Smooth going for Outriggers

GOING HARD : The Noosa Outriggers in action on the water.
GOING HARD : The Noosa Outriggers in action on the water. Lesley Downie

LAST Saturday a large contingent of Noosa outrigger paddlers headed to our near neighbours at Mooloolaba for Race 3 in the South Queensland Zone OC6 racing series.

It was a picturesque and mild day, with the promise of good swells in the open water.

The 8km short course race set off early in the day with two laps of a triangular circuit to the north of Mooloolaba Spit. The water was almost millpond conditions, but teams still made a race of it.

The Noosa senior master men, a team of novices, many only paddling for a few months, were first in their division in 40 minutes and 37 seconds and 10th across the line in the field of 32 crews. The Noosa platinum master men (aged over 70) finished in a time of 42:57, with Noosa the only club with a team in this division.

The women's and mixed 16km long course race started late morning, when the start of the swell could be seen coming in from the bar. Twenty-nine crews lined up for a beach start from inside The Spit, and a few early tussles for position soon sorted out the lead crews. The course headed through the bar and headed south parallel to the coastline with the swell not as large as expected. Though there were still opportunities to catch some runners on the homeward stretch.

The senior master women's crew steered by Stacey Phillis were first in their division and second over the line of the women's teams in a time of 1:17:21. The master women, with Pascale Hegarty steering her second race and first long course, placed second in their division is time of 1:22:31.

The golden master women (over 60 years) steered by Chris Mitchell were first in their division in 1:23:36, and the second senior master women's team steered by Wendy Mabbott finished fourth in their division in 1:25:50. The senior master mixed team steered by Rainer Hopf were second in their division in 1:19:04.

The men's 16km long course was the last race of the day, and followed the same course as the earlier women's race.

The men relished the beach start and the challenge to clear the first turning buoy clear of the pack.

This saw the Noosa open men's team complete the race in 1:07:40 being first in their division, and second over the line in the field of 28 crews.

Two Noosa golden master men's teams raced, with the crew steered by Roger Chaffey taking first in the division in 1:17:50, and the team steered by Bill Ridderhof placing fourth in 1:20:27. There were also two Noosa senior master men's steered by Phil Benstead and Marco Rocco respectively placing fourth in 1:14:40 and sixth in 1:17:09, in their division which had a field of ten crews. All in all, it was another great day on the water for the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club, and there's much anticipation for the remainder of the racing season. If this sounds like a sport you would like to try, please call the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club coach Des Mabbott on 0420 935 769.

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