SOUTH CURLIE BOATIES AT ALEXANDER HEADLANDS FOR NATIONAL SLSA CHAMPS
Our Boaties started their campaign on Monday 18th April with the surf a sloppy 4 foot for the Masters championship. We sent three crews; ‘White Bread’ 220s crew of Bucko, Champ, Marko & Dave Hoy rowing in Bill’s seat, with Ribs, ‘The Supremes’ Craig, Steven, Graham & Andrew with Flea sweeping. Flea also had a 200s crew, ‘The Short & Curlies’, Marc, Bryan, James & Mark.
Both of the 220s crews made the final, with White Bread rowing their usual race for Gold, and the Supremes taking sliver. In the 200s final, Short & Curlies were on the same wave crossing the line, a desperate ploy by Flea not enough, North Cronulla snuck in the Gold, Curly – Silver.
On Wednesday 20th, the action in the club relays was fierce, on a glassy sea Curly made the final. Gus swept the senior crew and made a blistering run to give Termite’s ‘Lamp’ a good start in the chase after Palm Beach who had made a terrific start. Lamp held on to 2nd place for the ‘Straw Hats’ to carry on out and back, hitting the beach with North Cronulla. Another exceptional run from Gus, but it was not enough and Curly had to be content with Bronze. Gus was the standout individual competitor for the day, showing previously unimagined pace over the sand.
Thursday 21st. Today the surf was small. We had the little girls, ‘What Happened’, that is Elizabeth, Lauren, Racheal and Daana; with a little bit of help through the year from ‘Straw Hats’, they’ve come along very well – a couple of rows today and through to tomorrow. The Cols, ‘The Thunderbirds’, Ryan, Toby, Luke & Jacob with Termite. And the Reserves, ‘The Indians’, Rob, Brad, Benny & Nathan with Gus were invited back as well.
Friday 22 – surf 3 foot. The ‘Slickers’ under 19 crew; Rory, Thomas, Toby & Trent with Phil sweeping, were as fast as the res but missed out in the tangle across the line. It was here that the ‘Lamp’ crew almost came unstuck; three boats hit a wave going out, our heroes sweep broke, uuuurrhh. But it held together long enough to get them back to the beach in third spot to proceed on.
Sat 23 – Attrition Day. Five on a wave finishes put paid to the hopes of the ‘Indians’ and the ‘Thunderbirds’. Meanwhile ‘Lamp’ had progressed though the quarter and semi finals of the Under 19s winning those and line up for the Final. They set off very well into a sloppy sea, went round the can in 1 or 2, but lost the race on the way home, being placed fourth. Second in the State, fourth in the Aussies – not bad at all. The ‘Straw Hats’ are through to their semis tomorrow.
Sunday 24th. This day came up with no surf to speak of, and no wind. However about 10am a southerly came up and got stronger as time went on. ‘Straw Hats’ were on-song, they were the crew to beat, taking two wins and a second in their semi. The days action was being live streamed and it was here that there class was on display. Sophie, Emma, Charlotte & Ellie with Gus, on a day of high stress, in a sloppy sea, going across a 20mph side wind were a pleasure to watch. On full power, on automatic drive and it looked effortless. However, on their way back the crew on their left got a private runner and took the lead and crossed with our girls taking second. An Aussie open boat silver medal will look very fine in the cabinet with all their other shiny stuff.
I called Gus on Sunday evening about 6pm. Woke him up, he was totally done. He goes around the cans more than anyone counts, every week, and it had caught up with him a bit at the end of the season.
I guess that’s it folk. Put the boats away for a bit. You brought home some jingly stuff and lots of fun memories
CHARLIE CHICKA KUHN.