Coconuts Outrigger Canoe paddlers return home with medals from Townsville

Coconuts’ paddlers who travelled to Townsville to compete in a weekend of racing.

LOCAL paddlers from the Coconuts Outrigger Canoe Club travelled to Townsville last month for a full weekend of racing. 

On the first day, the club enjoyed a day of fast and furious 500m sprint racing in a variety of craft, including six-man, three-man, two man and one-man canoes. 

The club did extremely well in all events, with junior paddler, James Friel, doing the club proud by gaining gold in his first solo sprint race, whilst Billy Gaia put in a strong effort in his first two-man sprint race.

On Sunday, the Open Men’s crew tested their stamina in the 37km Magnetic Island Changeover race.

Eighteen crews took to the water, comprising of OC1, OC2, and OC6 outrigger canoes, together with surf skis. 

The paddlers raced from Pallarenda Beach, Townsville, around Magnetic Island, taking in the spectacular views along the way. 

The Coconuts Open Men’s crew of Adrian Darveniza, Matthew Abbott, Brett Gaia, Miles Darveniza, Andrew Portelli, Luke Portelli, Peter Friel, Ralph Seed (The Dam OCC), with Nicola Hoey stepping up to race in the men’s crew, finished second behind Brisbane Club Bayside, in a time of 3hrs15min. 

Club President, Adrian Darveniza, said the changeover race adds an extra challenge due to having to jump in and out of the moving canoe throughout the race. 

A support boat travels with each canoe, allowing the teams of nine to swap paddlers out of the six-man canoe. 

“The team proved their determination in this event, which pushes all paddlers to the limits of their physical and mental endurance. I’m incredibly pleased with the club’s results,” he stated.

Matthew Abbott and Miles Darveniza also recently competed in the National Marathon titles held at Rockhampton. 

Abbott placed second in the Open Men’s OC1 Marathon and, then backed that up with a fourth in the OC6 Marathon the following day. 

The club always welcomes new faces, and anyone wanting to try paddling is invited to one of the club’s training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.15pm at Coconuts Beach. 

For further information please visit Coconuts Outrigger Canoe Club Facebook page.

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