Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Practice Flipping Makes Perfect For Outriggers

Onlookers may have been confused while watching Whitsunday Outriggers Canoe Club participate in ‘Huli’ practice two weeks ago in the Whitsunday waters.

The local club embarked from Shingley Beach to New Beach, and whilst in the Pioneer Bay, tipped themselves out of their vessels.

Outrigger Club member Paul Tobias said a Huli is essentially when an outrigger capsizes, caused when the outer float leaves the water, rotating 180-degrees.

“This is a rare occurrence, as the ama [outer float] provides canoe stability, but when a Huli happens, all paddlers find themselves in the water,” Mr Tobias said.

“A couple of times a year, the routine for recovery needs to be practiced and last Saturday morning for Whitsunday Outriggers, it was Huli time.”

After a safety briefing at Shingley Beach from club president Terry Kemp and coach Glen Bray, the Huli crew across to New Beach to Huli.

Safety and teamwork were essential, with each member, depending on their seat in the canoe, allocated a task -- from collecting the paddles, to righting the canoe and bailing out the water.

Four, six person ocean canoe crafts (OC6) went over during the Huli, leaving the outriggers drenched, but with good water safety and team work, four relatively speedy recoveries.

Mr Tobias said his own previous practice took place a month ago in surf off the Victorian beach of Torquay, “where the water temperature is quite different to the beautiful Whitsundays.”

“Well done to all 22 paddlers on Saturday,” he said.

And last Wednesday, senior representatives from Tassal visited Shingley Beach to view the latest addition to the outrigger fleet – a direct outcome of their sponsorship.

The recently launched six person Matahina ocean canoe is already a vital part of the OC6 training and racing canoes for Outrigger Whitsunday.

“Thanks to Heidi Smith, Senior Manager, Environmental, Social and Governance at Tassal, and Kylie Davies, Senior Manager Projects and Growth, for your company’s ongoing support,” Mr Tobias said.

Contributed with thanks to Paul Tobias

Whitsunday Outriggers Canoe Club participated in a ‘Huli’ last weekend, pictured here during a safety briefing for the capsize safety practice

Outriggers with their new boat courtesy of Tassal, as well as representatives from the aquaculture company

In other news