Ocean crusader in Air­lie for race week

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

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