BAYSIDE Outrigger Canoe Club coach Richard Palmer and the Australian team has won bronze in the 500m V6 race at the International World Sprint Championships.
He was among thousands of paddlers from more than 32 countries in Tahiti on July 18 for the six-day event last month.
The 66-year-old took part in the Golden Masters 500m Elite V1 race and joined his team made the 500m V12 finals and missed out in the 1000m V6 race.
Palmer said he was disappointed to have lost his solo race after a paddler lost control of his outrigger canoe.
“I got taken out by one of the competitors across the other lanes,” he said.
“There were really strong winds and currents so I think he may have lost control but I feel for the guy.”
Palmer said the paddlers had to restart the race but those who were interrupted could not progress further.
“We finished the race but our times were not the same afterwards,” he said.
“That was the nature of the beast, we were gutted but we couldn’t cry over spilled milk because we knew we had a lot more races to go.”
Palmer said the standard of racing had gone up another gear, with his team taking the time to prepare prior to their V6 race.
“We were the fourth fastest crew to go into the finals and when we did another training session, we pulled back seven seconds,” he said.
“I think when we started we were quite confident, we perfected our gaming plan in our training session and it paid off.”
Palmer said a full day’s preparation was crucial as there was a need to work on their technique, find shade and ensure they drank enough water in Tahiti’s climate.
“The team that got the gold medal were at the first 100m ahead from most of us and we were in 5th or 6th position at the 250m mark,” he said.
“Our game plan went into play in the 500m mark and we just pulled through to get the bronze.”
Palmer said he would bring back all he learnt from Tahiti to pass his knowledge on to the paddlers in the club.
“Some things I learnt is to try to keep cool, make sure you have all your electrolytes and don’t put your body under stress because of the heat,” he said.