As the Coogee Hammers flight left Sydney airport bound for Adelaide last Thursday, it felt as if mother nature gave us her own good luck light show with a massive thunder and lightning storm.  

Friday afternoon the team had a strong training session down at Glenelg beach in Adelaide. Although the wind was strong and cool, the waves choppy and more like a washing machine, the mighty Hammers discovered a few extra last minute technics to handle the new style of motors. All members went to bed that night feeling they were ready to give it their all.

On Saturday morning the wind was calm, the ocean still and the air warm. As the Coogee IRB Racing Team made their way onto the beach it was noted by officials that due to the amount of rocks and shell on the shore line the carnival was to be moved further up the beach. Once the spot was picked we all agreed it was a much better spot, except for the 12 tone of seaweed that engulfed the shore line! So like the leaders they are the Coogee Hammers lead the way and joined forces with all the other IRB clubs and began to collect the seaweed with their own hands. After a long 2 hours the beach was given the all clear and the racing could commence. 

First up was the Rescue Race with Coogee having 3 teams in the event. Unfortunately, two of our teams  just missed out on a second round placement, but then Paul Lardi  took it upon himself with the help of Brad Allen and Dana Wellmann to show the world we would not be slowed down, they cruised through to the next round and got the team back on track.

Next was the Mass Rescue race with Dan Lavery, Brad Allen, Dana Wellman and Andrew Glenn just missing out on a second round. Anthony Ashley, together with Paul Lardi, Jon Faint and Nikki Ozsdolay took the race with both hands and powered into the next round.

With the day moving on it was time for the Teams Rescue Race. Jerry Vochteloo led the charge with Scott Muir and Dana Wellmann. They started off the gun perfect and came home with a magical patient pick up. Handing the batten over to Anthony Ashley and Paul Lardi for the second lap the boys didn’t disappoint powering over the waves and picking up Andrew Glenn in smooth motion, it was clear this team was here to stay, they did so and made it all the way to the quarter finals and even then were unlucky to make it further.

With the day coming to an end and the sun setting there was time for one last race - the Tube Rescue! Sadly two of the teams missed a place by a whisker in the first round.  Jerry Vochteloo together with Brad Allen started off their own race in first place and with a powerful swim from Brad Allen and amazing kicking from Dana Wellmann they powered home and into the quarter finals. An odd hush came over the crowed as the world at last could see what the Hammers knew all along, we have the skill and the talent to take The Coogee Hammers IRB Racing Team to the next level and we will be a threat at next year’s Competition.

Well done Hammers you should be proud of your achievement.

Anthony Ashley.

Coogee Hammers, IRB Racing Captain.

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