, Sue Lockwood (all from Cairns), Danielle Bellero and Lili Jansen from Port Douglas in their 1500 meter repechage.