Gladstone’s Sonia Adams will paddle for Australia in a 72km challenge in Hawaii later this year.
Gladstone’s Sonia Adams will paddle for Australia in a 72km challenge in Hawaii later this year.

Out to claim record

LOCAL woman Sonia Adams is part of a group of Australia’s fittest sportswomen who have been chosen in the first national team to compete in the 72km Na Wahine O Ke Kai outrigger challenge in Hawaii later this year.

The annual event will be held in Hawaii’s Molokai Channel in September.

Adams holds the position of stroke, who sits in seat number one and sets the pace and rhythm to give the other paddlers a good stroke.

The race is a changeover race where every 20 minutes a support boat carrying fresh paddlers will drop two to three girls in the water 100m ahead of the boat so a swap of paddlers can happen.

“We are aiming for the top three,” she said. “I competed with the Outrigger Whitsunday team last year and we came fourth so we stand a fairly good chance.”

The race takes about six hours to finish.

Adams has been competing in outrigger canoeing since 1995 and has paddled with teams from Noosa, Mooloolaba and Whitsundays.

“I love being out on the water and love to paddle and compete with friends,” she said.

“There is nothing better than being on the water at sunrise or sunset and seeing dolphins and whales.”

When Adams is not paddling, she works with Nhulundu Health Service as a clinical nurse and diabetes educator.

Career highlights include competing in the World Championships in Hawaii in 2004.

“With the Mooloolaba team we came first and broke the world record,” she said.

“We would love to get that record back with the Australian team this year.

“We are hoping for big swells and big winds, it’s such an adrenaline rush riding the waves.

“You need to know how to surf the canoe and when to chase waves and when to back off.”

Sonia also coaches the local women’s team at Canoe Point.

Sonia trains on the water at night six times a week, puts in two gym sessions a week and swims twice a week.



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