PADDLING AHEAD: Erin Hurst is looking forward to the championships which will be her second world-class experience.
PADDLING AHEAD: Erin Hurst is looking forward to the championships which will be her second world-class experience. Mike Richards

Local outriggers gear up for world championships

THE national representation trend for Gladstone athletes continues with seven outriggers bound for the world championships.

The World Outriggers Titles will be held on the Sunshine Coast from May 5 to 15 in which Millie and Lucy Saunders, Sonnboy Kingi Joshua Hurst, Jasmine Marshall, Tegan Carpenter, Erin Hurst and Aoife Moller will compete.

For 13-year-old Jasmine, outrigger was introduced to her after she investigated that there was not much happening.

"I decided to join the Outrigger Canoe Club and the older girls teach me how to prepare myself physically and mentally," Jasmine said.

The youngster trains after school at 4.30pm.

Outrigger Canoeing is a water sport comprising of a canoe with an outrigger (ama) attached to it for extra stability. The canoes range from a one man (OC1), two man (OC2), 6 man (OC6) and V1 (one man Rudderless).

These are the main canoes for racing.

The outrigger canoe began as a means of transport for migration and food gathering for the Pacific and Asian regions, and in the modern era has become a popular and competitive sport worldwide.

There are many traditions that come with the sport of outrigging, and a level of respect for your fellow paddler, the canoe, and the water which makes it unique.

For 15 year old Tegan the chance to study the different cultures is another aspect as to why she is looking forward to the event.

"The world titles will be a great experience, and my aim is to make the 2018 Commonwealth Games in which outrigging will be an exhibition event," Tegan said.

For Erin and Aoife, the championships will be their second world-class experience.

The pair medalled in Brazil to win silver and bronze, and Tegan will also study how the trend-setting Tahitians go about a sport in which they dominate.

"The Tahitians are the ones to beat, and it will be great to see all the different countries and cultures and how they prepare for a race," Erin said.

The young athletes train four times a week which includes CrossFit style training twice a week.



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