The Eyot Centre was host to the IVF World Sprint Outrigger Crews who were competing in the World Va’a Sprint Outrigger Championships held at Dorney lake. Crews from Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Brazil, Germany who were to take part in the 500m V12, 500m V6 & 1000/1500m turn races on the infamous Olympic lake. The first time ever it was to be held in Europe. Members from the Eyot Centre were also taking part as part of Team GB.
The Eyot Centre was awash with activity as crews took to the water in outrigger canoes to practice ahead of the event. It was a spectacle to see on the Henley river. The crews were spellbound training on the famous Royal Regatta course. It was impressive seeing world class crews making their finishing touches to their training plans & tweaking their racing turns around the practice yellow buoys.
Outrigging is such a respectful and inclusive sport, a big inclusive family, coming together through the love of the sport. Ahead of any training, the crews had a boat blessing ceremony to ward off any evil and protect those paddling in each Waka canoe.
The Eyot Centre also hosted the boat naming ceremony, where Richard Parrott the owner of Paddlesports, invited crews to name the outrigger canoes they christened on our waters. A respectful and hugely symbolic celebration took place as the Waka canoes were named.
Team GB won 9 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the championships. The racing was incredible, the event organised by Cam Taylor (Great Britain Outrigger Canoe Association (GBOCA)) went brilliantly. All crews put on outstanding performances at Dorney lake.
The Eyot Centre was very proud to be hosts to showcase to our local community, especially the local youth, the opportunities available to them at the Centre. The Centre is very focused on getting youth into sport.