Committee Members

At Newcastle Outrigger Canoe Club, we have a a passionate team of committee members who not only love to get out on the water, but are passionate enough to put some of the spare time into running the outrigger club.


Ben Routley

Vice President

Richard Thompson

Love paddling and Outrigger paddling provides the best scope for adventure an adrenaline buzz, fitness and  stress relief

Since 2012 introduced and coordinate WEA Lifestyle courses for outrigging

Member of Newcastle Outrigger Canoe Club (founded Nov 2009) Have upgraded my single outrigger to a light weight V1 (10kg) outrigger.

Retired from work 2017 and recently from regular Competition Paddling

Aim to do a selective range of paddling and competition as fitness improves and master my “V1”

Goal is to do another Hawkesbury Classic and one more Murray Marathon on the V1


Petra Salna

When it comes to paddling, I was a late bloomer.  Started paddling dragonboats when I was 60.  Loved it, especially the competitive edge. Paddled in NSW state team for a few years.  Have also paddled in China and Penang.  Along with Steve Dawes and a few others I was a founding member of NOCC.  Have held a couple of positions on the Committee including President and Secretary.  After a few years break, proud to be NOCC Secretary 2017-2018.
Absolutely love being on the water in an outrigger in rhythm with the crew (my Mates) and feeling that combined strength and commitment in the canoe. Amazing feeling!
Love a challenge have competed in four Hawkesbury Classic’s over the past 5 Years.  My goal is to do 5.


Mitch Stokes

I’ve been paddling for just over 2 years and have enjoyed every bit of it. From training hard in Newcastle Harbour to catching the swell out in the ocean and racing in regattas there’s always something new and exciting to keep me coming back. I’ve competed at regattas along the NSW coast in the OC2 and OC6.

In the future, I want to compete in New Zealand, Cook Islands, Singapore and Hawaii. I want to push myself to compete at the biggest and toughest competitions like the Molokai Hoe.


Doug Checinski

I loved surfing the waves when I was younger and I also have been paddling in kayaks down the Barrington River rapids and I used to enjoy that. At the end of 2012 a friend of mine in a group that I was in invited me to come and try paddling on a double OC2 outrigger and then with other members of the group to come and try outrigger padding with the club’s canoes on Newcastle harbour. I liked this similar sport on the water and decided to pursue it further.

Since then I have been on been on the committee as the registrar and currently as the Treasurer. I have competed in regatta races around different club areas with challenging races like the 45km OC6 changes race from Kingscliff to Southport and the Nationals OC2 and OC1 races in Townville. I feel that outrigger paddling helps me with fitness and builds friendships within the club and with paddlers from other clubs and it is a lot of fun being on the water, which is different experience every time.


Stephen Dawes

Helped get NOCC started with the help from Port Stephens Outrigger Canoe Club in Aug 2009.
30 years racing various catamarans & other peoples yachts; ex squash/tennis/league/car rally.
Started in dragon boats at Masters Games, Newcastle 2001, rep Aus 2003 -7 (China, Europe, Sabah). Oc’ing 2002 / now- raced in some great places with great crews incl Cook Is, Hamilton Is, Takapuna,  but not Hawaii, Norfolk Is, Samoa  yet.

Web Guru / Fun day organiser

Rachel Harris

I have paddled with Newcastle Outriggers for the last 5 years. I am one of the training coaches and i enjoy teaching people how to paddle. I have been steering for 3.5yrs and with no unexpected hulli’s I am doing well ! haha only a couple of swamppings on the wave/sand.

I love being out on the ocean with a team of great people paddling their best with each other. I enjoy all the parts of outrigging brings, from social paddles and seeing the wildlife and gorgeous views, training hard and getting medals in regattas.

I look after the website, facebook, instagram and google maps for Newcastle Outriggers. My contributions to content and marketing awareness of our sport is enjoyable as I love spreading the awareness of Outrigging around Newcastle.