PLANS are being made for a street parade in Wangi Wangi to celebrate the return of Olympic gold medal-winning sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.
Last week, Wangi RSL Club was the focal point for what residents said was the biggest public celebration in the town’s history.
An estimated 1000 people turned up at the club on a Sunday night to celebrate the local duo’s performance in London.
The club even turned off the poker machines early in the night so the local children, many of them young sailors who idolise the pair, could watch the final race of the Olympics 49er class.
Karina Hansen, who with friend Vivienne Allen helped to organise the public display of affection for the Olympic heroes, said the show wasn’t over yet.
‘‘Vivienne and I placed fliers in local letter boxes calling on residents to deck their homes out in green and gold and get to the RSL club for the final race,’’ Karina said.
‘‘The response was tremendous – it was truly a time when Wangi showed its home town pride in their local boys.’’
Now Karina and a local committee are going one further step and organising a street parade for the pair’s homecoming in November (after Outteridge completes America’s Cup sailing commitments with Korea).
Karina grew up in Wangi but now lives at Toronto.
‘‘After it was confirmed that the boys had won the gold medal I thought I should try to organise a celebration because my brother Jody Shiels, a keen local sailor, would have done so but he was in London watching the races,’’ Karina said.
‘‘I had to try to fill his shoes as his sister.’’
Wangi Wangi became a sea of streamers and balloons and the RSL club was packed.
‘‘Nathan is always down at the sailing club mixing with the kids; teaching them to sail,’’ Karina said.
‘‘This ticker tape parade will be his welcome home.’’