The Mandurah Outrigger Canoe Club started the season with a bang on the weekend. Our first race was on Saturday in the Spirit Mandurah Classic Ocean Marathon, a 12.7km marathon from Dawesville to Halls Head. In the OC1 division it was a clean sweep for Mandurah with a 1, 2, 3, finish for Terry, Colin and Max in that order. Dario and Linda took out 2nd place in the OC2 division and Julie took out 2nd in the women's OC1 division.
On Sunday we all headed down to Bunbury to the Wave Masters Regatta, the first Grand Prix Regatta of the season. First up were a couple of short 2km OC1 races. Linda finished 2nd in the Women's Division and Mel finished 4th for Mandurah. In the Men's OC1 Division the Mandurah boys almost pulled off a repeat of the previous day with Dario finishing 2nd, Terry 3rd and Colin 4th.
The first of the big races was the OC6 Mixed Division 6km Marathon (see photo above). The line up of Linda in seat 1, Terry in 2, Dario 3, Mel 4, Colin 5 and Julie in 6 worked well and we soon settled down and found our groove and slowly pulled ourselves into the lead with some nice steering by Julie around the first mark. From there it was just a matter of maintaining the pressure as we extended our lead and won convincingly.
In the Women's OC6 8km Marathon both Julie and Linda of Mandurah paddled with the Cottesloe Club to make up numbers and had a great race to finish second by a canoe length to Fremantle. Mel filled in with the Busselton crew who finished 3rd.
In the Open Men's OC6 marathon we were short two men for the race and with no extra men available from other clubs we grabbed two women from West Coast Outrigger Club and put them up the front of the canoe in 1 and 2 seats and told them, "just go as hard as you can, we'll back you up!" Dario, Terry, Ian and Colin made up the rest of the crew. After a great start we were up with leaders as we left Koombana Bay and headed out around the sea wall into open ocean, with the inside run going around the sea wall we grabbed a canoe length lead. With another good inside line approaching the the half way buoy, we slipped around quickly avoiding the pack and jumped to a 4 canoe length lead. From there it was just a matter of staying focused and holding on if we could. Cottesloe was chasing hard and pushed us all the way to the finish but we held on win by 3 canoe lengths. It was an awesome effort and a very exciting race. Some of the all male crews must be scratching their heads after being beaten by us with two women in the crew
It was after a huge weekend of paddling for the Mandurah Outrigger Canoe Club and well done to all those who paddled. The club also managed to win 3 out of the 4 raffle prizes on the day as well!