National title for our Whitsunday outriggers
AIRLIE Beach-based paddlers from the Outrigger Whitsunday club were rewarded for their performance at the 30th anniversary Gatorade Clash of the Paddles, with a second place in the national titles for senior master men.
With an average age of 57, the nine Whitsunday paddlers were 43rd over the finish line in Sunday’s gruelling 42km race, but fourth in the senior masters men’s division and second on a national level.
“National titles can only be given to a team that has all its members from the one club,” team steerer Peter Chamberlain explained.
“Sore but satisfied” was how the team described themselves at the end of Sunday’s epic paddle, when they arrived back on Hamilton Island at Catseye Beach.
“I keep forgetting what it’s like,” said Chamberlain, who has 10 of these physically demanding sporting challenges under his belt.
Outrigger Whitsunday team member Terry Kemp said conditions on the day were “tough”.
“It was bedlam at the start and the first changeover at the Dent Island light was pretty wild, but it settled down after that,” he said.
“Then of course the endurance kicks in after you get around Pentecost [Island].”
Back on dry land, the paddlers were optimistic about scoring a major place and Chamberlain said they were delighted when the final announcement was made.
“We just do it mainly for the fun of it,” he said.
“If we don’t win anything we’re happy with that but if we do it’s a bonus.”
For all the results from the 2013 Clash of the Paddles visit www.aocra.com.au.
MASTER MEN: Outrigger Whitsunday's senior masters men, Peter Chamberlain, Mark Bell, Ashley Kennedy, Colin Lewis, John Segula, Stephen Lynes, Terry Kemp, Nick Lidsey and Chris O'Reilly at the end of Sunday's gruelling 42km changeover race. The local paddlers were 43rd overall but fourth in their division and second in the national titles.
IN ACTION: The Airlie Beach-based Outrigger Whitsunday senior masters men team in action during Sunday's 42km changeover race.