Douglas outriggers prepare for Sydney regatta

Friday February 27 2015, 4:00pm

Port Douglas Outrigger Club is preparing for its first regatta of 2015. 

Training for the last few months, 23 of the club's current active members are heading to Sydney for this weekend’s second Hawaiian Airline Harbour Challenge. 

The two-day event will start on Saturday with a 25-kilometre race from the Manly Ferry Terminal towards Circular Quay before turning at the halfway mark in front of Lunar Park.

“It’s a great feeling racing on the Sydney Harbour," team member Peter Beitz said. 

"Paddling under the Harbour Bridge is the highlight of the race. This will be my second time at this race and it’s still exciting. I am hoping for a selfie under the Bridge.

Legally blind, the race adds an extra challenge to Peter. 

Racing in the Open Men’s crew his team will join the Master Men crew (40 years+) at the start line with the Open Women and Senior Master Women (50+) racing earlier in the day. 

Undoubtedly the most experience Port Doulas Crew on the day will the Senior Master Women’s team. 

Faye Lilly, Jacky Cooke, Jan Ward, Wendy Morris, Denis Lee Long and Winnie Shiroma have been training together with the Open Women crew of Lilli Jensen, Dani Bellero, Monique Johnson, Jodie Kierle , Kelly King and Kim St.Piere for some time to prepare themselves for this race. 

“Training with the Open Women’s team only made us stronger,” Winnie said.  We have been pushing each other during each training session. So there will be some nice friendly rivalry between the two teams during the race.” 

The Sunday will see some sprint racing on V3 (3 paddler canoe) and SUP (Stand up Paddle boarding).

Club President Glen Thorp said the race would be a new challenge.

“The V3 is something none of us has raced yet as they are not very common around Australia, but it will  be a lot of fun and the 1km sprint race will be great for the spectators to watch,” he said said. 

"We will have lots of stories to tell during our Come and Try Days on March 7th and 8th."