Noosa outrigger teams start racing season on a high

The six man outrigger canoe season kicked off early this Spring with the first race held on 11 October at Bell’s Beach, Clontarf and hosted by the Redcliffe Outrigger Canoe Club.

The day prior the same club hosted the fourth race of the single and double outriggers South Queensland canoe league which comes to a conclusion in early November. As a result, a significant number of Noosa paddlers heading South for a tough weekend, competing on both Saturday and Sunday in the varied races.

Those competing in the small outrigger canoes produced terrific results in both the short and long courses, contested over 8km and 14km respectively. The short course results included the Noosa men sweeping gold in their age categories: John Goller, Master Men; Roger Arbuckle, Platinum Master Man, and Des Mabbott, Golden Master Men rudderless division. In the Senior Master Women division, Noosa paddlers Phillipa Kay was third and Cathy McKee fourth.

Later that day, paddlers participated in the long course, with rewarding result in both OC1 and OC2 races, namely: John Goller third, Master Men; Des Mabbott first, Golden Master Men; Dave Paterson and Phil Benstead second Senior Master Men OC2; Harry Crockford and Brian Rogers first, Golden Master Men OC2; and Wendy Mabbott and Rhonda Crockford first, Golden Master Women OC2.

With fickle winds and waves the organisers were constantly rearranging the courses to offer exciting and testing conditions for the paddlers, who also had to negotiate large numbers of blue blubber jelly fish and clumps of sea weed.

Sunday saw the arrival of large numbers of Noosa paddlers, who outnumbered all the clubs at the OC6 regatta. Noosa not only had representatives in all the races, but provided stiff opposition to competing clubs. Novice paddlers Tracey and Kerrie were excited and nervous to be competing in their first ever race in an OC6 canoe.

The day turned out to be a very successful regatta for Noosa, in both the short and long courses. In the short course, results included: Master Women second; Senior Master Women second; and Senior Master Men first.

In the long course the results were: Master Women first; Senior Master Women second; Master Men first; two Senior Master Men teams, third and fourth; and Golden Master Men second.

Usually the weather at Clontarf is at best unpredictable, so it was a welcome change to enjoy a warm sunny day with light winds. This created sufficient movement in the water to enable the experienced crews to make use of the wave power, while also being sufficiently calm for the less experienced paddlers to feel confident.

All in all it was a great weekend for Noosa, providing a wonderful start to the new season and introducing new members to the joys of paddling with like mind souls in a team sport on the water.

The club is now looking forward to the next regatta at the Gold Coast on the weekend of 7 and 8 November.

For more information about Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club, please visit www.noosaoutriggers.com.au

Story: Jo Searle


Jim Kennedy:


Teams head out to the start line


Noosa Senior Master Women’s team all smiles after their race

Lesley Downie:

One of the Senior Master teams racing