Papua2Four of our BRD girls were invited to join with a Mooloolaba team of ladies to travel to Papua New Guinea to race. The purpose of this trip was by invitation from the Papua New Guinea National Women's Va'a Team to provide challenging race experiences for their teams in preparation for their upcoming Pacific Games to be held this weekend. It also provided an opportunity to test run their marathon and newly completed sprint course.

The BRD team comprised Carrie Haines, Nicole Murphy, Kyelee Stanley, and Brenda Lincez. Jody Stephenson, past BRD paddler – we still claim her as one of our own – and Gaye Forbes completed the team.

Racing was excellent. A challenging 16km marathon on the Saturday, half into the wind, delivered good surfing moments on the return run. Sprints on the Sunday – don’t know how many – lost count! Been some time since BRD did 1500 m sprints on a 250m course!

It wasn’t all racing though. Saturday night gave the Mooloolaba and BRD team an opportunity to dine with the 20 PNG girls and their coaches, to share a cultural exchange and a little insight into their lives. They are an amazing group of very committed and fit young ladies. Few of them have jobs or adequate resources. To assist, BRD donated BRD training singlets and the PNG team wish to pass on their gratitude to the club for their generosity.

This National team are also committed to representing their country at the World Sprints to be held on the Sunshine Coast next May. We look forward to welcoming them to our waters and return their hospitality.


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