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WWCC Wins Line Honours at Canoe Build Competition

April 2018


On Sunday 15 April, Sean Wilson, Matilda Gyles and Calvin Combs, Year 11 STEM students at Wagga Wagga Christian College, built a seaworthy canoe and raced it in Darling Harbour winning the 2018 Sydney Novice Canoe Building Challenge Race, part of the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival at the Australian National Maritime Museum. As other school teams’ boats sunk in their wake, the Christian College team stormed towards the finish line, just beating their closest competitor.

Canoe Build Team in Darling Harbour

The canoe race took place in Darling Harbour with the Sydney city skyline in the background, racing past submarines, the James Craig tall ship and other Maritime Museum vessels. The school teams had three days to complete construction of a Bellinger Double Chine Canoe. The competition culminated in the Challenge race, where the construction of the canoe was really put to the test. A number of canoes sunk during the race, however WWCC’s canoe remained leak proof enabling the team to win the race. WWCC’s team was eagerly supported by David Crick, Design and Technology teacher, and parents who had travelled up especially to support the students. Calvin Combs, one of the participating WWCC students, learnt a lot from the experience,

“The whole weekend was excellent. Going into the competition none of us had much boat building experience, but together we were able to construct a wooden canoe. We feel really pleased that when we tested it under race conditions it stayed afloat. Matilda and I managed to work well together to win the race – we needed to make sure we were talking to one another throughout the race so we could be as efficient as possible in our paddling." “Staying on the James Craig in Darling Harbour was quite an experience. We slept in hammocks under deck, a once in a lifetime experience I think.”

The James Craig is a fully restored 19th century barque, which set sail for the first time in 80 years in 2001. It is now permanently moored at the Maritime Museum.



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