Q & A with the Dampier Mankini Qajaq Club
What is the Dampier Mankini Qajaq Club? What do they do? Do they really wear mankinis?
All those questions and more are answered, after a recent media conference at the Dampier Mermaid Hotel.
Q: Tell us a bit about the Dampier Mankini Qajaq Club.
A: The Club was formed over a few ales at a reputable drinking establishment in Dampier.
Three gentlemen had each purchased a qajaq (kayak) with the objective of paddling together on a regular basis, and then meeting socially afterwards.
The DMQC currently meets for a paddle at 4:45pm on the first Thursday of each month.
The meeting point for these paddles is the beach situated immediately to the north of the Hampton Harbour Yacht Club.
Most DMQC meets are well attended, although there are some occasions where (e.g. due to work and family commitments) there may only be a handful of paddlers.
The Mankini component came about through repeated requests by females that we wear the celebrated European symbol of class.
Initially that request came from our wives but it gathered momentum and soon enough, total strangers (women) were approaching us in the street, pleading that we reneg on our decision to wear stubbies and blue singlets. In the end, we folded under the pressure.
Q: Where does the word ‘qajaq’ come from?
A: It’s the Innuit word that was changed phonetically to kayak.
We prefer the original word as it has a style about it that reflects the culture of our membership, and allows us to incorporate all types of craft within our club – from sit-on-tops to cockpit craft – all paddling people are welcomed.
It has also broadened our Scrabble vocabulary.
Q: Was it true that some of your members were aiming at London 2012?
A: We were all in the mix there for a while but the tyranny of distance (from Karratha to Dampier) affected our training availability and the selection trials were not as successful as we’d hoped.
One of our club members was in Italy doing some altitude training and managed to get a bit of part-time modelling in Monaco, but he fell just short as well.
Next objective for us is the Worlds in Alice Springs.
Q: The Yak is your Logo – what’s the significance?
A: The Yak is a fearsome, intelligent, strong, muscular, impressive beast.
Q: Meeting socially after a paddle – what does that entail?
A: Our current members are family men, and we are the first to recognise that we have plenty of responsibilities at home.
We also loathe to leave our little-ladies in the lurch.
So, it’s just a brief ‘Gatorade’ to rehydrate after our monthly paddle.
Whilst we’d love the opportunity to talk paddling techniques and tactics, it’s just a way of blowing off steam after a hard paddle.
“Paddle hard – play hard,” I suppose you might say.
Q: Is your Club open to new members?
A: We are open to both men and women paddlers of all ages.
If you’d like to join in on one of the regular DMQC paddles, please meet the crew just north of the Hampton Harbour Yacht Club at 4:45pm on the first Thursday of each month.
A good sense of humour is all that’s required… you don’t even need a Qajaq… or a mankini.