The annual Beach to Beach Ocean race for surfskis, prones, SUPs and outrigger canoes was held on 18 July.
The 16km race from Moffat Beach, Caloundra to Mooloolaba is an anticipated event, and this year even more so after months of Covid-19 restrictions.
With the weather forecast predicting to be sunny and with a good southerly breeze of 20 knots the excitement of getting on the water to race was palpable after so long.
This was the first event after the lockdown and paddlers were in the hundreds, all aware of and adhering to social distancing and hand sanitising requirements, demanded by the organisers, Mooloolaba Paddlers, the Outrigger man and Paddle Queensland.
Conditions did not quite live up to the forecast wind strength, much to the disappointment of a few but the sea was still running South to North in the direction of the race and it offered some good surfing runs.
Fortunately the shore break at Moffat Beach, which can be tricky, was calm so everyone got on the water without getting too wet.
The surfskis set off first at 09:00 followed by the prones and SUPs and then the outrigger canoes at 10:00. The course took the craft out to sea for about 1.5km, around a buoy then straight to Point Cartwright before finishing on the beach at Mooloolaba.
As it turned out, the final turning buoy was some distance seaward than most expected and the advertised race distance of 16km ended up to be more like 17.5km. Everyone was up to the challenge.
Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club (NOCC) had representatives in a number of race divisions and were well up in the age group placings. They were:
Bill Ridderhof, 9th Surfski 60+, in 1h 36’ 41”
John Goller, 2nd OC1 (outrigger canoe) 50+, in 1h 24’.37”
Bodo Lenitschek, 8th OC1 50+, in 1h 35’32”
Cathy McKee and Manuela Frank, 2nd OC2 Open, in 1h 36’01”
Des Mabbott, 1st OC1 60+, in 1h 30’24”
Wendy Mabbott 1st OC1 60+, in 1h 50’42”
Everyone agreed that the event was a wonderful return to paddling in South East Queensland and everyone congratulated the organisers in taking the initiative and running the race in the difficult Covid-19 circumstances.
Now, members of NOCC are looking forward to the next regattas being Bayside Outrigger Canoe Club regatta on 1 August, Old Woman Island on 5 September and our local Noosa regatta on 12 September.
For more information or to Come and Try please check the NOCC website at www.noosaoutriggers.com.au