Burleigh Heads Surfboard Riders Club Inc

FORMER Burleigh President James “Billy” Watson out to win Honolua Paddle Race

May 26th, 2009 Posted in Latest News


Billy showing what he can do on a SUP and the other clowns can’t! 



Array of Aquatic Craft to Feature in This Weekend’s Honolua Ocean Paddle Race


Gold CoastAustralia (Tuesday 26th May, 2009): IT was firstly paddleboards. Then stand up paddleboards (SUP). Now outrigger canoes have been added to the line-up for the annual Honolua Ocean Paddle Race.


A talented crew of outrigger canoe paddlers will put their ocean skills to the test for the first time alongside an anticipated 100-plus field of the state’s top board paddlers in the eight kilometre race, which starts at Snapper Rocks on Saturday and follows the coastline north before finishing at Currumbin Creek.


Outrigger Australia President John Stewart says it’s great that 1-person outrigger canoes (OC1) have been integrated into the prestigious open ocean race.


“The outrigger community is really excited to be part of this growing event,” he said.


“Our way of thinking is that OC1, paddleboard and stand up paddlers all share the love of the ocean, with most outrigger paddlers being competent in other surfing disciplines.”


Similar to that of paddle boarding and its stand up alternative, outrigger canoe paddling has its origins in the Hawaiian Islands. The first canoe race, initially for men, was held atHawaii’s Waikiki beach in 1917.


relatively young sport in Australia, outrigger canoe racing has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years with the development of clubs in States of Australia, expanding the sport’s power base and spiritual home from northern Queensland and the Whitsunday region to make it a more “national” sport.


With under a week till the starting siren is blasted on Saturday 30th May, entries are flooding into the Surfing Queensland office across 17 respective divisions.


The race’s status has been upgraded with a prize purse of $4500, a competitor prize giveaway of two return airfares from Australia to Hawaii, plus $1000 of restaurant prizes for the Thrower Drive Restaurant precinct at Currumbin.


Renowned Gold Coast waterman and seven times Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Championship winner Jamie Mitchell is hopeful of exacting revenge in the blue ribbon open men’s unlimited paddle after wiping out of last year’s race before the starter’s gun had even fired.


The 31-year-old Currumbin local was forced to withdraw after the rudder on his paddleboard snapped as he made his way out to the offshore start line in wild 3-metre seas. And to add insult to injury, he had his race record smashed by Buderim surf lifesaver Hayden Smith.


Fellow waterman and Gold Coast lifeguard James Watson (Burleigh Heads) will be looking to go one better in the Open Men Stand Up Paddle Unlimited division after a runner-up finish in the 2008 race.


Competition will commence at Snapper Rocks on Saturday at 10am with the top place getters expected to cross the line at Currumbin just prior to 11am.


The festivities will continue post race with the presentation of trophies and competitor BBQ scheduled to start at 12.30pm. Add to that, the post race function at the Boat Shed Café.


Anyone can enter through www.surfingqueensland.com


The event caters to stock boards and unlimited boards. Divisions include:


Unlimited: Open Men, Open Women, Over 40 Men, Over 50 Men, Open Men SUP, Over 40 Men SUP, Open Women SUP, Junior Men and Junior Women.


Stock: Open Men, Over 40 Men, Over 50 men, Open Men SUP.


Outrigger: Open Men, Open Women, Over 45 men and Over 35 Men.

The Honolua Ocean Paddle Race is proudly supported by Connecting Southern Gold Coast (CSGC), Hawaiian Airlines, Coastalwatch, XCEL Wetsuits, Dakine and Surfing Queensland.



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