Central Coast Outrigger Canoe Club hosted the OC6 state titles at Patonga last weekend as teams in six-person outrigger canoes battled it out for a place at the National Championships.
The event, supported by the Boathouse Hotel Patonga and Belle Property, was held on April 9-10.
Club member, Debbie Sunartha, said the event brought together the best paddlers from around the state.
“After the horrendous weather and flooding of previous weeks and the hundreds of tons of debris and timber washed up on Patonga beach, it was thought impossible to hold this championship regatta,” Sunartha said.
“Our Council must be congratulated for completing the mammoth task of cleaning up the local beaches, especially Patonga, with such expediency.
“The Clean 4 Shore team must be thanked for their efforts to clear the waterways.”
The regatta started with the under-12s racing in Brisk Bay, protected from the moderate conditions of Broken Bay.
The Novices were next, followed by the more experienced short- and long-course crews, who ventured out into the ocean conditions of Broken Bay.
With help from Te Ika Nui Outrigger Canoe club, Marine Rescue, Police Rescue and Ocean Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, all with safety support vessels, the outrigger canoes raced in the moderate conditions.
Club member John Iliffe said the ocean swell was 2-3m.
“The racing finished with the men’s long course of 18km, with a long downwind leg to test the skill and stamina of the crews,” Iliffe said.
“On Saturday night after racing, the clubs had their Medal Presentation and a good social get-together at the Boat House hotel.
“A club regatta was held on Sunday for the one- and two-person small craft outrigger canoes (OC1/2) over similar courses and conditions, with podium finishes hotly contested.
“This championship regatta was a great success and enjoyed by competitors and spectators.
“Outrigger paddling is enjoyable and exciting and open to all age groups. It is a great way to stay fit, experiencing the outdoors with like-minded friends.”
The National Championships will be held at Port Stephens in May to finish off the 2022 racing season.