MANNING River Rowing Club should be back in operation this weekend, working out of the lower section of the clubhouse.
This is less than a week after a destructive storm ripped three quarters of the roof off the clubhouse. The club was hosting the Central District Regatta at the time.
Rowers from 13 clubs from the Central Coast to Coffs Harbour were involved in what is the second major regatta the club hosts each season.
Club members yesterday removed all equipment from the bottom level of the clubhouse while a professional crew thoroughly cleaned out the area.
"We washed down all boats, oars, ergs, buoys, ropes and all other equipment before returning them to the shed,'' club committee member Hugh McLeod explained.
He said this will enable the club to function using the downstairs section. This will include the popular indoor rowing program run by Mr McLeod.
Earlier in the week Mr McLeod admitted he didn't know how long the club would be out of operation.
"It could be open this week, this month or in six weeks,'' he told the Times on Monday.
"So this is a good result for us,'' Mr McLeod said on Wednesday.
He added it is particularly positive news for the group of Manning rowers heading to the Australian Masters to be held at Champion Lakes in Perth from May 22 to 25. This will be the last regatta of the season.
Mr McLeod understands up to six club members will be in action and he added their preparation now won't be hindered. Club members will also be able to continue training programs.
Mr McLeod concedes he has 'no idea' when work might start on repairing the upstairs section of the clubhouse. This suffered extensive water damage while the kitchen and office areas were exposed when the roof was torn off.
A wedding had been booked for the club this weekend, but an alternative venue has since been found. The club was also to host a number of other events in the next few months.
"II think it's going to be a long term project,'' Mr McLeod said of rebuilding the upstairs section.