Hiri Moale canoe race organisers must follow rules

Letters, Normal

AS a canoe owner at the recently concluded Hiri Moale “B” grade canoe race, I would like to air my dissatisfaction over the poor organisation of the canoe race at Ela Beach.
On race day, we arrived at 6am to prepare for the scheduled start at 9:30am, which unfortunately came and went without a word from the race officials.
At around 10am, there was some mad activity to signal what appeared to be the start of the race, which saw skippers and crew members dashing for their canoes.
Several canoes were on the water.
Seeing this, the race marshals attempted to get the canoes to return to the beach with only four heeding the instructions.
The marshals even threatened to disqualify those canoes that failed to return to the beach.
However, the prize winners were those that remained out at the reef, for some reason, they all escaped disqualification.
One poor canoe, thinking it was doing the noble thing to return to the beach, was taken completely by surprise when the start was made.
This is not the first time this has happened as certain skippers deliberately manoeuvre their canoes to either get a head start or try to position their canoes windward to take advantage.
This unsportsmanlike behaviour must be stopped, even if it means suspending repeat offenders.
My plea to race officials is that all established canoe race rules and penalty clauses must be strictly adhered to in order to have a fair and just race.


Dissatisfied canoe owner
Port Moresby