FIVE members of the Hobart Outrigger Canoe Club, including two young Hobart residents, have achieved exceptional results at the Australian National Junior Championships and the international Trans Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Waka Ama Regatta (Gubbi Gubbi Regatta).
Chelsea Gregory, of Rosetta, Claire Doyle, of Lenah Valley, Ruby Rundle, of the Kingborough Municipality, Brody Wylie, of Brighton, and Saxon Ohl, of New Town, competed against 420 young people from most states of Australia, New Zealand, Cooke Islands, Fiji and Samoa during the two events.
The National Junior Championships is a marathon event, while the Gubbi Gubbi Regatta comprises sprint races.
The events run consecutively for five days at the same location, Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, to provide participants and their parents with a convenient and economical way to compete at more than one high-level event.
It was the second consecutive year competing at the contests for the Hobart paddlers who all achieved personal-best times.
All competitors also progressed to the semi-finals and finals.
The events were particularly successful for Saxon Ohl, who brought home three silver and two bronze medals from his under-12 age group.
Hobart Outrigger Canoe Club president and team coach Scott Cranfield said Saxon was the first member of the club to win an international medal.
“Saxon, like the whole group, worked extremely hard to achieve these great results,” he said.
“The team’s individual and group times were amazingly quicker than last year.
“The club is extremely proud of the achievements of this young group of paddlers. They have done themselves, their families and the club proud.”
The events cater for boys and girls aged eight to 21 years on single craft (OC1, V1), two-person canoes (OC2) and six-person canoes (OC6) in distances from 250 metres to 12 kilometres.
Mr Cranfield said the club was looking to increase its junior membership.
“This is a sport that caters to people from all walks of life,” he said.
“Outrigger canoeing is not a ‘one size fits all’ activity. We accept anyone who is looking to do something that is a little bit different and no previous experience is required.
“The club has an active calendar with local events in and around Hobart, intra state, interstate and internationally with members having previously paddled in the Fiji International Outrigger Regatta.
“Outrigger canoe paddling is a truly family based sport, with the club having social and competition paddlers happily mixed together in a unique environment.”
The Hobart Outrigger Canoe Club has locations at Montrose, Lindisfarne and Dodges Ferry.
With a six-week ‘come and try period’, interested paddlers can experience the sport without any pressure to continue.
For more information about the club, competitions and membership go to www.hobart.outriggers.com.au, “like” the group on Facebook or call 0417 526 579.