Paddling towards the National Titles
  • Friday 19 May 2017

Up to 1000 outrigger paddlers will come together on the Sunshine Coast this weekend to compete in the 2017 National Marathon Titles and sixth Annual Aussie Aito events.

The National Marathon Titles, first held in 2009, bring together the best outrigger paddlers from across Australia to compete for national honours in various marathon events ranging in distance from 10km to 22km.

The event provides the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association’s 84 national club, the opportunity to come together, compete and grow the sport of outrigging.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the location at Mooloolaba was one of the best locations possible for off-shore outrigger racing.

“The Sunshine Coast continues to host significant outrigging events, with the National Marathon Titles and Aussie Aito events, being highlights on the major event calendar,” Cr O’Pray said.

“The Sunshine Coast has a reputation as a high-value destination for hosting major sporting and entertainment events, including’s last year’s world outrigger sprint championships which were a spectacular success.

“The marathon itself is a great spectacle, with thousands of paddlers battling it out on the waves of Mooloolaba, to see who will win the national title.

“What’s more, these guests contribute almost $500,000 into the local economy.

“Many of these paddlers are expected to stay on for a recreational visit after the event, which will be a boon for the local area in what can be a relatively quiet time of the year in terms of tourism.”

Mooloolaba Outrigger Canoe Club president Rob Grabbe said his organisation placed great importance on the promotion of the local area and local businesses to the visiting participants.

“We have a long and productive relationship with many local accommodation providers, restaurants and food outlets,” Mr Grabbe said.

“It is important for us to promote these local businesses, especially being such a family orientated sport.

“We have many mums, dads and families paddling, so the Sunshine Coast and its relaxed lifestyle make it a popular destination which is perfect for our events.”

Manager for Newport Apartments in Mooloolaba Bernie Sullivan said council-supported events provided significant benefits for business and provided great exposure for the destination.

“We welcome events guests here with welcome arms,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Events like the National Marathon and upcoming Etchells Winter Championships take us to the rest of Australia and the world and shows that we are such an amazing destination.”

AOCRA president Mark Forbes noted there had been a significant growth in the sport.

“The interest in marathon racing is evident in the record numbers off nomination in recent events,” Mr Forbes said.

“We are also fielding international enquiries for all of our major events including this year’s marathon titles.”

The National Marathon Titles will be held at the Mooloolaba Spit and is the only national marathon event sanctioned by AOCRA, making it the most prestigious of its kind in Australia.

For more information visit 

Events to Look out for in the next month






Further information



QCC Sunshine Coast Pro (Surfing Queensland Series)

Coolum / Kawana / Caloundra (TBC depending on surf conditions)



HIF Masters & Women's Qld Surfing Titles (Round 1) (Surfing Queensland Series)

Coolum / Kawana / Caloundra (TBC depending on surf conditions)



Downunder Beachfest

Caloundra and Hinterland



Etchells Australasian Winter Championships