Mother and daughter paddling for different flags
MOOLOOLABA Outrigger and Canoe Club member Jenny Rasmussen and her daughter Rebecca will be vying for medals when the IVF Va'a World Sprint Championships start on Lake Kawana today.
Only thing is, they'll be competing for different countries.
Rasmussen will represent her club and Australia in the Masters 50-years and older division in V1 and V6 events, while her daughter will proudly paddle for her adopted nation, the Cook Islands.
Rebecca moved there one year ago, where she lives with her partner and young child.
"It's great to have her here, we love to see her," Rasmussen said.
Jenny said racing at home was a "huge advantage" for Sunshine Coast based clubs who know the lanes and wind conditions at Lake Kawana.
"The team we've got at the moment is coming along very well," she said.
"If you can get into a final, anything could happen... but there'll be stiff competition."
Months of preparations, including changes to the course layout have gone into making the venue suitable for an event of this magnitude.
Rasmussen has been to a "number" of worlds and said this course would stack-up anywhere.
"It took some very good work to win this bid," she said.
"We've had some great people on board to bring this event here.
"After lots of hours and hard work it's probably one of the best courses (I've seen)."
It's just the second time Australia has played host to the biggest event in the world of outriggers.
MORE than 2500 competitors from 30 countries are expected to attend.
The first two days will be set aside for elite competition before the Club Championships start on Tuesday.
Rasmussen, who coaches junior athletes at the Mooloolaba club said competition of this level would do wonders for the sport in Australia.
"I'd like to think it would inspire the younger athletes to strive for bigger and better things," she said.
"It's eye-opening for them to see the quality of international paddlers competing in their country."
The first race on the card this morning will be a heat of the Elite Men's V12 over 500m at 9.30am, before the para men and women get amongst the action.
Racing is expected to go until midday, before a ceremony to award the medallists.
Parking is available for cars at Sunshine Coast Stadium for $5 and buses run run regularly on route 600 between Maroochydore and Caloundra.
For more information visit www.vaaworldsprints.com.