Minnie makes its mark
By TONY BENFIELD
SURFBOAT rowers from the Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Life Saving Club competed in the 32nd annual Coffs Harbour Interstate Craft Carnival at the weekend.
More than 240 crews from Far North Queensland down to NSW, Victoria and over to Western Australia made the annual journey to Coffs Harbour for the first major carnival of the season.
Minnie Water crews competed with mixed fortunes in trying conditions. The most successful crew was the Under-21s crew of Ashley Benfield, Anthony Holmes, Samuel Vaessen, Brenton Tunsted and sweep Tony Benfield.
The crew was aiming for its fourth finals spot in as many years and was unlucky to be eliminated in the rough conditions in its semi-final.
The same crew rowed in the open boat division and used the preliminary rounds in that division as a warm up.
The crew trained pretty hard for this event and the disappointment was quite obvious after they were eliminated.
Next best performed crew was the masters crew of Peter Toms, Paul Vaessen, Brad Neill, Brett Ethell and sweep Brook Down. The guys were showing excellent form rowing to sea to their turning buoys, but had difficulty mastering conditions on the journey back to shore.
Regardless, they made their semi-final and just missed out on a third place which would have seen them proceed through to the final.
The club had a second masters crew with a new combination of Rod Boulton, Peter Young, Rob McLennan, Jane Schweikert having their first hit out as a crew.
While they enjoyed the outing, they couldn't master the conditions and only lasted a few races before being eliminated.
This crew will no doubt improve.
In the reserve grade division the crew of Matt McLennan, Nathan Adamson, Rob McLennan and Jane Schweikert did not proceed past the three-race round robin series.
In all it was good to get some hard competition under their belts at Coffs Harbour and the 'boaties' look forward to a bit of a rest before they head off to Urunga in early December for rounds five and six of the North Coast Surfboat Series.