Regatta a big success

Outrigger racing on Noosa River.

Sally Scarce

If you visited the Noosa River on Saturday 27 November you would have been rewarded with the spectacle of dozens of outrigger canoes, competing in the annual Noosa River Race.

More than 500 paddlers ranging in ages from seven-89 years, with crews from South East Queensland, Tannum Sands and Norfolk Island, convergeg at Chaplin Park, the home of the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club (NOCC), for a fantastic regatta in perfect conditions.

The National Sprints and World Sprint Qualifying event originally scheduled for this date was yet another Covid casualty.

So, with just six weeks’ preparation, the NOCC committee and members sprang into action. In what could be described as a Herculean display of teamwork and community, the necessary permits, catering, marketing, communication, scheduling, logistics and Covid compliance were organised, alongside the increased pre-regatta training.

The NOCC was well represented in all categories with many teams making the podium. Special mention is given to the teams that took home the gold.

SMW (50-60yr) OC2 – Cath and Manu

OC2 Master (40-50yr) Mixed

Paz and Craig (line honours)

Long Course (12km)– Women

Unlimited division – Team White -1st (line honours)

Platinum (70yr and over) – Team Turnbull

Masters (40-50yr) – Team Hegarty

Short Course (6km) – Mixed

Unlimited division – Team Kenny

SM (50-60yr) – Team Rocco

Short Course (6km) – Women

Novice + Overall Race winner – Team Mitchell

All would agree that one of the highlights of the regatta was the large contingency of junior paddlers, with a crew of South Queensland juniors coming all the way from Norfolk Island.

Many juniors were participating in their first small craft (V1/OC1/OC2) race and the regatta designated some prime-time slots for the younger paddlers so all the adult crews could cheer on the Minnows (8-9yrs), 12U and 14U OC6, with many of the juniors paddling two races.

The dedicated presentation was a blast with medals and a surprise free lolly raffle.

The NOCC currently has 14 registered juniors who were all excited to share their river (and jetty jumping) with the juniors from other clubs.

What fantastic results for our young guns.

Jett – received first place in OC1 (16U) and Jett jumped in with the men in the new lightweight canoes, Unlimited Division for second place (sixth across the line in a field of 25)

Lachy in his first V1 race was sitting nicely in the pack till a quick Huli happened, a quick recovery put him in fourth behind three others from Norfolk.

There is no denying the future of outrigging is bright with this bunch of superstars.

Adler (boys) and Liv (girls) both took out gold in the OC1 (12U) and Ava and LuLu just nosed over the line to take the gold in the OC2 (12U). Ava, LuLu, Liv, Oscar, Billy and Adler came in 3rd in their OC6 (12U) race and then Liv and Adler backed up again with Ry, Lachy, Flynn and Jack to take home silver in OC6 (14U).

And last but not least, our little Minnows (8-10yr), Holly, Sophie, Angus, Josh and Archie won both of their 1km races by almost half a km.

What an amazing effort by our juniors and special mention to Coach Flea, for all the organisation and dedication of coaching these kids.

If you have ever considered giving outrigging a go, head over to the NOCC website for the come and try information and some personal insight into the experiences of some of our crews.