Chal­lenge proves a Whit­sun­day win­ner

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE first of its kind for the re­gion, the in­au­gu­ral Whit­sun­day Stand Up Pad­dle Chal­lenge stroked its way to suc­cess last week.

Twenty-five pad­dlers turned out for the event, with or­gan­iser Wes­ley Cole say­ing hope­fully next year’s event would be even big­ger and bet­ter.

“We’ve def­i­nitely learnt and grown from this one,” he said.

“The peo­ple who were part of it were all pretty ex­cited about it and are in an­tic­i­pa­tion to see how it can grow.”

There was strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion from out­side the re­gion, with peo­ple com­ing from Townsville, Mackay and even as far away as Jarvis Bay in NSW.

Although it was cer­tainly a race and course times were recorded, Mr Cole said there was def­i­nitely an el­e­ment of en­joy­ment as well.

“The com­pe­ti­tion was part of it, but it was also about hav­ing fun and get­ting to­gether with like-minded peo­ple,” he said.

Mr Cole said there was also “some great fun sail­ing from an­chor­age to an­chor­age” with an im­promptu side race be­tween the sup­port boats.

The race vis­ited some of the re­gion’s most iconic lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing White­haven Beach, Nara In­let and Air­lie Beach it­self.

Mr Cole thanked all those who had spon­sored the event and the whole com­mu­nity for their ef­fort and con­tri­bu­tions.

“It takes a whole com­mu­nity, not just our­selves, to launch it,” he said.

PAD­DLE POWER: Paul Mackie lead­ing Dan Pal­frey, Ja­son McManus, Phil McDon­ald and Loren Kel­lar into the wa­ter dur­ing the first Whit­sun­day Stand Up Pad­dle Chal­lenge.

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