Macksville/Scotts head fly home at surf life saving championships

From the back of the boat to the front are Keith McKay (sweep), Ken Laverty (stroke), Steve Russo (second stroke), Michael Coulter (second bow) and Rick Andrews (bow)
From the back of the boat to the front are Keith McKay (sweep), Ken Laverty (stroke), Steve Russo (second stroke), Michael Coulter (second bow) and Rick Andrews (bow)

THE MACKSVILLE-Scotts Head 220-year surf boat crew of Keith McKay (sweep), Ken Laverty (stroke), Steve Russo (2nd stroke), Michael Coulter (2nd bow) and Rick Andrews (bow), wound back some years to take the bronze medal in the 180-year surf boat division at the NSW Surf Life Saving Country Championships at South West Rocks.

The masters surf boat age divisions are calculated by the combined age of the rowers and while there are 220-year, 240-year and even 260-year divisions in the NSW and Australian titles, the NSW Country Championships only go through to the 180-year division.

The NSW Country Championships were determined by a final following three rounds of heats.

The Macksville-Scotts Head crew performed poorly in the first two rounds of heats with poor alleys, missed starts and an anxiety induced high stroke rate threatening an early shower.

A second place in the third heat provided a spot in the final. With a reasonable alley draw and good start, the Macksville-Scotts Head crew rowed well in the final to be narrowly beaten into second place by Woolgoolga with the very good Kempsey-Crescent crew taking out the gold.

The crew now turns its attention to the remaining two rounds of the North Coast Surf Boat Series and then the State and Australian Titles in March.

Three gold medals were won by the Kempsey-Crescent Head Surf Boats Club at the NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships held at South West Rocks on the weekend.

The club tasted gold in the Men’s Masters 180, Open Female and Open Male while they also earned a silver medal in the female reserve grade.

The medals helped the club reach an overall points score of 41 as they finished in 25th position out of 39 clubs who competed at the NSW Country Championships.

The club also achieved a fourth place finish in the men’s reserve grade final.

Hosts of the event, South West Rocks achieved a gold medal in the 120-year division as they held off their only opponent Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Life Saving Club.

Their focus of both clubs will switch to the Battle of the Boats on February 25-26.

The Kempsey-Crescent Head Surf Boats Club has a commanding lead in the overall points competition.

Overall, Cudgen Headland SLSC obliterated the competition at the 2017 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships at The Rocks. Cudgen competitors had the title in their sights for the last 12 months and scored more than double the points of nearest rival, Sawtell SLSC.