Mid-North Coast Surfboat Crews Triumph at Country Champs

Young boat rowers from Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC proved that they could mix it with the more established crews when they came across the line first in the prestigious Open Women’s division at the Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships at South West Rocks.

Sweep Steve Monaghan said the girls put in a fantastic effort, with three of them backing up from competing in the Under 23 division in the morning.

“Our bow girl Sammy Diamond was filling in, plus she was carrying a knee injury. She really struggled all day but she gritted her teeth and really brought it home – it was great,” said Monaghan.

He says the girls have some real talent and that the club’s 30 strong contingent of boaties has a lot of depth. “Once we get in the water it’s been really good, but it’s always a struggle to get crews consistently training in the boat.”

The WBH crews were forced to use their brand-new, unmarked boat after their other boat lost its keel the week earlier.

“Yeah we had to row the new boat before it was officially christened. I don’t know if that was bad luck but I think it brought us some good luck today that’s for sure,” laughed Monaghan. The club’s Under 23 men also did well to finish with a Silver medal.

Kempsey Crescent Head SLSC boat rowers were over the moon at the club’s performance at the Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships at South West Rocks.

Crews claimed Gold in the premier boat event, the Open Men’s division, along with the Under 19, Masters men and Masters Women.

The Reserves crew was second and Open Women and Under 23 Women were third.

Head sweep Mick Conomos was a very happy man after hitting the shore first in the last race of the day, the Open Men.

“We just improved as the day went on,” he said. “We finally got a good start, got it together and had a really good buoy turn, which put us up at least a boat length.”

The Reserve crew was already on a high after getting first place at the big Manly carnival a few weeks ago and all the crews have been training hard ever since.

Now enjoying life in the new clubhouse, the boat rowers are the mainstay of the club’s patrolling membership, with the 30 plus rowers making up all but two of the patrol teams.

Mick Conomos says the club is also looking to attract new younger rowers and lifesavers.

Crews are off to the Pacific Palms Battle of the Boats in a couple of weeks and then onto the State Championships and Aussies in April.

“The rowing is great around here, we’ve got one of the best rivers on the east coast, so we have a perfect training ground,” he said. “We are getting another bunch of new Bronze Medallion groups starting who want to row boats so the future is looking good.”

Photograph - The WBH Crew (from l-r Bella Millar, Angela Eke, Sweep Steve Monaghan, SammyDiamond and Rachael Kee celebrate their Open Women's division win at the are2016 Stramit NSW Country Champs (top) whilethe Kempsey Open Male team are also smiling after claiming the gold medal(below)

Fri 12 Feb 2016