Boaties kick off the season

Tugun Beach had five surf boat crews travel to Palm Beach on Saturday to represent the Club at round 1 of the ASRLQ Navy series.

All crews were met with some challenging conditions both surf wise & rain wise.  The format was three races for all crews with winners decided on a point system.

The men’s A crew of Nathan Down, Morgan McDonagh, Elijah Gray, Brendan Ratcliffe with sweep Brook Down rowed well to record two wins and a second.  Coming off a short training program the boys did well in both surf skills and fitness.  As a reward for their win, the crew gains automatic free entry into the Ocean Thunder professional surf boat series which is held at Dee Why Beach in Sydney in early November.

The Womens A crew of Maddy Ruygrok, Jen Meister, Bec Davis and Terani Inoke also rowed well.  A new crew still working on seating positions did a great job.  The girls finished in second place behind the Tallebudgera crew.

In the reserve grade division we had a women’s crew & a men’s crew.

The women’s crew of Tileah McGowan, Carolyn Smith, Gillian Flemming & Gabrielle Lean and sweep Colin (Taj) Martin were competing in their first ever surf boat event.  They did well in their first race but tragedy struck in their second race when they were hit with a solid five foot wave & in the chaos damaged some of their equipment  The crew subsequently withdrew from competition.  But, for their first carnival the smiles told it all.  Well done Taj & the “Gypseas”.

The reserve grade men’s crew of Brett Beutel (sweep), Jason Smith, John McCarthy, Brett O’Brien and Ben Tucker were also a new combination.  They rowed will in their first carnival as a crew.  Their day also finished in their second race when they were cleaned up by a solid wave in a challenging set.  Gear damage forced the guys to withdraw from competition.

Brett Beutels masters crew of John McCarthy, Julius Czerney, Martin Coe and Richard Finney made a wise call to not contest the masters as by the time their division were set to row conditions had deteriorated and we had all had enough for the day.

I was good to see the rowers return to the Tugun Beach Supporters Club for a bite to eat & some refreshments to cheer them up and thaw them out.

Our next carnival will be at Coffs Harbour in a few weeks.

Regards, Tony Benfield