Carly (R) with fellow BOCCie, Wendy Coll (L)

Carly (R) with fellow BOCCie, Wendy Coll (L)

This month BOCC is profiling Carly Butler, second year outrigger canoe paddler.  She joined BOCC at the beginning of the 2012/13 season and since then has become one of BOCC’s most enthusiastic clubbies.

She has a strong technique, being very square to the canoe on her catch and straight back to her 6, said Danny Toppy Topfer, women coach.

œShe [also] loves a laugh, which is definitely required at 4:30 [in the morning], he added.

Carly was recently named in the Open Women™s crew for this years Gold Coast Cup, which is an achievement that reflects both her enthusiasm and dedication to the sport.

We asked Carly to share a few words on her recent race experience up at the Panamuna OCC Regatta, Mooloolaba, as well as tell us about her first change practice session in the ocean. Heres what she had to say:

This season has so far been an incredible experience. I started this sport two years ago with the hope in finding a sport that was both challenging and competitive and it has certainly been both and so much more.

Last Saturday (April 5), saw me competing in my first long course. I was so excited to be part of such a fantastic crew, which consisted of Emma Buosi as steerer, Hope Grunfeld, Penny Jenkins, Lisa Powers and myself. It was a bonus having Toppy step up last minute to turn our crew from Open Women’s to Open Mixed.

BOCC Master Women crews and Open 'Mixed' take off for the long course from Mooloolaba Spit

BOCC Master Women crews and Open ‘Mixed’ take off for the long course from Mooloolaba Spit

I really enjoyed paddling from the start destination (Mooloolaba Spit) to the finish line off Moffat Beach. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was extremely relieved to have seen the end orange buoy. It was also a relief to see that it wasn’t just me hurting at the end. Toppy had also said it was a difficult course with conditions against us like head winds and tides. I understood what he said but I a™m still learning about the ‘outrigging’ lingo.

Backing up from Saturday, saw us jumping back into the canoes for our first changeover paddle for the season (or for some like myself) our first ever.

I was extremely anxious about the idea of jumping out into the water with who knows what swimming around me so I made sure I studied up the night before thanks to YouTube so I knew what I was in for.

I thought we would get some practice jumping in and out of the canoes just in the shallows off shore but boy, was I mistaken!

When Toppy said we were heading for the small island off the coast from Maroochydore (Old Woman Island) I knew we would be getting straight into it. Thankfully I started the session in a canoe, so I had the opportunity of watching the expert, Emma, before I was to roll/jump into the water and with that successfully completed, I knew what was left was to get into a moving canoe.

Novice Women Crew 2012/13 at the National Marathon Titles. (L to R) Kathy, 'Mini', Val, Jenny C, Carly & Flo (kneeling in front)

Novice Women Crew 2012/13 at the National Marathon Titles. (L to R) Kathy, ‘Mini’, Val, Jenny C, Carly & Flo (kneeling in front)

The adrenalin was pumping as I jumped into the water waving my arms, visualising what I was supposed to do. Before I knew it, I was pulling myself in the most unattractive and ridiculous positions to wrangle my body into the boat. It certainly wasn’t how I envisaged getting in but I did it and got back into paddling.

For the rest of the morning I continued to maneuver my body to get into the boat as efficiently as possible. It was three hours of pure enjoyment, pain and anxiety but I came out pretty unscathed.

I had a ball and I thank Toppy and Penny for their encouragement. All in all, it was the positive support and cheers from all three crews that really gave me the boost I needed. I definitely look forward to next changeover session.

Besides a few more marathons left in the SQ Zone series, we have Gold Coast Cup, National Marathon Titles and the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles on Hamilton Island coming up and I can’t wait for the challenges that lie ahead.


BOCC’s finishing positions from April 5:

Long Course

  • Open Mixed 3rd
  • Master Women (Min) 2nd
  • Master Women (Jenny) 6th
  • Open Men 3rd
  • Master Men 3rd
  • Senior Master Men 5th

Short Course

  • Master Mixed 1st
  • Open Women 1st
  • Novice Men 2nd
  • Open Mixed 4th



Click here for the full list of results from the recent Panamuna OCC