Shorncliffe Pier is about to be touched by the romance of the South Seas, as it becomes the setting for the area’s inaugural Polynesian Outrigger Canoe Racing Regatta.
Hosted by Shorncliffe’s Polynesian Va’A-Alo Outrigger Canoe Club on February 15, the event promises to be a spectacular day out as more than 30 six-person canoes from about 25 clubs in South Queensland take to the water.
The sound of Polynesian drumming coming from the beach will herald the opening of the day’s festivities, beginning with a cultural opening ceremony and followed by an official opening by Councillor Jarad Cassidy.
Club Secretary Steve Tomoana said the regatta was the first one for the Shorncliffe Club, which was founded five years ago by members of the Polynesian community who wanted to emphasise the culture associated with the sport.
“Polynesia is a multitude of islands – Hawaii, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand,” he said. The cultures are all very similar, yet distinct in other ways. The club reflects that Polynesian aspect – we have members who are Fijians, Samoans, New Zealand Maoris, Cook Islanders.”
The regatta’s races will range from eight to 16 km with men’s, women’s and mixed crews racing. Junior Crews also will race in the morning. The day’s main event will be the 16km course starting at 12pm (women) and 1.45pm (men). All races can be watched from the Shorncliffe Pier and surrounding beaches, including the Sandgate waterfront.
A food tent selling burgers and cold drinks, a coffee van, and stalls selling paddling and water sports equipment will be set up on the day at lower Moora Park.
Steve said outrigger canoeing was a sport that could be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds.
“It’s very much a multi-age, group sport,” he said.
“Our club paddles four days a week – we have a lot of couples, and entire family groups paddling.”For more information contact Steve Tomoana on 0422 004 861, or email email@example.com.Polynesian Outrigger Canoe Racing RegattaSaturday 15 February, 6.45am-3.15pmShorncliffe Pier