Ocean crusader in Airlie for race week
FORMER Whitsunday residents Ian Thomson and Annika Fredriksson have brought a strong environmental message to the Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week.
Thomson, known locally as ‘Thomo’, represents the Australian Ocean Crusaders campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the threats to our oceans and marine life, particularly from plastic.
In September 2012, Thomo was one of a small group of Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarders who undertook a ‘Paddle Against Plastic’ from Airlie Beach, to Hamilton Island and then Mackay.
Since this time, Thomo and Frederiksson have moved to Darwin and bought a sports boat.
Fredriksson is skippering the boat this regatta and Whitsunday local Katherine Bowers is helping crew.
“He’s a keelboat sailor and I’m a trimaran sailor so we compromised and bought a boat that’s fast and has a keel,” Fredriksson joked.
The couple have branded their little rocket ship with the Ocean Crusaders message and are now campaigning it at Airlie Beach.
“The campaign is more about education and schools these days, but if we’re going to sail there’s no way I’m not going to promote it,” Thomo said.
Both sailors said so far they were having fun.
“It’s close, fast, competitive racing and the group that’s here – they’re all mates. There’s no yelling and screaming on the water and at the end of the day we all get together and have a few beers,” Thomo said.
For more information on Ocean Crusaders visit www.oceancrusaders.org.