CHAMPIONS: The Noosa Senior Master Women are looking for top honours.
CHAMPIONS: The Noosa Senior Master Women are looking for top honours. Stacey Phillis

Noosa Outriggers ready to go the distance

THREE women's crews from the Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club are currently training hard for the International Va'a Federation World Distance Championships, being held in Mooloolaba from August 9-16.

With only one Australian crew per age division qualifying for the World Distance Championships, the Noosa Club has done extremely well to have the three women's crews as the fastest qualifiers in the nation in their respective divisions.

The crews will now represent Australia, competing against teams from around the world. Each crew is made up of six paddlers, with the teams from Noosa representing Australia in Senior Master Women (50+), Golden Master Women (60+) and Platinum Master Women (70+).

The Senior Master Women crew members are Manu Frank, Cath McKee, Jill Bingham, Cecily Ridderhof, Susie Blumentals and steerer Stacey Phillis.

The Golden Master crew members are Pip Kay, Rose Edyvean, Jackie Barnes, Deidre Mooney, Georgie Pakau and steerer Val Phillips, with the Platinum Master Women crew members being Heather Atkinson, Di Arbuckle, Sandra Kennedy, Ellie Sinclair Guy, Lyle Woods and Steerer Pam Prescott.

The Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club also has two Master Women (40+) - Flea White and Paz Hegarty - who have been selected in a pool of 10 paddlers from throughout Australia from which their crew and reserves are chosen.

Since September 2018, the Noosa women have been on the water training with the goal of developing the strongest crews in each division.

Since qualifying to paddle for Australia, crews and individual paddlers have stepped up their training to four or five sessions on the water per week.

Women's team coaches, Stacey Phillis and Chris Mitchell, are continuing to support and develop the teams during the regular training sessions.

These Australian representative crews believe their greatest opposition will come from Hawaii, New Zealand and Tahiti, countries with strong historical connections to outrigger paddling.

The marathon races will be two laps of a spectator friendly triangular course over 24kms for all Women's divisions, except for the Platinum division which will race a 16km course.

Anyone wanting to support the Noosa paddlers and enjoy all the action of the World Distance Championships, can head to Moolalaba Spit from August 9 to August 16.

The opening will be held at Mooloolaba, August 10.

Friday through Sunday is course familiarisation. August 12 the Women (50+) race, August 13 the Women (70+) crew race, and August 15 the Women (60+) compete.

The closing ceremony and party are scheduled for August 16.