'Beach boys' power up for paddle

SURFING'S watermen have extra incentive to flex their paddling muscles this month, with the return of the third-annual Honolua Ocean Paddle Race.

A record field of elite board paddlers are expected to tackle the 8km race, which starts at Snapper Rocks and follows the coastline north, before finishing at Currumbin Creek on Saturday, May 30.

A record prize pool of $4500 plus a Hawaiian Airlines return ticket for two to Hawaii is expected to attract a quality field.

The paddle boards are a throwback to the beach boys who used to surf in Waikiki, Hawaii using canoe paddles to power themselves into the waves.

The modern boards are streamlined, specialised boards that are designed to ride open ocean swells and are usually paddled surfboard style in either prone or kneeling position.

Stand-up paddle (SUP) will again be an integral component of this year's race and this division includes the use of a board and a paddle for use while standing up.

Adding to the event's already high stakes is the newly-added OC1 Outrigger division (one person).

The event caters to stock boards and unlimited boards. Divisions include:

Unlimited: open men, open women, over 40 men, over 50 men, open men SUP, over 40 men SUP, open women SUP, junior men and junior women.

Stock: open men, over 40 men, over 50 men, open men SUP.

Outrigger: open men, open women, over 45 men and over 35 men.

Competition will commence at Snapper Rocks on Saturday, May 30 at 10am with the top place getters expected to cross the line at Currumbin just prior to 11am.Surfing Queensland is encouraging paddlers to get their entries in and enjoy this popular event. Anyone can enter by following the link from www.surfingqueensland .com

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