So as many of you know surf rowing is my jam. There are five people in a vessel, recreating an epic battle against Poseidon. Each team will simultaneously venture out into pummelling waves with full hope that they will make it back to beach intact. Collateral damage is expected in some form….
Surf boat rowing is a mean, physical feat. Watch a crew, colloquially known as “boaties”, take a boat into the rough Aussie waters, and you soon realise that you’re looking at a well-oiled machine working like clockwork. If you don’t know much about it, there are four oarsmen and a sweep operating in syncopation to drive the vessel out beyond the waves, around the cans and then back to the beach as fast as we can.
Surf rowing is replete with moments of drama and tension: we hold the boat fast against the waves at “guns up”, our bodies tight in anticipation of the crack of the starter pistol; the torsion of muscles hauling on the oars as we urge and “will” our boat to speed. By the time we are back on the shoreline we are totally exhausted and elated if we are the winners on the day.
For me the hardest part is training. Early mornings kill me. Still. After all these years. I am more of a night owl naturally, so I’m not one for 5am rises. However, once you’re out in the water it’s fine. Comradery is good and it’s very social and I enjoy the team aspect of it.
This photo is not my team, it was taken in Woolongong and is demonstrating a “candlestick” – fun times! And yes, I have experienced a few of them.