What a great start to the 2009/10 season, the Mandurah Outrigger Club finished 1st and 2nd in their division in the Royal Surf Lifesaving ‘Classic Paddle’ from the Narrows Bridge down the river to the Stirling Bridge. Seen as a precursor race to the season proper the Bridge to Bridge race is where states outrigger teams get an early look at each other before the points races start. The competition didn’t get to look at the Mandurah teams for very long, within the first 10 mins both the Mandurah crews had left the other Outrigger crews and Dragon Boat teams, who all start together, behind and were fighting each other for the lead. The mixed crew was even late for the start having to fight it’s way through the flotilla of skis to get to the line.
The mixed team of 3 guys and 3 girls, which was stacked with some of our strongest paddlers soon caught the mens crew and a real ding dong battle then began. Battling a stiff 25kn SE breeze smashing chop and waves into the side of both canoes they raced neck-a-neck until the mixed crew slipped ahead. The men’s crew then took advantage of the change in course and surfed into the lead again on the downwind section to Pt Walter Spit. The Mixed crew caught up and took the lead just before the portage over the Spit. The portage has to be the toughest part of the race, after using all upper body for the first half of the race then jumping out and pushing a 155kg canoe across the sand is a shock to the system. The Mixed crew held their lead for the last 4km to the finish with the Men’s crew hot on their heels.
Many thanks to our new club sponsor Southpoint Prestige who did a great job refurbishing our trailer, it went like a dream. Our next race is the Mandurah Classic Paddle from the Dawesville Cut to Seashells Resort on the 21st Nov followed the next weekend by the Bay to Beach in Perth from Mossman Bay to Cottesloe Beach.