OUTRIGGER Whitsunday sent its elite senior members to represent the Whitsundays at the north Queensland Zone Regatta held at Ellis Beach on the weekend.
The team was made up of Peter Chamberlain, Geoff Harrison, Glenn Bray, Mark Nicoll, Charlie Wilkie, John Bently and Terry Kemp in their first meet since the Hamilton Island Cup.
Each member came away with medals in several divisions after a fierce day of competition.
The six-man event (OC-6) was an 8km marathon from Ellis Beach past Palm Cove around a turning buoy then back.
The Whitsunday team were leading the senior masters division all the way until their arch-rivals, Cairns-based Hekeli Outrigger Canoe Club, used some local knowledge to inch past right at the finish line.
After 44 minutes of hard slogging Hekeli's winning margin was just 13 seconds.
The Whitsunday men were devastated even though they paddled their fastest time.
But they regrouped and after a small change of crew they went into the sprints with new vigour, coming third in that race only to find out that they paddled in the wrong event.
Almost immediately they had to front up to the start line to do it again.
This time there was no mistake. In an explosion of energy, the six-man team shot out in front and stayed there to win the Senior Masters sprint.
With confidence restored Mark Nicoll and Charlie Wilkie teamed up for the 6km two-man marathon.
They had a fantastic start with the Masters Men and the Open Men hot on their heels to catch up.
The younger division proved too strong but the end result was fifth over the line and third in the Masters OC-2 marathon.
This was a very commendable effort for their first time out as a two-man team.
The final event of the day was the one-man (OC-1) race when men from all divisions raced together in the 6km marathon.
This turned out to be a tussle between the newcomers with Terry Kemp against the more experienced Glenn Bray.
Kemp was leading his division right up to the turning buoy. When they turned Glenn made his move but he could not overtake Kemp until the final moments of the race when he crossed the line just three seconds ahead of Kemp.
Outrigger Whitsunday Results
- OC-6 Marathon Senior Masters 2nd place
- OC-2 Marathon Master Men 3rd Place
- OC-1 Marathon Senior Masters 1st and 2nd place
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