Challenge proves a Whitsunday winner
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.