Board, Ski and Water Report

The 2013/14 season was indeed a very successful one for the water area of the club.  Our primary aim was to focus on the junior competitors and to implement structured training programs, so that they could seamlessly graduate from nippers to form teams for senior competition. However aside from the juniors, we also had a large contingent of masters and champion lifesavers all training together, so an inclusive approach was required so that everyone could prosper and improve in the water.

Admittedly it was challenging with up to 26 paddlers in the water and at times this proved difficult to manage. Yet I believe that the benefits of this approach were clear to see with camaraderie developing between all the athletes, regardless of their age or event. From this the outstanding results then flowed.

The U/15 boys consisted of Sam Cantarella, Tom Foley, Issac Toohey, Phillip Trupke, Harrison Smith and Kel Gollan.  As the season progressed these boys grew in confidence and with consistent improvement shown at training, they could not wait to get to a carnival. The least patient were Sam and Harrison who jumped ship and competed on the sand at Cronulla winning the Sprint Relay with their good mates from the beach team.

Throughout the year the boys went on to compete at many carnivals, but it was not until Manly where they were tested against the strongest clubs in the State. With a 4th place in both the Cameron and Board Relay, it was the boost they needed and the belief that they could match it with the best was born.

At Branch, the boys achieved outstanding results with silver in the Board Relay, Cameron Relay, Swim Teams and Board Rescue. Also Phillip got a well-deserved Bronze in the Surf Race.  

Next were the State and Aussie titles with the boys getting a silver medal in the Cameron Relay at Umina and then backing it up with a 6th place at the Aussies in Perth.  Tom Foley made the State Board Final and Phillip made the swim final at both State and Aussies.  Well done boys - we are all very proud of your efforts.

The U/17 consisted of Clayton Cantarella, Jack Cuthbert and Will Mison and these boys performed admirably throughout the season against white hot opposition. Worthy mention to Clayton for winning the Board Race at Coogee and then joined by Will came 6th at Branch in the Board Rescue.  Also I would like to acknowledge Jack's efforts, as he only took up board paddling this season and now is a very valuable member of this team.  

The U/19 competitors consisted of Ben Thornton, Jamie Bargenda and Jake Smith. Despite being burdened with the pressures of the HSC, this did not stop the boys digging deep and performing at their best throughout the year.  At Branch, Jamie and Ben teamed up to take Gold in the Board Rescue; Ben also won the Surf Race and was 3rd in the Ironman.  Highlights at State and Aussies were Ben finishing 4th at State in the Swim and making the final in the same event at Aussies. He also made the semi-finals in both the Ironman and Board in Perth. I must make special mention of Jake Smith for making his first senior Board final at Wanda, well done mate; we are expecting great things from you in the future.

In the Opens we were indeed fortunate to have one female competitor (who we adopted from Denmark) in Line Lauredsen and she did the club proud across swim, board and ski races.  At both State and Aussie, Line made the final of the Open Swim race. Overall the lack of open competitors is of concern for our club. The efforts throughout the year to address this issue were unsuccessful namely getting ex-competitors to return to Coogee. We hope this can be rectified shortly as our pathway develops.

Also we were privileged to have some younger lifesaving competitors who trained and competed with the board team this season. Emma Grand, Tara Hayes, Emily Cowen and Bella Hardwick, showed just what spirit we have at Coogee, as not only did they compete in lifesaving events, but also in water and sand events at many carnivals.  Congratulations to Emma on her Bronze at Aussies in the U/17 Champion Lifesaver and for her 9th in the 2km run. With Tara they were voted best on tour in Perth!

The Masters competitors this year again showed that all the effort they put into training throughout the year, paid off with 3rd Place overall at State and 10th at Aussies - what a fantastic performance! The enthusiasm our 'mature athletes' bring to this area is invaluable, plus your commitment and passion are the envy of other clubs. For all our Masters going to the World Titles in France later this year we wish you all the very best of luck.

Andrew Bargenda was again our Board Coach and huge thanks must go to him for his tireless effort throughout the year working with such a big squad. I also would like to thank Andrew Tooher and Todd Mison for their contributions to our team.

Also a special thanks to Mary-Jane Laing, Rob Yeldon and Dave Park who were in charge of sponsorship for the club. Without them there would be no craft and therefore no paddlers!

Our Sponsors:
Coogee First National
Randwick Rugby
Rotary Club
Macquarie Wealth Management

Again thanks to Warwick Everingham, Matt Scanlon and the club committee for their unwavering support of not just me, but the entire water team throughout the season.

And finally to all parents and supporters, you are so much a part of the team and our club. It is appreciated and is invaluable.

It's been a great season for the Coogee Water Team and I look forward to doing it all again in 2015.

Michael Cantarella
Board and ski Captain



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