GBROC: Darren Keily took out 2nd place in the Master Men OC1.
GBROC: Darren Keily took out 2nd place in the Master Men OC1.

Cap Coast outriggers paddle hard and score success

CAPRICORN Coast paddlers Darren Keily, Emma Chambers and Sam Price-Rees, together with Michael Barsby from Rocky Outrigger Canoe Club, travelled to Cairns to compete against a strong field of 36 other outrigger canoes and surf skis in the iconic and rather gruelling 2019 Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge (GBROC).

The paddlers came away with a second, a third and a first place in their divisions.

Club President Soozi Wilson said GBROC is a gruelling 45 km race from Yorkeys Knob in Cairns to Port Douglas and is Australia's longest endurance ocean paddling race challenging competitors both physically and mentally.

GBROC: Sam Price-Rees  and Emma Chambers came home with 1st place Open Women OC2
GBROC: Sam Price-Rees and Emma Chambers came home with 1st place Open Women OC2.

"Darren and Michael paddled in the OC1 (one-man canoe) division with Darren finishing second in the competitive Master Men field in a time of 3 hour and 57 minutes and Michael finishing in third place in the Senior Men division in a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes,” Ms Wilson said.

"Emma and Sam took out first place in the OC2 (two-man canoe) Open Women division with a finishing time of 4 hours and 21 minutes.

"The well-deserved medal placings follow months of hard training undertaken by the paddlers and is a fantastic achievement for them all.”

Darren Keily, who has tackled the annual event in previous years said it was definitely a challenging race and mentally tough for competitors.

"There were light winds at the start of the race that developed up to around 10 knots south/easterly,” Mr Keily said.

"There were periods of flat water but also some great linking runners which provided some assistance. I'm very happy with the results for us all.”

Senior Cap Coast paddlers will be travelling to the far north again in October to compete in the Marlin Coast Challenge relay race and our junior paddlers are training hard for the Trans-Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Championships and the Junior National Marathon Titles which are being held at the Sunshine Coast in September.

People interested in joining the club or learning to paddle should contact Club President Soozi Wilson on 0458 504 553 or contact Capricorn Coast Outrigger Canoe Club via Facebook.

Training takes place every Saturday morning at 6am at Lammermoor Beach access 2 near Statue Bay (subject to weather). No experience is necessary and new paddlers have 6 free sessions to try before making a commitment.