Outriggers return with medals
CANOE Point Outriggers members returned from the East Coast Junior Championships in Mooloolaba at the weekend with a stack of medals, and many are better for the experience of their first such meet.
Canoe Point Outriggers coach Grant Olds said the main priority for the group was to build confidence for the new paddlers and raise their skill levels.
“This is exclusively for the juniors and about having fun, especially for the younger ones,” Olds said.
“We try and get all of them on the water and sometimes out of their normal teams and positions.
“For many it was their first taste of true competition.”
Teams from all along the eastern seaboard attended as well as a crew from New Caledonia. Seventeen Canoe Point Outriggers members competed and for the first time the under-12s, comprised of 10-year-olds, were up.
“They’ve basically started paddling together for only three months, and they performed with distinction, but were out of the medals,” Olds said.
“By the time the nationals arrive in April next year, they’ll be hitting their straps.”
Mitch Olds paddled with Mooloolaba in the under-19s team paddle, sharing in gold, before grabbing two of his own in the rudderless and OC1.
Lily Mitchell and Alanna Harris, both 10, paddled with the under-14s Cairns team and finished second and third in two events. Mitchell also placed third in the rudderless canoe category.
In the under-14s, Canoe Point managed to hold off a fast-finishing crew from North Queensland, which had several members from Canoe Point in the mix.
“So we picked up gold in the 500 straight and 500 turns,” Olds said.
“They haven’t been training all that hard since the worlds, so what they’re doing is more about what comes natural at this stage.”
Jessica Spencer-Galvin and Talisha Buttsworth made the under-14s OC 1 final. Buttsworth picked up second and won the rudderless final, in which teammate Emma De Britt also featured.
Tyrone Davis finished second in the 250m sprint final and third in the rudderless. Megan Hogan made three finals at the championships, snaring a third in the rudderless.