Surfboat Rowing NSW State Titles

~ Cameron Upton


Waves, runners, excitement, trying conditions – none of which was the seen this year at Umina. Arguably the flattest rowing carnival since the lake session at last year’s Pac Palms. A 4 minute drag race with often a metre between first and last place. Benny Burdette said that he can’t ever recall having to row so hard in every race to stay alive and I second that. Coogee gave it our all – the crews that competed included the A's  (A’s), the Colts (Tezza Heads) and the Reserves (Cunji).


The Ressies and the Colts were up on Friday. A three race round robin to establish the top 15 in each boat area and then an extra race to knock each area down to the top 9. It was hard to split the difference in most races and it wasn’t till 5  minutes later that the crews actually found out what they had been awarded. The Tezza Heads won one of their first races and scored two thirds in the others taking them into the 15. Unfortunately in the boys final race they were given a fifth which dropped them just out of the making Sunday. The Cunji also started well with a couple of wins and a third. In their final race for the day the boys crossed second taking them into the finals on Sunday.


The A's raced on Saturday and despite no one recalling the exact results the boys must have rowed well to make the top 9 and progress to the Sunday.


Unfortunately Sunday was a brief day for both the A's and the Cunji. The surf conditions continued to look better for waterskis than surf. The A's just dropped out in the quarter final and the Cunji fell soon after in the minor semi. Sorry that the State wrap up missed last week’s True Blue folks, still a fantastic effort and tight rowing from all crews.


Due to stellar results throughout the season the 3 crews were all selected for the Best of the Best the following weekend. Happier than ever that the carnival was back at Umina, where the boys still had a bad taste from the week prior, they took it head on. The BOTB is meant to represent the best crews in the state in all divisions and there were many crews who were victorious from the week before there. To add to the challenge the A's were a man down and so was the Cunji. Showing that they still have it the faithful sweeps sub'd for the missing. Snap into stroke for the Cunji with Matt sweeping and Matt into stroke for the A's with Snap sweeping. The format was a 3 race round robin straight to a final. The swell was _______________________________


The Cunji raced first in the line up and came out with a second followed by 2 more gutsy efforts taking the boys into the final. In the final the boys had a great row out turning equal first around the buoy. Snappers on season beers, burgers and cigs provided the boat with a revised surge of power. The boys were home for second until the last minute when the only run of the weekend carried Queensy past to steal the silver. Bronze and a great effort lads!


The Tezza Heads turned heads this weekend showing just how dominating they can be when they get it right. Two first and a second in their rounds taking them easily into the final. The final was tight and we all thought the boys may have just scored their first gold but unfortunately they were nabbed just on the line. Silver and providing the confidence the boys should be looking at for the big one in a few weeks - go get 'em boys!


Looking like he never left Matt slipped back into his old seat with the A's. The boys were up against the cream of the crop and not far off the pace. Making it through their rounds with some 3rd and 4th places they new they needed a big one in the final. Sucking it in their row out was fantastic and they held the field to the buoys. Unfortunately on the row back the others came in slightly ahead but great racing still boys with the BOTB.


Next, Aussies. The culmination of the seasons efforts (echo - 'culmination'). We should all know that we've got a really good chance in all divisions to do well. That said it's not over to the fat lady sings, so lets give it all we have till the death. To pinch Matts call 'train hard.'



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