TAREE Old Bar Surf Club’s women’s boat crew remain confident they can improve next summer on their third placing in this season’s North Coast series.
The crew finished with 61 points in the series that started in September and concuded last weekend in Woolgoogla. Woolgoolga won with 100 while Kempsey-Crescent Head finished second on 95. Old Bar sweep Ben Stevenson admits his crew has some work to do to catch the two leaders.
“We were getting closer to them as the season progressed,’’ he said.
“We finished the season the way we would have like to have started it. Now we’ll concentrate on the off-season and hopefully begin next summer in the same form and challenge the top two.’’
While he concedes the two leading crews are formidable, he said the Old Bar crew members believe\s they can make further inroads next season.
Crew members were Sarah Little, Jane Lynch, Maggie Collins and Corrine Stephenson with Ben Stevenson the sweep.
“We stuck to the same four crew members this season and that seemed to work,’’ Stevenson said.
“They were more settled in their seats and that made a difference.’’
Old Bar decided to forgo the State championships and won’t attend the national titles. However, they managed a third placings at the Country championships held at South West Rocks. Old Bar also attended all rounds of the NC series apart from the one held at Hawks Nest, when crew members were unavailable. Stevenson also missed the last round at Woolgoolga and the series organisers arranged for a fill-in, as per the competition rules.
Taree Old Bar hosted a round of the series for the first time in January. Stevenson said this proved a success and the club hopes the boats will be back in 2018/19.
Old Bar had previously been given a date in February, but this clashed with the Lower North Coast Branch championships.
Port Macquarie was originally penciled in to host the round, however, this was ruled out because of logistical problems caused by school holiday crowds, so Old Bar got a start.
“The club is keen to host a round again next season and so is the series,’’ Stevenson said.
“I know a lot of the visiting boats enjoyed the day, because they’d never been to Old Bar before.
“It was also the first chance a lot of people at Old Bar had to see us in competition. People knew we had a crew and had seen us train, but never in a race.’’
The crew raced the new boat, the ‘Bevan Weiley’ in competition for the first time that day. The boat was christened in early December.
Anyone interested in surf boat rowing can contact Ben Stevenson on 0403 073 678.