PORT Stephens has an incredibly active paddling community with Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), outrigger canoes, kayaks and even dragon boats forming a part of the paddling fraternity.
The Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Club has represented the region internationally with four paddlers having participated in the World Masters Championships in Auckland.
They were joined by two local New Zealand paddlers and won the silver medal in the twenty-two kilometre master mixed marathon.
This year outrigger paddlers also participated in the National Titles at Mooloolaba, where Port Stephens’ master mixed crew won third place in the Master Mixed Short Course.
The club has around sixty members.
Alice Smith of the Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Club told News Of The Area that the lady paddlers meet at 9am on Thursday mornings at the Anchorage and paddle for a couple of hours training each week.
“There is a mixed social paddle held on Sundays which leaves from Shoal Bay at 8am.”
“The crews that compete in Regattas train on Saturdays and often take the outriggers out through the heads and around the islands.”
“Anyone is welcome to come along and give paddling a try; you can learn how to be a part of an outrigger canoe team at either the ladies’ sessions on Thursdays or the Sunday social sessions,” she said.
By Marian SAMPSON