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Mooloolaba tries something different this weekend

  • Mooloolaba Yacht Club's Tri-Sail-Athon (Photo by Tri-sail-athon-logo-web-small)
Mooloolaba tries something different this weekend

Mooloolaba’s Tri-Sail-Athon won’t quite be in the realm of its annual World Cup Triathlon, but the competition among the teams of sailors and surf athletes in this new event will be just as fierce.

Mooloolaba Yacht Club has joined forces with Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club for an innovative one-day event on Sunday 24 February modelled on the Triathlon concept, but with sailing in the mix, call Tri-Sail-Athon.

The event idea came about as a result of the sailing club wanting to introduce to its regular program more events with Fun as a key outcome. As Mooloolaba is a major hub for Surf Life Saving, it was a natural fit to invite Kawana Surf Club to come on board.

The surf club will provide 10 two-man surf athlete teams while the yacht club will provide the sailing boats and sailors.

After the official welcome at The Wharf, the racing starts at 10am on Mooloolaba Beach, adjacent to the caravan park. Cheered on by their sailing team members one surf athlete from each team will compete in a 15 minute ocean race.

All teams then return to Mooloolaba Yacht Club’s sign-on pontoon at The Wharf to jump on their allocated boats by 11am. The fleet then head out offshore for a short bay race.

Back at The Wharf the sailors get to take it easy while the athletes jump in their surf skis for a race start at 3pm. They will paddle around Minyama Island, back and forth past The Wharf where the public will be able to cheer them on and then past the Wharf Tavern and the legion of spectators to finish back at Penny Lane park. Driven by the boisterous support of the team swimmers and sailors, this will be the chance for the paddlers to ensure their team take out the inaugural Tri-Sail-Athon trophy.

Kawana Waters Surf Life Saving Club secretary Bob Clements is a keen supporter of the event as it brings two water-based sports into a friendly team competition. “The surf club sees this event as a great opportunity for our volunteer surf lifesavers to have some fun and mix with other lovers of the ocean.”

Mooloolaba Yacht Club commodore Tracey Johnstone sees two key benefits to conducting this unusual event. “With the help of the event manager Jane Cluff, who is an active member of both clubs, we are able to connect with a whole new group of people and introduce them to sailing. Then there is the fun element of the event. Every one competing gets to do what they do best whether it is swimming, sailing or surf ski paddling; they compete in their own discipline, but as a team.

“We have the perfect venue for this event with Mooloolaba Beach just a minute away on the ocean side of The Spit and then the Mooloolah River right at our front door. If the weather turns nasty offshore, the swimmers can still do their ocean swim and then we will get the surf athletes out on the club’s Elliott 6s for racing on the river,“ Johnstone said.

By Tracey Johnstone