Mooloolaba masterstroke to Oahu
MOOLOOLABA'S marathon men traversed treacherous tides and severe swells to clinch the senior masters title earlier this month in the unofficial world championships of outrigging, the Molokai to Oahu race in Hawaii.
Gladstone's Chris Grant was among a nine-strong crew that made the trip and after another fantastic race can boast two senior masters' titles from two crossings.
“I did it better than last year – it's all preparation,” he said.
Grant, 52, put in four months of training for the prestigious event and helped his crew to 26th overall out of a field of 128.
“There were bigger seas this year. Last year the conditions weren't as rough,” he said.
“A lot of it plays with current and tide. We had a following wind for the first few kilometres, then you get out into the Molokai channel, where there is a lot of current, so it becomes a really technical race.”
The nine-time winners of the masters division finished the challenging 66km course in five hours 46 minutes, about three minutes clear of their nearest rival, Hawaiian crew Hui Nala.
Perennial powerhouse Shell Va'a was the winner of the open division for the fifth straight year.
Grant said he hoped to embark on three or four more crossings.
“Next year I hope to make it again,” he said. “I love it. I eat it up for breakfast.”
The Mooloolaba crew consisted of Ron Grabbe, Andrew Jones, Warren Cuffe, Michael Smith, Steve Cole, Gene Lopez, Tony Harding, Mark Forbes and Grant.