Outrigger and marathoneer faces fears following October shark attack!
The Gold Coast Bulletin recently reported on the success of the Southport Yacht Club open women's outrigger crew, which won the 42km marathon at the Hamilton Island Cup regatta.
But a rather chilling tale has surfaced involving one of the crew, Linda Whitehurst.
Bulletin readers may recall Linda survived a shark attack while riding her surf ski off Byron Bay last October.
Linda was knocked off her ski and then fought off the 2.7m great white, receiving a nasty bite laceration to the wrist.
However, not only does she continue to compete in outriggers, she also made the Hamilton marathon a goal.
But the unnerving thing for her about the Hamilton race is paddlers swap during the event, so on five occasions she was in open water either climbing in or out of the craft.
It gets worse.
Linda was in a support boat preparing to jump in to the water for the first changeover when an alert came over the radio warning competitors a tiger shark was feeding on a turtle near where the first change was to take place.
"I guess I went a bit pale. All the girls turned and looked at me," she recalled.
However, Linda soldiered on the first change was postponed for about 1m and she was actually in the craft when the team crossed the line first.
Linda, a fit 52-year-old, said although the fear of a shark attack remained at the back of her mind, the competitive juices took over.