WAUCHOPE-Bonny Hills SLSC boaties braved big surf on Sunday to continue the battle for points in the North Coast Surfboat Series.
Wauchope-Bonny Hills SLSC lifted from fifth place to second in the overall club pointscore with strong performances in all divisions.
Rounds four and five were played out on Saturday and Sunday at beautiful Scotts Head.
Rain held off for most of the event but Sunday produced the best surf racing conditions we have seen so far this season.
There were big waves, crashes, carnage and some impressive rowing and sweeping skills demonstrated by the strongest and bravest surf lifesavers on the New South Wales North Coast.
Wauchope-Bonny Hills SLSC surged ahead in the point scores with consistent results in all key racing divisions and the launch of a powerhouse reserve grade crew.
Boat Captain, Tony Kee, said this was the best carnival so far from a surf and club perspective.
“Racing conditions on Sunday were fantastic with big clean surf, that’s what all boaties and spectators want to see. I was also very impressed with how everyone came together under our tent to share rowers and surf strategies to get the best results possible. For some rowers this meant rowing in multiple divisions throughout the day.
“We are very impressed by the strength, fitness and teamwork shown on the weekend and very excited to build on this throughout the season.
“Super sweep Wayne Gill was also nominated for an award by North Coast Boat Series officials for his tremendous song and dance on Saturday night. Who says boaties can’t do it all?”
The open’s men’s division has seen some of the hardest and most competitive racing in recent years and the battle for top spot is close between Coffs Harbour, WauchopeBonny Hills, Tacking Point, Woolgoolga, Kempsey-Crescent Head and Minnie Waters-Wooli.
Our boys finished fourth on Saturday and Sunday with crew changes and surf affecting results. This is enough to retain second place in the series at the half way mark of the season.
Sadly this weekend was the final row for big Trent Wai who stood down to pursue his personal training career. He will be missed and Wayne Gill will be scouring the Hastings for the next best boatie to jump into first grade. We are buoyed by the return of many surf rowers from university and work commitments.
The under 23 women continued their battle in the open women’s division, finishing fifth on Saturday and second on Sunday in the big surf. This keeps them in equal second position on points with Macksville-Scotts Head behind Tacking Point.
The girls were very brave on Sunday taking on the big surf. Thanks again to the Lions Club who sponsored surf helmets for the crew this season. They got plenty of use on Sunday!
The masters women’s crew, ‘The Vets’, raced on Saturday coming 10th overall in the open women’s division. The women are led by champion rower Michelle Garvan who provides good advice and support to the crew and club on the beach.
The under 19 men continued their winning ways finishing first on both days and they now hold a commanding lead over their rivals Kempsey-Crescent Head in the overall pointscore.
The boys are learning a lot at each carnival and are well led by experienced sweep Steve Monaghan. The juniors and masters men shared rowers on Saturday and Sunday to fill positions in open men’s and reserve grade races.
The masters 160’s men’s crew were buoyed by the return of experienced surf rowers Russel Eichman and Rex Larkham. The crew consisting of Boyd Hetherington, Rob McCue, Grahame Buckley and Steve Monaghan finished second on Saturday and fifth on Sunday lifting them into equal third position in a very competitive 160 years division.
Sweep Manfred Sonntag has been busy recruiting and training legendary surfboat rowing and oyster farming brothers Brandon and Jason Armstrong and we hope to see them back on the beach at Woolgoolga in three weeks.
Last but not least and the highlight of the weekend was the launch of a reserve grade battle crew led by Russel Eichman, Daniel Hollis and Ben Monaghan. The boys finished third on Saturday and second on Sunday, an amazing result for a crew with limited training opportunities.
We are very excited to see so many of these rowers return for Wauchope-Bonny Hills and encourage all boaties out there to come and get involved. Thanks again to all the family and friends who travelled to support our club at Scotts Head. Our next carnival is at Woolgoolga on December 15-16.