The Mooloolaba's open women's crew claimed victory in the Hamilton Island Cup 42km marathon race.
The Mooloolaba's open women's crew claimed victory in the Hamilton Island Cup 42km marathon race. Contributed

Ready for rest after Cup success

MOOLOOLABA outrigger Lea Curtis reckons her crew is going to sleep-in for a few weeks after its intense training regime culminated in victory in the Hamilton Island Cup on Sunday.

The 10-woman outfit staved off a mid-race chase from Outrigger Australia to claim the nation's most coveted outrigging title.

"We definitely had a battle on our hands," Curtis said after the gruelling 42km trek from North Point to Cat's Eye Bay.

"Our aim was to have a strong start and we pretty much jumped to the lead straight away.

"We started in Dent Passage and we really hugged the island. The other teams seemed to get a bit more stuck in currents, which helped us."

With just six competitors allowed in the canoe, the crews made swift substitutions while moving. Mooloolaba forged an imposing two-minute lead before the crew was confronted with rougher conditions.

"We were heading back from Pentecost Island. We've got quite a large boat and we had a bit of side-wind and side-swell, which was tough and we lost a bit of ground there," Curtis said.

But they dug deep with 6km remaining in the race.

"We clicked into gear and took off again," Curtis said.

The crew won in a time of three hours and 36 minutes to finish a minute clear of Outrigger Australia, with Northern Beaches a further two minutes adrift.

The result ensured Mooloolaba captured the coveted Australian Championships-Battle of the Paddles double.

"This is the peak of the season and the race everybody wants to win," Curtis said.

"We've won a few times before but I think this is a special one."

One of the rewards is a welcome break in training.

"We're going to sleep-in for a few weeks and avoid those cold mornings, which we haven't been enjoying," Curtis said.

"That's been the hardest part, keeping it going through the frosty mornings, so we're looking forward to a few weeks off. Then we'll start our OC1 National Series."

The winning crew consisted of Curtis, Amanda Wheatley-Ozolins, Coral Darbishire, Jane Brimacombe, Ronona Cuffe, Nat Flynne, Zara Smith, Ali Tait, Michelle Small and Sarah Fitzhenry.

 

SUNSHINE COAST WINNERS

  • Mooloolaba (outrigging open women marathon)
  • Mooloolaba (outrigging senior masters men)
  • Clint Robinson (16km ski)
  • Jordan Mercer (16km board)


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