Race patron honoured
MORE than 350 competitors from all over the world took part in Hamilton Island's Gatorade Battle of the Paddles event.
The star-studded competition line-up included former Olympians, celebrities, professional athletes and amateurs, with personalities including Tom Williams and Jodhi Meares, competing alongside professional athletes Clint Robinson, Jeremy Cotter, Amanda Rankin, Jett Kenny and many more. The event also attracted elite international athletes such as Jenny Kalmbach, Hawaiian SUP champion and the New Zealand women's outrigger team.
Steering the Outrigger Australia open women's team was former Olympian and Commonwealth Games swimmer Lisa Curry. "The challenge is always to win this changeover race. Everyone wants to win this one," she said.
Outrigger Australia competes across Australia and around the world and was established by Hamilton Island's founder Keith Williams. This year Outrigger Australia named the winning men's team canoe "Keith Williams" in honour of their original patron. The canoe was officially blessed at a traditional ceremony.
This was the first year that Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) joined the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) and Hamilton Island for the event, formerly known as the Hamilton Island Cup. SLSA introduced stand up paddle boarding, board paddling and surf skiing into the event. $90,000 worth of cash and prizes were awarded to competitors over the four days.
AOCRA president Mark Forbes said the event could now potentially reinvent itself.
"We're already talking about adding dragon boats to the event for next year," he said.
The 2012 Gatorade Battle of the Paddles took place from June 14-18. For more information visit www.hamiltonisland.com.au/battle-of-the-paddles.
16km Men Open Ocean Ski - 1st Clint Robinson
16km Women Open Ocean Ski - 1st Sharlene Kelly
25km Men Open Ocean Ski - 1st Jeremy Cotter
25km Women Open Ocean Ski - 1st Amanda Rankin
5km and 250m SUP - 1st Jenny Kalmbach
42km OC6 Open Men - 1st Combined Club, Outrigger Australia OCC
42km OC6 Open Women - 1st National Titles Crew, Mooloolaba OCC
For full results visit www.aocra.com.au or www.slsa.com.au.