Wednesday, February 2, 2011


On Australia Day Eve we attended the Sunshine Coast Regional Council Australia Day Awards where Tri Adventure received recognition through our nomination in the Sport and Recreation Category… was a great afternoon and the MC was Steve Bradbury, Winter Olympic Gold Medallist in Speed Skating…..he was absolutely hilarious and we were thoroughly entertained and relaxed by his Aussie humour and wit….and proud to be amongst the other award nominees in all the categories – some very amazing people!
Richard & Howie relax under a shady tree
Meeting at Pomona – 7.00am – we only had Howie joining us for the first climb – Mt Cooroora…. The climb was great and bagging peak number 1, we made our way down.  We were hotting up for the big day ahead… Richard met us at 8.30am – he had chosen to miss the mountain climb and ride out to Pomona….and we took off on the exciting Trail 5 for the ride out to Cooran.  Transitioning at the cow-shed, we went on foot up the fence-line and started on the steep, rocky track up the mountain.  On our climb the previous Sunday we had marked the trail…so it was easy going and we bagged the 2nd peak in 26 minutes….not bad for a couple of veterans, a vintage and a legend!   Ant, who had come straight from work, met us at the Cooran turn-off and we took off out along the scenic Kin Kin Rd to Camphor Rd… We were heading to Middle Lookout…and in the Garmin stats of the day it actually looked like we had bag 3 peaks as Middle Lookout is almost as high as Mt Cooran – and you can ride all the way up there!  Off we went up the steep road, then onto the steep, grassy hill… Up a few false summits before eventually getting to the top……Yay!!  We doused our heads in water from the over-filled tank, and then cooled and refreshed we rested and got some food in….. We looked in the visitors book and noted that “God” had passed by and signed in – dated 2053….Mmmmm….Ant thought we were possibly high enough to be in heaven….even though it felt like Hell…… We reassured her it was downhill all the way back to Pomona….except for those extra little hills we forgot about….. It’s all character building we said…and we all rode on.  Richard left us at the Porters Rd turn-off for his ride home and totalled 89kms for the day – with a mountain climb thrown in….What a great effort.  We finished the ride on Trail 7 back to Pomona and filled up on a great breakfast at the Mountain Stop Café….with a bit of amusement thrown in, once again!
This is one we had been planning for quite some time – and it didn’t disappoint – but the harsh conditions we encountered were definitely a challenge that we won’t forget for some time!
After dropping our bikes at the TA (aka Richard’s place) we met and set off from the Lions Park a little after 7.00am.  Howie was amazing in his first paddle of the Fenn XT, Kim & Ant were in the double Fenn and yours truly took Aunty Kim’s Epic.  The gusty winds whipped up by approaching cyclone Anthony proved to render us quite a challenge on the normally benign Noosa River….lucky the wind was behind us….we were dreading the way back!  The Epic was misbehaving after a previous rudder problem (the Lake Weyba saga) and a lack of steering was proving a problem for Aunty Jan….so a boat swap was in order….as Aunty Kim can handle her own boat in ANY state…with no steering…AND filling up with water as it was on Lake Weyba!  So, Jules & Howie were powering along….Aunty Jan was now at the helm of the Double with Ant in behind…. We docked at the beach right before the ferry….and Jules was sitting, waiting with helmet on and ready to go…. We explained we had to stop and change boats…..and hurried our transition to catch the next ferry….. Over the river and onto the horse track…..Swamp, rocks & mud were a challenge….as we took the ‘hard way’ to the beach…via the airstrip….(we do that...) A small amount of bush-bashing was the only way to go before we emerged on the dunes….only to be nearly blown away by the increasing cyclonic winds….see pic  

We hardly had to pedal for the next few km’s as the wind just blew us along…..we would pay the price for this easy ride on the way back – big time!   When the walking trail was not obvious from the beach, we decided to go into Teewah village, leave the bikes and head off on foot…. 
..bit like Geoquest...walking to beach, looking for the track!

and after a few failed attempts (nearly walked up to the hang-gliding platform) we found it…. ‘Eureka’….and in we went.  This is what we planned the whole day for….and the Cooloola Great Walk was amazing….undulating through coastal scrub then small pockets of Scribbly Gums it gave us peaks of the ocean to the east and spectacular views of Lake Cootharaba to the west.  Jules, Howie and Aunty Kim made it to Brahminy Walkers camp and then we all re-grouped and met on top of Mt Seawah on the way back….It was so beautiful….well worth the trip if anyone is considering it!!!  See pic below… Now it was time to get back down and onto the bikes…..We were all a bit fatigued at this point and we were not looking forward to what lay ahead….but….these are the challenges that make us stronger…. As we had feared, the headwind was incredibly strong….and we couldn’t see into the distance where it was going to end….but it was the only way home and there was no helicopter to pluck us out of this difficult situation.  Aunty Kim was a machine with Ant on tow, but was struggling to keep up until we formed a little echelon against the wind….it was great, all working together to get us home…..this is what adventure racing is all about and what sets it apart from other individual sports with an ‘all about me’ attitude….. Our little ‘riding machine’ forged ahead….into the wind…cars going by on the beach were slightly amused at us….but we were now on a mission….and eventually the end was in sight…..In better conditions we would have ridden the entire length of the beach – but opting out at the 3rd cutting was our only way of staving off being killed by the company!  Jules muttered that it was the hardest ride she had ever done…..and recently she has completed Hawaii Ironman with a 180km road ride through the lava fields….!  The few km’s of tar road was a ‘breeze’ (now that we were out of it) and we just made the ferry for the trip back across the river.  Ant had decided she’d had enough…and took the easy option of riding home…the rest of us got ready to face another onslaught of the cyclonic winds and started the paddle back down the river…..Sadly, we were still going against the tide….and now that unforgiving wind as well…. We took the mangrove tunnel around the back of Sheep Island which kept us out of the wind for a little bit…but getting back into the main river and crossing to the right side was one of the most challenging paddles we had done….especially for Howie as he had hardly done any at all….He was a master of the XT and stayed upright the entire way!  Jules was a machine in the back of the double and Kim was challenged just trying to keep us all in her sights!  We gave Howie a rest for the final stretch home….put Jules in charge of the double and away we went….We were tired, hungry & wind blown…but no-one stopped paddling until we got to the Lions Park….What an amazing effort….sliding into shore at 3.30pm….we had made the day stretch out to 8.5hrs!  Well, we didn’t plan it to take that long….but sometimes that’s what happens when you go out with the Aunties!  We had a lovely feast at Café le Monde….obviously had missed breakfast and lunch….it was more like dinner by then…. c’est la vie!
Peace offerings at the summit of Mt Seawah now we're off and running into February....with plenty of adventures coming up...
See you out there!
Jan & Kim

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Looking out over Lake Cootharaba from atop Mt Seawah
Hi Everyone and welcome to 2011!  We have an exciting year planned here at Tri Adventure with some great training sessions and plenty of events to keep us motivated.  Here's a look at what happend in January.....(wow, 1 month gone by already!)
Our first week back at training saw us conducting a Junior Tri Camp....We have some amazing Juniors and they had 3 days of training to kick-start the year.  Most of them are getting ready for the state Tri champs in they enjoyed the week with some other athletes who travelled from out west to join us....

Of course January was the month of FLOODS here in Qld....and we spent a few days glued to the TV watching Brisbane and a good part of of north Qld go under water..... All of Australia has been affected by this disaster in some way....and we hope that the people who lost their homes can rebuild their lives and take some sort of positive from the experience....We have since heard of the 'family' atmosphere that was developing around Brisbane when the power went off.and the waters were rising...everyone was going outside and meeting their neighbours...good to see that people can still talk to each other without a phone or computer involved!
Well….with all the water around at the moment, we decided to do a long paddle up into Lake Weyba.  Usually this lake is very shallow….but there is a channel there….you just have to know where to find it.  We were going looking for the entrance to Eenie Creek, which runs into the shallow lake….and Aunty Jan had discovered the channel years ago when she watched a boat go up there….. We left from Noosa Sound…and already a gusty SE wind had developed.  Heading up towards the lake with the out-going tide and then the blustering head-wind was quite a challenge…but we were pleased with ourselves when we got to the lake and we tackling the conditions quite well… this point it was a bit like a nasty day on Lake Cootharaba for those of you who have experienced that…… We had been paddling for quite a long time and slowly making progress towards a rocky point we could see ahead of us… Kim was ahead and not able to slow down much in the testing conditions for fear of capsizing and Aunty Jan was behind not wanting to go ahead any more into a rocky area just off the headland…instead she was looking for a place to land and have some food.  When calls out to Kim went unheard, she turned her boat and scanned the shoreline.  Now getting blown by the howling wind she drifted a little closer to the shore for comfort….and scratched her rudder on some rocks lying just below the surface…oh, that’s such a horrible sound!.....Meanwhile Aunty Kim had turned around too and was coming the same way when she too hit some submerged rocks…..hers were a little more vicious though and, when she discovered she had no steering, thought she had broken off her rudder…. We were now being buffeted and blown towards a distant shoreline – Aunty Jan’s boat was steering ok….just the pilot was a bit distressed – not knowing if she had a hole in her boat…..and Aunty Kim discovered her rudder was still there – it had just partly made it’s way into the hull of her precious Epic and the boat was filling up with water……Hmmmm…..getting back was going to be tricky…… Paddling into the side chop is never easy….but paddling a very lightweight, long boat with no steering was an extreme challenge at this very time!  Luckily we were now going  WITH the tide AND the wind….and Kim’s boat was gradually getting heavier as the water crept in through the broken hull….Just so we could gather ourselves, we stopped on a bank and Aunty Jan ate her biscuit…..that’s what she was trying to do when we drifted into the danger zone…. On checking her boat, it was fine, just a little scratch on the bottom of the rudder……We had the option of one of us going to get the car for a rescue, but Aunty Kim decided to have a crack at finishing the paddle in the dinged-up boat…..and she did…. Wow, she was amazing.  The tide and wind were pushing us….but a few tricky bits of navigation were required to get under bridges and around some corners…..her body is now a bit sore from the one-sided paddling and her great effort doing the teetering balancing act to get the boat home….and she didn’t fall in once J J  At one point Aunty Jan felt she had weed on her rudder…..but it was probably not a good time to complain about such a trivial problem….. We made it back 3 hours after we started out….it took both of us all of our strength and about 15 minutes to lift up the boat to empty the water out…..and we never did find the entrance to Eenie Creek….that will now have to be another adventure…..!!!!  Aunty Kim’s boat is now in for a major repair job…but paddle sessions will still go ahead…lucky we have some spare boats!


Tim & Carolyn atop Mt Cooran
We were lucky to have our friends Tim & Carolyn from Coffs Harbour staying up herefor a week and they joined us for lots of our sessions including some big days in the hinterland....We took them on a 'test' climb of Mt's always a bit dangerous going into unknown territory with the Aunties....however, we had no incidents, found our way up - and down - and went and climbed Mt Cooroora after that....a great feat for Carolyn she suffers from vertigo.....and coming down these mountains was a big challenge for her!!