Outriggers bring home the bronze
GOING to the Cook Islands to compete is never easy but the Fraser Coast Outrigger Canoe Club did itself proud, making the journey to compete along with 500 other athletes from around Australia and the world.
The annual race around the island of Rarotonga saw eight members of the Fraser Coast club competing in the Vaka Eiva.
The paddlers described it as a carnival atmosphere which starting with the opening ceremony and continued throughout the week. The same atmosphere spilled over to the social events as the racing got into full swing.
The clear weather and scenic surroundings lifted the spirits of those competing – and also provided perfect conditions for racing.
The Fraser Coast outriggers were taking on Beijing Olympians and former Iron men and women winners and they knew they had their work cut out for them.
The Fraser Coast outriggers had to draw on all of their determination and training to get them through the gruelling events.
The competitors took part in a variety of events, including the OC1 races, the V-6 competition, which is a six-man race; the12km and 18km Iron races and the Muri Beach sprints.
There were also under 19s 10km and 15km ocean races and the premier event – the men and women’s 32km race around the island, known as the Pacific Cup.
The Fraser Coast master women’s team came third in the Pacific Cup event.
The senior master men also came third in that event.
The master women also came third in the sprints.
Jenaya Davis won two gold medals for the under 16 and under 19 ocean marathons.
Corrina Cook, Bryanne Eyles and Sandy Wallace received two bronze medals for the 500m sprint and the 40km changeover race.
The week spent in the water saw many great achievements and gave the paddlers a holiday in paradise – one that wasn’t always relaxing.
This year was the fourth time the Vaka Eiva was held. The Fraser Coast competed against paddlers from New Zealand, California, Guam, Hawaii, Tahiti and from around Australia.
Ages ranged from 14 to 70.
The Fraser Coast club is now looking forward to a successful year of competition in 2010.