Island racing record broken
OUTRIGGER Whitsunday and Mooloolaba went head to head in a 42km slugfest during the Pure Blond Open women's marathon off Hamilton Island yesterday.
A determined Outrigger Whitsunday crew who won the 16km short course marathon over Lisa Curry- Kenny's crew on Friday entered the race as the underdog against Mooloolaba who have dominated the event in recent years including setting the 3 hour 34 minute 15 second race record in 2006.
Both crews pressed the personal endurance to the extreme paddling at 65 strokes a minute as they raced a few boat lengths apart over the gruelling first half of the course.
They were basically a beam of each other when they prepared to round Pentecost Island before the experience of the Mooloolaba crew allowed them to slowly forge ahead.
But the Outrigger Whitsunday crew continued to track their rivals wake forcing them to lift the tempo over the final 15km of the course.
The Mooloolaba coach and support crew, realising that Outrigger Whitsunday were hanging on, continued to encourage their crew to lift the stroke rate.
This became the turning point when Outrigger Whitsunday, showing the first signs of fatigue, started to slowly drop off after three hours of head to head racing above record breaking pace.
The aggressive paddling from the Mooloolaba crew was lifted to another level when they sprinted to the finish eventually smashing the race record by nine minutes 18 seconds with their 1 minute 41 second advantage over the never-say-die silver medallists Outrigger Whitsunday while the Malolo crew claimed the bronze, 1 minute 11 seconds inside the old record.