Manly Carnival 2014

Australia Day Weekend Carnival Report

Coogee competed at Manly and Freshwater Boat carnivals over the weekend. Highlights for the Club were a return to the beach for Jessica Thornton who destroyed the opposition in the Open women's beach sprint. Not bad for a 15-year-old.

Our young boardies are distinguishing themselves by making finals in team events. A first appearance for our R&R teams and lots of major boat action at Freshwater in tough conditions. Bec Hamilton posted 959 pics on her Facebook page (and I thought Dave Irvine was doing a good job with the beachies. Pick up your act Dave. Your mere 30 or so just doesn't cut it I'm afraid).


Our U15 Cameron relay picked up a 5th place at Manly. Tom Foley, Phillip Turphie, Sam Cantarella and Isaac Tooher make up this team. All went well especially Phil who swam well and a great paddle by Tom Foley. Sam Cantarella's running in this event caught the competition director's eye who dispatched the beach captain with the contracts for signature.

Ben Thornton led all the way in the U19 ironman but was overtaken by 5 or 6 on a wave on the last leg and finished about 6 or 7. The U19 board relay (Clay Cantarella, Ben Thornton and Jamie Bargenda) finished 6th in the final and our U15 team were unlucky to just miss the final cut in the semi.


While our R&R teams had a hit out at Manly, I have not heard how they went. Will try and catch up on them during the week and report next issue.

Manly once again showed why it is regarded as one of the strongest carnivals on the surf calendar, such was the class of competitors who assembled from all around the country to participate. Do well here and you are a legitimate contender at State and Aussies.

Logistically it had its moments with numerous late changes to the program causing confusion: the running track moved and the 2km event was cancelled the day prior without advising entrants - raising the ire of our 'Flying Scotswomen' Rona MacNiven who rocked up to Manly for a 7am start to this event. God help those who were on her Patrol in the afternoon!

More importantly we waited breathlessly for the return our reigning national champion Jessica "Black Caviar" Thornton after a long lay-off from injury and this bonny filly did not let her legion of fans down with a scintillating performance to win the both the U17s and Opens sprint in the space of an hour. She simply blew some of the best sprinters in the country away.

We also saw outstanding runs in high class finals from Will 'I'm-quietly-confident' Harrison (2nd), Tom Fagan (3rd), Jack Harrison (4th), Jake Irvine and Nubia Mendes (6th) in their respective age groups. In the relays our U17 boys won well again, the U19 men just went under against a gun team from SA (after leading all the way) and the U15 girls ran out of their skin for 2nd. However, there is still much room for much improvement here on the changes.

We also saw a number of season-best performances from many others to make quarters and semis. In fact Coogee was just about the form beach sprint club at a high quality carnival and Warwick was very happy.

The training and many smaller carnivals our beachies have attended (sometimes under sufferance) have played a key role in getting our team race fit and battle hardened and that really showed at Manly. Congratulations to all on a great club performance and we look forward to hosting at home next week and then the bigger events beyond.

Spending a long weekend rowing, is there anything better? Manly and Freshie, the standard Australia Day long weekend, and the Coogee boaties were there in force. Both carnivals involved block racing with the A's (A's) in the morning and the Reserves (Cunji) and Colts (Tezza Heads) in the afternoon. The format involved a knockout 3 rounds (+ repechage) followed by semis and finals.

Saturday morning saw the A's get some great weather and clean races in. The swell was steady with a slight bump that provided some good runners when rowed right. The A's had a fantastic start winning their opening race and coming second in the second. Unfortunately after a great start in the third, alleys 1 and 2 copped a wave on the nose and saw them drop back just enough to miss out on advancing to the next round.

By the time the Reserves and Colts took the water the clouds had come in and the wind was up which made for some interesting races. The program was behind also which meant some steeper cuts. The Tezza Heads rowed consistent showing especially in their starts getting better every time in and rowing the runners well on the way home. In their races there always seemed to be a wave on the way out which they dealt with in turn. They unfortunately fell just out in the 3rd round but with plenty of positives to take from the day.

The Cunji had some good patches of rowing in their races fixing the areas they aimed for from each race prior in the next. Their 3rd round race was their best for the day finishing 2nd with a nice start and some good surf negotiating around the break. Unfortunately, they could not carry it into the next dropping out in 5th in the semi.

Monday at Freshie the surf appeared flat one moment, then booming 6ft sets the next. The new and improved A's wore the full force of the swell in the morning as it dropped to 4ft sets in the arvo. Breaking Leary (replacing Lee after his recent sacking) back into the swing of things the A's took off to cross 2nd and 3rd in rounds 1 and 2. Their 3rd race easily one of the highlights of the day. With a marginal lead they entered the wave zone and took off on a big one. The boat rocked and everyone held their breath from the shore as the boat rode the wave side-on eventually getting sucked over the falls. Showing a never-give-in attitude they regathered in the wake to drive the boat (driven like a raging bull by Tezza) over the line to cross 3rd making it into the semi. Possibly feeling a bit busted and drawing a dud alley in the semi, the boys unfortunately crossed 4th, just out of the final.

A more grounded Cunji took the water on Monday afternoon with some great racing. Punching through waves from good starts they crossed in the top 3 in most of their races. Drawing the dreaded alley 1 in the final, the boys took to the race giving their best. They turned the can first and ended up crossing the line 5th with no waves on offer coming in. Bad luck chums! The Tezza Heads were my pick for crew of the day although from their warm up you would not have thought it, getting their first green room/smashing. The boys looked great in the races, again with some great starts and work on the runners. Some great round wins but with some bad luck in the final saw the boys take the bronze for the day - well done lads!

Beck took some great shoots of the boys on the weekend and they are on the Coogee SLSC and Coogee Boaties Facebook pages - thanks Beck!

A's                               1st (Round 1), 2nd (Round 2), 5th (Round 3)
Tezza Heads               4th (Round 1), 3rd (Round 2), 4th (Round 3)
Cunji                            3rd (Round 1), 4th (Round 2), 2nd (Round 3), 5th (Semi)
A's                               2nd (Round 1), 3rd (Round 2), 3rd (Round 3), 4th (Semi)
Tezza Heads               2nd (Round 1), 2nd (Round 2), 1st (Round 3/Semi), 3rd (Final)
Cunji                            2nd (Round 1), 1st (Round 2), 1st (Round 3), 3rd (Semi), 5th (Final)

Beach Sprint Finals
U19: Jack Harrison 4th
U17: Tom Fagan 3rd. Jake Irvine 6th
U15: Will Harrison 2nd
Opens & U17: Jessica Thornton 1st in both age groups
U15: Nubia Mendes 6th

Beach Relays
U19 Boys: 2nd 3rd. Luke Irvine, Jack Harrison, Tom Fagan & Hugh Millar
U17 Boys A: 1st. Jake Irvine, Ben McDonald, Tom Fagan & Jackson Deans-Harvey
U17 Boys B: 3rd. Will Harrison, Luke Bond, Ben Kite & Will Todd
U15 Girls: 2nd. Gab Fagan, Nubia Mendes, Eliza Cotis & Heidi Cummings

Beach Flags
No great joy here with only a few two-blues with the patience to still be there at 2pm after a 7pm start, namely Jake Irvine, Luke Bond, and Nubia Mendes. However, Nubia went the deepest into the hot competition before getting up a tad too quickly.

Contributors: Mark Harrison, Cameron Upton, Michael Cantarella, Warwick Everingham

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