We've started in earnest from 1st September 2013 and the club depth for surf boats is looking good.
We've got a well established Masters crew, one hell of a reserves crew and the A crew is lining up for another crack at Aussie Gold. The spirits are high as we begin preparations for the imminent competition season.
To continue momentum from our inaugural Bronte Boaties Bonanza last year, we've hosting it again on the 6th October 2013. It's the long weekend, so is the perfect opportunity to have a holiday within our beautiful part of the world. Starting at 12.30pm, we'll be hosting lunch at the club with a few cold ones. So come on down, support the boats section, catch up with old mates and settle in for an afternoon of hearing about the good old days. The NRL Grand Final will be showing on the big screen in the late afternoon, so we encourage you to stick around.
Last year's Bonanza was the premier of "Surfboats Through The Ages" - copies were handed out on the day, but if you missed it, it's now on the web for all to see.
Hope you have all had a great Christmas and New Year!
As an update, the A Crew is one of 20 crews nationally that have been invited to attend the national selection carnival on the 27th of Jan. The successful crew will be flown to New Zealand to compete for Australia in mid-February. This is fantastic news for the Bogeys and great motivation for us to keep training hard as we move in to the championship end of the season.
Furthermore The Dirty Dogs, our under 23 crew, competed at North Cronulla on the 22nd of December and came 4th in the final which is a great result for their first carnival for the season and Jarrod Watson's first row in the surf!
The reserve crew also had their first taste of racing on the weekend at Palm Beach, swept by Cam Stuart. They snagged a win for their last race in tricky conditions. Congratulations boys!
We have Ocean Thunder Round 3 this weekend to kickstart our 2013 campaign. It is once again at the Dee Why Thunderdome, please come along if you are in the area - it's a fantastic day packed to the hilt with racing.
Akin to Lazarus, this name has risen from the sale of the DKG to Bronte's brand new Slipstream: the flagship boat in the Bronte arsenal is still the Bluey Graham! Congratulations mate, we're starting to do your name some justice.
On Saturday, Bronte reached the final of Ocean Thunder for the first time in the event's history. However, the road to the finals was not an easy one. Dee Why saw fit to throw at us: a treacherous shore dump, a vicious side sweep, tight lanes causing a few collisions, unpredictable chop that somehow came from everywhere, and videocamera-toting jet ski-riding media pests that dirtied the water through the turn and return home.
However, not to come off sounding like a whining jerk, all competitors had to battle these challenges. The standard of the competitors is incredibly high and all the crews navigated these challenges like champions.
Apart from this little chestnut. Why this start did not get recalled is beyond me... However, we recovered well post-race and moved on to finish off the rounds on the right side of the dreaded cut-off line.
We started off with two wins, then remaining in the mix for the final 4 rounds. After the rounds, we proceeded to the knockout races. We dug in and remained ahead of the cut-off for each race - the last two crews of every race were eliminated from the racing and welcomed to the surf club bar.
This meant we were through to the finals! But an Ocean Thunder final is no ordinary race. It's a double race with a 'Le Mans' start. This means: 3 members of each crew must start behind their respective flags, 20m away from the boat. When the gun fires, the crew members sprint to the boat, the whole crew jumps in and races out and around the buoy for the first of two laps. The stroke then jumps out, sprints up the beach, around the flag and back to the boat. While the stroke is running, the remaining crew spins the boat ready to race back out to sea. Once the stroke returns to the boat, all jump in once more for the final lap. Out, around and back (battling the chop all the while) - once the boat reaches sand for the final time, the bow rower jumps out to sprint up the beach - first to the flag wins.
After 9 preceding races, it's no easy task. However, everyone has been racing all day - it's survival of the fittest.
Just for an added twist, our socialite bow-man Tom Jeffries had a wedding to attend. Apparently if he didn't attend, he would be unceremoniously dumped by this girlfriend. Faced with the prospect of joining Ed in the singles club, he promptly packed up and raced to the airport. This opened the door for Super-Sub Cam Stuart to step in to his favorite seat of 2nd bow. I moved to bow to fill the substantial empty space left by Tom. And with that, we began preparations for one last race.
I had my doubts regarding the speed of our Sweep, Cliff Gerathy to run to the boat for the Le Mans start, as his legs are as short as they are powerful - great for sweeping and keeping balance with a low center of gravity. However, he blew away my assumptions as he blew away the competition, we were equal first off the beach!
However, it's a long race, so we settled in to a well established rhythm, ticking along and dealing with the conditions well. After the first turn, we picked up the runner of the day, bringing us back in to line with the race leaders.
Hitting the sand, Ed sprints away and we spin for all we're worth.
We jump back in only to encounter chop that defied physics - it was coming from all directions at once. We endevoured to keep the bladework clean and the finishes strong, to move through the rough patch and out to the turning buoy.
After the turn, the fatigue settled like a lead blanket. Laying down to get down a wave risked the prospect of never getting back up again, becoming the surfboat equivalent of Laydown Sally. The very thought put the fear in us, so we battled on.
Hitting the shallow water, we were running on empty. I couldn't wait to get out of the boat and sprint up the beach, just so the day would be done.
I could see the runner from the crew in front of us running to the wrong flag - Bronte's flag - so I pumped the legs as fast as they would go to beat him to it. It was the opinion of the crew and the closest official that I beat him to it, giving us fourth place.
It was later overturned at some point, giving Mona Vale 4th, and Bronte 5th.
After speaking to the Mona Vale runner, inquiring as to why he ran to the wrong flag, it turns out he is red-green colour blind.
Our flag was red, theirs was green. I say let them have the 4th, poor fella.
Regardless, we had a cracking day, and a definite lift in to the remainder of the season, for the new year 2013.
Here are a few photos of the action. We hope to see you at the next Ocean Thunder on the 12th Jan 2013. Until then, Ocean Thunder Round 2 will be televised on the following dates:
It's always a pleasure to report good news. It's a pleasure to train after a successful carnival. And after the International Life Saving Championships held at Adelaide, we're holding our heads high. The Bronte Bogeys achieved 5th place, knocking out some very tough competition while discovering some other tough crews.
The conditions started off very flat, but started to chop up for the quarters, semis and finals. Regardless, every race was a tough grind, with no relief of long runners or big waves to catch from out the back. It's a good thing then that these are the conditions that suit the Bogeys down to a T. We've been training hard both on and off the water, and the results show that we have a great base to work off, but more work is required. The collective decision is to get stronger, so keep an eye out for us in the gym. Come say hello, I'll be more that happy to spot you on the bench press.
It was a very fun weekend, thanks go to Trish Ford and the gang for organising and catering a brilliant dinner the night before the boat competition. Being amongst the other competitors in the club is a rare yet enlightening experience. I can only assume they are relieved it's as rare as it is...
So, energised after our big weekend, things are looking good for the season. On the cards before Christmas we have Ocean Thunder Round 2 next weekend. You'll be sure to hear from me with the results.
Here are some shots from Worlds to tide you over until then.
Perth style sunset - responsible for skyrocketing sunglass sales