Great turn-out for annual regatta
MORE than 300 outriggers from across the state rolled into town to take part in the annual Outrigger Whitsunday Regatta.
Teams travelled from as far as Mooloolaba, Canoe Point, Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mackay and Mission Beach to take part, bringing with them fleets of canoes on cars and trailers.
Whitsunday teams did extremely well, especially the under-12 team who took part in their first regatta and won their division.
The team competed in the under-14 division because of a lack of competitors from other teams.
But this didn't deter the young paddlers who continued ahead with strong form.
Outrigger Whitsunday vice president and junior paddlers coach Adam Joyce said it was good to see a good contingent of junior paddlers compete.
"Holly Coyte was a strong paddler on the day competing in her first OC1 event in a team made up of other competitors," he said.
"The under-16s did well because they competed against strong sides such as Mooloolaba and Canoe Point."
Tyson Joyce and Rick Smith won gold in their OC2 under-16 2km marathon, especially because they were competing against paddler aged 19.
"Tyson has competed with many of the Mooloolah paddlers at national events so he knew what he was up against," Joyce said.
The Master Men team had to work hard to keep up with the juniors results, racing for points that would go towards the club's overall score for the end of year competition.
New paddlers also got a taste of competition in mixed team event.
Joyce said it was great to see so much support from other clubs who travelled to the Whitsundays to take part.
"It makes for a stronger regatta, especially for the juniors," he said.
Outrigger Whitsunday is now busy training for their next regatta in Yeppoon that includes a 17km marathon for seniors and a mixture of event for junior paddlers.
They are also working towards national events on the Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and at the Cook Islands.
1st - U12 OC6 2km Marathon
1st - U12 OC6 500m sprint
2nd - U16 OC6 Sprint
3rd - U16 OC6 Marathon
U14 OC1 2km marathon - 3rd Holly Coyte
U16 OC1 2km marathon - 1st Tyson Joyce
U16 OC2 2km marathon - 1st Tyson Joyce and Rick Smith
2nd - Senior Master Men OC6 12 km marathon
2nd - Senior Master Men OC6 sprint
OC2 Mixed marathon 6km - 3rd Alison Joyce and Glen Smith