In 1989, Michael’s Dad, Peter Corbishley acquired Whitsunday Fibreglass and Marine in Airlie Beach, along with his Mum, Norma. Michael joined the business not long after that and they manufactured the first 6 man outrigger canoes in Australia called the Classic as well as building other boats and providing repairs and refurbishments to a variety of fibreglass products in the local area.
As the Outrigger Paddling sport evolved and grew, new designs became available entering the Force 5 onto the market followed by the popular and ever reliable Mirage, which is still in production today, by Michael and I, under the business name of ‘Outrigger Connection Australia’. Michael left the business and the area in 1999 and Peter moved the business in early to mid 2000’s to the Gold Coast to meet the demands of the growing paddling sport in South East Queensland also making the products more accessible Australia wide and internationally.
Peter rebranded the business to T.O.M. short for ‘The Outrigger Man’ focusing the business on buildingoutrigger canoes. Peter sold T.O.M. to Brad in 2013 when the business then shifted to the Sunshine Coast. Michael was employed by Brad in late 2015 to refurbish canoes for the World Sprints in 2016 where he ended up assisting his father and Brad to build Mirage and Kamanu OC6. Unfortunately, Peter had a motorbike accident, sending him back to NZ with a badly broken leg and Michael to stay and build or refurbish canoes working for Brad.
Michael and I purchased ‘Outrigger Connection Australia’ incorporating the Mirage OC6 from Colin and Julie in 2016. We have since relocated the Mirage OC6 in October 2017 to our hometown in Sapphire, Central Queensland where we are continuing to support the paddling community in Australia and Worldwide and hope to do so for a very long time.