‘That’s my bay’: Mum thrilled with hometown win
AUSTRALIA’S open women’s outrigging team have tasted gold in the IVF Va’a World Distance Championships at Mooloolaba.
The elite division racers today knocked off heavyweights Tahiti and New Zealand over the 24km course to complete a remarkable boilover.
Mooloolaba’s Lea Schloss, the only Sunshine Coast representative, played a lead role in the victory, calling the shots and maintaining control.
Despite finishing a minute clear, the team of six, were “shell-shocked” to have beaten such “phenomenal” athletes.
“We knew we’d done everything we could have but the Tahitians are just amazing water women,” Schloss said.
“They live and breathe the sport, it’s in their blood.
“To just be compared to them is unreal.
“We just kept believing in each other and played a tactical race to not be penalised.
“The race was tit for tat but when we turned the last buoy I think we broke them.”
With a bottle of champagne being passed around the “shattered and sore” outrigger spoke of the thrill of competing on her home course in front of screaming friends and family.
The win comes after months of hour-long training sessions, on top of work and family commitments.
“That’s my bay. I know every current, every bit of swell, to do it here is a beautiful thing,” she said.
“My two kids, and mum and sisters and friends were there.
“I could hear them on the rock wall.
“This sport is a lot of pressure on families.
‘I train every day, sometimes at 4am, or 3pm.
“It’s a juggle.
“But this is so worthwhile.”